mardi 22 janvier 2013

Saint VINCENT de SARAGOSSE, diacre et martyr

Saint Vincent de Saragosse

Diacre et Martyr

(† 304)

Saint Vincent

Saint Vincent, l'un des plus illustres martyrs de Jésus-Christ, naquit à Saragosse, en Espagne. Son éducation fut toute chrétienne, et il fit de rapides progrès dans la connaissance des saintes Lettres.

Il était diacre, quand Dacien, gouverneur d'Espagne, l'un des plus cruels persécuteurs qu'ait jamais eus l'Église, en fit une des premières victimes de sa fureur. Rien n'est plus beau que le récit de son interrogatoire: "Ta naissance, Vincent, dit le juge, et ta brillante jeunesse excitent toute ma sympathie; renonce à ta religion et choisis entre les honneurs ou les tourments. -- Tu as pris trop de peine, répond le martyr, pour me faire apostasier; je resterai chrétien et saurai mourir joyeusement pour la vérité. Les souffrances me vaudront la couronne des élus."

Comme prélude de son supplice, Vincent est étendu sur un chevalet, et, sous l'action des cordes et des roues, ses nerfs se rompent et ses membres se brisent: "Eh bien! Dis-moi maintenant quelle est ta foi? Reprend le féroce Dacien. -- Tu combles aujourd'hui mes voeux, dit le martyr, laisse libre cours à ta rage, tes fureurs me conduisent à la gloire."

Le tyran s'irrite contre les bourreaux, trop timides dans leur besogne, et le supplice recommence plus horrible encore, à coups d'ongles de fer. Vincent sourit dans les tortures: "Vos idoles, dit-il, sont de bois et de pierre; servez, si vous voulez, ces vains fantômes; pour moi, je ne sacrifie qu'au Dieu vivant qui est béni dans tous les siècles." Dacien lui-même est touché de l'affreux état où il a mis sa victime: "Aie pitié de toi, Vincent, ne méprise pas ainsi la jeunesse dans sa fleur, épargne-toi de plus terribles châtiments."

Mais le saint diacre ne cède pas plus aux flatteries qu'aux menaces: "Langue de vipère, dit-il, je crains plus ton poison que tes tourments. J'ai pour me soutenir la parole de mon Sauveur, qui m'a dit: "Ne craignez point ceux qui tuent le corps, mais ne peuvent rien sur l'âme." Alors on prépare un vaste gril de fer dont les barres sont autant de scies aux pointes aiguës; on le place sur un brasier ardent et on y jette le martyr, qui bénit Dieu dans son affreux supplice.

Vainqueur du tyran, Vincent est retourné dans son cachot et soumis à de nouvelles tortures. Au milieu de la nuit, les anges viennent le consoler. Vincent rendit peu après le dernier soupir; il avait vingt-deux ans. Saint Augustin a dit de lui: "Enivré du vin qui rend fort et chaste, Vincent triompha des tyrans qui voulaient ruiner le règne de Jésus-Christ."

Abbé L. Jaud, Vie des Saints pour tous les jours de l'année, Tours, Mame, 1950


Saint Vincent

diacre et martyr

Saint Vincent naquit à Huesca et fut instruit des sciences sacrées et profanes à Sarragosse, sous la direction de l'évêque Valère1 qui, vieux et inaudible, l'ordonna diacre pour qu'il prêchât à sa place.

Au début de la persécution de Dioclétien et de Maximien, le cruel et sanguinaire préfet Dacien reçut le gouvernement de la province de Valence et n'eut rien de plus pressé que de faire emprisonner l'évêque Valère et son diacre Vincent qui, chargés de chaînes, furent conduits à Valence. Valère ne pouvant plus parler, Vincent lui dit : « Père, si vous le permettez, je prendrai la parole ; Valère répondit : Mon fils, comme je vous ai confié la charge de prêcher l'Evangile, je vous confie celle d'affirmer la foi pour laquelle nous combattons ; alors Vincent s'adressa au Préfet : Nous sommes prêts à endurer toutes sortes de tourments pour la cause du vrai Dieu ; en pareil cas, nous ne céderons ni aux promesses, ni aux menaces. »

Sous les yeux de Valère, le Préfet fit étendre Vincent sur un chevalet où ses membres furent disloqués et sa chair mise en lambeaux, puis il fut longuement torturé par le feu et le fer avant d'être jeté dans un cul de basse-fosse dont on avait recouvert le sol de poteries cassées. Tout à coup, sa prison s'illumine, des anges viennent le réconforter et Vincent chante des hymnes et des cantiques. Informé, Dacien le fait étendre sur des coussins moelleux pour que « le fait de mourir dans les douleurs n'augmente point sa gloire » ; à peine étendu, Vincent meurt. Dacien ordonne que l’on couse le corps de Vincent et qu’on le jette dans la mer, lesté d’une grosse pierre. Les bourreaux chargent le corps sur une barque et vont le jeter en haute mer ; mais, lorsqu’ils regagnent le rivage, ils y trouvent le corps de saint Vincent. Effrayés, les bourreaux laissent là le corps du saint diacre qui est défendu par les corbeaux, jusqu’à ce que les vagues l’aient enfouie dans le sable. Quelques temps plus tard, saint Vincent apparaît à la veuve Ionique pour lui demander la sépulture chrétienne qu’elle lui donne hors des murs de Valence.

Le culte de saint Vincent s’est très vite répandu en Occident, au point que saint Augustin qui prononça plusieurs sermons en son honneur, écrivit qu’il n’y avait point de province de l’Empire où l’on ne célèbrât la fête du martyr.

En 542, Childebert, roi de Paris, et Clotaire, roi de Soissons, qui assiègent Saragosse, touchés par la piété des habitants entrés en pénitence et processionnant derrière le corps de saint Vincent, levèrent le siège pourvu qu'on leur remît le bras droit et l'étole du martyr pour qui, sur le conseil de saint Germain d'Auxerre, ils construisirent l'abbaye Sainte-Croix-Saint-Vincent, devenue depuis Saint-Germain-des-Près, où Childebert fut inhumé. L’avant-bras droit fut plus tard donné à l’église de Vitry-le-François. On dit aussi que Childebert donna le chef à saint Domnole, évêque du Mans, qui les déposa dans le monastère qu’il avait fait construire en l’honneur du martyr de Sarragosse ; cette relique fut perdue pendant la Révolution, comme celles que conservaient les religieuses de Fontevrault, à Charmes (diocèse de Soissons). Le cœur de saint Vincent, conservé à l’église de Dun-le-Roi, en Berry, fut détruit par les Calvinistes (1562). En 876, Charles le Chauve passant à Besançon fit don à l’évêque Thierry de deux vertèbres de saint Vincent.

Saint Vincent est souvent honoré comme le patron des vignerons ; comme aucun épisode de sa vie ni aucun de ses miracles n’a trait au vin ou à la vigne, on pense que ce patronnage repose sur un jeu de mots fait à partir de la première syllabe de son nom : vin.

