Thought for the Day – 17 August – The Memorial of St Hyacinth of Poland – “Apostle of Poland” “Apostle of the North”
“Our readers, we can but fancy, have marvelled at the prodigious labours and travelling of Saint Hyacinth, although we have given only a meager account of them. They extended over a period of nearly forty years and carried him through a large part of Europe and Asia. Doubtless, if they were recorded in detail and in proper sequence, they would be found infinitely more stupendous than we have painted them. He alone could have told them as they should be recounted. Yet it possibly never entered his mind to leave posterity any information on his life. The one thing that engaged his thoughts was, after saving his own soul, to help those of others, to make God known and to extend the kingdom of Christ. The same idea filled the minds of the confrères who were often his companions in labour. In this way, it was only through the scanty records discovered in cities and the early convents that historians have been able to tell us the little we do know about him. Still perhaps never was there a life which should be more completely written than that of Saint Hyacinth Odrowaz.
One may consider the practical, lively faith of the Poles, whether in the home land or in others, as a perpetual miracle of Saint Hyacinth. In no small measure they owe it to him. To that keen faith we must attribute the magnificent institutions of learning, charity, benevolence and the like, as well as the churches, monasteries and similar edifices, in which Poland abounds and in which it has found expression. All these are filled with the spirit which the people largely derived from him. They simply thrill with love and gratitude for him. This true spirit of Catholicity, we must remember, has been preserved undiminished for centuries through wars of every kind, division, hardships, persecution and every sort of oppression-the like of which the world has seen few parallels. We have here, it would seem, the greatest miracle of the zealous apostle’s life. At least, it has contributed more to the glory of God, the good of the Church, and the salvation of souls than any miracle he performed.” (Acta; STANISLAUS, Father, O. P., of Cracow, manuscript Vita Sancti Hyacinthi.)
Saint Hyacinth teaches us to spare no effort in the service of God but to rely for success not on our industry but on the assistance of the Holy Eucharist and the prayer of the Immaculate Mother of God.
St Hyacinth of Poland pray for the Poland, the Church and for us all!
One Minute Reflection – 17 August – The Memorial of St Hyacinth of Poland
Come, blessed of my Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…Matthew 25:34
REFLECTION – “Mary, the Mother of our Lord, accompanied by the choirs of Angels, will come to meet you. What a day of joy that will be for you!”….St Jerome (343-420) Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – O Mary, Mother of God and my mother, watch over me at every moment and keep me free from sin. Then upon my death, come to meet me and lead me to my eternal home in heaven. As you, St Hyacinth, took Mary with you and she made smooth your path, pray that we too may always ‘take Mary with us’ to lead us safely home to her son, who is our Lord, amen.
Our Lord, King of all! By St Albert the Great O.P. (1200-1280) Doctor of the Church
We pray to You, O Lord,
who are the supreme Truth,
and all truth is from You.
We beseech You, O Lord,
who are the highest Wisdom,
and all the wise depend on You
for their wisdom.
You are the supreme Joy,
and all who are happy
owe it to You.
You are the Light of minds
and all receive
their understanding from You.
We love, we love You above all.
We seek You, we follow You,
and we are ready to serve You.
We desire to dwell under Your power
for You are the King of all.
Saint of the Day – 17 August – St Hyacinth OP (1185-1257) – (born Jacek Odrowąż) “Apostle of Poland” and “Apostle of the North” also known as “the Polish St Dominic”– Religious Priest, Confessor, Doctor of Law and Divinity, Missionary, Preacher, Miracle Worker, Mystic (1185 at Lanka Castle, Kamien Slaski, Opole, Upper Silesia (in modern Poland) – 15 August 1257 at Krakow, Poland of natural causes). His major relics are in Paris, France. He was Canonised on 17 April 1594 by Pope Clement VIII. Patronages – against drowning, Camalaniugan, Philippines, Ermita de Piedra de San Jacinto, Tuguegarao, Philippines, Krakow, Poland, archdiocese of, Lithuania (named by Pope Innocent XI in 1686), Poland, Lithuania. Attributes – statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Monstrance or Ciborium.
Called the “Apostle of Poland” and the “Apostle of the North”, Hyacinth was the son of Eustachius Konski of the noble family of Odrowąż. He was born in 1185 at the castle of Lanka, at Kamin, in Silesia, Poland. A near relative of Blessed Ceslaus, he made his studies at Kraków, Prague and Bologna and at the latter place merited the title of Doctor of Law and Divinity. On his return to Poland he was given a stipend at Sandomir. He subsequently accompanied his uncle Ivo Konski, the Bishop of Kraków, to Rome.
