Raise a glass of wine today and celebrate the Feast of St. Vincent of Zaragoza, patron saint of wine growers and wine makers. This Spanish saint, also known as Vincent the Deacon, Vincent Tourante, and Vincent of Aragon, is the earliest known Spanish martyr. He was eventually imprisoned, tortured and martyred in Valencia in 304 A.D.
Allegedly, the governor Dacian was persecuting Christians, trying to eliminate the religion from his lands. Vincent, his bishop Valerius, and some other priests were apprehended. The bishop had a speech impedient so Vincent acted as their spokesman being bold and unrepentent. This only angered Dacian even more, so he had Vincent horribly tortured and eventually killed. There is a legend that his dead body was tossed into a bog to be eaten by wild animals. But, a raven protected the corpse from being eaten by any animal.
It is thought that Vincent became patron of wine growers and makers more due to the symbolic echo of his name rather than anything he did wine related. In the villages of Burgundy, on the Feast Day, they carry a statue of Vincent for a tour of the village, ending at the church. After Mass, the statue would be taken to a family of wine growers to keep it safe for the year.
Do you do anything to commemorate the feast day of Saint Vincent?