Thursday, January 21, 2010


“St. Vincent”
by Gherardo di Jacopo Starnina,
c. 1410


Biographical Information about St. Vincent[1]

Readings for the Memorial of St. Vincent

Readings and Commentary:

2 Corinthians 4:7-15

Brothers and sisters:
We hold this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.
For we who live are constantly being given up to death
for the sake of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith,
according to what is written, / believed, therefore I spoke,
we too believe and therefore speak,
knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus
will raise us also with Jesus
and place us with you in his presence.
Everything indeed is for you,
so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people
may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.

Commentary on
2 Cor 4:7-15

St. Paul is speaking to the Corinthians about suffering and death in the human existence of this life, in spite of living in the faith. The image he uses, fragile earthen pots, speaks of God’s instruments being easily broken but nonetheless effective. The image of small terracotta lamps in which light is carried is mentioned elsewhere. The point the evangelist makes contrasts our mortality with God’s omnipotence and power, our death in the flesh with life in the spirit of Christ. With such a spirit at work within us, we must, like St. Paul, spread that news to others (“…we too believe and therefore speak”).

CCC: 2 Cor 4:7 1420; 2 Cor 4:14 989
Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (5) The Lord delivered me from all my fears.

I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear and be glad.

R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.

Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.

R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.

Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.

R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.

The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.

R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.
Commentary on
Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

Psalm 34 is a song of thanksgiving and a favorite for celebrating the heroic virtue of the saints. The psalmist, fresh from the experience of being rescued (Psalm 34:5, 7), can teach the "poor," those who are defenseless, to trust in God alone. This psalm, in the words of one being unjustly persecuted, echoes hope for deliverance and freedom. The Lord in his faithful love always hears those who call to him for help and salvation.

CCC: Ps 34:3 716; Ps 34:8 336
Matthew 10:17-22

Jesus said to the Twelve:
"Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved."

Commentary on
Mt 10:17-22

Jesus gives his disciples instructions on how to deal with the persecution they are to undergo at the hands of those who do not accept him, especially those in power. His instruction is one that relies on faith that the Father, through the Holy Spirit, will supply the words. There is also a presumption that there will be loss of life. Here the Lord tells us that those who are steadfast in their faith cannot die a spiritual death.

CCC: Mt 10:19-20 728; Mt 10:22 161, 1821

St. Augustine once wrote “The Gospel terrifies me.” The saint we memorialize today should highlight the warning in the Gospel proclaimed on his feast day; that fidelity to Christ is not easy and it will bring challenges from those who see the Lord as a threat. St. Vincent was a contemporary of St. Lawrence and suffered the same fate. Both were tortured on a gridiron and put to death for their faith.

Scripture repeatedly warns us that the Word of God evokes disproportionally violent responses from those who cannot accept it. It seems strange that love should have that effect on people, but it is the truth. When one rejects the secular status quo of seeking only self-gratification and self-serving ideals, and takes up the cause of justice for the poor and love of God, those who embrace only themselves lash out. Perhaps it is out of guilt or perhaps the influence of Satan, whatever the cause the intended victim is frequently the one who advocates Christ’s love.

Knowing that the world hates what it does not understand, and knowing that it cannot understand those who do not put themselves above all others, we must expect rejection and even persecution. In spite of this resistance we are called to be steadfast. We have the examples of saints like St. Vincent to show us the way. We pray that the same Holy Spirit that gave St. Vincent strength to undergo torture and achieve the martyr’s white robe will be with us this day. We ask for St. Vincent’s intercession, that we might be faithful to the Gospel in all things.


[1] The picture is “St. Vincent” by, Gherardo di Jacopo Starnina, c. 1410 
[2] Text of Readings is taken from the New American Bible, Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 1973, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.



I want to recommend you two very complete webs about the legend , art and history of Saint Vincent of Saragossa as a very important saint in Spain in fourth century, developed by Via Vicentius . These webs are written in Spanish by Via Vicentius but it can be easily translated to english or any other language with the translator tool that the web includes. It would be great if you visit the web for public knowledge of our work .

Very complete web about pilgrim way from Huesca to Valencia for walkers and cyclists of Saint Vincent of Saragossa as a very important saint in Spain in fourth century, developed by Via Vicentius . It includes maps , history , images and many interesting informations concerning to the martyr saint.

Deacon Jim said...


Thanks for your comment. We are always looking for resources for our readership.


Dcn. Jim Miles