Hyacinth of Caesarea
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Saint Hyacinth of Caesarea
Rome, Italy, Roman Empire
|Venerated in||Eastern Orthodox Church|
Roman Catholic Church
|Major shrine||Fürstenfeld Abbey|
Hyacinth (Greek: Υάκινθος, Hyakinthos; died 108) was a young Christian living at the start of the second century, who is honored as a martyr and a saint by both the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.
According to tradition, he was a native of Caesarea in Cappadocia, a member of a Christian family. As a boy, he was appointed to serve as an assistant to the chamberlain to the Emperor Trajan. His failure to participate in the ceremonial sacrifices to the official Roman gods soon came to be noticed by other members of the Imperial household.
When he was denounced as a Christian, Hyacinth proclaimed his faith. As a result, he was imprisoned and underwent numerous scourgings and tortures. He was deliberately served only meat which had been blessed for sacrifice to the gods, the eating of which was banned by both Judaism and Christianity. Thus, he starved to death in 108 AD, dying at the age of twelve. Just before his death, legend says, his jailers saw him being comforted by angels, who bestowed a crown on him.
Hyacinthus died in the city of Rome. Later, the saint’s relics were transferred to Caesarea.
His body is preserved and venerated in the abbey church of the former Cistercian Abbey of Fürstenfeld, of which the church is the only surviving structure. He gives his name to the San Jacinto River in Texas, and many other sites in the U.S. are named "San Jacinto" from that.