> Commemoration: St. Hilary of Poitiers
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Annually on January 13
Hilary of Poitiers,
Bishop and Doctor
The ordination of Saint Hilary of Poitiers
Eternal Father, whose servant Hilary steadfastly confessed thy Son Jesus Christ to be true God and true man: We beseech thee to keep us firmly grounded in this faith; that we may rejoice to behold his face in heaven who humbled himself to bear our form upon earth, even the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
O Lord our God, who didst raise up thy servant Hilary to be a Champion of the catholic faith: Keep us steadfast in that true faith which we professed at our baptism, that we may rejoice in having thee for our Father, and may abide in thy Son, in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit; thou who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.
Hilary of Poitiers (315-367) lived during the great controversy between Athanasius, who taught that the Son is fully God, equally with the Father, and Arius, who denied this.
Hilary is sometimes called "the Athanasius of the West." He was bishop of Poitiers, and when he refused to sign a condemnation of Athanasius, the Arian emperor Constantius (one of the sons of Constantine) banished him to Phrygia in 357. His exile lasted three years, during which time he wrote several essays, including On the Trinity. Finally the Emperor was forced to send him back to Gaul because he was causing such difficulties for the Arians in the East. In 364, he journeyed to Milan, where he engaged in public debate with the Arian bishop Auxentius, and persuaded him of the error of his ways.