Dominican Saints 101: Bl. Hyacinth Marie Cormier

May 19, 2012

Tomb of Bl. Hyacinth, above the high altar of the chapel at the Priory of Sts. Dominic and Sixtus (the Angelicum)
Bl. Hyacinth Marie Cormier (1832-1916, feast – May 21) served as the 76th Master of the Order (1904-1916).  Led into the Order by the examples of Bl. Agnes of Jesus and Fr. Jean-Baptiste Henri Lacordaire, he lived a holy life and taught others to do so in many ways.  You might say that he held the title “Master” very well. Bl. Hyacinth taught the friars in two ways: creating institutions and living a holy life.  First, he was responsible for moving the Angelicum.  Secondly, and closer to home, he also authorized the construction of the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC (1905).  As Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P. has noted, Bl. Hyacinth desired “that the House be a place of piety, study, common observance, and ‘adoration of the Most Holy Eucharist.'”  In other words, in establishing the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, Bl. Hyacinth taught the brethren to live faithfully to what they had professed and allow their life of prayer to permeate their studies. Bl. Hyacinth also taught the brethren by his example.  He lived a prudent and prayerful life.  He worked through the debates about interpretations of the Scriptures when Fr. Marie-Joseph Lagrange was writing at the turn to the century.  He stabilized the governance of the Order in a period right after its revival by Fr. Lacordaire and Master Vincent Jandel.  Furthermore, he lived a life of deep prayer.  He was frequently seen praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament, sometimes even levitating. O God, who raised up blessed Hyacinth in your Church to show others the way of salvation, grant us, by his example, so to follow Christ the master, that we may come with our neighbor into your presence.  Through Christ our Lord.  

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