Hyacintha Mariscotti

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Saint Hyacintha Mariscotti, T.O.R.
Giacinta Mariscotti TOR.jpg
Born 16 March 1585(1585-03-16)
Vignanello, Viterbo, Italy
Died 30 January 1640(1640-01-30) (aged 54)
Viterbo, Italy
Honored in
Roman Catholicism
(Third Order of St. Francis)
Beatified 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII
Canonized 14 May 1807 by Pope Pius VII
Feast 30 January (6 February in Rome)

Saint Hyacintha Mariscotti, T.O.R., or Hyacintha of Mariscotti (Italian: Giacinta di Mariscotti) was an Italian nun of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis. She was born in 1585 of a noble family at Vignanello, in the Province of Viterbo, and died 30 January 1640 in Viterbo. Her feast is 30 January; in Rome, 6 February (Diarium Romanum).

Her parents were Marcantonio Mariscotti (Marius Scotus) and Ottavia Orsini. At baptism she received the name Clarice and in early youth was remarkable for piety, but, as she grew older, she became frivolous, which not even the almost-miraculous saving of her life at the age of 17 could change, nor her education at the Monastery of St. Bernardine at Viterbo, a religious community of Franciscan tertiary nuns, where an older sister had already taken the veil.

At the age of 20 she set her heart upon marriage with the Marquess Capizucchi, but was passed over in favor of a younger sister. Disappointed, she entered the monastery in Viterbo where she had been educated, receiving the name Hyacintha. She admitted later that she did this only to hide her chagrin and not to give up the luxuries of the world. She kept a private stock of extra food, wore a habit of the finest material and received and paid visits at will.

For ten years, she kept up this life, in defiance of her vows, but at the same time, retained a lively faith, was regular in her devotions, remained pure, always showed a great respect for the mysteries of religion, and had a tender devotion to the Virgin Mary. Due to a severe illness, the priest who was the confessor to the monastery went to her cell to bring her Holy Communion. Shocked by the display of luxuries he saw there, he admonished her to a closer observance of the way of life to which she had committed herself.

She saw the folly of her past behavior and enacted a complete change in her life. She made a public confession of her faults in the refectory, gave away her costly garments, wore an old tunic, went barefoot, frequently fasted on bread and water, chastised her body by vigils and severe scourging, and practiced mortifications to such an extent that the decree of canonization considers the preservation of her life a continued miracle. During the outbreak of a plague in the city, she became noted for her devotion in nursing the sick.

She went on to establish two confraternities, whose members were called Oblates of Mary or "Sacconi". One of these, similar to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, gathered alms for the convalescent, for the poor who were ashamed to beg, and for the care of prisoners; the other procured homes for the aged.

By the time of her death her reputation for holiness was so great, that, at her wake, her religious habit had to be replaced three times. This was due to pieces of it being snipped off by the people to keep as a relic.

She was beatified by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726, and canonized on 14 May 1807 by Pope Pius VII.

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.