Saint of the Day: St. Hyacinth: ‘Apostle of Poland’
Oil on canvas,
Musée du Louvre, Paris
The painting is from the church of San Domenico, Bologna.
p align=”left”>St. Hyacinth was a Dominican missionary called “the Apostle of Poland.” Born in Oppeln, Poland, he studied at Krakow, Prague, and Bologna and received the title of Doctor of Law and Divinity. Accompanying his uncle, Bishop Ivo Konski of Krakow, to Rome, he there met Saint Dominic and was among the first to be enrolled in the new Order of Friars Minor. He received the Dominican habit in 1217 or 1218 from St. Dominic. Hyacinth preached in Poland, Pomerania, Denmark, Prussia, Lithuania, Sweden, Norway, Russia, China, and Tibet. During an attack on a monastery, Hyacinth managed to save a crucifix and statue of Mary, though the statue weighed far more than he could normally have lifted; the saint is usually shown holding these two items. He died in Krakow, Poland, on August 15 and was canonized in 1594. His feast is now confined to local calendars. He is invoked by those in danger of drowning and is the patron saint of the Basilica of St. Hyacinth in Chicago, Illinois.