Science of the Saints, 28 March, Our Venerable Father Hilarion the Younger

The Monk Hilarion the Younger, Hegumen of Pelikition Monastery, from the time of his youth devoted himself to the service of God and spent many years as an hermit.

Because of his holy and immaculate life he was at first granted the dignity of presbyter, and later on he was made hegumen of the Pelikition monastery (nearby the Dardanelles Straits). The Monk Hilarion was granted by the Lord gifts of perspicacity and wonderworking. By the graced power of prayer he brought down rain during a time of drought, and like the Prophet Elias, he separated the waters of a river, he rid harmful beasts from the fields, he filled the nets of fishermen during a time of luckless fishing, and he did many other miracles. Besides which, he was glorified by the gift of healing the sick and casting out demons.

The monk suffered in the year 754 on Great Thursday of Holy Week, when the military commander Lakhanodrakon, in pursuit of icon-venerators, suddenly descended upon the Pelikition monastery, boldly forcing his way into the church during the time of Divine Services, disrupting the service and throwing the Holy Gifts upon the ground.

Forty-two monks were arrested, slapped into chains, dispatched to the Edessa district and murdered. The remaining monks were dealt horrible mutilations. They beat them, they scorched their beards with fire, they smeared their faces with tar and cut off the noses of certain of the confessors. During the time of this tormenting persecution the Monk Hilarion died for the veneration of icons.

The Monk Hilarion left behind spiritual works, in which are contained profound moral directives about spiritual asceticism. The Monk Joseph of Volotsk was well acquainted with the work of the Monk Hilarion, and in his own theological works he likewise expounded the significance of monastic effort.

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