Saint Hyacinth

The saints of the church of Sen Piyer

Saint Hyacinth (1183-1257) was born in Silesia (Poland). After his religious education, he met St. Dominic in Bologna and decided to enter his religious order. He founded a monastery in Poland and a few in Kiev..

The painting depicts the story of the rescue of the Virgin Mary’s statue and the Eucharist (consecrated bread) by Hyacinth during the destruction of the Kiev church by the Tatars. He is portrayed in his Dominican habit and stole. In his right arm he holds the statue of the Virgin with Child and in his left hand an ostensorium. However, the artist painted the event as though it were taking place in Constantinople, where the clearly visible Bosphorus, the Arab Mosque (ʿArab Cāmiʿ) on the left and the Galata Tower on the right in the background cannot be seen in Kiev. The following is written along the edge of the frame above the saint who walks with his eyes raised towards the sky: “Gaude, filii hyacinte, quia preces tuae gratae sunt filio meo” (Rejoice, son Hyacinth, because my Son is thankful for your prayers).


C. Monge, L. Refatti, Santi Domenicani, in C. Monge, S. Pedone, Domenicani a Costantinopoli prima e dopo l’impero ottomano. Storie, immagini e documenti d’archivio, Firenze, Nerbini 2017 (Biblioteca di Memorie Domenicane, 17), pp. 281-283.


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