Saint Hilarion the Great

Saint Hilarion the Great was born in 291 in the Palestinian settlement called Tabatha. He was sent to Alexandria to study science. In Alexandria he got acquainted with a group of Christians and was baptized afterwards. When St. Hilarion learned about the pious living of St. Anthony the Great (feast day on January 17), he decided to visit the Saint so that he could teach him how to please God. Shortly he came back to his native settlement. He found out, that his parents had died already. St. Hilarion took a decision to hand out all the property he got from his parents to his living relatives and to the poor. Then he settled down in the desert near the city of Mayuma. Saint Hilarion was fighting against constant impure wishes, torturing his mind and body. However, he managed to cope with them with the help of strict fasting and wholehearted prayer. The devil tried to frighten St. Hilarion and sent different ghosts and visions to disturb him. During prayer the Saint heard children weeping, women mourning and wild beasts roaring. St. Hilarion knew that all that horror was caused by the demons in order to make him leave the desert. That is why he prevailed over his fear with the help of prayer.

Once, a group of robbers fell upon St. Hilarion. The Saint managed to persuade them to forsake their life of crime just with the power of his own word. Soon the Holy Ascetic became well-known all over Palestine. The Lord granted to St. Hilarion the power to cast out evil spirits and demons. That gift of God let the Saint to help many of the afflicted people. The sick came to him for healing, and the Saint cured them for free. As he said by himself, “the grace of God is not for sale”.

By the smell of someone’s clothing, St. Hilarion could find out, which passions afflicted his soul. People came to him and asked for help and guidance to save their souls. With the blessing of St. Hilarion, many monasteries were opened throughout the land of Palestine. The Saint went from one monastery to another and preached an ascetic way of life. Seven years before his death (371-372), St. Hilarion came back to Cyprus, where he settled in a quiet place and lived there until the Lord summoned his soul.

Translated from: http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/913222.html