Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Hilary of Poitiers (c. 315–368)

Saint Hilary of Poitiers (c. 315–368)

Patron saint against snake bites

Feast day: January 13

Saint Hilary was born to a wealthy pagan family in France. He married, became the father of a daughter named Abra, and studied on his own. Through his studies he experienced a faith conversion. He began to study the Bible and found that many of the things that he held to be real and true could be found in the Good News of Jesus. Hilary was converted to Christianity by the time he finished reading the New Testament.

He was such a good Christian role model that he was appointed bishop of Poitiers, even though he was married and a father. Hilary was strongly opposed to the politically powerful Arians, who rejected the divinity of Jesus. When Emperor Constantius proclaimed that all bishops had to sign a condemnation of Saint Anthanasius, who also opposed Arianism, Hilary refused. Enraged, the emperor exiled him to Phrygia.

While in exile, Hilary wrote many works explaining Christianity and converted many people. He was eventually allowed to return to Poitiers because he was converting so many. Saint Hilary was named a Doctor of the Church in 1851. 

(Image in public domain-70)