The Monk Ilarion the Great
Commemorated on October 21
The Monk Ilarion the Great was born in the year
291 in the Palestinian village of Tabath. He was sent for study to Alexandria,
where he became acquainted with Christianity and accepted holy Baptism. Hearing
an account of the angelic life of the Monk Anthony the Great (Comm. 17
January), Ilarion set out to him, in order to study that which is pleasing to
God. Ilarion soon returned to his native-land. His parents had already died.
Having distributed his familial inheritance to the poor, Ilarion set out into
the wilderness surrounding he city of Maium. The monk struggled intensely with
impure thoughts, vexations of the mind and the burning of the flesh, defeating
them with heavy toil, fasting and fervent prayer. The devil sought to terrorise
the saint with phantoms and apparitions. During times of prayer Saint Ilarion
heard children crying, women wailing, and the growling of lions and other wild
beasts. The monk perceived that it was the demons causing these terrors, in
order to drive him away from the wilderness, and therefore he overcame his fear
with the help of fervent prayer.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.