|Hilary of Poitiers, Doctor of the Church|
Hilary was acknowledged as a Doctor of the Church (actually, of the Churches) by Augustine of Hippo. Pope Pius IX confirmed him as a Universae Ecclesiae Doctor in 1851. It takes some humility for a pope to confirm what a Big Dog like Augustine had written more than a thousand years prior. On the first hand, we all know he's a doctor if Augie the Hip said so. On the other hand, there's an official list that's kept by the Vatican, and if you're not on the list, you're on the wrong side of the velvet rope.
A well-educated third century Neo-Platonist (like Augie the Hip), he embraced Christianity after studying scripture. Even though he was married, the citizens of Poitiers elected him to be their bishop in 353, back when bishops were elected and could be married. [The day will come again. I may not live to see it, but it will come again.]
|H's shrine shows the right way to view the Trinity|
Bishop Hilary defended his anti-Arian views and actions to Emperor Constantius II. The Emperor summoned a synod to settle these questions for him, and those good clerics voted to banish Hilary to Phrygia. There, he churned out letters and books at a pace Stephen King would envy. He continued to govern his diocese in absentia, pursued the debate over Christ's nature, and pressed for dialogue with the Arians. He was so insistent on the last point that he was permitted to return from exile after four years.
|Emperor Valentinian, sort of|
He had a couple of good years of work in his diocese before he crossed the line again. Auxentius, bishop of Milan, held some heterodox views; excommunication seemed a reasonable response to such divergent thinking. The western emperor, Valentinian I, summoned his bishop (the imperial throne was in Milan at the time) for questioning. Auxentius' answers were entirely acceptable. While Hilary was appalled by Auxentius' duplicity, he had plainly lost another round. Valentinian, paraphrasing Marcellus Wallace, told Hilary, "You leave town tonight, right now. And when you're gone, you stay gone, or you be gone.You lost all your Milan privileges."
After this, his writing got a little reckless. He called the late Emperor Constantius II the Antichrist in one book. He wrote a response to his expulsion from Milan, which was really just keeping the whole thing stirred up. When no one bit on these provocations, he settled down to writing commentaries on the Bible, and eventually died peacefully in 368.