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Blog Post - August 17th

S. Hyacinth| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection

Today in the Latin Calendar we celebrate the Feast Day of S. Hyacinth, Confessor. A story about this Feast Day can be found by Clicking Here.

Another Story:

St. Hyacinth, 1185-1257, priest and religious Patron saint of weight lifters and pierogi

Saint Hyacinth is another of our Polish saints with pseudonym seemingly unrelated to his baptismal name. He is also known as Jacek. His proper name “Hyacinth” seems to be related to the hyacinth flower or hyacinth stone. He was born near Wroclaw (Breslau) in Upper Silesia, Poland, around 1185. He was ordained and became a priest of the cathedral of Krakow. Although he was renowned at an early age for the simplicity of his life and his great intellectual gifts, he may have remained rather obscure if he had not been invited, along with several companions, to accompany his bishop, Ivo Knock, (who was also his uncle) to Rome in 1220.

In Rome, Hyacinth and his companions were attracted to the Order of Friars Preachers (commonly known as Dominicans) by the holiness and preaching of its founder, St. Dominic, who had worked a miracle in their presence. At this time, St. Hyacinth was one of the first to receive the habit of the newly established Order from St. Dominic.

He and his companions, Blessed Chester, Herman, and Henry, because of their spirit for prayer and their zeal for the salvation of souls, were sent to preach and establish the Dominican Order in Poland. On the way they were able to establish several monasteries.

In Poland the new preachers were well received and their sermons were productive of much good. Hyacinth founded communities at Sandomir, Cracow, and at Plocko on the Vistula in Moravia. He extended his missionary work through Prussia, Pomerania, and Lithuania; then crossing the Baltic Sea he preached in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. It was these apostolic travels that earned Hyacinth the title "The Apostle of the North."

Tradition holds that he also evangelized throughout Scotland, Russia, Turkey, and Greece. However, these travels are not supported by wider historical texts.

The life of Hyacinth is replete with legends. One of the major miracles attributed to Hyacinth came about from a Mogul attack on Kiev. As the friars prepared to flee the invading forces, Hyacinth went to save the Blessed Sacrament from the tabernacle in the monastery chapel, when he heard the voice of Mary the Mother of God, asking him to take her, too. Hyacinth lifted the large, stone statue of Mary, as well as the ciborium. He was easily able to carry both, despite the fact that the statue weighed far more than he could normally lift. Thus he saved them both.

For this reason he is usually shown holding a constancy and a statute of Mary. This legend groups him with St. Christopher as the patron saint of weight-lifters. He is also a patron of those in fear of drowning.

Hyacinth died in the year 1257. He was canonized on April 17, 1594, by Pope Clement XVIII and his feast day is celebrated on Aug. 17. Hyacinth is a Polish saint with a wide international following. In Spanish-language countries, Hyacinth is known as San Jacinto which is the name of numerous towns and locations in Spanish-speaking countries. He is also the patron saint of the Philippine city of Tuguegarao, where his feast day is celebrated with processions and folk dance contests.

St. Hyacinth is depicted in one of the windows of St. John Gualbert in Cheektowaga, and his relics are housed in its relic chapel. There is a Polish saying, "Swiety Jacek z pierogami!" (St. Hyacinth and his pierogi!) is an old expression of surprise, roughly equivalent to the American "good grief" or "holy smokes!" Pierogi may be the only Polish dish that seems to have its own patron saint.

Rev. Michael H. Burzynski, Ph.D. is pastor, Saint John Gualbert Church, Cheektowaga.

Daily Meditation

Keys to Evangelization:

Evangelization should be a call to deepen understanding among practicing Catholics; re-evanglize those who are Catholic in name only; reconcile those who have stopped practicing their faith; form children into disciples; invite other Christians to know the Church's message; and call to conversion those who have no faith.

Quote by S. Padre Pio:

Contemplation is then the very sweetness of this spiritual food (spiritual reading), which restores the soul entirely and comforts it.

Divine Mercy Reflection

Reflections on Notebook Three: 189-236

We continue now to the third notebook that Saint Faustina filled with messages of Mercy from our Lord. As you enter into this notebook, pause and reflect upon all that you have read so far. Has it changed your perspective on life? Has it changed you? If it has, then continue down that same path and trust that the Lord will continue to do great things in your life. If it has not, reflect upon why!

Sometimes we need more than the words we read. We also need true prayer, deep prayer and what we may call “soaking prayer.” Consider this as you read through the reflections flowing from this notebook and allow the words to not only enter your mind, but to also enter deeper. Read them prayerfully and carefully. Speak to our Lord as Saint Faustina did. Read some more of her actual diary in addition to these reflections and learn from her humble and childlike faith.

The Lord wants to do great things in your life! Open the door, through prayer and reflection, and let Him in!

Reflection 229: Day-to-Day Martyrdom

One early Church Father (Tertullian) said that “the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.” This means that the shedding of one’s blood for the faith is not ultimately a tragedy; rather, it’s something that is transformed by Christ so as to nourish the faith of others. And although you are most likely not to become a martyr in fact (shedding your blood), you are called to be a martyr in spirit by the day-to-day willing sacrifice of your life for the good of the Church. Being a “day-to-day martyr” means that you offer each and every act of your day to our Lord as a sacrifice for His glory and for the salvation of souls. It means that even the small acts of your day, the monotonous and seemingly unimportant ones, have the potential of being used by God as an instrument of grace. Offer everything you do each day, all day, as a sacrifice for the Church and the Lord will use you as an instrument in ways you could never fathom so as to dispense His Divine Mercy (See Diary #1184).

Reflect upon both the great and small sacrifices you can offer to our Lord, this day. If there is some heavy burden you carry, then focus on that. But if your day seems filled with many small acts that all appear to be somewhat insignificant in the grand picture of life, know that you have a wonderful opportunity to offer these small acts to our Lord. The power in this daily offering is beyond what you could comprehend and may be the greatest gift you can offer, and the source of much grace in our world.

Lord, I place before You all my work this day. I give you every small act and every heavy burden. I surrender all to You, dear Lord, and make them my holy sacrifice to You. Use me as Your martyr of love this day and every day so as to become a greater instrument of Your glory and the up-building of Your Church. Jesus, I trust in You.

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