Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Vincent the Deacon (d. 304)

Saint Vincent the Deacon (d. 304)

Patron saint of Portugal, wine-makers, and vinegar-makers

Feast day: January 22




Saint Vincent felt a call to Christ and was ordained a deacon by his friend Saint Valerius. The Roman emperors had published edicts against the clergy and laity, and Vincent and his bishop, among many others, were thrown into jail. He was then tortured by Governor Dacian in many cruel ways, including beating, flaying, broiling, and stretching on the rack. Astoundingly, Vincent survived these cruel punishments. More astoundingly, the torture only fueled his zeal and strengthened his faith. Enraged that he was unable to break Vincent, Governor Dacian had his torturers beaten. He then approached Vincent with what he felt to be a compromise. He told Vincent that if he would only give up his sacred books for burning, in accordance with the emperor’s edict, he would be freed. Vincent refused and torture resumed. Finally, he was thrown into a dirty prison cell, the floor strewn with broken glass. This only led to the conversion of a new Christian, the jailer, who was astounded by Vincent’s steadfast faith. Dacian seethed with rage, but knowing that he could never break Vincent’s faith or spirit, released him to a group of friends. Vincent’s friends arranged a comfortable bed for him, and once they had settled him on it, Vincent passed on to eternal life with God. (Image in public domain-100)