August 17, St Hyacinth (Jacek)

August 17
Obligatory memorial
In the Province of Upper Silesia: Primary patron saint of the province – Solemnity
In the Archdiocese of Kraków: Patron saint of the archdiocese – Feast

Hyacinth (Jacek) was born in Kamień in Silesia at the end of the 17th century. Having studied in Paris and Bologna, he became priest and canon in Kraków. Accompanying bishop Ivo on his journey to Rome, he met St Dominic and was invested by him together with Bl Ceslaus. Upon returning to Kraków, he founded there the first Dominican monastery in Poland. He would embark on a number of missionary journeys to Ruthenia, Prussia and borderlands of Lithuania. Exhausted by this work, he died in Kraków on the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary in 1257.

Common of Pastors, except:

[PDF Version]

(In the churches celebrating the solemnity)

HYMN With a joyous hymn we praise as in Evening Prayer II.



Ant. Everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.




Your servant Hyacinth, o Lord,
Loved you above all
And you sent him with the order
of proclaiming the Gospel.

For you he would tread across rivers
And steppes burnt with the sun;
For you he bore burdens
Looking for forgotten souls.

An ardent heart you did give him,
Yearning for the grace for the world;
His words would be on fire
Burning with love of you and men.

He wished no other prize
Than you alone
And the most gentle hands
Of Mary, heavenly Mother’s care.

He once sought refuge
Sailing on his own coat;
May he cross with us safely
Toward the banks of eternal land.

To you, Father and Son
And Spirit, Giver of comfort,
Be eternal thanks
For such a mighty patron. Amen.


From Common of Religious.


From the work “Life and Miracles of St Hyacinth,” written by Stanislaus of Kraków, lector of the Order of Preachers
(Published by L. Ćwikliński, MHP, IV, 1961, pp. 841-894)
He lit the hearts of Poles with faith

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” The Creator of the Universe, having first created the heavens and earth, left darkness over the waters. And he said, “Let there be light, and there was light.” In that way, God lit the world. And what he had done in the beginning, he did also through Blessed Hyacinth. As if a ray of a new sun, he dispersed the darkness of sin in Poland and lit the hearts of Poles with faith. Daylight relieves suffering, awakens the sleeping, makes birds sing and drives wild animals to their burrows. In a similar way, St Hyacinth, sent to Poland by Blessed Dominic, released Poles from their misdeeds, awakened them from their sleep, directed them toward heaven and set free from the rule of satan.

His name derives from the word hyacinth, which can mean either a flower or a precious stone. Both meanings can be applied to Blessed Hyacinth. The hyacinth is a plant of crimson blossom, and Hyacinth was as humble as a plant that does not shoot high; he was like a pure flower adorned with poverty. And the precious stone of the same name that shines in red is similar to gold and just as durable. So Blessed Hyacinth shone with the light of life and proclamation of the Gospel, invincible in spreading the Catholic faith. This is how we interpret his name.

Blessed Hyacinth took over the austerity from St Dominic as though from a spring. For he was known for the humility of heart, virgin purity, ardent love of God and neighbours; so great it was that the sight of the afflicted and weeping brought him to tears and, crying, he asked for God’s mercy. He used to spend nights at church and rarely go to sleep; tired by vigils, he lay down on a stone in front of the altar or on the ground and rested; he would also whip this body until it bled. On Fridays and eves of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Apostles he would fast on bread and water. He dedicated every moment of his life to God. For he always either studied or preached the word of God, or heard confessions, or prayed, or visited the sick and thus supported neighbours with word and example.

On the eve of the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, St Hyacinth prayed in the morning before her altar in the church of his order in Kraków and, meditating on her joyous and miraculous Assumption in tears and prayerful rapture, he saw great light falling on the altar. The Blessed Virgin approached him and said, “My son, Hyacinth, rejoice, for your prayers are pleasing to my Son and Saviour, and whatever you ask through my intercession, you will be given.” Having said that, she left for heaven among lights and angelic choirs. And St Hyacinth, consoled with the vision, pleaded with God for what he desired.[1]

RESPONSORY Ephesians 5:8-9; Matthew 5:14;16

You are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.
 Light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.

You are the light of the world. Your light must shine before others.
 Light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.

On Solemnity or Feast TE DEUM You are God: we praise you.

CONCLUDING PRAYER as in Morning Prayer.



Let the tongue and heart praise
Saint Hyacinth’s merits
Now that he in heavenly light
Rejoices God’s reward.

Renowned for his unblemished life
He proved his words with miracles
And what he learnt by praying
He would share with people.

He controlled wind,
Tamed waves with his power
So that they might be for his steps
A sure and dry passage.

On his command the dead
Rose to life again
The lame walked and the blind
Could see the Lord’s might.

May you, only God,
Be praised with the song of the redeemed
And through Hyacinth’s prayers
Let us dwell in heaven. Amen.



Ant. He preached God’s word to nations so that they might know salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.



O almighty and eternal God,
thanks to your grace Saint Hyacinth renewed and strengthened numerous nations through persistent proclamation of the Gospel,
through his intercession, multiply our faith so that we may be able to work for your glory and salvation of people.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


On Solemnity Complementary Psalmody.
On Feast Antiphons and Psalms from Ordinary. Reading and Responsory from Common of Pastors.

Concluding Prayer as in Morning Prayer.



With a joyous hymn we praise
The memory of Saint Hyacinth
And supported by his care
We pay homage to the Almighty.

Dominic, a leader and lawgiver
Made him part of the community
And then Hyacinth showed
That he knew how to be an apostle.

He bravely followed in the footsteps
Of his Master;
He despised the world and chose
The victory of the truth over lie.

With her consolation
The pure Virgin aided him;
Through him people can see
The miraculous grace of Christ.

May you, only God,
Be praised with the song of the redeemed
And through Hyacinth’s prayers
Let us dwell in heaven. Amen.



Ant. Rejoice, Hyacinth, for your prayers are pleasing to the Saviour.

[1] Translated by DChojnacki (2016).


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