|Saint Vincent of Saragossa|
|Born||3rd century AD, Osca, Hispania Tarraconensis (Huesca, Aragon, Spain)|
|Died||c. 304 AD, Valentia, Hispania Tarraconensis (Valencia, Spain)|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Churches
|Attributes||Usually pontifical, episcopal, etc. insignia, tools of martyrdom and so forth|
|Patronage||São Vicente, Lisbon; Vicenza, Italy, vinegar-makers, wine-makers.|
Saint Vincent of Saragossa, also known as Vincent of Huesca or Vincent the Deacon, is the patron saint of Lisbon. His feast day is January 22 in the Roman Catholic Church, and November 11 in the Eastern Orthodox Churches. He was born at Huesca and martyred under the Emperor Diocletian around the year 304.
He was born at Huesca but lived in Zaragoza.
Vincent served as the deacon of Valerius of Saragossa, the city's bishop. Imprisoned in Valencia for his faith, and tortured on a gridiron — a story perhaps adapted from the martyrdom of another son of Huesca, Saint Lawrence— Vincent, like many early martyrs in the early hagiographic literature, succeeded in converting his jailer. Though he was finally offered release if he would consign Scripture to the fire, Vincent refused.
The earliest account of Vincent's martyrdom is in a carmen (lyric poem) written by the poet Prudentius, who wrote a series of lyric poems, Peristephanon ("Crowns of Martyrdom"), on Hispanic and Roman martyrs. Prudentius describes how Vincent was brought to trial along with his bishop Valerius, and that since Valerius had a speech impediment, Vincent spoke for both, but that his outspoken fearless manner so angered the governor that Vincent was tortured and martyred, though his aged bishop was only exiled.
According to legend, after being martyted, ravens protected St. Vincent's body from being devoured by wild animals, until his followers could recover the body. His body was taken to what is now known as Cape St. Vincent; a shrine was erected over his grave, which continued to be guarded by flocks of ravens. King Afonso Henriques (1139-1185) had the body of the saint exhumed in 1173 and brought it by ship to the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora in Lisbon. This transfer of the relics is depicted on the coat of arms of Lisbon.
Three elaborated hagiographies, all based ultimately on a lost 5th century Passion, circulated in the Middle Ages.
Though Vincent's tomb in Valencia became the earliest center of his cult, he was also honoured at his birthplace and his reputation spread from Saragossa. The city of Oviedo in Asturias grew about the church dedicated to Vincent. Beyond the Pyrenees, he was venerated first in the vicinity of Béziers, and at Narbonne. Castres became an important stop on the international pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela when the relics of Vincent were transferred to its new abbey-church dedicated to Saint Benedict from Saragossa in 863, under the patronage of Salomon, count of Cerdanya.
When the Catholic bishops of Visigothic Iberia succeeded in converting King Reccared and his nobles to Trinitarian Christianity they built the cathedral of Córdoba in honour of Vincent. When the Moors came, in 711, the church was razed and its materials incorporated in the Mezquita, the "Great Mosque" of Cordoba.
The Cape Verde island of São Vicente, a former Portuguese colony, was named in his honour. St Vincent in the Caribbean was named by Columbus, since it was “discovered” on 22 January, the feast day of the patron saint of Portugal, Vincent of Saragossa.
In Valencia, Spain there is a long road called Calle San Vicente Martir, or in English Saint Vincent the Martyr street named after the aforementioned saint.
There is also a small town in Madeira Island named after this saint, São Vicente.