TUESDAY, January 13, 1998
Tuesday in Ordinary Time, January 13: and
the Feast of Saint Hillary, Bishop and Doctor
First Reading: 1 Samuel 1: 9-20
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 147: 12, 15
Gospel Reading: Mark 1: 21-28
Born in 315 in Poitiers, Gaul, Saint Hilary was a bishop who lived in the 4th Century in Aquitaine which is today Southwest France. Though he was raised a pagan, life's journey brought him to Christianity at middle age through reading Sacred Scripture. In 353 he became the bishop of his home town of Poitiers and fought hard to support the orthodox cause against the growing threat of Arianism prevalent among his peer bishops. The majority of Arian bishops succeeded in getting him expelled to Phrygia where he spent time in exile. He dedicated his life to stopping this Arian menace within the Church, becoming a thorn in the side to all heretics as he preached love, not hate for those ignorant of the true teachings of Holy Mother Church. For his dedication and contributions, he was called the "Athanasius of the West." While in exile he wrote his most famous treatises De Trinitate, De synodis, and Opus historicum. Finally, after a long battle against Arianism, he returned to the place of his birth Poitiers where he later died in 368 in total peace. We can learn from St. Hilary in that though we are soldiers for Christ, we also need to show compassion and love while never compromising our faith. Pope Pius IX declared St. Hilary a Doctor of the Church on January 13, 1851.