1 L’évêque Valère de Saragosse figure au nombre des pères du concile d’Elvire (début du IV° siècle) qui est le plus ancien concile disciplinaire d’Occident dont l’œuvre nous soit parvenue en entier. On croit qu’il fut condamné à être exilé à Anet, en Aragon, où il mourut en 315.


Saint Vincent

Diacre de Saragosse, martyr à Valence (+ 304)

(avec son frère saint Oronce et saint Victor)

La vie du patron des vignerons s'est tellement améliorée au cours des temps qu'il est difficile de démêler l'histoire de la légende. Trois faits sont historiques: il était diacre; il sut dominer les plus cruels supplices et, malgré ses souffrances, il chantait, riait et répondait avec humour aux humeurs de son tortionnaire, au point que saint Augustin dira de lui: "A travers cette ténacité, on discerne la puissance de Dieu."

"Vincent, diacre de Saragosse, fut mis à mort à Valence (Espagne) avec son évêque Valère en 304 ou 305, après avoir subi la torture. Comme Laurent de Rome, Vincent offre le modèle accompli du service dans l'Église: ministre de l’évêque pour l’offrande du sacrifice et le gouvernement de la communauté, le diacre doit l’accompagner aussi à l’heure suprême du témoignage. Son culte, très répandu dans les pays de vignobles, le fut également à Viviers, où la Cathédrale lui fut dédiée dès le VIe siècle. Vincent signifie 'vainqueur', et la liturgie joue volontiers sur le sens de son nom." (Saint Vincent, diacre et martyr - Titulaire de la cathédrale et patron du diocèse - Église catholique en Ardèche)

"Au cours des années 304 et 305, plus d'un millier de chrétiens périront en Espagne sous la torture. Le martyre de Vincent a été rapporté très tôt par le poète Prudence (348-v.415) dans son ouvrage 'La couronne des martyrs'. Son culte s'étendait à la totalité de l'empire romain dès l'époque de saint Augustin (354-430). L'iconographie le représente, en habit de diacre portant l'évangéliaire (proclamé par lui au cours de la messe) et la palme du martyre. Il est encadré de deux ceps de vigne portant des grappes de raisins." (paroisse Saint-Vincent en Narbonnais - Prières à Saint Vincent - Chanson des vignerons pour la fête - site des catholiques de l'Aude)

Quant à l'origine de son patronage des vignerons, plusieurs hypothèses sont envisagées sur le site de l'académie de Reims.

Mémoire de saint Vincent, diacre de Sarragosse et martyr. Dans la persécution de Dioclétien, en 304, avec son évêque saint Valère, il fut conduit à Valence, et là, après avoir subi la prison, la faim, le chevalet, des plaques brûlantes, il s’envola au ciel, vainqueur, pour recevoir la couronne du martyre.

Martyrologe romain

Saint Vincent, patron des vignerons, obtiens-nous l’abondance des récoltes, la qualité du vin, une clientèle nombreuse et fidèle ainsi que la prospérité dans nos entreprises !

Saint Vincent, patron des vignerons, si tout ceci nous est donné, que nous sachions en faire un usage désintéressé avec un cœur reconnaissant !

Saint Vincent, patron des vignerons, si l’un ou l’autre vient à manquer, prie Dieu pour que nous ayons confiance, patience, et que nos cœurs s’ouvrent à la souffrance des autres !

Saint Vincent, patron des vignerons, que le bon soleil se lève sur tout ceux que nous aimons, comme sur nos vignes ! Que la joie inonde notre monde comme la douce pluie irrigue nos ceps ! Et si quelqu’orage gronde, obtiens-nous humour et pardon !

Saint Vincent, toi qui étais diacre, c’est-à- dire serviteur, tourne nos regards vers les plus pauvres, permets que d’autres hommes se mettent à leur tour au service des hommes pour leur plus grand bien matériel et spirituel !

Saint Vincent, toi qui as refusé de trahir ta foi, prie pour que nos incertitudes deviennent convictions et que nos convictions nous rapprochent de la foi !

Saint Vincent, toi qui as tant souffert, permets que le tyran se transforme en apôtre, que le violent s’attendrisse, qu’aucune souffrance ne soit inutile. Obtiens que jamais nous ne blessions ni nos amis, ni nos ennemis !

Avec l’aide de Saint Vincent qui a supporté de souffrir pour sa foi, Seigneur, fortifie-nous dans les épreuves !

Avec l’aide de Saint Vincent qui a accepté de mourir pour sa foi, Seigneur, donne-nous le sens de la vraie liberté !

Prière à St Vincent prononcée par Mgr Turini à l’occasion de la St Vincent, patron des vignerons, à Castelnau-Montratier en présence de la confrérie des vins des Côteaux du Quercy. (diocèse de Cahors)



SAINT VINCENT

Vincent voudrait dire incendiant le vice, ou qui vainc les incendies, ou qui tient la victoire. En effet il incendia, c'est-à-dire il consuma les vices parla mortification de la chair; il vainquit l’incendie allumé pour son supplice en endurant lés tortures avec constance; il se tint victorieux du monde en le méprisant. Il vainquit trois fléaux qui étaient dans le monde : les fausses erreurs, les amours immondes, les craintes mondaines; par sa sagesse, sa pureté et sa constance. Saint Augustin dit que, pour vaincre le monde avec toutes ses erreurs, ses amours et ses craintes, on a et toujours on a eu pour exemples les martyres des saints.

Quelques-uns avancent que saint Augustin a recueilli les actes de son martyre mis en fort beaux verts par Prudence.

