Semi-Double Feast of the Martyrs Saint Vincent and Saint Anastasius
Requiem or Votive Mass permitted today
Missa "Intret in conspectu"
Like the saints whose feasts preceded him in January, St. Vincent
, (not to be confused with St. Vincent de Paul
), was born in Spain in the 3rd Century. and became archdeacon in Saragoza where Our Lady first appeared in 40 AD. He was a great orator and did more than his share of preaching since his bishop, Valerian had a speech impediment. The Romans caught wind of his evangelizing and reported to Diocletian
who ordered Dacian
the president of that region to silence the saint.
Dacian chose the horrendous torture tactic of the rack, stretching Vincent's body asunder. Yet no form of torture could steal Vincent's joy at suffering for Christ. When the rack failed, Dacian tore his flesh with hooks then bound him to a seat of burning iron. When that failed, lard and salt were rubbed into his open wounds. Yet through it all he kept his eyes focused joyfully toward Heaven. Finally, in desperation, Dacian had him thrown into a dungeon locking his feet in a tight stock. But again God intervened, sending His angels to unloose the shackle and inform this brave saint that his reward would be great. Dacian never had the satisfaction of torturing Vincent again for this persevering saint died peacefully before being sentenced again. His bravery and the wonders of his stamina effected many conversions after his death.
Upon his death, faithful carried away pieces of his cloths soaked with his blood. His relics are preserved today in an Augustinian monastery in Lisbon. It's a reminder to us all that no matter the opposition, if we keep our eyes and heart focused on the same goal Vincent strove for, nothing can harm our soul. It is also important to realize the importance of relics which, sadly have been relegated to minor importance today. We should remember that they can intercede for us in Heaven for they are linked to us through the Communion of Saints.
Saint Anastasius was a monk who was martyred for the Faith in 628.
Today's Mass is the same as January 20th, except for the Collect, Epistle, Gospel, Offertory, Secret, Communion and Postcommunion.
Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945 and Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butlerís Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).