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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hilary Term

Antonio Allegri (1489 - 1534)
Saint Hilary (first half of sixteenth century)
Drawing 20.6cm x 23.4 cm (for representation on cupola in Parma Cathedral)
Musée du Louvre département des Arts graphiques, Paris



Hilary Term is the second academic term of Oxford University's and Dublin University's academic year. It runs from January to March and is so named because the feast day of St Hilary of Poitiers, 14 January, falls during this term.

The Courts of England and Wales still divide the legal year into four terms: one of which is Hilary Term.

In a General Audience on 10th October 2007 Pope Benedict discussed the life of St Hilary of Poitiers "a great Father of the Church of the West".

"To the Arians he insisted on the truth of the names of Father and Son, and developed his entire Trinitarian theology based on the formula of Baptism given to us by the Lord himself: "In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit".

In 1851 Blessed Pius IX proclaimed him a Doctor of the universal Church.


Of him and his teaching, Pope Benedict XVI said:

"God the Father, being wholly love, is able to communicate his divinity to his Son in its fullness.

I find particularly beautiful the following formula of St Hilary:

"God knows not how to be anything other than love, he knows not how to be anyone other than the Father. Those who love are not envious and the one who is the Father is so in his totality. This name admits no compromise, as if God were father in some aspects and not in others" (De Trinitate., 9, 61).