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St. Vincent, martyr

Name: St. Vincent, martyr
Date: 22 January

Saint Vincent was archdeacon of the church at Saragossa, Spain. Valerian, the bishop, wasprevented from preaching by a speech impediment, and named Vincent to preach in his stead. Heanswered in the bishop’s name when, during the persecution of Diocletian, both were broughtbefore Dacian, the presiding officer. When the bishop was sent into banishment, Vincent wasretained, to suffer and to die.

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

The holy martyr was cast into a solitary dungeon, his feet placed in the stocks; but the Angels ofChrist illuminated the darkness, and assured Vincent that he was near his triumph. His woundswere now ordered to be tended, to prepare him for fresh torments, and the faithful were permittedto gaze on his mangled body. They came in troops, kissed his wounds and carried away as relics,cloths colored with his blood. Before the tortures could resume, Saint Vincent’s hour came, andhe breathed forth his soul in peace.

Even the dead bodies of the Saints are precious in the sight of God, and the hand of iniquitycannot touch them. A raven guarded the body of Vincent where it lay flung upon the earth. Whenit was sunk out at sea, the waves cast it ashore; and his relics are preserved to this day in theAugustinian monastery at Lisbon, for the consolation of the Church of Christ.

Source: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints

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