Hilary of Galeata

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Saint Hilary of Galeata

Galeata sant ellero tomba.jpg

Hilary’s tomb
Born 476
Died May 15, 558 AD
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Major shrine Monastery of Sant'Ellero, Galeata
Feast May 15
Patronage Lugo; Galeata; invoked against backache

Saint Hilary of Galeata (Italian: Sant'Ilaro or Sant'Ellero; [1] 476 [1] - May 15, 558 AD) is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. His feast day is May 15. [2]

Saint one who has been recognized for having an exceptional degree of holiness, sanctity, and virtue

A saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God. However, the use of the term "saint" depends on the context and denomination. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Oriental Orthodox, and Lutheran doctrine, all of their faithful deceased in Heaven are considered to be saints, but some are considered worthy of greater honor or emulation; official ecclesiastical recognition, and consequently veneration, is given to some saints through the process of canonization in the Catholic Church or glorification in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Eastern Orthodox Church Christian Church

The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 200–260 million members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods, although roughly half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia. The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Bishop of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Near East.


According to tradition, he was born in Tuscia in 476, and he decided to dedicate himself to the life of a hermit at the age of twelve. [1] He left his home, and traveled across the Apennines towards Emilia and chose a spot, according to tradition, pointed out to him by an angel, on a mountain in the valley of the Bidente near the Ronco River. [1] According to tradition, at the age of twenty, he freed a local nobleman, Olibrius, from a demon. [1] In gratitude, Olibrius had his entire family christened by Hilary, and donated to the saint lands and money. [1] In addition, two of Olibrius’ sons joined Hilary in the religious life. Around 496, then, this became the nucleus of the monastery of Galeata, later called Sant'Ellero di Galeata. [1] [3] The foundation attracted new recruits, and the monastery followed a version of the rule of Saint Pachomius. [1] Numerous miracles are attributed to Hilary. Hilary transformed a grape into a serpent in order to teach a lazy monk named Glicerio a lesson. [1] Hilary also managed to impress Theodoric, who had originally been harassing the monks and who had been building a palace near Galeata, into donating land and goods. [1]

Tuscia is a historical region of Italy that comprised the territories under Etruscan influence and the name adopted for Etruria after the Roman conquest. While it later came to coincide with today’s province of Viterbo, it was originally much larger, including the whole region of Tuscany, a great part of Umbria and the northern parts of Lazio.

Hermit person who lives in seclusion from society

A hermit is a person who lives in seclusion from society, usually for religious reasons. Hermits are a part of several sections of Christianity, and the concept is found in other religions as well.

Emilia is a historical region of northern Italy which approximately corresponds to the western and north-eastern portions of today’s Emilia-Romagna region, of which Romagna forms the remainder.

Chair of Saint Hilary, in the cell in which the saint used to pray. The chair was used by devotees of his cult to cure backache. Galeata Sant Ellero Scranno Cripta.JPG
Chair of Saint Hilary, in the cell in which the saint used to pray. The chair was used by devotees of his cult to cure backache.


The author of Hilary’s Vita claims that he is a disciple and eyewitness to the events of the saint’s life. [1] Scholars have declared it to be written contemporaneously with the life of Hilary. [1] However, as Giovanni Lucchesi has remarked, the Vita’s author followed the normal standards for writing hagiographies in the Middle Ages, which called for the incorporation of miracles, the active participation of angels and demons, and the addition of long, devout speeches and prayers in the text. [1] In addition, Lucchesi points out that the story of Olibrius’ liberation from demonic possession is a trope found in another hagiographies of the time (such as those associated with Saints Apollonia, Gordian, Cyriacus, Epiphanius, Potitus, Abercius, Vitus, etc.). [1]

Middle Ages Period of European history from the 5th through the 15th centuries

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

Demonic possession is believed by some to be the process by which individuals are possessed by malevolent preternatural beings, commonly referred to as demons or devils. Symptoms of demonic possessions often include erased memories or personalities, convulsions and fainting as if one were dying.

A literary trope is the use of figurative language, via word, phrase or an image, for artistic effect such as using a figure of speech. The word trope has also come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs or clichés in creative works.

Hilary’s following was diffused across Tuscany and Romagna, especially in the dioceses of Arezzo, Sarsina, Forlì, Bertinoro, Faenza, Imola, Modigliana, Fiesole, Florence and at the abbey of Farfa. [1]

Tuscany Region of Italy

Tuscany is a region in central Italy with an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants (2013). The regional capital is Florence (Firenze).

Romagna Italian historical region that approximately corresponds to the south-eastern portion of present-day Emilia-Romagna

Romagna is an Italian historical region that approximately corresponds to the south-eastern portion of present-day Emilia-Romagna, North Italy. Traditionally, it is limited by the Apennines to the south-west, the Adriatic to the east, and the rivers Reno and Sillaro to the north and west. The region's major cities include Cesena, Faenza, Forlì, Imola, Ravenna, Rimini and City of San Marino. The region has been recently formally expanded with the transfer of seven comuni from the Marche region, which are a small number of comuni where Romagnolo dialect is spoken.

Arezzo Comune in Tuscany, Italy

Arezzo is a city and comune in Italy and the capital of the province of the same name located in Tuscany. Arezzo is about 80 kilometres southeast of Florence at an elevation of 296 metres (971 ft) above sea level. It is also 30 km west of Città di Castello. In 2013 the population was about 99,000.

Sant'Ellero di Galeata subsequently became a Camaldolese monastery. [3]


The Camaldolese monks and nuns are two different, but related, monastic communities that trace their lineage to the monastic movement begun by Saint Romuald.

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