Vincent of Saragossa, Deacon, first Martyr of Spain

22 January -- Commemoration
If celebrated as a Lesser Festival, Common of Martyrs, page 464

Vincent was born in Saragossa in Aragon in the latter part of the third century and was ordained to the diaconate by Valerian, his bishop in that city. When the Diocletian persecutions began, both men were brought before the Roman governor but, because Valerian stammered badly, he relied on Vincent to speak for them both. Vincent spoke eloquently for both his bishop and his church, proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ and condemning paganism. He so angered the governor that he was immediately condemned to a painful death, reputedly on the gridiron. Thus he lived and gave his life in the tradition of Stephen, the first martyr and also a deacon; he died in the year 304 and his feast has been celebrated on this day since the persecutions ended in 312.