Our Doctor of the Church for the day is St. Hilary of Poitiers.
St. Hilary of Poitiers was born in the year 315 and died somewhere around 368. He is often called “The Athanasius of the West” because he confronted the Arian hersey in the Western Church in the same way that Athanasius did in the Eastern Church. And like Athanasius, Hilary was exiled from his diocese on several occasions. But that didn’t stop him from teaching the true and authentic Faith. For Hilary, it was all about Baptism: if you were baptized in the Trinitarian Formula, Father, Son and Spirit, than your default creed was the Nicene Creed. Of course, not everyone believed that so Hilary made it his life’s work to teach and encourage others to remain true and faithful to the true Catholic Faith. He wrote many works: his two famous ones being a Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew and another on the Psalms. His famous theological work of more dogmatic characteristics is called De Trinitate, or The Trinity. Pope Benedict writes of St. Hilary, “[he] devoted his whole life to defending faith in the divinity of Jesus Christ, Son of God, and God as the Father who generated him from eternity” (Church Fathers, Vol. 1).
To this end, St. Hilary can help us pray. In his work De Trinitate, St. Hilary writes this beautiful prayer: “Obtain, O Lord, that I may keep ever faithful to what I have professed in the symbol of my regeneration, when I was baptized in the Father, in the Son, and in the Holy Spirit. That I may worship you, our Father, and with you, your Son; that I may deserve your Holy Spirit, who from proceeds from you through your Only Begotten Son. Amen”.
Amen to that St. Hilary of Poitiers! We celebrate his feast day on Jan 13 but we ask him to pray for us and with us today. May we have the courage and docility to embrace, protect and share with others the great richness that is ours because we are baptized in the Name of God: Father, Son and Spirit. Amen.