St. Hyacintha of Mariscotti
Nun of the Third Order of St. Francis
Roman martyrology: At Viterbo, the holy virgin Hyacintha de Mariscotti, a nun of the Third Order of St. Francis, distinguished for the virtues of penance and charity. She was inscribed among the Blessed by Benedict XIII and among the Saints by Pius VII.
Etymology: From the Greek, derived from the name of the hyacinth flower.
Canonization date: May 24, 1807 by Pope Pius VII.
Born on 1585 near Viterbo, Italy to the Italian nobility. Educated in a Franciscan convent.
Franciscan tertiary at Saint Bernardine’s convent in Viterbo, Italy for ten years, though with no real enthusiasm; she used her personal funds to insure comfortable lodgings, and none of the privations of the other tertiaries. A serious illness caused Hyacintha’s confessor to bring her Communion, which allowed him to see her rooms for the first time.
Scandalized at the life she provided herself, the priest told her to live more humbly.
Hyacintha took his advice, became humble in her food and dress, did the most menial work in the convent, and replaced her bed with a few bare boards. She became an exceptional mistress of novices, and developed a special appeal for “those who are despised, who are devoid of self-love and who have little sensible consolation.”
Over the years she developed a special devotion to the sufferings of Christ and, by her penances, became an inspiration to the sisters in her convent.
Foundress of the Sacconi or Oblates of Mary, dedicated to working with the aged poor.
She died January 30, 1640 at Viterbo, Italy of natural causes.