Bl. Hyacinth M. Cormier, O.P. (1832-1916)

Blessed Hyacinth Cormier, O.P., Master General, pictured in 1908 (seated in the center), along with the Servant of God, Dominican Bishop Pio Alberto Del Corona (1837 -1912).

From Benedict Ashley, O.P., The Dominicans:

The Chapter of 1904 elected, as the successor of Andreas Fr├╝hwirth, Hyacinth M. Cormier, then Procurator General and formerly three times provincial of Toulouse. True to the tradition of observance of that Province his emphasis was primarily on spiritual matters both in the Order and in his influence on the sisters and others through writing and spiritual direction. He wrote a letter on religious life to Americans, and encyclical letters on freedom, on the study of Scriptures (in view of the Modernist crisis), on vocations, novices and students, for whom he promulgated a new Scheme of Studies (1907). His most important encyclical on community made the shrewd comment that “some live outside community, some merely in it, some off it, and, happily, some for it.” But he also made visitations of Italy and central Europe, and sent visitators to other provinces, including the Latin American ones which were not in very good condition as regards the common life, while in 1910 the Mexican Dominicans had been suppressed by the government, as the French had been in 1903. The Provinces of Bohemia-Austro-Hungary and Sicily were restored, the restoration of that of Portugal initiated, and that of Canada founded (1911). Cormier also founded the Angelicum in Rome and reorganized the Curia there.

The elective chapter at Viterbo in 1904 enforced mental prayer in common and urged stricter observance of common life. That of Viterbo in 1907 re-emphasized Thomism and weekly recitation of the Office of the Dead (initiated in 1551). That of Rome in 1910 insisted on a convent of strict observance in every province, improvements of the liturgy, the habit and tonsure, and condemned Modernism. That of Venlo, Holland, in 1913 required better preparation in preaching, urged perpetual abstinence from meat, and promoted community recreation. It also called for suitable textbooks to implement the new Scheme of Studies. Cormier resigned in 1916 shortly before his death in the same year, and has been proposed for beatification. His stress on traditional observances in the Jandelian tradition and of disciplined study of St. Thomas continued to dominate the first half of this century and had considerable success.

See link from Dominican Vocations blog.