St. Hilary of Arles (Feast: May 5)
Hilary was of a noble, patrician family of means and influence, a close relative of St. Honoratus and the founder of the Monastery of Lérins on the Mediterranean island of the same name, a monastery which is active to this day.
Wealthy, highly educated, and endowed with exceptional abilities, Hilary looked forward to a brilliant career in the world. But his saintly relative felt that he was called to serve his God in religious life and did his utmost to convince him to leave the things of the world.
After a fierce inner struggle, Hilary decided to sell his patrimony and follow his holy mentor to Lérins. He writes of this interior battle: “On one side, I saw the Lord calling me; on the other the world offering me its seducing charms and pleasures. How often did I embrace and reject, willed and not willed the same thing! But in the end Jesus Christ triumphed in me. And three days after Honoratus had left me, the mercy of God, solicited by his prayers, subdued my rebellious soul.”
When Honoratus was elected Bishop of Arles in 426, being already an old man, he wished to have Hilary’s assistance and companionship, and himself traveled to Lérins to fetch his relation.
At Honoratus’ death in 429, Hilary, though grieving, rejoiced to return to his island abbey.
He had started on his journey, when he was overtaken by messengers from the citizens of Arles begging him to accept the miter.
Though only twenty-nine, he submitted, being well prepared for the task by his years of religious life and assistance to Honoratus. Though observing the austerities of the cloister, he took up his diocesan work with immense energy.
Known for his kindness and charity, he is also remembered for publicly rebuking a government official for bringing shame to the Church. He helped establish monasteries, and strengthened the discipline and orthodoxy of the Church through several councils. He sold Church property to ransom those kidnapped, and is said to have worked miracles in his lifetime.
Though his life was marked by some canonical disputes with Pope St. Leo I, the same Pontiff praised him in a letter to his successor, calling him, “Hilary of holy memory.”
He died on May 5, 449, just short of fifty years of age.
Second Image by: Esby
DAILY QUOTE for January 22, 2021
SAINT OF THE DAY
St. Vincent Pallotti
One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian.