Feast Day: October 21
Born: 291 :: Died: 371
Hilarion was born at Tabatha, south of Gaza in Palestine. He was the son of Pagan parents who did not believe in God. When he was a teenager he left his home in Palestine to study in Alexandria in Egypt.
There at the age of 15, he learned about the Christian faith, and soon was baptized. His conversion started him out on a glorious journey leading him closer to God. Before long, he was off to visit the famous St. Anthony of Egypt in the desert.
Hilarion wanted to be alone to serve Jesus, whom he had just come to love. He stayed two months with St. Anthony, but it was not quiet enough there for him.
Many people came to St. Anthony for help. Hilarion could not find the peace he was looking for, so he left. After giving everything he had to the poor, he went into the wilderness to live alone as a hermit.
He wore a shirt made of hair and skins and a short shepherd's cloak. He fasted during the day and had a small meal after sunset. He supported himself by weaving baskets but spent the rest of his time in prayer.
Hilarion faced many temptations and at times he felt that God did not hear his prayers at all. But he did not let these temptations stop him from praying even harder.
After twenty years in the desert, the holy man worked his first miracle. He was also able to drive demons out of people.
Soon many people began coming to his hut to beg his help. Several men asked him to let them stay with him to learn from him how to pray and do penance.
In his great love for God and people, the saint invited them to stay. But finally, when he was sixty-five, he began to travel. He went from one country to another in search of peace and quiet.
However, the fame of his miracles of mercy always brought crowds of visitors. A few years before his death in 371, Hilarian finally found a lonely cave in Cyprus and at last felt that he was truly alone with God. He was eighty years old when he died.
E-mail this page to a friend