New Insights on the Gospels

March for Life 2012

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Friday, January 30, 2009

St. Hyacintha of Mariscotti - 30th January 2009

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Hyacintha of Mariscotti.

Italian nobility. Educated in a Franciscan convent. Franciscan tertiary for 10 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.

How differently might Hyacintha’s life have ended if her confessor had been afraid to question her pursuit of a soft life! Or what if she had refused to accept any challenge to her comfortable pattern of life? Francis of Assisi expected give and take in fraternal correction among his followers. Humility is required both of the one giving it and of the one receiving the correction; their roles could easily be reversed in the future. Such correction is really an act of charity and should be viewed that way by all concerned.

St. Francis told his friars: "Blessed is the servant who would accept correction, accusation, and blame from another as patiently as he would from himself. Blessed is the servant who when he is rebuked quietly agrees, respectfully submits, humbly admits his fault, and willingly makes amends" (Admonition XXII).

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