November 11, 2023

Miracles of Saint Vincent the Deacon and Martyr (St. Gregory of Tours)

By St. Gregory of Tours

88. The Tomb of an Unworthy Man

At Toulouse some say there was a man named Antoninus who was an enemy of God and the most hateful of all men because he had committed many crimes. It happened that after completing the days [of his life] he migrated from this world. He was buried in the church of the blessed Vincent, in which while alive he had prepared a tomb. One night, while drowsiness seized everyone in a deep silence and everyone quietly rested their limbs in soothing sleep, that man's sarcophagus was thrown out of the holy church through a window and dumped in the middle of the courtyard. At daybreak it was found there, with its lid cracked. The man's relatives did not understand the power of God and did not realize the insult suffered by the saint in whose church they had rashly buried this unworthy man. They placed the sarcophagus in the same place as previously and buried it deeper. But at the next daybreak they found it again thrown outside in the middle of the courtyard. Then they understood the great deeds of God. Thereafter no one touched the sarcophagus, and still today it remains as a witness in the place where it was thrown. Let these stories about rash people suffice.

89. The Deacon and Martyr Vincent

Vincent, both a deacon and a martyr, consummated his martyrdom in Spain. Within the territory of Poitiers, in Herbauge, is the village of Bessay, which has relics of Vincent. His festival is celebrated on the twelfth day of the Kalends of the eleventh month [i.e. January; so the date is 21 December]. But the inhabitants of the village and even their archpriest made some sort of mistake and wished to celebrate it a day early. After celebrating mass they sat down at a feast. But one of the possessed people began to shout and said: 'Hurry up, citizens, leave the village, go to meet the blessed Vincent! Behold, he comes for his vigils! Behold, you will celebrate his festival tomorrow!' Once he said this, they started the rituals again and spent the entire night in vigils. While they were celebrating the mysteries of mass at daybreak, the possessed man who had announced the arrival of the saint and two others in addition were cured. Two paralytics were also healed on that day. And so the festival ended with great happiness.

When some travellers were transporting relics of Vincent, they came to Cere, a village [in the territory] of Tours. They brought the relics to the cottage of a poor man, where they received lodging. On the next day two paralytics recovered their mobility in the presence of these relics and one blind man received his sight.

Not far from this village is another village called Orbigny, whose church has relics of this saint. Thieves stole these relics. The man who stole the relics left them with an abbot in Bourges, after being paid. The abbot had a vision that he should restore the relics to the place from which they had been removed. Likewise an archpriest who was a neighbor of the monastery had a vision that he should contrive no delays for the restoration [of the relics]. He received the relics and, to the chanting of psalms, transported them [to Orbigny]. A man who suffered from a serious illness and had been laid up for an entire year was carried by the hands of his servants so that he might honor the shroud that covered the holy ashes. As a suppliant he kissed the shroud. His illness soon vanished and he was healed. Along with the other people he followed the procession of the martyr.

From the book Glory of the Martyrs.

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