S. Hilary– 13th January

 

Hilary was born at Poitiers at the beginning of the fourth century and was consecrated Bishop of that city in 350.  At that time Arianism was threatening to overrun the Western Church; to repel the disruption was the great task which Hilary undertook. One of his first steps was to secure the excommunication, by those of the Gallican hierarchy who still remained orthodox, of Saturninus, the Arian bishop of Arles and of Ursacius and Valens, two of his prominent supporters.  He was exiled for four years by the Emperor Constantine for this reason, during which time he wrote his Treatise on the Trinity and many other works. 

S. Kentigern – 13th January

 

Kentigern or Mungo, was the 6th century apostle of the Brythonic Kingdom of Strathclyde and is the Patron Saint of Glasgow.  He was brought up by Saint Serf and at the age of twenty-five began his missionary labours on the Clyde.  He built his church at the confluence of the Clyde and the Molendinar Burn where the present medieval cathedral now stands.  For thirteen years he laboured in the district living a life of austerity and converting many by his holy example and preaching.  Compelled eventually to leave the district by a strong anti-christian movement, he retired to Wales, returning later when invited to do so by the new King of Strathclyde – Riderch Hael.  He eventually returned to Glasgow where a large community grew up around him and where he was visited by S. Columba.  In old age he became very feeble and his chin had to be set in place with a bandage.  He died in his bath on 13th January.

S. Anthony – 17th January

 

Anthony was born near Herakleopolis Magna in Lower Egypt in about 260 AD.  On the death of his parents he gave his inheritance to the poor and went into the desert where he lived a life of penance.  Anthony is notable for being one of the first ascetics to attempt living in the desert proper, completely cut off from civilization. His anchoritic (isolated) lifestyle was remarkably harsher than his predecessors.  Many followed him and he is known as the father of monks.  He supported those who suffered for the faith under the persecutions of Diocletian and he helped St. Athanasius in his fight against the Arians.  He died in 356.

S. Wulfstan – 19th January

 

Wulfstan was born in about 1008 at Long Itchington in the county of Warwickshire and was the lone bishop to be kept in his post by William the Conqueror.  He studied at the monasteries of Evesham and Peterborough before becoming a clerk at Worcester.  He was ordained in 1038 and soon joined the Benedictine Monastery at Worcester.  In 1062 he was consecrated Bishop of Worcester where he struggled to bridge the gap between the old and new regimes and to alleviate the suffering of the poor.  He is responsible for the founding of Great Malvern Priory and also undertook much large-scale rebuilding work at Worcester and Hereford Cathedrals as well as at Tewkesbury Abbey.  He also assisted the Archbishops of York as they had few suffragan bishops.  He died in 1087 from a protracted illness and was canonised by Pope Innocent III in 1203.