VINCENT OF SARAGOSSA, DEACON AND MARTYR
By RICHARD P. McBRIEN
Vincent of Saragossa (d. 304), a patron saint of Portugal, was a deacon trained by the bishop of Saragossa. He was martyred under Dacian, governor of Spain, during the imperial reign of Maximian. The fact of his martyrdom is clear, but not the manner. Some accounts say that he was imprisoned and nearly starved to death, then racked and roasted on a gridiron when he refused to sacrifi ce to the gods or hand over the sacred books, then returned to prison and placed in stocks. He eventually died from this brutal treatment. In Burgundy and elsewhere he is regarded as patron of vine growers and wine makers because of the protection he offers against frosts, which often occur on or near his feast day. His feast is on the General Roman Calendar.