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Friday, August 17, 2012

Saint Hyacinth


Feast Day: 17 August

Saint Hyacinth (Jacek) was born near Wroclaw (Breslau) in Upper Silesia, Poland, around 1185. He was ordained and became a canon of the cathedral of Krakow. On a journey to Rome in 1220 he was attracted to the Order by the holiness and preaching of Saint Dominic. In 1221 he was sent with Henry of Moravia to establish the Order in Poland. The priory of Krakow was established in 1222 and the Province of Poland in 1225. St. Hyacinth labored many years in this region and established priories at GdarĂ­sk and at Kiel. Like so many saints of the Order he was devoted to Mary, the Mother of God. He died in Krakow on August 15, 1257.

Jacek is the common form for the name "Hyacinth". Literally understood, "Hyacinth" is said to derive from the hyacinth flower or hyacinth stone and thus its meaning has two interpretations.

In the first place he is called "Hyacinth", because the flower has a stalk with a crimson blossom: this suits Blessed Jacek well for he was a simple stalk in his docility of heart, a flower in his chastity, a crimson blossom in his vow of poverty and lack of material goods.

Vestition of St. Hyacinth by St. Dominic 

Secondly, he is called "Hyacinth" from the hyacinth stone, for he shines brilliantly in the way he handed on the teaching of the gospel, was resplendent in his holy way of life, and most steadfast in spreading the catholic faith. For these reasons his name has spread abroad.

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