Image: Temptation of St. Hilarion
Simple (1955 Calendar): October 20
St. Hilaron was an abbot and disciple of St. Anthony the Great and companion of St. Hesychius. He was born in Tabatha, Palestine, in 291 and was educated in Alexandria, Egypt. He stayed with St. Anthony in the desert there before becoming a hermit at Majuma, near Gaza, Israel. In 356, Hilarion returned to St. Anthony in the Egyptian desert and found that his fame had spread there too. He fled to Sicily to escape notice, but Hesychius traced him there. The two went to Dalmatia, Croatia, and then to Cyprus. Hilarion performed so many miracles that crowds flocked to him when it was discovered he was in any region. He died on Cyprus in 371 AD, and St. Hesychius secretly took his remains back to Palestine.
As St. John Vianney once preached:
"Once Saint Hilarion, followed by a great number of his disciples, going to visit the monasteries under his rule, came to the abode of an avaricious solitary. On their approach, they found watchers in all parts of the vineyard, who threw stones and clods of earth at them to prevent their touching the grapes. This miser was well punished, for he gathered that year much fewer grapes than usual, and his wine turned into vinegar. Another solitary, named Sabbas, begged him, on the contrary, to come into his vineyard, and eat the fruit. Saint Hilarion blessed it, and sent in to it his religious, to the number of three thousand, who all satisfied their hunger; and twenty days after, the vineyard yielded three hundred measures of wine, instead of the usual quantity of ten. Let us follow the example of Sabbas, and be disinterested; the good God will bless us, and after having blessed us in this world, He will also reward us in the other."This excerpt from the Roman Breviary is specifically worthy of meditation:
Read more on St. John Vianney
The piece of sackcloth wherewith alone he clad himself he never washed and never changed saying that haircloth was a thing not worth the trouble of cleanliness. He took great interest in reading and meditating on the Holy Scriptures. His food was a few figs and some porridge of vegetables, and this he ate not before set of sun. His self-control and lowliness were beyond belief. By these and other arms he overcame divers and fearful attacks of the devil, and drave out countless evil spirits from the bodies of men in many parts of the world. He had built many monasteries, and was famous for miracles, when, in the eightieth year of his age, he fell sick. When he was gasping for his last breath, he said : Go out, what art thou afraid of? Go out, my soul, wherefore shrinkest thou? Thou hast served Christ hard on seventy years, and art thou afraid of death? And so with these words he gave up the Ghost.The life of Hilarion was written by Jerome in 390 at Bethlehem. Its object was to further the ascetic life to which he was devoted. You may read the online account of the Life of St. Hilarion as written by St. Jerome by clicking here.
May the intercession of blessed Hilarion, the Abbot, commend us unto Thee, we beseech Thee, O Lord: so that what we cannot acquire by any merits of ours, we may obtain by his patronage. Through...
Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal