INTRODUCTION, 2009: S. Jerome's Vita S. Hilarionis Eremytæ is a vividly detailed narration of the life of a Fourth Century monastic leader who would otherwise be known only from a few scattered references. It is also an exciting tale of high adventure, consciously meant by its author -- one of the most talented writers of late antiquity -- as competition for the popular novels of the day. The reader will find depicted here a chariot race, a menacing pirate ship, a tsunami, and much else -- even a whiny, sarcastic demon in a magic mirror! But what is most memorable in the long run is S. Hilarion himself, longing desperately for solitude and obscurity, roaming the world anonymously to escape his reputation as a wonder-worker, but never able to harden himself toward the suffering of those in need of healing. Through his prayers, may we also learn to be compassionate.
THE LIFE OF SAINT HILARION THE HERMIT
(written in Bethlehem A.D. 390)
Have mercy, O Lord, upon Thy servants the translator William, the servant of God Al, the newly-departed Panagiotes and Olivier, the newly-inaugurated American president Barack, and the suffering people of Gaza, all Palestine, and Israel.