On this day of the year 472 A.D. the righteous father St. Hilarion the Anchorite departed. He was a native of Gaza, the son of pagan parents. They taught him the Greek sciences. When he surpassed his companions, he wished still to excel in these sciences. He went to the City of Alexandria and joined its school where he acquired many kinds of learning.
The divine zeal moved him to learn the Christian sciences. He asked for the books of the church and read them and Abba Alexandros the Patriarch explained to him what was difficult for him to understand. He did not hesitate to believe in the Lord Jesus, and the Patriarch baptized him and he gained the divine Grace.
He stayed with the Patriarch for a short time, then he went to St. Anthony. When he saw St. Anthony, he marvelled at his profound reverence and his shining face through the grace of the Holy Spirit. His heart was deeply moved and he desired to join the monastic life. He took off his worldly clothes and put on the garb of monasticism and started practising its works with diligent devotion, using St. Anthony as an example.
After a while, he heard that his parents had died so he went back to his city, took whatever they had left and gave it to the poor and needy. Then he entered one of the monasteries of Syria and followed the path of asceticism with great devotion. He used to fast for a whole week, eating vegetables and herbs. God enlightened his mind and gave him the gift of prophecy and of performing miracles.
After a period of time St. Epiphanius became a monk in the same monastery, and the abbot of the monastery assigned him to St. Hilarion. St. Hilarion taught him the ways of the monastic life and the doctrines of the church and prophesied that he would become the Bishop of Cyprus.
The days of this father amounted to eighty
years: ten years were spent in the house of his parents, seven
years in the City of Alexandria and 63 years in worship. He pleased
God and departed in a good old age. John Chrysostom (the Golden
Mouth) praised him in some of his articles and St. Basil mentioned
him in some of his homilies.