Vincent, noble par sa naissance, fut plus noble encore par sa foi et sa religion. Il fut diacre de l’évêque Valère, et comme il s'exprimait avec plus de facilité que l’évêque, celui-ci lui confia le soin de la prédication, tandis qu'il vaquerait lui-même à la prière et à la contemplation. Le président Dacien ordonna de les traîner à Valence, et de les enfermer dans une affreuse« prison. Quand' il les crut presque morts de faim, il les fit comparaître en sa présence; mais les voyant sains et joyeux, il fut transporté de colère et parla ainsi : « Que dis-tu, Valère, toi qui, sous prétexte de religion, agis contre les décrets dès princes? » Or, comme Valère lui répondait avec trop de douceur, Vincent se mit à lui dire : « Père vénérable, veuillez ne pas parler avec tant de timidité et de retenue ; expliquez-vous avec une entière liberté : si vous le permettez, père saint, j'essaierai de répondre au juge. » Valère reprit: « Depuis longtemps déjà, fils très chéri, je t'avais confié le soin de parler, maintenant encore, je te commets pour répondre de la foi, qui nous amène ici.» Alors Vincent se tourna vers Dacien : « Jusqu'alors, lui dit-il, tu n'as péroré dans tes discours que pour nier la foi, mais sache-le bien, que chez des chrétiens, c'est blasphémer et commettre une faute indigne que de refuser de rendre à la divinité l’honneur qui lui est dû. » A l’instant Dacien irrité ordonna de mener l’évêque en exil : pour Vincent, qu'il regardait comme un arrogant et présomptueux jeune homme, afin d'effrayer les autres par., son exemple, il le condamna à être étendu sur un chevalet et à avoir tous ses membres disloqués : Quand tout son corps fut brisé; Dacien lui dit : « Réponds-moi, Vincent, de quel oeil regardes-tu ton misérable corps ? » Et Vincent reprit en souriant : « C'est ce que j'ai toujours désire: » Alors le président irrité le menaça de toutes sortes de tourments, s'il n'obtempérait pas à ses demandes. Vincent lui dit : « Oh! Suis-je heureux ! Par cela même que tu penses m’offenser davantage, c'est par là que tu commences à me faire le plus de bien. Allons donc, misérable, déploie toutes les ressources de la méchanceté ; tu verras, que, quand je suis torturé, je puis, avec la force de Dieu, plus que tu ne peux toi-même qui me tortures. » A ces mots le président se mit à crier et à frapper les bourreaux à coups de verges et de bâton; et Vincent lui dit : « Qu'en, dis-tu? Dacien, voici que tu me vengés de ceux qui me torturent. » Alors le président hors de lui dit aux bourreaux : « Grands misérables, vous ne faites rien; pourquoi vos mains se lassent-elles ? Vous avez pu vaincre des adultérés et es parricides de manière à ce qu'ils ne pussent rien cacher au milieu des supplices que vous leur infligiez, et aujourd'hui Vincent seul a pu triompher de vos tourments ! » Les bourreaux lui enfoncèrent alors des peignes de fer jusqu'au fond des côtes, de sorte que le sang ruisselait de tout son corps et, que l’on voyait ses entrailles entre les jointures de ses os. Et Dacien dit : «Aie donc pitié de toi, tu pourras alors recouvrer ta brillante jeunesse, et échapper aux tourments qui t'attendent. » Et Vincent dit : « O venimeuse langue de diable ! Je ne les crains pas tes tourments; il n'est qu'une chose que je redoute, c'est que tu paraisses vouloir t'apitoyer sur moi, car plus je te vois irrité, plus, oui, plus je tressaille de joie. Je ne veux pas que tu diminues en rien ces supplices afin de te forcer à t'avouer vaincu. » Alors on l’ôta du chevalet, pour le traîner vers un brasier ardent, et il stimulait gaîment la lenteur dès bourreaux et la leur reprochait. Il monte donc lui-même sur le gril, où il est rôti, brûlé et consumé; on enfonce des ongles de fer et des lames ardentes par tous ses membres ; la flamme était couverte de sang : c'étaient plaies sur plaies; en outre on sème du sel sur le feu, afin qu'il saute sur chacune de ses plaies et que la flamme pétillante le brûle plus cruellement encore. Déjà ce n'est plus dans ses membres, mais dans ses entrailles que l’on enfonce des dards; déjà ses intestins s'épanchent hors du corps. Cependant il reste immobile, les yeux tournés vers le ciel et priant le Seigneur. Les bourreaux ayant rapporté cela à Dacien : « Ah ! s'écria-t-il, vous êtes vaincus; mais à présent pour qu'il vice plus longtemps dans sa torture, enfermez-le dans le plus affreux cachot; amassez-y des tessons très aigus; clouez ses pieds à un poteau; laissez-le couché sur ces tessons, sans personne pour le consoler; et quand il défaillira, mandez-le-moi. » Tout aussitôt ces ministres cruels secondent un maître plus cruel encore; mais voici que le roi pour lequel ce soldat souffre change ses peines en gloire, car les ténèbres du cachot sont dissipées par une immense lumière les pointes des tessons sont changées en fleurs d'un parfum suave ; ses entraves sont déliées, et il a le bonheur d'être consolé par des anges: Comme il se promenait sur ces fleurs en chantant avec ces anges, ces modulations délicieuses, et la merveilleuse odeur des fleurs se répandent au loin. Les gardes effrayés regardent à travers les crevasses du cachot; ils n'eurent pas plutôt vu ce qui se passait dans l’intérieur qu'ils se convertirent à la foi. A cette nouvelle, Dacien devenu furieux dit : « Et que lui ferons-nous encore ? Car nous voilà vaincus. Qu'on le porte sur un lit, qu'on le mette sur des coussins moelleux; ne le rendons pas plus glorieux, s'il arrivait qu'il mourût dans les tourments; mais lorsque ses forces seront revenues, qu'on lui inflige encore de nouveaux supplices. » Or, lorsqu'il eut été porté sur le lit moelleux, et qu'il y eût pris un peu de repos, il rendit aussitôt l’esprit, vers l’an du Seigneur 287, sous Dioclétien et Maximien. A cette nouvelle, Dacien fut grandement épouvanté, et se reconnaissant battu il dit: « Puisque je n'ai pu le vaincre vivant, je me vengerai de lui après sa mort; je me rassasierai de ce tourment, et ainsi la victoire pourra me rester. » Par les ordres donc de Dacien, son corps est exposé dans un champ pour être la pâture des oiseaux et des bêtes : mais aussitôt il est gardé par les anges et préservé des bêtes qui ne le touchèrent point. Enfin, un corbeau, naturellement vorace, chassa à coups d'ailes d'autres oiseaux plus forts que lui, et par ses morsures et ses cris, il mit en fuite un loup qui accourait; puis il tourna la tête pour regarder fixement le saint corps, comme s'il eût été en admiration devant ses anges gardiens. Quand Dacien le sut il dit : « Je pense que je n'aurai pas le dessus sur lui, même après sa mort. » Il fait alors attacher au saint corps une meule énorme et la jeter dans la mer, afin que n'ayant pu être dévoré sur la terre par les bêtes, il fût au moins la proie des monstres marins. Des matelots portent donc le corps du martyr à la mer et l’y jettent ; mais il revint plus vite qu'eux au rivage; où il fut trouvé par une dame et par quelques autres qui en avaient reçu de lui révélation et qui l’ensevelirent honorablement.

Voici sur ce martyr les paroles de saint Augustin Saint Vincent a vaincu en paroles, a vaincu en souffrances, a vaincu dans sa confession, a vaincu dans sa tribulation. Il a vaincu brûlé, il a vaincu noyé, il a vaincu vivant, il a vaincu mort.» Il ajoute: « Vincent est torturé pour être exercé; il est flagellé pour être instruit; il est battu pour être fortifié ; il est brûlé pour être purifié. » Saint Ambroise s'exprime en ces termes dans sa préface: « Vincent est torturé, battu, flagellé, brûlé, mais il n'est pas vaincu et son courage à confesser le nom de Dieu n'est pas ébranlé: Le feu de son zèle est plus, ardent qu'un fer brûlant; il est plus lié par la crainte de Dieu que par la crainte du monde; il voulut plutôt plaire à Dieu qu'au public; il aima mieux mourir au monde qu'au Seigneur. » Saint Augustin dit encore : « Un merveilleux spectacle est sous nos yeux; c'est un juge inique, un bourreau sanguinaire ; c'est un martyr qui n'a pas été vaincu, c'est le combat de la cruauté et de la piété. »

