HILARY OF POITIERS
BISHOP AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
Hilary of Poitiers (ca. 315–ca. 367) was a vigorous and outspoken defender of orthodoxy against Arianism (which held that Jesus Christ was the greatest of creatures, but not the equal of God). Born at Poitiers (in the central southwest of modern-day France) of wealthy pagan parents, Hilary became a Chris tian in 350 after a long period of study. About three years later he was elected bishop of his hometown, probably while still a married layman. He was exiled to Phrygia (in Asia Minor) by the Arian emperor Constantius II. His return from exile was greeted with great enthusiasm in Gaul, which became the center of Nicene orthodoxy in the West, and Hilary its chief proponent. He was not yet sixty when he died. Hilary was named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius IX in 1851. His feast is on the General Roman Calendar and is also observed on this day by the Church of England and the Episcopal Church in the United States.