Saint Hyacinth Mariscotti of Vignanello

Third Order Regular (1585-1640)

She did not take readily to religious life and it was only while convalescing after serious illness that she underwent a conversion. From that time onwards her physical penances were severe and were coupled with works of charity. God endowed her with charismatic gifts also. Her death occurred at Viterbo in 1640. She was canonised in 1807.

A reading from the discourses of Saint John Chrysostom on the Psalms

Psalm 6

The fruit and reward of penitential tears is this: that a mind so deeply contrite will no longer be in the grip of inordinate passions. This is what we want to achieve; and should even the most exalted of royal personages attempt to lead us astray, we would despise his friendship. There is nothing worse than a wicked man, even a king; nothing more wonderful than a man, though a wretched prisoner, when he is possessed of moral worth. “The Lord has heard the voice of my weeping”. It does not say “heard my voice”, simply, but “the voice of my weeping”. You can see how the words “voice” and “weeping” broaden out emphatically, “voice” meaning not a physical cry but a lively sentiment of mind; “weeping” n o t just physical tears but spiritual grief. Anyone who shows himself repentant and is heard by God can achieve something further: namely he can overcome the sinful habits of others. “Let all my foes blush in their confusion, let them be turned back and speedily put to shame.” The important point of this prayer is the shame and the turning back. If people take the road of evil then turn back in shame, they desist from the evil. ‘It is as if we saw a man on a precipice making his way towards dangerously loose ground. We should ask him what he thinks he is doing so as to stop him in time. With our warning of the danger of the precipice ahead he will retrace his steps. Again, a man who is on a horse that suddenly takes fright will soon be killed unless he can get control of it quickly.

So we are to undertake penance, my brothers, as the remedy of salvation, a medicine for our sins. It is not a matter of words but of penance effectively present in good works. It is penance from the heart that wipes away sins. “Arise”, he says, “be clean, take away the iniquity of your hearts from before my eyes.” Why this superfluity of words? Surely “take away the iniquity of our hearts” is quite sufficient to say all that can be said? Why does he add: “from before my eyes”? Man’s eyes and God’s eyes are two different things. “Man sees the surface of things, God searches the heart”. Don’t adulterate your penance with appearances, he ” says, rather display fruits of penance before my eyes which scrutinize the hidden corners of the heart.


Almighty God,
by your grace the blessed Virgin Hyacinth
in her great love for you
became a model of Christian mortification.
May she intercede for us
that by true repentance of our sins
we may come to abide in your love.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.