Prudence, qui brilla sous le règne de Théodore l’Ancien, en 387, dit que Vincent répondit ainsi à Dacien: « Tourments, prisons; ongles, lames pétillantes de feu, et enfin la mort qui est la dernière des peines; tout cela est jeu pour les chrétiens. » Alors Dacien dit : « Liez-le, tordez-lui les bras sens dessus dessous, jusqu'à ce que les jointures de ses os soient disloquées pièce par pièce, afin que, par les ouvertures des plaies, on voie palpiter son foie. » Et ce soldat de Dieu riait en gourmandant les mains ensanglantées qui n'enfonçaient pas plus avant dans ses articulations les ongles de fer. Dans sa prison, un ange lui dit « Courage, illustre martyr; viens sans crainte; viens être notre compagnon dans l’assemblée céleste : ô soldat invincible, plus fort que les plus forts ; déjà ces tourments cruels et affreux te craignent et te proclament vainqueur ! » Prudence s'écrie: « Tu es l’illustre par excellence ; seul tu as remporté la palme d'une double victoire, tu t'es préparé deux triomphes à la fois. »

La Légende dorée de Jacques de Voragine nouvellement traduite en français avec introduction, notices, notes et recherches sur les sources par l'abbé J.-B. M. Roze, chanoine honoraire de la Cathédrale d'Amiens, Édouard Rouveyre, éditeur, 76, rue de Seine, 76, Paris mdccccii

SOURCE : http://www.abbaye-saint-benoit.ch/voragine/tome01/028.htm


Saint Vincent, diacre et martyr
Vincent était diacre de la villede Saragosse; il sut dominer les plus cruels supplices avec la sérénité que lui donnait sa foi, au point que saint Augustin dira de lui :"A travers cette ténacité, on discerne la puissance de Dieu." Il mourut, probablement victime de la persécution de Dioclétien (284-305). La tradition qui s’est emparée de lui le fait mourir sur un gril. Les chrétiens emportèrent son corps et l'ensevelirent avec vénération. Ceci eut lieu en 304 à Valence.

SOURCE : http://www.paroisse-saint-aygulf.fr/index.php/prieres-et-liturgie/saints-par-mois/icalrepeat.detail/2015/01/22/1645/-/saint-vincent-diacre-et-martyr



SaintVincent de Saragosse, Menologion of Basil II, 985, 
Викентий Августопольский (Сарагосский), Валенсийский, диакон, сщмч.
Константинополь. 985 г. Миниатюра Минология Василия II. Ватиканская библиотека. Рим.


St. Vincent of Saragossa

Legend has it that St. Vincent once stopped by the edge of a vineyard to talk with the men working there and while he was at it, his donkey nibbled at the young vine shoots. Come the next harvest, it was discovered that the vine stock that had been browsed had produced more fruit than all the others. St Vincent’s donkey had invented the art of vine pruning. This is one of the reasons that he is the patron saint of vine dressers; vinegar makers; vintners; wine growers; wine makers.

Vincent was ordained deacon by his friend St. Valerius of Zaragossa in Spain. The Roman emperors had published their edicts against the clergy in 303, and the following year against the laity. Vincent and his bishop were imprisoned in Valencia. Hunger and torture failed to break them. Like the youths in the fiery furnace (Book of Daniel, chapter three), they seemed to thrive on suffering.

Valerius was sent into exile, and Dacian, the Roman governor, now turned the full force of his fury on Vincent. Tortures that sound like those of World War II were tried. But their main effect was the progressive disintegration of Dacian himself. He had the torturers beaten because they failed.

Finally he suggested a compromise: Would Vincent at least give up the sacred books to be burned according to the emperor’s edict? He would not. Torture on the gridiron continued, the prisoner remaining courageous, the torturer losing control of himself. Vincent was thrown into a filthy prison cell—and converted the jailer. Dacian wept with rage, but strangely enough, ordered the prisoner to be given some rest.

Friends among the faithful came to visit him, but he was to have no earthly rest. When they finally settled him on a comfortable bed, he went to his eternal rest.

According to legend, after being martyted, ravens protected St. Vincent’s body from being devoured by wild animals, until his followers could recover the body. His body was taken to what is now known as Cape St. Vincent; a shrine was erected over his grave, which continued to be guarded by flocks of ravens. King Afonso Henriques (1139-1185) had the body of the saint exhumed in 1173 and brought it by ship to the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora in Lisbon and now St. Vincent is the patron of Lisbon, Portugal. This transfer of the relics is depicted on the coat of arms of Lisbon.

SOURCE : http://www.ucatholic.com/saints/saint-vincent-of-saragossa/

St. Vincent

Deacon of Saragossa, and martyr under Diocletian, 304; mentioned in the Roman Martyrology, 22 Jan., with St. Anastasius the Persian, honoured by the Greeks, 11 Nov. This most renowned martyr of Spain is represented in the dalmatic of a deacon, and has as emblems a cross, a raven, a grate, or a fire-pile. He is honoured as patron in Valencia, Saragossa, Portugal etc., is invoked by vintners, brickmakers, and sailors, and is in the Litany of the Saints. His Acts were read in the churches of Africa at the end of the fourth century, as St. Augustine testifies in Sermon 275. The present Acts (Acta SS., III Jan., 6) date from the eighth or ninth century, and were compiled from tradition. Anal. Boll., I, 259, gives another life. All agree in substance with the metric life by Prudentius (P.L., LX, 378). He was born at Saragossa; his father was Eutricius (Euthicius), and his mother, Enola, a native of Osca. Under the direction of Valerius, Bishop of Sargossa, Vincent made great progress in his studies. He was ordained deacon and commissioned to do the preaching in the diocese, the bishop having an impediment of speech. By order of the Governor Dacian he and his bishop were dragged in chains to Valencia and kept in prison for a long time. Then Valerius was banished, but Vincent was subjected to many cruel torments, the rack, the gridiron, and scourgings. He was again imprisoned, in a cell strewn with potsherds. He was next placed in a soft and luxurious bed, to shake his constancy, but here he expired.


His body was thrown to be devoured by vultures, but it was defended by a raven. Dacian had the body cast into the sea, but it came to shore and was buried by a pious widow. After peace was restored to the Church, a chapel was built over the remains outside the walls of Valencia. In 1175 the relics were brought to Lisbon; others claim that they came to Castres in 864. Cremona, Bari, and other cities claim to have relics. Childeric I brought the sole and dalmatic to Paris in 542, and built a church in honour of St. Vincent, later called St-Germain-des-Prés. Regimont, near Bezières, had a church of the saint as early as 455. Rome had three churches dedicated to St. Vincent; one near St. Peter's, another in Trastevere, and the one built by Honorius I (625-38) and renewed by Leo III in 796. A pilaster found in the basilica of Salona in Dalmatia shows an inscription of the fifth or sixth century in honour of the saint (Rom. Quartalschrift, 1907, Arch. 135).

Sources

BUTLER, Lives of the Saints; STADLER, Heiligenlexicon; ALLARD, Hist. des persécut., IV, 237; LECLERCQ, Les Martyrs, II (Paris, 1903), 437.

