Hilarion of Meglin

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Our father among the saints, Hilarion, Bishop of Meglin in Bulgaria was born in the village of Promahi, Greece around 1080-1090. He is commemorated by the church on October 21 alongside Hilarion the Great and Venerable Hilarion, the Schemamonk, of the Kiev Caves.

Hilarion was of Greek origin and received an extremally pious and christian upbringing by his parents. At the age of eighteen, he joined a local monastery and was tonsured a monk. He lived in extreme asceticism for many years and because of his virtuous and strict life, he was chosen to be the igumen of the monastery.

Later on in life, he worked many miracles and his fame spread throughout the area. At some stage, just as the the Virgin Mary appeared to his mother, she also appeared to the Archbishop Αχρίδας Ευστάθιο, and announced to him that the saint would be placed shortly as the leader of the church of the Moglenon region. It was not long after this vision, that the prophecy of the Virgin Mary was fulfilled.

His episcopal seat is famed to be the area where the village is today called Hrisi (Greek: Χρυσή) in Greece. This area was full of Armenian and Βογόμιλους monophysites. Through his teaching and discussions, he managed to convert many of the monophysites back to the church.

He is also famous for establishing a monastery in the area dedicated to the Apostles. The synaxarion does not distinguish if this was for the Holy 12 Apostles or merely the Peter and Paul. This clarification has been found through an archaeological Markianos Code, Codex 524, dating to the 13th century. This text is in Greek and exists in the Greek language and has not been translated at present.

Hilarion pre-empted his death and fell asleep peacefully in 1164.

At his request, he was succeeded as Abbott of the monastery, by his disciple of many years, monk Peter. It is noted in the Codex 524 that during his burial service that myrrh streamed continually from his eyes and that he later appeared on many occassions in visions to the monks of the monasteries to strengthen them in their monastic duties.

Transfer of relics

The transfer of the relics of Saint Hilarion, Bishop of Meglin, to the Bulgarian city of Trnovo, occurred between 1204-1206, by the Bulgarian Tsar Ioannis Asanis to the Church of the 40-saints. Prior to this event, the body of the saint rested in the city of Meglin.