Hilarius of Sexten
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(In the world, CHRISTIAN GATTERER.)
Moral theologian ; born 1839, in the valley of Sexten in the Tyrol; died 20 October, 1900. After a course of studies at Brixen, he entered the Capuchin Franciscan Order in 1858 and was ordained priest in 1862. Having laboured in parochial duties for some years, he was appointed to teach moral theology at Meran in 1872. His fame as a moral theologian soon spread beyond his own convent, and both secular and regular clergy consulted him in difficult cases, for he had a special gift in applying theoretical principles to actual facts. In 1882 he was appointed examiner of confessors for the Diocese of Trent. Even while fulfilling the office of lector, he was ever ready to work in the ministry, preaching and hearing confessions. He used to urge his students to bend all their efforts to win men to religion, since, he said, devout women can always find confessors. At the special command of the general of the order, he published his "Compendium Theologiae Moralis" (Meran, 1889). Later, at the request of the clergy, he published a "Tractatus de Sacramentis", and a "Tractatus de Censuris". His somewhat original treatment of his subjects did not gain universal approval, but his works had a wide sale, especially in Germany and Austria. He also contributed many articles to the "Linzer Quartalschrift". He fulfilled many offices in his order, being at different times lector, guardian, definitor, and minister-provincial. In this last office, which he filled 1889-1892, he accepted for his province of the Tyrol a missionary district in India.