Today’s Saint

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January 30 | Self-Destructive Habits

Saint Hyacintha Mariscotti

March 16, 1585–January 30, 1640

As people of faith, we believe that God is all powerful. But often we don’t want God’s all-powerful self getting in the way of our sins. This is the first truth we discover on the path to conversion. We love some of our self-destructive behaviors, especially the habitual ones.

It is important to recognize and acknowledge this truth. You can ignore the truth you discover, but that in itself is a response.

Saint Hyacintha Mariscotti was a woman of faith, but for much of her life she clung to her self-destructive habits and resisted the truth. 

From a wealthy family, Hyacintha was accustomed to the finest things of the world. At 17, she hoped to marry a nobleman and maintain a life of status. But the nobleman married her younger sister instead.

Soon after, Hyacintha became a nun at the monastery where she was educated. She later revealed that she joined to preserve her life of luxury and hide her jealousy.

For 10 years, Hyacintha wore fine linen habits, kept a secret stock of food, and lived in conflict with her vows. Her self-destructive habits prevented her from fully embracing God’s call.

But that all changed when she suddenly fell gravely ill. A priest came to minister to her and challenged her to live differently. Hyacintha recovered and experienced an inner conversion. She became a model sister: fasting, wearing an old tunic, going barefoot, and serving the sick.

Years later, at her funeral, her nun’s habit had to be replaced three times because so many people cut off pieces to keep as relics of her holiness.

Our self-destructive habits want to hold us back from our potential. But when we face this truth, God gives us the strength to overcome them. It is never too late to turn everything around.

What self-destructive habits are keeping me from embracing God’s dream for me? What would my life look like if I surrendered them to God?

I will face the truth about my self-destructive habits.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Viterbo, Italy

Feast Day: January 30

Feast Day Shared By: Saint Martina

Canonized: May 14, 1807

Canonized By: Pope Pius VII

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