St. Hilary of Poitiers

quotes from Hilary of Poitiers: →

Hilary of Poitiers (c. 310 – c. 367) was Bishop of Poitiers and a Doctor of the Church. His name comes from the Latin word for happy or cheerful (Latin: Hilarius).  He was sometimes referred to as the “Hammer of the Arians” (Malleus Arianorum) and the “Athanasius of the West” for his work defending orthodox Trinitarian Christianity against the Arian heresy.

Extant Writings:

  • On the Councils, or the Faith of the Easterns
  • On the Trinity

Quotes & Excerpts:

“If Christ’s brethren had been Mary’s sons and not taken from Joseph’s former marriage, she would never have been given over in the moment of Christ’s crucifixion to the apostle John as his mother, the Lord saying to each, ‘Woman, behold your son,’ and to John, ‘Behold your mother’ (John 19:26-27). as he bequeathed filial love to a disciple as a consolation to the one desolate.” -Commentary on Matthew 1:4 (Written 354 A.D.)

“He sets the irrevocable Apostolic judgment, however severe, so that those whom they shall bind on earth, that is, whomsoever they leave bound in the knots of their sins; and those whom they loose, which is to say, those who by their confession receive the grace unto salvation: these, in accord with the Apostolic sentence, are bound and loosed also in Heaven.” -Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew 18:18 (Written 355 A.D.)

“There is hope of mercy in time and in eternity; but there is Confession in time only, not in eternity. There is no Confession of sins in any time except in this present life. By his own will, each man is permitted and has throughout life the freedom to choose confession. But when we die, we lose life and, along with it, the right to exercise our will.” -Commentary on Psalm 51 (Written 365 A.D.)

“There are, as Raphael told Tobias, angels assisting before the majesty of God, and carrying to God the prayers of suppliants. . . it is written: ‘For they are ministering spirits, sent for service, for the sake of those who will inherit salvation’ (Heb. 1:14). It is not the nature of God, but the weakness of men, which requires their service. For they are sent for the sake of those who will inherit salvation. God is not unaware of anything that we do; but in our weakness we are impoverished for a minister of spiritual intercession in the matter of beseeching and propitiating.” -Commentary on Psalm 129 [130]: 7 (Written 365 A.D.)

“Believers have always found satisfaction in that utterance of God which, by the testimony of the evangelist, was poured out into our ears along with the very power of its own truth: ‘Go now, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” Indeed, what is there of the mystery of human salvation that is not contained therein?” -The Trinity, Against the Arian Heresy 2:1 (Written 355 A.D.)

“The Church, instituted by the Lord and confirmed by the Apostles is one and universal; but the frantic folly of diverse impious sects have cut themselves off from her. It cannot be denied that this tearing asunder of the faith has arisen from poor intelligence which twists what it reads to conform to its opinion, rather than adjusting its opinion to the meaning of what is read.” -The Trinity, Against the Arian Heresy 7:4 (Written 355 A.D.)

“All heretics, therefore, come against the Church; but while all the heretics can conquer each other, they can win nothing for themselves… One heresy struggles against the teaching of another, which the faith of the Church has already condemned -for there is nothing which the heretics hold in common-and the result is that they affirm our faith while fighting among themselves.” -The Trinity, Against the Arian Heresy 7:4 (Written 355 A.D.)

“They are excluded from the promises of the Gospel, who have no faith in those promises; and the crime of perverse understanding utterly destroys hope.
That you believe what is unknown deserves not so much pardon as it does reward, because the greatest recompense of faith is to have hope in what you do not know. But it is absolute madness of a wicked kind, to either not believe what is understood or to corrupt the meaning of what ought to be believed.” -The Trinity, Against the Arians 8:10 (Written 355 A.D.)

“When we speak of the reality of Christ’s nature being in us, we would be speaking foolishly and impiously -had we not learned it from Him. For He Himself says; ‘My flesh is truly food and my blood is truly drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.’ (John 6:55-56) As to the reality of His flesh and blood, there is no room left for doubt, because now, by both the declaration of the Lord and by our own faith, it is truly Flesh and truly Blood. These Elements, when taken and consumed, bring about that we are in Christ and Christ is in us.” -The Trinity, Against the Arians 8:14 (Written 355 A.D.)

“But just as Christ took for Himself a body from the Virgin, He also took for Himself a soul -which indeed was bestowed by Himself for Himself-for if the Virgin did not conceive the flesh except of God, it is far more necessary that the soul be of God. And since the whole Son of Man is the whole Son of God, how ridiculous would it be for us to preach the Son of God, the Word made flesh, is something like a prophet animated by the Word of God! When, in fact, the Lord Jesus is both Son of God AND Son of Man.” -The Trinity, Against the Arians 10: 22 (Written 355 A.D.)