Mershman, Francis. "St. Vincent." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 22 Jan. 2016 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15434b.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Thomas M. Barrett. Dedicated to St. Vincent.


Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.



ST. VINCENT, Martyr.

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. He died in the year 304.

Reflection.---Do you wish to be at peace amidst suffering and temptation? Then make it your principal endeavor to grow in habits of prayer and in union with Christ. Have confidence in Him. He will make you victorious over your spiritual enemies and over yourself. He will enlighten your darkness and sweeten your sufferings, and in your solitude and desolation He will draw nigh to you with His holy angels.

SOURCE : http://jesus-passion.com/saint_vincent_the_deacon.htm



Vincent of Saragossa, Deacon M (RM)
(also known as Vincent of Aragon)


Born in Huesca, Spain; died January 22, 304.


Vincent was educated and ordained a deacon by Bishop Saint Valerius of Saragossa with the commission to preach (White). (Gill confusingly says: "As a young priest he served Valerius, Bishop of Saragossa, and after a time became his archdeacon." Is it possible that at the time a presbyter could become a deacon? Deacons did have more power at the time because the faculties necessary for most sacraments had not yet been delegated to the presbyters; deacons held the purse- strings.)

The ancient legend, but not an eyewitness account, relates that the governor Dacian was doing his utmost to stamp out Christianity in his domain. He killed 18 believers in Saragossa in 303. It was during these persecutions under Emperor Diocletian, that Vincent, the bishop, and the priests were arrested, led away in chains, and imprisoned in Valencia. Because Valerius suffered from a speech impediment, Vincent acted as his spokesman and, on behalf of them all, boldly declared their allegiance to Christ. Saint Valerius was exiled and later may have died as a martyr.

Vincent underwent terrible tortures; he had resisted turning over his church's sacred books, and sacrificing to false gods. He was stretched upon a rack, torn with metal hooks, and laid upon a frame of sharp iron bars heated from beneath by fire. When even this diabolic cruelty failed to break his will, he was thrown into a dungeon the floor of which was strewn with broken crockery that added to the agony of his already lacerated body.

Vincent declared that God sent the angels of heaven to comfort him. His cell, he said, was illuminated with a heavenly light, and might have been filled with roses (the gift of scent), so sweet was its fragrance. He sang hymns as he suffered, so that even the jailer was astounded. As he looked into the cell of the tormented saint and saw him upon his broken knees, suffering agony yet singing praises to God, he was overcome by wonder, and confessed in that hour his conversion.

On hearing this, the Roman governor was infuriated, but finding all his efforts to unnerve his victim were useless, gave orders for the torture to stop--perhaps to win Vincent by clemency or to prevent him from becoming a martyr.

For a time Vincent had some relief. The faithful were permitted to gaze upon his broken body, probably in the hope that they would abandon their faith. Instead, they came in troops, kissed the open sores, and carried away as relics cloths dipped in his blood. The gentle hands of Christian women tended his wounds. But he did not survive long and died of his injuries in prison in 304 or 305.

When he died, the anger of the authorities was renewed and followed him to his grave. His body was thrown into a bog as prey to the wild birds and beasts, but it was strangely preserved it is said by the protection of a raven. When any wild beast or bird tried to attack the mortal remains of the saint, the raven drove them away. Thwarted, Dacian had Vincent's body tied to a stone and cast into the sea. But in the night it was washed ashore, and again loving hands gave it reverent care and secret burial. Relics were claimed by Valencia, Saragossa, Lisbon (the Augustinian monastery), Paris, and Le Mans.

He was the protomartyr of Spain. There can be no doubt of Vincent martyrdom; however, there is plenty of room for speculation on the manner of his death. Prudentius devoted a poem to his praise and embroidered acts of his martyrdom have been preserved. The fame of Saint Vincent spread very rapidly and far, as Saint Augustine testifies, in a sermon, that his cultus extended to every part of the Roman Empire and everywhere the name of Jesus was known.

Several churches in England were dedicated to his honor in the Middle Ages. Vincent is listed in the Old English Martyrology and many pre-Conquest calendars. Abingdon, which acquired many of his relics in the 12th century, graded his feast at the highest level to include an octave (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Butler, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Gill, White).

Pictured as a deacon with a raven, sometimes on a millstone. On occasion he is shown (1) holding iron hook; (2) with a gridiron with spikes (not to be confused with Saint Lawrence); (3) torn with hooks, burned with torches; or (4) his corpse protected by eagles or ravens (Roeder). Click here to see a 14th- century French illumination.


He is the patron of bakers, roof-makers, sailors, schoolgirls, vine-dressers, vintners (Roeder), tile-makers, and roofers (Encyclopedia). The patron of vine-dressers and vintners may be due to the belief that he protects the fields against the frost that often occurs on or near his feast-day in Burgundy (Farmer). 
SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0122.shtml


Guillaume Perrier, Saint-Vincent meurt de ses blessures. Huile sur toile, cathédrale Saint-Vincent à Mâcon. 
Déposé au musée des Ursulines de Mâcon en 1886. Inv A.126. 
Restauré par Aldo Paucelle en 2014 avec l'aide financière des amis du musée de Mâcon



St. Vincent, Martyr

From Prudentius, hymn. 5. and St. Austin, serm. 274, 275, 276, 277, all four preached on his festivals. His ancient acts in Bollandus are also authentic, but not those in Metaphrastes and Surius. See Tillemont, T. 5. p. 217.

A.D. 304

THE MOST glorious martyr, St. Vincent, was born, some say at Saragossa, others at Valentia, but most authors say, and more probable, at Osca, now Huesca, in Granada. He was instructed in the sacred sciences and in Christian piety by Valerius, the bishop of that city, who ordained him his deacon, and appointed him, though very young, to preach and instruct the people. Dacian, a most bloody persecutor, was then governor of spain. The Emperors Dioclesian and Maximian published their second and third bloody edicts against the Christian clergy in the year 303, which in the following year were put in force against the laity. It seems to have been before this last that Dacian put to death eighteen martyrs at Saragossa, who are mentioned by Prudentius, and in the Roman Martyrology, January the 16th, and that he apprehended Valerius and Vincent. They spilt some of their blood at Saragossa, but were thence conducted to Valentia, where the governor let them lie long in prison, suffering extreme famine and other miseries. The proconsul hoped that this lingering torture would shake their constancy; but when they were brought out before him, he was surprised to see them still intrepid in mind, and vigorous in body, and he reprimanded his officers as if they had not treated the prisoners according to his orders. Then, turning to the champions of Christ, he employed alternately threats and promises to induce them to sacrifice. Valerius, who had an impediment in his speech, making no answer, Vincent said to him: “Father, if you order me, I will speak.” “Son,” said Valerius, “as I committed to you the dispensation of the word of God, so I now charge you to answer in vindication of the faith which we defend.” The holy deacon then acquainted the judge that they were ready to suffer every thing for the true God, and little regarded either his threats or promises in such a cause, Dacian contented himself with banishing Valerius. 1 As for St. Vincent, he was determined to assail his resolution by every torture his cruel temper could suggest. St. Austin assures us, that he suffered torments far beyond what any man could possibly have endured, unless supported by a supernatural strength; and that he preserved such a peace and tranquillity in his words, countenance, and gestures, in the midst of them, as astonished his very persecutors, and visibly appeared as something divine; whilst the rage and distraction of Dacian’s soul was as visible in the violent agitations of his body, by his eyes sparkling with fury, and his faltering voice.

