HYACINTHA MARISCOTTI, FOUNDRESS;
MOHANDAS K. GANDHI, HINDU HOLY MAN
Hyacintha Mariscotti (1585–1640) was the foundress of two confraternities in Viterbo to care for the sick, the aged, and the poor. Born of a noble Italian family, she was christened Clarice and educated at the local Franciscan convent. Because of her displays of temper, her parents forced her to enter a convent, where she took the name Sister Hyacintha. For ten years she lived the life of a nun in name only, while surrounding herself with luxuries.
Both illness and the influence of a saintly Franciscan confessor eventually helped her change her ways. As mistress of novices, she exhibited great wisdom and common sense. She died on January 30, 1640, and was canonized in 1807. Her feast is celebrated by Franciscans, but is not on the General Roman Calendar.
January 30 is also the day of death of one of the twentieth century’s spiritual giants, the Hindu holy man and modern pioneer of nonviolent resistance Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869–1948), who was assassinated by a young Hindu fanatic.