This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

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Saturday, 14 January 2017

14th January, St Hilary, Bishop and Doctor

St Hilary, Bishop and Doctor

After having persecuted the Church during the first centuries, the Christian, but at the same time heretical emperors, continued their attacks by supporting Arianism which denied the divinity of Christ. In the season after Epiphany, when Jesus affirms His divinity by His teaching and miracles, the first saint whom the Church presents to us is one of the most intrepid defenders of this fundamental dogma of Christianity. St Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers in 352, endowed with great natural and supernatural talent, for "the Lord has filled him with the spirit of wisdom and intelligence" (Introit), fought with his pen and his eloquence against those "who closed their ears to truth and opened them to fables" (Epistle).

The salt of the earth, this light on God's house, would not suffer, under the false excuse of favouring peace and unity, the salt of true doctrine to be corrupted or the light of truth to be hidden under a bushel. "Having thus taught the practice of the commandments even to the last tittle, he is great in the kingdom of heaven" (Gospel), and the Church which is the earthly portion of this kingdom has, by the voice of Pope Pius IX, awarded him the title of Doctor of the Church. He died in 368.

Let us have recourse to the intercession of St Hilary in order always to be the intrepid defenders of the divinity of Christ.

In medio Ecclesiae aperuit os ejus: et implevit eum Dominus spiritu sapientiae et intellectus: stolam gloriae induit eum. * Bonum est confiteri Domino: et psallere nomini tuo, Altissime.
In the midst of the Church the Lord opened his mouth: and He filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory. * It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to Thy name, O most High.
(Ecclesiasticus 15:5 and Psalm 91:2 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui pópulo tuo aetérnae salútis beátum Hilarium minístrum tribuísti: praesta quaesumus; ut, quem Doctórem vitae habúimus in terris, intercessórem habére mereámur in coelis.
O God, who didst give unto Thy people blessed Hilary to be a minister of eternal salvation: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be worthy to have as an intercessor in heaven him, whom we have had as teacher of life on earth.

Catholic Encyclopaedia on St Hilary of Poitiers:

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