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Hilarion the Great

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October 21

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This Saint was born at Tabatha, near Gaza in Palestine, of pagan parents. Sent as a young man to Alexandria to be educated, he learned the Christian Faith and was baptized. While in Egypt he heard the fame of Saint Anthony the Great, and upon meeting that truly great man, the Father of monks, Saint Hilarion determined to devote himself also to the ascetical life. He returned to Gaza, when, he gave himself over to extreme fasting and unceasing prayer. Because of the miracles which he soon began to work, he found himself compelled by his growing renown to leave Gaza, to escape from the throngs of people coming to ask his prayers. In his journeys he visited Egypt, and came again with longing to the place where Saint Anthony had lived; but he was not able to remain in any one place for long, since despite all his attempts to conceal himself, the light of the grace that was in him could not be hid. After passing through Egypt and Libya, and sailing to Sicily, he came at last to Cyprus, where he ended the course of his life at the age of eighty, in the year 372.

Apolytikion of Hilarion the Great in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

With the rivers of your tears, you have made the barren desert fertile. Through sighs of sorrow from deep within you, your labors have borne fruit a hundred-fold. By your miracles you have become a light, shining upon the world. O Hilarion, our Holy Father, pray to Christ our God, to save our souls.

Kontakion of Hilarion the Great in the Third Tone

As we gather on this day, we sing thy praise and acclaim thee as a never-setting light of the bright spiritual Daystar. Those whom ignorance benighted, thou didst illumine with thy beams; and thou dost raise unto the divine heights, O Hilarion, our Father, all them that cry out: Height of ascetics, Rejoice!