Hyacinth vs. Rose of Lima

Today in the Saintly smackdown it's the Flower Follies as Hyacinth faces Rose of Lima. Every member of the Flower Guild should cast a vote! And maybe be a little judgy about their choice?

Yesterday, on Opening Day, Thomas the Apostle defeated Thomas Cranmer 56% to 44% with nearly 5,700 votes cast, to become the first saint to advance to the Saintly Sixteen.

It wasn't the smoothest start to our little bracket competition as so many people tried to vote early in the day that the server crashed. A few times. But we're up and running and looking forward to another full season of saintly thrills and spills. Please note that you cannot vote from the email we send out, you can only vote directly from the website. All of the extra steps involved are to protect the Lent Madness Global Public from voter fraud (yes, it's a thing). Thank you for your patience when you have trouble voting. You were patient, right?! it's supposedly a virtue.

Don't forget that tomorrow is the ONLY WEEKEND VOTE of Lent Madness as Kassia takes on Casmir.

Now go exercise your right to vote!


Hyacinth was born in 1185 to a noble family in Silesia, Poland. As young nobleman of his age did, he received a thorough education and was trained as a priest, where his uncle (a bishop) appointed him as a canon at a local cathedral. This same uncle took Hyacinth with him when he traveled to Rome, a trip that would change Hyacinth’s life.

During his time in Rome, Hyacinth encountered Dominic of Osma, who had recently founded the order of Dominicans, a group of avowed people committed to sharing the Gospel through preaching the Good News and preaching against heresy. Hyacinth received his religious habit in 1220 from Dominic himself.

Hyacinth then returned to Poland and Kyiv to establish the Dominican Order in the Northlands and preach to the people of Poland. Through his efforts, Dominican friaries soon existed in all the major cities in Poland and thousands of lay people were converted to Christianity through the preaching of Hyacinth. Tradition holds that Hyacinth evangelized throughout northern Europe in city squares, markets, and streets and if necessary, churches, leading to his title as Apostle of the North.

When Hyacinth was in Kyiv, the city was invaded by Moguls. Hyacinth ordered his friars to flee for their safety. He finished praying Mass, then prepared to move to safety himself. In full vestments, he took the Blessed Sacrament with him. As he was leaving, legend holds Hyacinth heard the voice of the Blessed Virgin Mary asking Hyacinth to take her, too. Hyacinth realized the statue of Mary, Mother of God, was quite large and heavy, but he complied, and to his surprise, he was able to easily carry the large statue. Images of Hyacinth frequently show him carrying a monstrance (even though monstrances weren’t used until over a century later) and a statue of Mary. He is also the patron saint of weightlifters.

A Polish saying, “Swiety Jacek z pierogami!" (St. Hyacinth and his pierogi!) comes from another miracle attributed to Hyacinth. The saying is one of pleasant surprise, and comes from the story that Hyacinth, while walking from one village to another, came upon the town of Kościelec, where the crops had been destroyed due to hailstorms. The villagers faced certain starvation with no crops to harvest for bread. Hyacinth invited the villagers to pray with him. They all knelt, praying for God to deliver them. The next day, the crops were restored, and the harvest was plentiful. In gratitude, the villagers made pierogi for Hyacinth to celebrate the miracle.

Hyacinth died 15 August 1257 in Kraków, Poland. He is buried in the Basilica of the Holy Trinity, which also houses a Dominican monastery founded by Hyacinth.

Collect for Hyacinth
O God, who didst make Blessed Hyacinth, Thy Confessor, glorious amongst the people of divers nations for the holiness of his life and the glory of his miracles, grant that by his example we may amend our lives, and be defended by his help in all adversities. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Laurie Brock


Rose of Lima

Rose of Lima was born around April 20-30, 1586 in Lima, Peru.  She is the patron saint of all of Peru, South America and the Philippines and is known for being the first saint canonized in the western hemisphere. She is also the patron saint of embroiderers, gardeners and those that suffer because of their piety.

Rose’s story is one of parental conflict, coupled with extreme devotion and chastity. She was a beautiful woman.  Her story is one that is uncomfortable: in conflict with the physical beauty she was bestowed, she preferred to seek the beauty of God. Early in life, Rose felt called to serve God. She was drawn to a penitential and spiritual life focused on study, prayer, and self-denial.

Her mother wanted her to marry. In defiance, Rose cut off all her hair and burned her skin with hot peppers to make herself repugnant to the men her mother was parading for marriage. Their struggle continued for years. Upon taking a vow of chastity, her mother finally relented and allowed Rose to become a Dominican. However, they would not let her join the convent and instead confined her to their home with strict boundaries on where she could worship. Rose spent her days in embroidery and gardening. She would spend hours in prayer, adoration of St. Mary, and in taking communion daily.  Unfortunately, Rose was known for self-flagellation, fasting, wearing a crown of thorns, and sleeping on a bed of potsherds. She lived a life of solitude, self-rejection, and denial.

To the reader, this life may seem repugnant. It appears that everything about Rose was uncomfortable. She was uncomfortable with her looks, the attention her looks garnered, her parents’ wishes for a “normal” life of marriage and children, and discomfort with almost anything but prostration before the cross. It is often difficult to reconcile our understanding of God’s love in light of Rose’s story. However, we are reminded, that in the presence of a story of great suffering, great self-disgust, and self-loathing, the beacon of this story is God.

