Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Feast of St. Hilary of Poitiers

The Ordination of Saint Hilary

Today we honor the memory and the contribution of St. Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers who lived from 315 to 367 in the Common Era. Here's something I found out about him:

Hilary was one of the most conspicuous and original characters of early Christianity. His distinguishing characteristics were fidelity to the church creed, acuteness in argument, and resolution in action. He knew no fear. He wielded a keen sword when he defended apostolic truth against heretics, or vindicated the prerogatives of the Church against the encroachments of the civil power. Yet, when the differences concerned non-essentials, he displayed a conciliatory disposition. His power lay essentially in his thorough acquaintance with the Scriptures. His earliest literary labor was a Commentary on Matthew, and one of the latest an Exposition of the Psalms. His other exegetical works are lost. Much to be regretted is the loss of his collection of hymns which the Spanish churches used.
It is also to be noted that his parents were pagans of high social standing and that he had a classical education. It is so nice to read about early influential Christians who were not infected with anti-intellectualism.

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