Saints & Martyrs

Saint Vincent of Saragossa

Vincent of Saragossa (d. 304), deacon and martyr. Vincent served as deacon under Bishop Valerius of Saragossa and was martyred under Emperor Diocletian. According to tradition, as punishment for refusing to perform pagan sacrifice, Vincent was imprisoned without food, placed on the rack, and finally roasted on a gridiron. He is the patron saint of Lisbon.

Excerpt from The Golden Legend

Vincent was noble of lineage, but he was more noble by faith and religion, and was deacon to St. Valerian bishop. ... And by the commandment of Dacian the provost, Vincent and Valerian were drawn to Valence and there cast in prison. ... Then Dacian, being wroth, commanded that the bishop should be put in exile, and Vincent as a man presumptuous and despitous should be put to be tormented in the place named Eculeus. ... Vincent said to him, "O unhappy man, how weenest thou to anger me? The more grievously that thou torment me, so much more pity shall God have on me." ...

And when Dacian heard say that he was dead, he was much sorrowful, and said that in that wise he was also vanquished, "But [since] I might not overcome him living I shall punish him dead, and if I may not have victory I shall be fulfilled of the pain." Then the body of St. Vincent was cast in a field for to be devoured of the beasts and fowls, by the commandment of Dacian, but it was kept by angels from touching of any beasts, and after came a raven which drove away all other birds and fowls, greater than he was, and chased away also a wolf with his bill and beak, and then turned his head towards the body as he that marveled of the keeping of the angels. And when Dacian heard this thing, "I [fear]," said he, "that I may not surmount him when he is dead." Then commanded he that he should be cast into the sea with a mill stone bound to his neck, to the end that he that might not be destroyed upon the earth of beasts, should be devoured in the sea of [whales] and great fishes. Then the mariners that led the body in to the sea, cast it therein, but the body was sooner arrived [ashore] than the mariners were, and was found of a lady and of some others by the revelation of Jesus Christ, and was honorably buried of them.

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