Hilary of Poitiers – on the baptism of Jesus

The optional memorial date for Hilary of Poitiers – in the Roman Catholic calendar – is tomorrow, January 13th. Which this year is also the celebration of the baptism of Jesus. Here are words of Hilary of Poitiers on Jesus’ baptism:

“AFter he was baptized the portals of the heavens being opened, the Spirit is sent, and is recognized visibly under the appearance of the dove, and [the Spirit] is poured out, and [Christ] is bathed in a kind of anointing of love of the Father. Then the voice from the heavens says: ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’ [This happened] so that we might learn at the same time what was fully realized in Christ. [Likewise] the Spirit, after [Christ’s] baptism and the [opening] of the gates of heaven, rushes down upon us so that we might bathe in the anointing of heavenly glory,” thus becoming children of God by adoption.

From Kilian MaDonnell’s article “Jesus’ Baptism in the Jordan,” Theological Studies (1995).


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