The martyr was first stretched on the rack by his hands and feet, drawn by cords and pullies, till his joints were almost torn asunder: whilst he hung in this posture, his flesh was unmercifully torn off with iron hooks. Vincent, smiling, called the executioners weak and faint-hearted. Dacian thought they spared him, and caused them to be beaten, which afforded the champion an interval of rest: but they soon returned to him, resolved fully to satisfy the cruelty of their master, who excited them all the while to exert their utmost strength. They twice stayed their hands to take breath, and let his wounds grow cold; then began with fresh vigour to rend and tear his body, which they did in all its limbs and parts with such cruelty, that his bones and bowels were in most places exposed bare to sight. The more his body was mangled, the more did the divine presence cherish and comfort his soul, and spread a greater joy on his countenance. The judge seeing the streams of blood which flowed from all the parts of his body, and the frightful condition to which it was reduced, was obliged to confess with astonishment, that the courage of the young nobleman had vanquished him, and his rage seemed somewhat abated. Hereupon he ordered a cessation of his torments, begging of the saint for his own sake, that if he could not be prevailed upon to offer sacrifice to the gods, he would at least give up the sacred books to be burnt, according to the order of the late edicts. The martyr answered, that he feared his torments less than that false compassion which he testified. Dacian. more incensed than ever, condemned him to the most cruel of tortures, that of fire upon a kind of gridiron, called by the acts the legal torture. 2 The saint walked with joy to the frightful engine, so as almost to get the start of his executioners, such was his desire to suffer. He mounted cheerfully the iron bed, in which the bars were framed like scythes, full of sharp spikes made red-hot by the fire underneath. On this dreadful gridiron the martyr was stretched out at length, and bound fast down. He was not only scourged thereon; but, while one part of his body was broiling next the fire, the other was tortured by the application of red-hot plates of iron. His wounds were rubbed with salt, which the activity of the fire forced the deeper into his flesh and bowels. All the parts of his body were tormented in this manner, one after the other, and each several times over. The melted fat dropping from the flesh nourished and increased the flames; which, instead of tormenting, seemed, as St. Austin says, to give the martyr new vigour and courage; for the more he suffered, the greater seemed to be the inward joy and consolation of his soul. The rage and confusion of the tyrant exceeded all bounds: he appeared not able to contain himself, and was continually inquiring what Vincent did and what he said; but was always answered, that he suffered with joy in his countenance, and seemed every moment to acquire new strength and resolution. He lay unmoved, his eyes turned towards heaven, his mind calm, and his heart fixed on God in continual prayer.

At last, by the command of the proconsul, he was thrown into a dungeon, and his wounded body laid on the floor strewed with broken potsherds, which opened afresh his ghastly wounds, and cut his bare flesh. His legs were set in wooden stocks, stretched very wide, and strict orders were given that he should be left without provisions, and that no one should be admitted to see or speak to him. But God sent his angels to comfort him, with whom he sung the praises of his protector. The gaoler observing through the chinks the prison filled with light, and the saint walking and praising God, was converted upon the spot to the Christian faith, and afterwards baptised. At this news Dacian chafed, and even wept through rage, but ordered that some repose should be allowed the prisoner. The faithful were then permitted to see him, and coming in troops wiped and kissed his wounds, and dipped cloths in his blood, which they kept as an assured protection for themselves and their posterity. After this a soft bed was prepared for him, on which he was no sooner laid but he expired, the happy moment he had not ceased to pray for, ever since his torments, and his first call to martyrdom. Dacian commanded his body to be thrown on a marshy field among rushes; but a crow defended it from wild beasts and birds of prey. The acts in Ruinart and Bollandus, and the sermon attributed to St. Leo, add, that it was then tied to a great stone and cast into the sea, in a sack, but miraculously carried to shore, and revealed to two Christians. They laid it in a little chapel out of the walls of Valentia, where God honoured these relics with many miracles, as the acts and St. Austin witness. Prudentius informs us, that the iron on which he lay, and other instruments of his passion, were likewise preserved with veneration. Childebert, king of France, or rather of Paris, besieging Saragossa, wondered to see the inhabitants busied continually in making processions. Being informed they carried the stole of St. Vincent about the walls in devout prayer, and had been miraculously protected by that martyr’s intercession, he raised the siege upon condition that the relic should be given him. This he with great solemnity brought to Paris, and enriched with it the magnificent church and abbey of St. Vincent, now called St. Germain-des-Prez, which he built in 559, and which his successor Clotaire caused to be dedicated. 3 In the year 855, his sacred bones were discovered at Valentia, and conveyed into France, and deposited in the abbey of Castres, now an episcopal see in Languedoc, where they remain; but several portions have been given to the abbey of St. Germain-des-Pres at Paris, and other churches; and part was burnt at Castres by the Hugenots about the end of the sixteenth century. 4 Aimoinus, a contemporary monk, wrote the history of this translation, with an account of many miracles which attended it. 5 St. Gregory of Tours, mentions a portion of his relics to have been famous for miracles in a village church near Poictiers. 6 In the life of St. Domnolus mention is made of a portion placed by him in a great monastery in the suburbs of the city of Mans. But it is certain that the chief part of this martyr’s body was conveyed to Lisbon. To escape the cruel persecution of the Saracen King Abderamene, at Valentia, many Christians privately withdrew themselves, and carrying with them the body of St. Vincent, took shelter on the south-west cape, called the Sacred Promontory, and from these relics St. Vincent’s in the kingdom of Algarb then under the Saracens. Alphonsus Henry, the most pious first king of Portugal, son of count Henry, having defeated five Moorish kings, at Ourique, in the year 1139, received from those faithful keepers the body of St. Vincent, sent it by sea to Lisbon, and built the royal monastery of the Cross of regular canons of St. Austin, in which he most religiously deposited this treasure, rendered more famous by miracles, in the year 1148. This account is recorded by contemporary unexceptionable vouchers in Bollandus, p. 406. Mariana, and especially Thomas ab Incarnatione, a regular canon, in his Historiâ Ecclesiæ Lusitanæ, printed at Lisbon, A. D. 1759, Sæc. 4. c. 6. t. 1. p. 215. The Portuguese, ever since the year 1173, keep an annual commemoration of this translation on the fifteenth of September, which feast was confirmed by Sixtus V.

Prudentius finishes his hymn on this holy martyr by a prayer to him, that he would present the marks of his sufferings to Christ, to move him to compassion in his behalf.