While in Rome, he witnessed a miracle performed by Saint Dominic and became a Dominican friar, along with the Blessed Ceslaus and two attendants of the Bishop of Kraków – Herman and Henry. In 1219 Pope Honorius III invited Saint Dominic and his followers to take up residence at the ancient Roman basilica of Santa Sabina, which they did by early 1220. Before that time, the friars had only a temporary residence in Rome at the convent of San Sisto Vecchio which Honorius III had given to Dominic circa 1218, intending it to be used for a reformation of Roman nuns under Dominic’s guidance. Hyacinth and his companions were among the first to enter the convent. They were also the first alumni of the studium of the Dominican Order at Santa Sabina out of which would grow the 16th century College of Saint Thomas at Santa Maria sopra Minerva, which became the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum in the 20th century. After an abbreviated novitiate, Hyacinth and his companions received the religious habit of the Order from St Dominic himself in 1220.
The young friars were then sent back to their homeland to establish the Dominican Order in Poland and Kiev. As Hyacinth and his three companions travelled back to Kraków, he set up new monasteries with his companions as superiors, until finally he was the only one left to continue on to Kraków, where he founded two houses.
His apostolic journeys extended over numerous and vast regions, he walked a total of nearly twenty five thousand miles in his apostolic travels. Austria, Bohemia, Livonia, the shores of the Black Sea, Tartary, Northern China in the east, Sweden, Norway and Denmark to the west, were evangelised by him and he is said to have visited Scotland. Everywhere he travelled unarmed, without a horse, with no money, no interpreters, no furs in the severe winters and often without a guide, abandoning to Divine Providence his mission in its entirety. Everywhere multitudes were converted, churches and convents were built; one hundred and twenty thousand pagans and infidels were baptised by his hands. He worked many miracles; at Krakow he raised a dead youth to life. His progress among these hostile peoples, with their barbarous customs and unknown languages, through trackless forests, in the fierce cold of the North, can be explained as a miracle.
He had inherited from Saint Dominic a perfect filial confidence in the Mother of God; to Her he ascribed his success and to Her aid he looked for his own salvation. Early in his mission career, Our Lady appeared to Hyacinth and promised him that she would never refuse him anything. Through the years of his arduous labour she kept her promise, and his ministry was rich with a harvest of souls. He performed many astounding miracles, including countless cures. On one occasion he gave sight to two boys who had been born without eyes. He raised several dead people to life. The best known incident in his life has to do with Our Lady, which is not surprising.
It was at the request of this indefatigable missionary that Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote his famous philosophical Summa contra Gentiles, proving the reasonableness of the Faith on behalf of those unfamiliar with doctrine.
While Saint Hyacinth was at Kiev the Tartars sacked the town but it was only as he finished Mass that the Saint heard of the danger. Without waiting to unvest, he took the ciborium in his hands and was leaving the church. Then occurred the most famous of his countless prodigies. As he passed by a statue of Mary a voice said: “Hyacinth, My son, why do you leave Me behind? Take Me with you…” The statue was of heavy alabaster but when Hyacinth took it in his arms it was light as a reed. With the Blessed Sacrament and the statue he walked to the Dnieper river and crossed dry-shod over the surface of the waters to the far bank.
On the eve of the Assumption, 1257, he was advised of his coming death. In spite of an unrelenting fever, he celebrated Mass on the feast day and communicated as a dying man. He was anointed at the foot of altar and died on the great Feast of Our Lady.
A note on the name “Hyacinth”: Jacek is the common form in Polish, 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.
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.
Bl Marie-Élisabeth Turgeon (Optional Memorial)
St Amor of Amorbach
St Anastasius of Terni
St Beatrice da Silva
St Benedicta of Lorraine
St Cecilia of Lorraine
St Clare of Montefalco
St Donatus of Ripacandida
St Pope Eusebius
St Eusebius of Sicily
St Hyacinth – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoOFq6fsiHo
St Jacobo Kyushei Gorobioye Tomonaga
St James the Deacon
St Jeanne of the Cross/Delanoue
St Jeroen of Noordwijk
St Juliana of Ptolemais
St Leopoldina Naudet
St Michaël Kurobyoie
St Myron of Cyzicus
Bl Nicholas Politi
Bl Noël-Hilaire Le Conte
St Paul of Ptolemais
St Theodore of Grammont
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Bl Antoni Carmaniú Mercarder, Bl Facundo Escanciano Tejerina, Bl Eugenio Sanz-Orozco Mortera, Bl Enric Canadell Quintana, Florencio López Egea and see below –
Martyrs of Malaga – 8 beati: A priest and seven brothers, all members of the Hospitallers of Saint John of God, all martyred together in the Spanish Civil War:
• Antonio del Charco Horques
• Eusebio Ballesteros Rodríguez
• Florentino Alonso Antonio
• Isidro Valentín Peña Ojea
• Juan Antonio García Moreno
• Manuel Sanz y Sanz
• Pedro Pastor García
• Silvestre Perez Laguna
17 August 1936 in Málaga, Spain – they were Beatified on 13 October 2013 by Pope Francis.
Martyrs of Maspujols – 3 beati: Three priests in the archdiocese of Tarragona, Spain. Martyred together in the Spanish Civil War:
• Josep Mañé March
• Magí Civit Roca
• Miquel Rué Gené
17 August 1936 in Maspujols, Tarragona, Spain. They were Beatified on 13 October 2013 by Pope Francis. The beatification ceremony was celebrated in Tarragona, Spain.
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