Feast of St. Vincent of Saragossa, Martyr and Deacon (+304AD), January 22 (OS) / February 4 (NS)

Feast of the Holy Virgin-Martyr Agnes of Old Rome [+304], January 21 (OS) / February 3 (NS)
February 3, 2017
Feast of the Holy Apostle Timothy, January 22 (OS) / February 4 (NS)
February 4, 2017

St. Vincent was Deacon in Saragossa, in  what is today modern day Spain. He suffered martyrdom during the last of the great Roman state persecutions under the Emperor Diocletian, specifically under Decian the governor of the region. St. Vincent refused to turn over Church books, particularly the Holy Scriptures, and to renounce the confession of the Faith, and for this he was tortured, and martyred.  St. Vincent had originally been ordained deacon by St. Valerius of Saragossa; although both St. Vincent and St. Valerius were imprisoned, the civil authorities chose to executed St. Vincent while exiling the elderly Bishop, St. Valerius (St. Valerius would repose in 315 AD, seeing the triumph of Orthodoxy over paganism in the Roman state).

Despite the great tortures St. Vincent was put through, and the horrible state in which he was kept (with his lacerated and wounded body being thrown into the filth of the dungeon), he kept a state of peace and calm in Christ; recalling what the Blessed Apostle Paul says to the Philippians: “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7)  So impressed and moved were the guards that they were later brought to repentance and converted to the Orthodox Christian Faith.

In an attempt to shake his confidence and woe him away from the True Faith in Christ Our Lord and God, the Roman Governor Decian ordered St. Vincent to be placed in a soft bed with many luxurious. However, the solider for Christ here gave up his soul; the harshness of the dungeon on the terrible wounds inflicted caused him nought but peace in Christ; the comfort of the sinners’ bed caused nought but his soul to fly away with the Angels to the heavenly Kingdom.

St. Augustine says of St. Vincent:


“Accordingly, let the confessions of the true and of the false martyrs be produced and compared….the Martyr contending against the ruthless force of ungodliness, true faith not overwhelmed by any pain or penalty. Vincent everywhere victorious. We saw it all, we were actually present. That account of his passion spoke to our hearts; we were enthralled. That ancient serpent, jealous of the martyrs, that snake in the grass whose blandishments Vincent was on his guard again, being unable to find fault with that martyrdom, stirred us up to be quarrelsome; let them admit it and be sorry for it, those who lent him the use of their tongues. What else, after all, was the meaning of those shouts, “Announce the Dismissal; the Dismissal, announce the Dismissal,” if not that the praises of the Martyr should not continue any longer?”