August 16, 2017

Saint Hyacinth of Poland, Apostle of the North

Saint Hyacinth of Poland

According to the 1962 Missal of Saint John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, August 17th is the feast of Saint Hyacinth of Poland. He is called the “Apostle of the North” because he spread the Dominican Order to the northern countries of Russia, the Balkans, Prussia and Lithuania. St. Hyacinth preached the crusade against the Prussians. He died on the feast of the Assumption, 1257.
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While a canon at the cathedral of Cracow, Hyacinth journeyed to Rome, was impressed by the preaching and miracles of St. Dominic, and from the hand of Dominic himself received the habit of the newly-founded Order. Upon returning to his native land (1219), he established monasteries of his Order beyond the Alps at Friesach, Prague, Olmiitz, and Cracow.

From the Breviary we have this miracle. With three companions Hyacinth had arrived at the banks of the river Weichsel during their journey to Vischegrad, where they were expected to preach. But the waters had risen so high and had become so violent that no ferryman dared to cross. The saint took his mantle, spread it out before him, and with his companions rode across the raging waters. After saying his Office for the day, he died in 1257 with these words on his lips: "Into Your hands, Lord, I rest my spirit!"

Most holy Saint Hyacinth, we ask you to intercede for us and win God’s blessings for us. We come together as family to bring praise and worship to the Father. May we live lives that are holy Bless us with your devotion to Mary the Mother of God and with an ardent faith in Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Intercede for us and protect us as we place ourselves under your patronage and loving care. Amen.

Adapted and expanded from The Church's Year of Grace, Fr. Pius Parsch.

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