November 11, 2016

Holy Martyr Vincent the Deacon and Protomartyr of Spain

St. Vincent the Martyr of Saragossa (Feast Day - November 11)


Vincent was struck by the guards,
Being released from the guard of the flesh he hastens above.

The Holy Hieromartyr Vincent was born at Osca (Huesca), near Saragossa in Spain sometime during the latter part of the third century; it is believed his father was Eutricius (Euthicius), and his mother was Enola, a native of Osca.

Vincent spent most of his life in the city of Saragossa, where he was educated and ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Valerius of Saragossa (Jan. 22), who commissioned Vincent to preach throughout the diocese. Because Valerius suffered from a speech impediment, Vincent acted as his spokesman.

When the Roman Emperor Diocletian began persecuting Christians in Spain, both were brought before the Roman governor, Dacian in Valencia. Vincent and his bishop Valerius were confined to the prison of Valencia, which was especially dark and dirty. Though he was finally offered release if he would consign Scripture to the fire, Vincent refused. Speaking on behalf of his bishop, he informed the judge that they were ready to suffer everything for their faith, and that they could pay no heed either to threats or promises.

His outspoken manner so angered the governor that Vincent was inflicted with every sort of torture on him. He was crucified on a cross and his flesh torn with iron hooks. Then his wounds were burned with a torch and rubbed with salt, his limbs dismembered, and he was burned alive upon a red-hot gridiron. Emerging unharmed, finally he was cast into prison and laid on a floor scattered with broken pottery, where he had a divine visitation and then delivered his soul into the hands of God after praying to God, thus receiving the crown of martyrdom. During his martyrdom he preserved such peace and tranquility that it astonished his jailer, who repented from his sins and was converted. Vincent's dead body was thrown into the sea in a sack, but was later recovered by the Christians and his veneration immediately spread throughout the Church. The aged bishop Valerius was exiled.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Together let us honour the Athletes of Christ, memorable Victor and noble Vincent and with them we praise divine Stephanie, who by their contests they destroyed the enemy. By their supplications, O Christ our God, have mercy on our souls.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Today the Church honours the Great Martyrs and Athletes, the struggles of Menas, Victor, Vincent and Stephanie. She cries out and glorifies the Lover of mankind.

Reliquary containing the leg bone of St. Vincent, located in the Treasury of Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris