Saint of the day 20150122

22 January

SAINT VINCENT
Deacon and Martyr
(+ 304)

St. Vincent was archdeacon of the church at Saragossa. Valerian, the bishop, had an impediment in his speech; thus Vincent preached in his stead, and answered in his name when both were brought before Dacian, the president, during the persecution of Diocletian. When the bishop was sent into banishment, Vincent remained to suffer and to die.

First of all, he was stretched on the rack; and, when he was almost torn asunder, Dacian, the president, asked him in mockery “how he fared now.” Vincent answered, with joy in his face that he had ever prayed to be as he was then. It was in vain that Dacian struck the executioners and goaded them on in their savage work. The martyr’s flesh was torn with hooks; he was bound in a chair of red-hot iron; lard and salt were rubbed into his wounds; and amid all this he kept his eyes raised to heaven, and remained unmoved.

He was cast into a solitary dungeon, with his feet in the stocks; but the angels of Christ illuminated the darkness, and assured Vincent that he was near his triumph. His wounds were now tended to prepare him for fresh torments, and the faithful were permitted to gaze on his mangled body. They came in troops, kissed the open sores, and carried away as relics cloths dipped in his blood.

Before the tortures could recommence, the martyr’s hour came, and he breathed forth his soul in peace.

Even the dead bodies of the saints are precious in the sight of God, and the hand of iniquity cannot touch them, A raven guarded the body of Vincent where it lay flung upon the earth. When it was sunk out at sea the waves cast it ashore; and his relics are preserved to this day in the Augustinian monastery at Lisbon, for the consolation of the Church of Christ.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

St Vincent (- 304)
He was born in Huesca and became a deacon of the church of Saragossa (Zaragoza). He was tortured to death in Valencia, in the persecution of Diocletian. After his death, his cult spread rapidly through the Roman Empire. See the article in Wikipedia.
Other saints: Saint Publius
As the Acts of the Apostles narrates, when St Paul and his companions were shipwrecked on Malta, they were welcomed by Publius, the prefect of the island, and entertained hospitably for three days on his estates. St Paul healed his sick father.
Publius is revered as the first Bishop of Malta. See also the article in Wikipedia.
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