Collect for Rosa of Lima
Merciful God, you sent your Gospel to the people of Peru through Martin de Porres, who brought its comfort even to slaves; through Rosa de Lima, who worked among the poorest of the poor; and through Toribio de Mogrovejo, who founded the first seminary in the Americas and baptized many: Help us to follow their example in bringing fearlessly the comfort of your grace to all downtrodden and outcast people, that your Church may be renewed with songs of salvation and praise; through Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (GCW 2015)

Anna Courie


This poll is no longer accepting votes

7172 votes

Having trouble voting? Check out our help section.


* indicates required

Recent Posts



198 comments on “Hyacinth vs. Rose of Lima”

  1. Yay, my vote was counted today!!! For Hyacinth!!! And supporting the efforts of our local celebrity blogger, Laurie!

    Love today’s limerick, John Cabot.

  2. I wanted to vote for Rose because she was a gardener but Hyacinth was my choice because he got out and spread the gospel.

  3. Today there is no button to vote, but rather a note that states Thank you for vote, and the results so far at 8:35am. I will look back at this site later in the day to see if I can vote today. I know you are working on this voting issue, so I’ll just check back later. Hope I will be able to vote soon.

  4. I was thinking I would vote for Rose because my grandma attending St. Rose of Lima church, however, there was nothing good about Rose's story. I went with Hyacinth instead.

  5. Thinking of all the crazy saints that do crazy things we don’t understand(I loved one)I voted for Rose.
    I know Hyacinth will win and probably should
    Christ’s Peace All

  6. Pierogi Boy for me!
    I help out at a local church where we make pierogi from scratch every week during Lent. We have a framed pix of Hyacinth keeping us company and ensuring that each pierogi is a pocket of pure perfection.

  7. Like some others, when I finished reading about today’s saints, it said ‘thank you for your vote’ but I didn’t get to vote! It makes me wonder if the vote tallies are correct. I hope this issue can be fixed!

  8. I'm afraid I can't relate to Rose of Lima. Hyacinth is much more my kind of saint. How much good can you really do when you're into self abuse and self hatred? If you're born beautiful, I don't think its a sin to celebrate it.

  9. Two fantastic candidates. They both have done Gods work. Though very different in appearance. We can see how Hyacinth spread the Word, preaching and establishing sacred space to continue teaching the Word. Living a very fruitful life and bestowing fruit outward for others to recieve. Rose demonstrated her absolute devotion the best way possible for herself despite any adversity. She found a way to stay to her truth. She has taught pure devotion and complete surrender to God. In fairness of the times, how she went about this~ is what it is. As we contemplate both candidates and their journey we can choose what to take away and Bless are path as are Heart is moved and what is truly intended. Love this and both are very powerful, a tie for me….

  10. I couldn't vote from my phone, only my computer. It said vote not allowed. Is that a thing. There is a St. Rose Church very close to the house I grew up in, but I still didn't vote for her. It seems to be about the best blog writer this year.

  11. As we are all God's creation, I find it not very appealing that Rose hated her looks. I understand her not wanting to attract men but..... So Hyacinth gets my vote.

  12. I didn’t get to vote and it says I have! I agree the border between saintliness and mental illness is very thin sometimes.

  13. I have to say, I nominated Hyacinth in large part because of the pierogi connection! But also because of the church and monastery building. Vote for Hyacinth and his pierogi!

  14. Still can’t vote! So frustrating! When I get to the end, I am thanked for my vote, which I was never allowed to do. Please help!

  15. Deja vue all over again! Went to vote today online. Vote not allowed. Closed out, chose another email to read then went back online to vote. When I got to the vote block it said thank you for your vote. Same yesterday. (Oh well… We walk by faith, not by sight.)

  16. I was prepared to vote for Rose of Lima because I had heard of her work for the poor in South America, but in reading about her self-flagellation, etc., I had to go for Hyacinth. Restoring crops and getting pierogies is great.

  17. Rose's parents screwed her up. There are a lot of young women like her, brought up to be objects of male desire and acquisitiveness without regard for their own personal agency, who mutilate themselves out of self-hatred. My heart, and my vote, go out to her.

  18. I usually throw my weight to the ones who make most voters uncomfortable, like Rose with her hot peppers—because people who struggle need saints too. But weightlifters and pierogi? Hyacinth wins my vote for the novelty.

  19. If Rosa was confined to her home, how did she "[work] among the poorest of the poor"? I'm sorry for her, but weightlifters and pierogies (and John's limerick) seal it for me.

  20. Yesterday I could vote. Today I went to the website and couldn’t I also got the thank you for your vote before I voted. I unofficially vote for Rose of Lima.

  21. My husband went to a Dominican college and 1 son-in-law is Polish, so I had to go with Hyacinth.

  22. While I overall liked Laurie's writing better today, I had to vote for Rose as I both garden and embroider.

  23. Message thank you for your vote as I scrolled down to vote. Oh well at least my anticipated voting choice was already ahead