St Hilary – 13th January

Those engaged with some of the universities or the law might have wondered why this term which has just begun is known as ‘Hilary term’. The reason is because of the saint’s day which fell on the 13th and marks the start of those terms. Hilary was born in Poitiers in central France in 315. He was brought up a pagan but was a cultured and clever man who through reading and thought became convinced of the Christian message. So thorough was his conversion that in his mid-30s he was chosen to be the bishop of his native city.

As well as being a very caring bishop Hilary was also engaged in the great controversy of his time. The Arian heretics denied that Jesus was fully God and had tremendous influence at court. Hilary along with other great saints, such as Athanasius, fought against them to defend the teaching of the Church that Jesus is both fully man and fully God. For part of his life Hilary was exiled to the East so effective was his teaching and preaching. He put the time to good use and read up on what the Greek Christian thinkers were arguing. When he came back to the West he put that thought into action.

Hilary represents all that a Christian should be. He was kind and considerate but also uncompromising about the truths of the faith. As we begin our work again we should ask for his prayers that we may be the same.

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