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.
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.
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 wave cast it ashore.
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.
Text from Pictorial Lives of the Saints With Reflections for Every Day in the Year (New York: Benziger Bros., 1922).