Category Archives: Dominican saints & blesseds

Saint Hyacinth of Poland

St Hyacinth.jpgProclaim the glory of the Lord among the nations, God’s marvelous deeds to all the peoples; great is the Lord and worthy of all praise.

Loving God, You gave Saint Hyacinth the grace to preach, the he might draw the peoples of many nations to the light of truth. By Your power bring forth good works in our lives, that all may be moved to give You glory.
The Dominican friar and priest honored today is known in Poland as the Apostle to Poland (or “to the North”). Hyacinth was born in 1185, joined the Order of Preachers in 1219 after meeting Saint Dominic becoming the first to receive the habit; he died on the Assumption feast in 1257. Prior to meeting the Order Hyacinth took earned the Doctor of Law and Divinity degree from the University of Bologna. His vocation was preaching as an itinerant missionary who had a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Hyacinth was canonized by Clement VIII in 1594.
Culturally, the name Hyacinth is translated as Jacek (in Polish) and Jacinto (in Spanish and Portugese).

Saint Dominic de Guzman

The Lord opened his mouth in the assembly, and filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and clothed him in a robe of glory.

God of truth, You gave Your Church a new light in the life and preaching of our father Dominic. Give us the help we need to support our preaching by holy and simple lives.

Blessed Cecilia’s description of Saint Dominic is how we know what he looked liked.  And we have to be grateful for ancient chroniclers! They not only feed our curiosity but they show us concrete expressions of how God works through humanity … Descriptions like this one help us imagine what a person 8 centuries looked which helps to connect more closely to his reality. Blessed Cecilia wrote:

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“This was St Dominic’s appearance. He was of
middle height and slender figure, of handsome and somewhat ruddy countenance,
his hair and beard of auburn, and with lustrous eyes. From out his forehead and
between his eye brows a radiant light shone forth, which drew everyone to
revere and love him. He was always joyous and cheerful, except when moved to
compassion at anyone’s sorrows. His hands were beautiful and tapering; his
voice was clear, noble, and musical; he was never bald, but kept his religious
tonsure entire, mingled here and there with a few grey hairs.” (From the
Legend of St. Dominic by Bl. Cecilia Cesarini)

A blessed feast of Saint Dominic, the great light to the Church!

Blessed Adrian Fortescue

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O God, You specially strengthened Blessed Adrian with a wonderful spirit of holiness and courage. Hear the prayers of Your people and from his renowned example may we learn to be obedient to You rather than to human authority.
Blessed Adrian’s collect for Mass tells his story: he was a lay Dominican (i.e., a third order member), a husband and a martyr. Blessed Adrian was known for his piety, sanity, and ethical life. A cousin of the famed Anne Boleyn, Adrian (1476-1539) opposed Henry VIII’s divorce from Catherine. Twice married (Anne Stoner, Adrian’s first wife died), he raised two daughters; history shows us that 12 years after the death of Stoner he married Anne Rede who bore three sons.
Adrian Fortescue served England as a Knight of the Bath (given the honor in 1503) and as a Knight of St. John in 1532 (seen in his Malta cape here) and Oxford’s Justice of the Peace. Refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy which supported Henry’s break with the Roman Church, at 62 years of age, Adrian was thrown in the Tower of London without formal charges and condemned by Parliament without trial and beheaded with Thomas Dinglay in 1539. The date of his death is disputed. Pope Leo XIII beatified Adrian on May 13, 1895.

On the liturgical calendar prayed by the Dominicans, today is the liturgical memorial of Blessed Adrian Fortescue; in some places you’ll see his feast day listed as July 9.

Pope Blessed Benedict XI

Bl Benedict XI.jpgEternal Shepherd, you made Blessed Benedict known for his great love of the brethren and his service to Your flock. By the help of his prayers may we ever be ardent in our fellowship and with one heart be steadfast in the household of the Church.

Pope Blessed Innocent V

God of truth, You bestowed on Blessed Innocent the gifts of knowledge and prudence and made him a promoter of peace and unity. By the help of his prayers may we cherish what is of heaven and in perfect unity follow what is right.

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A 13th century Dominican friar known for his distinction in theology, Pierre of Trarantaise, was known as the most famous doctor. He served the Order of Friars Preachers as a prior provincial and the Church as the Archbishop of Lyons and later as the Cardinal-bishop of the ancient See of Ostia. At the Council of Lyons II and preached at the funeral of Saint Bonaventure.
In 1276 he was elected the Bishop of Rome –the Pope of the Roman Church– the first of the Dominicans to serve in such manner, though only for six months. He’s the very likely choice of popes who influenced the change of papal attire in that he likely continued to wear his Dominican habit after his election to the Chair of Peter.  More on Pope Blessed Innocent V

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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