Saint Hilary of Arles
Saint Hilary of Arles (449)
Feast Day: March 30/April 12
Saint Hilary (or Hilarius) was born to a noble family in Lorraine, in northeastern Gaul (modern-day France). While still a youth, he sold his inherited estates to his brother, gave the profit away to the poor, and joined the abbey of Lerins on the island of Lerina, headed by his kinsman, St. Honoratus (an uninhabited island until Honoratus founded the monastery there, and since has been renamed to Saint-Honorat). After being elected bishop of Arles (in southern Gaul), Honoratus died, and Hilary was named his successor. He desired to stay isolated on the island, but accepted the episcopate as the will of God and went to serve the Church. He was esteemed for his great sanctity of life, and known for his ascetic deeds, strictness, almsgiving to the poor, and ransoming captives. Twice, he had difficult confrontations with Saint Leo I, Pope of Rome, but in time these situations were reconciled.
A disciple of Honoratus, the “pious seducer”, O Hilary, thou hast left all in order to follow him to Lerins; having found on the isle of the Saints peace and divine contemplation, thou wast constrained to leave the desert in order to sanctify, as a bishop, the Arlesians; O illustrious preacher and glory of the episcopate, by thy prayers cease not to guide our souls to salvation.
Thou, the illustrious rhetor, the administrator of the goods here below, become a monk, O Saint Hilary, wast not able to taste as a solitary the things on high, but God hast reserved thee for the good and the salvation of the believers as a holy preacher, as a dispenser of the word of truth, as providence for the poor and captives; O blessed bishop of Arles, even now forget not the sheep of thy fold, but intercede for them and for our souls before the supreme Shepherd.
On 5 May, we remember our father among the saints, Hilary, bishop of Arles (A.D. 449)
Verses: He who loved so much insular quietude
Had to respond to the appeal of the see of Arles.
On the fifth day of May, the holy Bishop Hilary
Found a durable peace in the heavenly archipelago.
Translated by Schema-Archimandrite John (Lewis) +2007
From the French Akolouthia composed in 1998 by Hieromonk Denis (Guillaume) +2008
Published here with written permission of the author.
Synaxaria augmented by Mother Andrea
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