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St. Hilary of Poitiers

Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church

January 14

ST. HILARY was a native of Poitiers in Aquitaine. Born and educated a pagan, it was not till near middle age that he embraced Christianity, moved thereto mainly by the idea of God presented to him in the Holy Scriptures. He soon converted his wife and daughter, and separated himself rigidly from all un-Catholic company. In the beginning of his conversion St. Hilary would not eat with Jews or heretics, nor salute them by the way; but afterwards, for their sake, he relaxed this severity. He entered Holy Orders, and in 353 was chosen bishop of his native city. Arianism, under the protection of the Emperor Constantius, was just then in the height of its power, and St. Hilary found himself called upon to support the orthodox cause in several Gallic councils, in which Arian bishops formed an overwhelming majority. He was in consequence accused to the emperor, who banished him to Phrygia. He spent his three years and more of exile in composing his great works on the Trinity. In 359 he attended the Council of Seleucia, in which Arians, semi-Arians, and Catholics contended for the mastery. With the deputies of the council he proceeded to Constantinople, and there so dismayed the heads of the Arian party that they prevailed upon the emperor to let him return to Gaul. He traversed Gaul, Italy, and Illyria, wherever he came discomfiting the heretics and procuring triumph of orthodoxy. After seven or eight years of missionary travel he returned to Poitiers, where he died in peace in 368.

Reflection. —Like St. Hilary, we, too, are called to a lifelong contest with heretics; we shall succeed in proportion as we combine hatred of heresy, with compassion for its victims.   
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk

Commemoration of St. Felix

Martyr

This holy priest born at Nola, near Naples, died 312, is also commemorated on this day. He is famous for many miracles. Cruel persecution failed to bring about his death; to him the famous St. Paulinus owed his conversion.




Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS

Introit • Ecclus. 15, 5

In the midst of the church the Lord opened his mouth: and filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory. (P.T. Alleluia, alleluia.) Ps. 91, 2. It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to Thy name, O Most High. Glory be …

Collect (Prayer)

O God, who didst give blessed Hilary to be a minister of everlasting salvation unto Thy people, grant, we beseech Thee, that, as we have had him for our teacher on earth, we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in heaven. Through our Lord.
Commemoration of St. Felix of Nola

Collect (Prayer)

Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that the examples of Thy saints may inspire us to a better life, whereby we may imitate his deeds whose solemnity we are keeping. Through our Lord.

Epistle • 2 Tim. 4, 1-8

Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to Timothy.

[His charge to Timothy. He tells him of his approaching death and desires him to come to him.]

Dearly beloved, I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming, and his kingdom: Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober. For I am even now ready to be sacrificed: and the time of my dissolution is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord the just judge will render to me in that day: and not only to me, but to them also that love his coming.

Gradual • Ps. 36, 30, 31

The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgment. The law of his God is in his heart: and his steps shall not be supplanted.

Lesser Alleluia

Alleluia, alleluia. Ecclus. 45, 9. The Lord loved him, and adorned him: He clothed him with a robe of glory. Alleluia.




Gospel • Matt. 5, 13-19

Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew. 

[Christ's sermon upon the mount. The eight beatitudes.]

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men. You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house.
So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled. He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Offertory • Ps. 91, 13

The just shall flourish like the palm-tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus. (P.T. alleluia.)

Secret

May the loving prayers of Hilary, Thy bishop not be waiting to us O Lord to commend our gifts and ever to obtain pardon for us. Through our Lord.
Commemoration of St. Felix of Nola

Secret

Graciously receive, O Lord, the sacrifices dedicated to the merits of Thy blessed martyr Felix, and grant them to profit us unto everlasting aid. Through our Lord.

Communion • Luke 12, 42

A faithful and wise steward, whom the Lord set over His family; to give them their measure of wheat in due season. (P.T. Alleluia.)

Postcommunion

That Thy sacrifices may give us health, O Lord, may blessed Hilary, Thy bishop and illustrious doctor, we beseech Thee, act as our intercessor. Through our Lord.
Commemoration of St. Felix of Nola

Postcommunion

Filled with the mysteries of salvation, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that we may be assisted with the prayers of blessed Felix, Thy martyr. Through our Lord.