Every year on November 7, Dominicans around the world observe the Feast of All Saints of the Order of Preachers. This year we also begin to celebrate the 800th Jubilee of the Order. In honor of this special event, today we offer a brief profile of eight of our brothers and sisters who have faithfully served God and the Church in the last eight centuries.
Saint Hyacinth of Poland
Hyacinth (Jacek) was born in Poland around 1185. In 1220 he traveled to Rome, where he was inspired by the preaching of Saint Dominic. He joined the Order of Preachers and returned home, establishing priories in Krakow, Gdansk and Kiel. He died on August 15, 1257, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Blessed Imelda Lambertini
Imelda was born in Bologna in 1321. At the age of nine she took up residence with the sisters at the Dominican monastery in Val di Pietra. Although she was still too young to receive communion, she had a great devotion to the eucharistic presence of our Lord. Sisters reported seeing the host hover above her head while at prayer. In 1333, she was finally allowed the receive the Body of Christ. She died shortly thereafter, in ecstasy. She is the patron saint of first communicants.
Blessed James of Ulm
James was born in Germany in 1407. He was a mercenary soldier until his conversion after praying at the tomb of Saint Dominic. He was admitted to the Order of Preachers as a lay brother and allowed to pursue his artistic interests. He made stained-glass windows and his work can still be found in the chapel of the Bentivoglio palace. He died in Bologna in 1491.
Saint Catherine de Ricci
Allesandra was born near Florence in 1522. At a young age she entered the Dominican convent of Saint Vincent at Prato, where she received the religious name of Catherine. She was gentle with the sick and compassionate towards all the sisters, and was eventually elected to serve as prioress. She experienced the stigmata and extraordinary mystical visions until her death in 1590.
Saint Rose of Lima
Isabella Flores, commonly known as Rose, was born in Peru in 1586. She made a vow of virginity at an early age, despite the objections of her family, and became a Dominican tertiary. She offered up her prayers and penances for the missionary efforts of the Church and was a zealous promoter of the rosary. She cared for the poor and the sick, and was canonized after her death in 1617.
Saint Peter Sanz
Peter was born in 1680, in the Catalan region of Spain. He professed vows in 1697, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1704. He volunteered to serve as a missionary in China, where he shared the faith with anyone who would listen. He was was arrested by imperial authorities in 1741, and suffered torture and imprisonment in Fuzhou before he was beheaded in 1747.
Blessed Bartolo Longo
Bartolo was born in Naples in 1841. After dabbling in spiritualism, he converted and became a Dominican tertiary. He promoted the rosary and helped found the congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Rosary of Pompeii. He died in 1926.
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
Pier Giorgio was born in 1901 in Turin. He was involved in various youth groups, and was well-known for his piety and zeal. He attended daily Mass and eventually became a Tertiary of Saint Dominic. He worked tirelessly for the poor and the sick, before he contracted polio and died in 1925.