January 22, 2018

St. Vincent of Saragossa, Deacon and Martyr

St. Vincent of Saragossa

Optional Memorial - January 23rd 

St. Vincent of Saragossa was one of the Church's three most illustrious deacons, the other two being Stephen and Lawrence. He is also Spain's most renowned martyr. Born in the late 3rd century, he was ordained deacon by Bishop Valerius of Saragossa. Vincent was forced in chains to Valencia during the Diocletian persecution and martyred. Legend records the following about his martyrdom:

After brutal scourging in the presence of many witnesses, he was stretched on the rack; but neither torture nor blandishments nor threats could undermine the strength and courage of his faith. He was cast on a heated grating, lacerated with iron hooks, and seared with hot metal plates. Then he was returned to prison, where the floor was heavily strewn with pieces of broken glass. A heavenly brightness flooded the entire dungeon, filling all who saw it with greatest awe.

After this he was placed on a soft bed in the hope that lenient treatment would induce apostasy, since torture had proven ineffective. But strengthened by faith in Christ Jesus and the hope of everlasting life, Vincent maintained an invincible spirit and overcame all efforts, whether by fire, sword, rack, or torture to induce defection. He persevered to the end and gained the holy crown of martyrdom.

Almighty ever-living God, mercifully pour out your Spirit upon us, so that our hearts may possess the strong love by which the Martyr Saint Vincent triumphed over all bodily torments. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. Holy St. Vincent of Saragossa, help us remain ever faithful to our dying breaths.

Prayer to St. Vincent of Saragossa 

Glorious St Vincent, help me to put all my trust in my Redeemer so that I may overcome all adversity. Pray for me, who am so doubtful; pray for me, that finally I may receive the consolations and the succour of Heaven in all my necessities and afflictions. May the Holy Spirit, Instructor and Consoler of the faithful, help me to faithfully apply Christ’s message in my thoughts, words and deeds. Amen.

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