Hilary of Poitiers, Saint


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Hilary of Poitiers, Saint

(hĭl`ərē, poitērz`, poi`tyā), c.315–367?, bishop of PoitiersPoitiers
, city (1990 pop. 82,507), capital of Vienne dept., W central France, on the Clain River. The ancient capital of Poitou, it is now an industrial, agricultural, and communications center.
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 from c.350, Doctor of the Church. A convert from paganism, he distinguished himself as a supporter of Athanasius against ArianismArianism
, Christian heresy founded by Arius in the 4th cent. It was one of the most widespread and divisive heresies in the history of Christianity. As a priest in Alexandria, Arius taught (c.
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. For his zeal he was exiled (c.356). After his return (360) he aided Pope Liberius in the attempted purge of Arianism in the West. He wrote many theological works, mostly against the Arians, including the historically invaluable De synodis and the De trinitate (tr. by Stephen McKenna, 1954). He composed allegorical interpretations of the Bible and sacred poetry. His hymns were important in the early development of that form. Feast: Jan. 14; in England, Jan. 13 (Hilarymas). Hilary term, in English courts and schools, begins Jan. 11.

Bibliography

See W. N. Myers, ed. and tr., The Hymns of Saint Hilary of Poitiers (1928); C. F. A. Borchardt, Hilary of Poitiers' Role in the Arian Struggle (1966).

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