Saint Hilarion • Playing with the SAINTS!
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Saint Hilarion • Playing with the SAINTS!

 

“If I don’t speak your language, you can’t talk to me and you will leave me alone, right?” Poor St. Hilarion, he just wanted to be left alone …

 

by Christine Henderson

 

Ever hear about kids being sent away to school? That kind of school is called a boarding school. Kids live there and go to school. When St. Hilarion was a child his parents sent him away to a boarding school because they wanted him to learn to read and write. This was the fourth century, and most people didn’t know how.

While away at school, he learned about the Catholic faith and was baptized at the age of 15. St. Hilarion learned about a man everyone called St. Anthony who lived in the desert. Curious, he went and visited him–staying two months. That’s a long visit! St. Hilarion decided he wanted to spend his life in prayer without distractions. One would think the desert would be the perfect place. Wrong! So many people came to visit St. Anthony to be cured or freed from devils that St. Hilarion left to find a quieter place–the desert near Egypt.

For clothes, he wore a sackcloth shirt, a shirt made from an old sack. (Cut a hole at the bottom of the bag for the head, and two holes on the side for arm holes. Stylish huh?) He also wore a leather tunic and a simple short cloak. He never took off his clothes unless they were worn out–not even to wash! (That probably helped keep people away. Do you think your mom would let you wear the same clothes every day for a week? Probably not!) For many years St. Hilarion ate only 15 figs a day–and never before sunset. During the day he made baskets that he sold to pay for the things he absolutely needed, which wasn’t much.

Because of his saintly lifestyle, people began to come to him for advice. The number of people visiting him was more than he could bear. He decided to run off to a place where no one would know him, and he could have quiet. But the people said, “No! We won’t let you.”

“Well,” St. Hilarion replied, “Fine. Then I just won’t eat until you let me leave.” After seven days of watching him not eat, the people feared he might die of starvation. They let him leave.

St. Hilarion moved many times to try to get away from people. Wherever he lived, people recognized his saintly lifestyle and flocked to him. All poor St. Hilarion wanted to do was spend his days praying. God, however, decided to work miracles through him which caused more people to come see him. In a desperate attempt for peace and quiet, he tried moving to a place where he couldn’t speak the language. “Ha! Now they won’t be able to talk to me,” thought St. Hilarion. But once again his saintly lifestyle and miracles attracted people. Toward the very end of his life, St. Hilarion found a place of peace, quiet and solitude, and spent his remaining years in prayer. At the age of 80, God welcomed him into his kingdom (heaven).

Feast day: Oct. 21

St. Hilarion, pray for us!

 

Get a St. Hilarion coloring sheet

 

Activity: Find the Priest!

Choose one person to be the priest. This person goes and hides somewhere in the house or outside–set boundaries for hiding before beginning the game. Give the priest three minutes to hide. Now the hunt is on! Find the priest!  Whomever finds the priest first becomes the next priest.

Christine Henderson speaks to audiences of all ages about topics ranging from homeschooling to prayer life and everything in between. She does this through sharing stories about the saints and relating them to the topic of the presentation.  To learn more, check out her website, PlayingwiththeSAINTS.com or email her at: PlayingwiththeSaints@gmail.com

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Follow Christine Henderson:

Wife, Mom, Homeschooling teacher, Speaker, Blogger: PlayingwiththeSAINTS.com

I am a stay at home-homeschooling mom of six kids ranging in age now from twenty-one to eleven. Currently, I am only homeschooling my two youngest-8th grade and 5th grade. Three of my children are in college and one is at the local high school doing a vocational training program in welding. It is hard for me to believe that my homeschooling journey began seventeen years ago! I also am very involved in my local Toastmaster's club. (This is an international public speaking organization.)  I love speaking to groups and sharing stories about the amazing saints of the Catholic church. In each presentation, I share an exciting story about a saint and then relate the story to a topic requested by the organizer. Topics range from prayer as a busy mom to making the most of the days God gives us. More information is on my website, PlayingwiththeSAINTS.com Or, you can email me at PlayingwiththeSAINTS@gmail.com

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