Ordinary Time: August 17th
Wednesday of the Twentieth Week of Ordinary Time
Old Calendar: St. Hyacinth
According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Hyacinth, a canon of Krakow, who joined the Dominican Order in Rome during the lifetime of the founder, in about the year 1217. He returned to Krakow with the first band of Dominican missionaries. The newcomers spread over all the northern countries into Russia, the Balkans, Prussia and Lithuania. St. Hyacinth preached the crusade against the Prussians. He died on the feast of the Assumption, 1257.
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.
- The Church's night prayer, Compline, especially the closing invocations, serves as a fitting preparation for death. The two death scenes strike home with telling impact. Christ, hanging on the Cross, is uttering His last word: "Father, into Your hands I rest My spirit." Meditatively we repeat the words and entrust our souls to the care of Christ in sleep, and if need be, in death. For Hyacinth it actually was his dying invocation. The second scene. The aged Simeon is singing: "Now You may dismiss Your servant in peace." How appropriate as one's last day approaches!
- See this Dominican site for an excerpt from the Life of Saint Hyacinth.