The unfortunately named Hilarius was a trusted priest under Pope Leo the Great. He was given the task with going east and reading Leo’s letter to heretics telling them that they were in the wrong about Jesus’ divinity and that he had two natures,both human and divine,instead of just a divine nature like monophysitism claimed. Leo’s letter went over like a lead balloon and a violent riot ensued(way to take some criticism guys). Hilarius was chased through the streets until he found a hiding place in the tomb of St.John the apostle. Years later when Hilarius became Pope,he built a special chapel in the Archbasilica of St.John out of thanks to the apostle for saving his life during the riots.
Hilarius was also known for making changes to the Mass to make it easier to follow for new converts,probably leading to some of the earliest examples of hand wringing and complaining that the Church “isn’t what she used to be”.
There’s no record of his personality but I’d like to think that he was probably not the funniest guy to be around,just to make his name ironic for my own amusement.
He gets two feast days(bonus feast day!)on February 28th or November 17th,whichever it is the day you want to be hilarious,or joyful,in celebration of Hilarius.
A dreaded pirate from modern day Georgia,Anicetus led an anti-Roman revolt against Emperor Nero……wait,that’s the wrong Anicetus. THIS Anicetus was a scholar from Syria,and his tenure as Pope continued the fight against various heresies that plagued his predecessors. The most important event of Anicetus’ time in office was a visit from the elderly St. Polycarp. Polycarp was the Bishop of Smyrna from the East,(and when he was very young a disciple of John the Apostle;one degree of Jesus!), and he had arrived to debate and discuss differences between the Western and Eastern Churches. Chief among these differences was when to celebrate Easter. To simplify things,the Western Church had decided to celebrate on the nearest Sunday following the Paschal full moon date of the year. The Eastern Church celebrated Easter on the traditional Jewish day of Passover,no matter which day it fell on. The two men discussed this at length,but eventually agreed to disagree,each keeping to the customs of their regions,and with that,they parted on friendly terms. This was the start of a Easter debate that would last for the next two hundred years and would help to escalate a schism between the two Churches that lasts to this day. Anicetus’ feast day is April 20th and his name is Greek for “unconquered”.