God never more visibly manifested his power, nor gave stronger or more wonderful proofs of his tenderness and love for his church, than when he suffered it to groan under the most violent oppression and persecution; nor does his grace any where appear more triumphant than in the victories of his martyrs under the severest trials, and in the heroic virtues which they displayed amidst torments and insults. Under the slightest disappointments and afflictions we are apt to fall into discouragement, and to imagine, by our sloth and impatience, that our situation is of all others the most unhappy and intolerable. If nature feel, and we implore the divine mercy, and a deliverance, if this may be conducive to God’s honour, we must be careful never to sink under the trials, or consent to the least secret murmuring; we must bear them, if not with joy, at least with perfect submission; and remain assured that God only seems to withdraw himself from us, that we may follow him more earnestly, and unite ourselves more closely to him.

Note 1. He is named in the Roman Martyrology, January the 28th, and his relics are kept with veneration at Saragossa, famous for miracles wrought by them even in the last age. See Bollandus, January the 28th, p. 838. [back]

Note 2. Quæstio legitima. [back]

Note 3. S. Greg. Tur. Hist. Franc. l. 3. c. 29. Aimoin. de Gestis Franc. l. 2. c. 19 & 20. Ado, in Chron. &c. [back]

Note 4. See Chatelain, Notes on the Martyrol. p. 378. [back]

Note 5. This Aimoinus is something more ancient than another monk of the same name, who has left us a history of France. His relation depends upon the authority of Audald, a monk of Conques in the diocess of Rhodes, who brought them from Valentia into Languedoc. See his account in Bollandus, which yet the Spaniards deny, and say it could only be a small part of these bones; or the body of another martyr of the same name. [back]

Note 6. De Gl. Mart. l. 1. c. 90. [back]

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume I: January. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.


Diego de Tredia, San Vicente Mártir arrojado al muladar
Escultura en alabastro. Documentado 1533,  Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia.

Saint Vincent of Saragossa

Also known as
Profile

Friend of Saint Valerius of Saragossa in Spain, and served as his deacon. Imprisoned and tortured in Valencia, Spain for his faith during the persecutions of Diocletian; part of his time was spent being burned on a gridiron. While in prison, he converted his jailer. Was finally offered release if he would give up the scripture texts for burning, but he refused. Martyr. Acts written by the poet Prudentius.

Born

SOURCE : http://catholicsaints.info/saint-vincent-of-saragossa/


Reliquaire de Saint Vincent Martyr, Trésor de Notre Dame de Paris.

Martyrs of the First Ages – Saint Vincent, Deacon, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori

Saint Vincent, one of the most celebrated martyrs of Spain, was born in Saragossa, of one of the most respectable families of that city. While very young, he was placed under the tutelage of Valerius, Bishop of that church, who with great pains instructed him in the doctrines of religion, giving him at the same time a very extensive acquaintance with human science. Vincent, having made wonderful progress in learning, was ordained deacon by this prelate, who being himself prevented from preaching by an impediment in his speech, entrusted this office to Vincent. The young Levite discharged this important duty with such success that a great number of sinners, and even of pagans, was converted at his discourses.

At that time, namely, in the year 303, Spain was under the rule of Maximian; and Dacian was governor of the province of Tarragona, in which Saragossa was situated. This Dacian was a most cruel man, and an unrelenting persecutor of the Christians. Hearing of the manner in which Vincent advanced the Christian faith, he had him arrested, together with his Bishop, Valerius, and brought to Valencia, where he resided. He caused them to suffer much in prison, thinking that by maltreatment lie would render them easier to be tampered with, but he soon perceived that this means did not correspond to the end he had in view. When they had been brought into his presence, he first endeavored by kindness to induce them to apostatize. To Valerius he represented that his declining age and infirmity required that repose which he might obtain by obeying the imperial edicts, but if he resisted he would feel the effects of their just anger. Then turning to Vincent he said: “You are young, and should not despise the reward of fortune which you may earn by abandoning your religion. Obey, young man, the commands of the emperors, and do not, by refusal, expose yourself to an ignominious death.”

Whereupon Vincent, turning to Valerius, who as yet had made no reply to the governor, said: “Father, if thou wilt, I shall answer for thee.” The saintly bishop, resolved to suffer for Jesus Christ, replied: “Yes, my son, as I formerly entrusted to thee the preaching of God s holy word, I now charge thee to manifest our faith.” The holy deacon then declared to Dacian that they adored one only God, and could not worship the gods of the empire, who were devils, adding: “Do not think to shake our fortitude with threats of death or promises of reward, because there is nothing in this world which can be compared with the honor and pleasure of dying for Jesus Christ.” Dacian irritated by such liberty of speech said to the holy deacon: “Either you must offer incense to the gods or you must pay with your life the contempt that you show.” To this Vincent, raising his voice, replied as follows: “I have already told you that the greatest pleasure and the most distinguished honor that you can procure for us is to make us die for Jesus Christ. You may rest assured that you will tire of inflicting torments sooner than we of suffering them.”

Dacian condemned Valerius to banishment, and resolved to wreak his vengeance upon Vincent.

He first caused him to be stretched upon the rack, by which horrid machine the saint s arms and feet were so distended, that the bystanders could hear the noise of the dislocation of his joints, which remained attached only by the over-stretched and relaxed sinews. Dacian perceived the placid meekness with which the young martyr endured his torments, and, as Fleury observes, heard him say, “Behold, what I have ever desired is now being accomplished ! Behold the happy consummation of what I have always sighed for!” The tyrant hence concluded that the executioners were remiss in making him feel the torments, and caused them to be beaten with rods.

He then commanded that the sides of the saint should be torn with iron hooks, until the ribs should be visible; and, knowing how much the pain would increase by allowing the wounds to cool, and then opening them afresh, he ordered this torture, which was inflicted with great cruelty, until the bowels appeared, and the blood flowed in torrents. Meanwhile, as Orsi relates, the martyr insulted the tyrant, saying: “Since thy cruel ministers have exhausted their strength, come, thou chief butcher, and help them; stretch forth thy wicked hands and slake thy thirst in my blood. Thou art deceived, thinking that torments can overcome my faith within me there is another man strengthened by God, whom thou canst not subdue.”

Hereupon, seeing his constancy, Dacian ordered a cessation of his tortures, begging of the saint, for his own sake, that if he persisted in refusing to sacrifice to the gods, he would at least give up the sacred books to be burned. Vincent answered that lire was not created by God to burn holy books, but to torture the wicked for ever: nor did he hesitate to admonish him, that if he did not abandon the worship of idols, he would be one day condemned to eternal flames. The governor, more incensed than ever, condemned him to the most cruel of torments that of being broiled on a species of grid iron studded with sharp points. The saint hearing this barbarous command, walked with joy to the frightful engine, in anticipation of his executioners: such was his eagerness to suffer. Upon this gridiron the saint was stretched at length, and bound, hand and foot, while the fire burned beneath. Red-hot plates of iron were placed on his mangled flesh; and his wounds were rubbed with salt, which the activity of the fire forced deeper into his burned and lacerated body. In the midst of these tortures, the countenance of the martyr evinced the inward consolation and joy of his soul, while, with eyes raised to heaven, he blessed the Lord, and besought of him to receive his sacrifice. All admired the prodigious fortitude with which God inspired the holy youth, and the pagans themselves exclaimed that it was miraculous.

