A Garner of Saints – Saint Vincent

Saint Vincent of SaragossaArticle

Of a noble family and deacon of the Bishop Valerius, who had entrusted to the young man the conduct of his affairs. At the order of the governor Dacian both of them were arrested and cast into prison. Being afterwards brought before the governor they acted with boldness, so much so that Dacian gave orders that the bishop should be sent into exile, and that Vincent should be racked and have all his limbs broken. But the youth’s spirit remained unquenched, and when the govemor taunted him he replied that this was what he had always desired. After this the governor threatened him with fresh torments, but Vincent challenged him to do his worst, for, said he, you will see that I by the grace of God shall be better able to endure pain than you are to inflict it. Then the executioners tore his body with iron hooks, and when this produced no effect, he was condemned to the fire. He mounted on to the gridiron of his own accord where he supported the most horrible tortures. When the executioners told Dacian of this, he recognised that he was beaten, but determined that the youth who had defied him should suffer as long as possible, he caused Vincent to be taken off the gridiron and thrown into prison where his feet were nailed to a plank. But a great light shone in the prison, the rigour of the torments was turned into the sweet scent of flowers, the prisoner’s feet were loosed and angels came to visit and to console him. As he rested on the flowers singing with the angels, the sounds penetrated beyond, and the guards saw what was going on and were converted. But when Dacian heard of this he was filled with rage, wondering what he could do next. At length he gave orders that Vincent should be laid on a soft bed, in order that he might recover and undergo fresh torments. But Vincent after being placed on the bed rendered his spirit to God. At this news Dacian was much chagrined, but determining to continue his treatment he ordered the body to be cast into a field that it might be devoured by the birds and the beasts. But no sooner had this been done than the angels came to guard it, so that the beasts could not touch it, and a hungry raven came and drove off all the other birds by the flapping of its wings, chasing a wolf who had approached too near and pecking with its beak, after which the crow turned to the body, regarding it with the utmost reverence. Finding this plan of no avail, Dacian caused a millstone to be tied round the neck of the body and had it thrown into the sea. Before the sailors who had charge of this could return it was cast up on to the shore, and it being pointed out to a pious lady and some other persons by a vision of Christ, they came and buried it there. 22nd January.

Attributes

  • Habited as a deacon; a raven by the body; sometimes with a gridiron; as a rule distinguished from Laurence, Leonard and Stephen by carrying the palm simply without any other emblem.

MLA Citation

  • Allen Banks Hinds, M.A. “Saint Vincent”. A Garner of Saints, 1900. CatholicSaints.Info. 27 April 2017. Web. 26 May 2017. <>