We had a saying that our faith in God came with our mother’s milk
Mária Dubanová, known under her religious name Sister Hyacinta, was born on January 16, 1931 in the village of Dlhá near Trnava. Her mother Serafina, born Herchlová, and her father Vincent made a living through seasonal work on the fields and farms of nearby landowners. From an early age Mária, as the eldest of five siblings, helped take care of the children and run the household. At the age of 12, in 1943, she joined the religious community of nuns - she moved to the town of Turzovka, where a social service centre operated under the auspices of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Cyril and Methodius. In the post-war period, she graduated from a grammar school in Brno, and passed her high school diploma in Uherské Hradiště. On August 15, 1947, she made her first vows and joined the Order. In September 1950, she was interned as part of the so-called Operation Ř, aimed at persecuting nuns (‘řeholnice’ in Czech). She was detained for the next four years. From the mid-1950s onwards, she devoted herself to charity work, social care and running activities within the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Cyril and Methodius. At the turn of the 1960s and 1970s, she carried on her education at university in Olomouc, where she studied Czech and special-needs education. Later on she also taught religious studies. After the Velvet Revolution, she worked as the first headmistress of the special school of St. Josef in Turzovka. In 2022, Sister Hyacinta lived in Velehrad, where the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Cyril and Methodius has its seat.