The effect that the spectacle of such patience produced obliged Dacian to remove him from the public view. Yet, not content with the tortures he had already inflicted, he caused him to be thrown into a dungeon, his feet placed very wide apart, in wooden stocks, the pain of which was so great that many martyrs died under it. His body was then stretched on potsherds, which, opening his wounds afresh, caused the most painful anguish. In order to weary his patience, strict orders were given that no one should be admitted to see or offer him the least consolation; but the saint at midnight perceived his dungeon illuminated by a celestial light, and perfumed by a heavenly odor. The Lord then sent his angels to console him, to intimate that his tortures were at an end, and to assure him of the reward of his fidelity. The jailers, being awakened by the splendor of the light, approached, and heard the martyr in concert with the angels rendering praises to the Lord. They believed and avowed the Christian faith.

Dacian being informed of this, ordered that the saint should be removed from prison to a soft bed, and that his wounds should be healed, with the intention of renewing his torments when he would be sufficiently recovered to bear them. The faithful being permitted to visit and console him, kissed his wounds and absorbed the blood in their napkins, which they preserved as most precious relics. But the time for our saint’s triumph had arrived, and he expired in the embraces of his brethren; while his soul was wafted, by the angels who had assisted him, to the regions of everlasting bliss.

The tyrant on hearing of his death commanded that his body should be exposed to be devoured by wild beasts; but a raven was sent by God to defend it with its claws and beak, even against a wolf that had come to devour it. Dacian having exhausted his malice, ordered that the body should be put in a sack, and, with a heavy stone tied to it, cast into the sea; but there is no power against the Lord the body floated like a feather on the water and was carried by the waves as far as Valencia. The mariners tried to get possession of it, but before they could reach it, it was carried by the waves on the seashore and covered with sand.

The saint afterwards appeared to a pious lady named Ionica, and indicated the place where his body lay. She went there, accompanied by other Christians, and find ing the relics, deposited them in a little chapel; after the persecution had ceased, they were translated to a magnificent church outside the walls of Valencia, where they have always been regarded with devout veneration. Saint Augustine attests that at his time the feast or Saint Vincent was celebrated with a special joy in all the countries whither the Christian religion had penetrated.

The acts of the martyrdom of this great saint are among the number of those that Ruinart has transcribed.
SOURCE : http://catholicsaints.info/martyrs-of-the-first-ages-saint-vincent-deacon-by-saint-alphonsus-de-liguori/



San Vincenzo di Saragozza Diacono e martire


- Memoria Facoltativa


sec. III/IV

Vincenzo, diacono della Chiesa di Saragozza (Spagna), offrì a Cristo il sacrificio della vita con il suo vescovo Valerio come aveva offerto per lui il sacrificio dell’altare (Valenza, c. 304). La sua figura è celebrata dalla tradizione patristica. (Mess. Rom.)

Patronato: Vicenza, Vinai

Etimologia: Vincenzo = vittorioso, dal latino

Emblema: Palma

Martirologio Romano: San Vincenzo, diacono di Saragozza e martire, che dopo aver patito nella persecuzione dell’imperatore Diocleziano il carcere, la fame, il cavalletto e le lame incandescenti, a Valencia in Spagna volò invitto in cielo al premio per il suo martirio.


Un diacono così, ora che il diaconato è tornato “di moda” nella Chiesa, ogni vescovo se lo sognerebbe. Perché, si sa, non tutti i vescovi sono degli oratori nati e quello di Saragozza, Valerio, è per giunta balbuziente. Trovare in Vincenzo un diacono ben equipaggiato culturalmente, dotato nella parola, generoso e coraggioso è per lui un vero colpo di fortuna. Oggi San Vincenzo è il martire più popolare della Spagna, ma doveva già esserlo 1700 anni fa se ben tre città, Valencia, Saragozza e Huesca, si contendono l’onore di avergli dato i natali. In questa disputa noi non vogliamo entrare, limitandoci ai dati essenziali che ci vengono forniti dagli Atti del suo martirio, che avviene durante la persecuzione di Diocleziano. Nel clima di terrore che si instaura e che vede la distruzione degli edifici e degli arredi sacri, la destituzione dei cristiani che ricoprono cariche pubbliche, l’obbligo per tutti di sacrificare agli dei, il vescovo Valerio e il diacono Vincenzo continuano imperterriti nell’annuncio del Vangelo: formano un connubio indissolubile, nel quale il primo con la sua presenza e con l’autorità che gli deriva dal ministero episcopale si fa garante di quello che il secondo annuncia con forza, convinzione e facilità di parola. Così il governatore di Valencia, Daciano, li fa arrestare entrambi, ma quando se li trova davanti capisce che il vero nemico da combattere è il diacono Vincenzo. Manda così il vescovo in esilio e concentra tutte le sue arti persecutorie su Vincenzo, che oltre ad essere un gran oratore è anche un uomo che non si piega facilmente. Lo dice in faccia al governatore: “Vi stancherete prima voi a tormentarci che noi a soffrire”, e questo manda in bestia il persecutore, che vede così anche messa in crisi la sua autorità e il suo prestigio. Perché Vincenzo è una di quelle persone che si piegano ma non si spezzano: prima lo fa fustigare e torturare; poi lo condanna alla pena del cavalletto, da cui esce con le ossa slogate; infine lo fa arpionare con uncini di ferro. Così tumefatto e slogato lo fa gettare in una cella buia, interamente cosparsa di cocci taglienti, ma la testimonianza di Vincenzo continua ad essere limpida e ferma: “Tu mi fai proprio un servizio da amico, perché ho sempre desiderato suggellare con il sangue la mia fede in Cristo. Vi è un altro in me che soffre, ma che tu non potrai mai piegare. Questo che ti affatichi a distruggere con le torture è un debole vaso di argilla che deve ad ogni modo spezzarsi. Non riuscirai mai a lacerare quello che resta dentro e che domani sarà il tuo giudice”. Lo sentono addirittura, anche così piagato, cantare dalla cella e Daciano si rende conto che quella è una voce da far zittire in fretta, visto che qualcuno si è già convertito vedendolo così forte nella fede. Muore il 22 gennaio dell’anno 304 ed anche per sbarazzarsi del cadavere Daciano deve sudare: gettato in pasto alle bestie selvatiche, il suo corpo viene alacramente difeso da un corvo; gettato nel fiume, legato in un sacco insieme ad un grosso macigno, il suo corpo galleggia e torna a riva, dove finalmente i cristiani lo raccolgono per dargli onorata sepoltura. Da una delle omelie che Sant’Agostino ogni anno, il 22 gennaio, dedicava al martire Vincenzo ricaviamo questo pensiero: “il diacono Vincenzo….. aveva coraggio nel parlare, aveva forza nel soffrire. Nessuno presuma di se stesso quando parla. Nessuno confidi nelle sue forze quando sopporta una tentazione, perché, per parlare bene, la sapienza viene da Dio e, per sopportare i mali, da lui viene la fortezza”.

SOURCE : http://www.santiebeati.it/dettaglio/25850


Autore:
Gianpiero Pettiti