Semidouble (1955 Calendar): January 22
Optional Memorial (1969 Calendar): January 22
Today is a Day of Penance for all of the dioceses of the USA for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion. Also, today is the Church especially remembers St. Vincent of Saragossa, also called St. Vincent the Deacon or Vincent of Aragon. He is considered one of the three most illustrious deacons of the Church - the others being St. Stephen and St. Lawrence.
St. Vincent was born in Heusca and later died a martyr in c. 304 AD in Valencia. He was Martyred during the persecutions of Diocletian. The following is an account of his death:
Ordained deacon by Bishop Valerius of Saragossa, he was taken in chains to Valencia during the Diocletian persecution and put to death. From legend we have the following details of his martyrdom. After brutal scourging in the presence of many witnesses, he was stretched on the rack; but neither torture nor blandishments nor threats could undermine the strength and courage of his faith. Next, he was cast on a heated grating, lacerated with iron hooks, and seared with hot metal plates. Then he was returned to prison, where the floor was heavily strewn with pieces of broken glass. A heavenly brightness flooded the entire dungeon, filling all who saw it with greatest awe.
After this he was placed on a soft bed in the hope that lenient treatment would induce apostasy, since torture had proven ineffective. But strengthened by faith in Christ Jesus and the hope of everlasting life, Vincent maintained an invincible spirit and overcame all efforts, whether by fire, sword, rack, or torture to induce defection. He persevered to the end and gained the heavenly crown of martyrdom.
—The Church's Year of Grace, by Pius Parsch
O Lord, listen to our supplications: that we who acknolwedge the guilt of our sins, may be delivered through the intercession of Thy blessed Martyrs Vincent and Anastasius. Through our Lord.
Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal