22 January 2018

Saint Vincent, Deacon and Martyr

Feastday: January22

Hard by the Holy Well, there is a major relic of St. Vincent of Saragossa in the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. This was always a cause for joy for me to see a ferretory bearing a relic of my patron saint so close to the Holy Well and the Holy House in the Anglican shrine at Walsingham.

Now some men named 'Vincent' are given the name because of other saints such as St. Vincent de Paul or St. Vincent Ferrer, but the very first saint in the Catholic Church named Vincent was the first Holy Martyr of Spain. From Wikipedia we gather the following about the great preaching saint:

St. Vincent, the protomartyr of Spain, is variously called Saint Vincent of Saragossa, Vincent of Huesca, Vincent the Deacon, or St. Vincent Martyr. He is the patron saint of Lisbon. His feast day is January 22 in the Roman Catholic Church, and November 11 in the Eastern Orthodox Churches. He was born at Huesca and martyred under the Emperor Diocletian around the year 304.

Vincent served as the deacon of Valerius of Saragossa, the city's bishop. Imprisoned in Valencia for his faith, and tortured on a gridiron, Vincent, like many early martyrs in the early hagiographic literature, succeeded in converting his jailer. Though he was finally offered release if he would consign Scripture to the fire, Vincent refused.

The earliest account of Vincent's martyrdom is in a carmen (lyric poem) written by the poet Prudentius, who wrote a series of lyric poems, Peristephanon ("Crowns of Martyrdom"), on Hispanic and Roman martyrs. Prudentius describes how Vincent was brought to trial along with his bishop Valerius, and that since Valerius had a speech impediment, Vincent spoke for both, but that his outspoken fearless manner so angered the governor that Vincent was tortured and martyred, though his aged bishop was only exiled.

According to legend, after being martyted, ravens protected St. Vincent's body from being devoured by wild animals, until his followers could recover the body. His body was taken to what is now known as Cape St. Vincent; a shrine was erected over his grave, which continued to be guarded by flocks of ravens. King Alfonso Henriques (1139-1185) had the body of the Saint exhumed in 1173 and brought it by ship to the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora in Lisbon. This transfer of the relics is depicted on the coat of arms of Lisbon.

Three elaborated hagiographies, all based ultimately on a lost 5th century Passion, circulated in the Middle Ages.

Though Vincent's tomb in Valencia became the earliest center of his cult, he was also honoured at his birthplace and his reputation spread from Saragossa. The city of Oviedo in Asturias grew about the church dedicated to Vincent.

Beyond the Pyrenees, he was venerated first in the vicinity of Béziers, and at Narbonne. Castres became an important stop on the international pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela when the relics of Vincent were transferred to its new abbey-church dedicated to Saint Benedict from Saragossa in 863, under the patronage of Salomon, count of Cerdanya.

When the Catholic bishops of Visigothic Iberia succeeded in converting King Reccared and his nobles to Trinitarian Christianity they built the cathedral of Córdoba in honour of Vincent. When the Moors came, in 711, the church was razed and its materials incorporated in the Mezquita, the "Great Mosque" of Cordoba.

Vincent is also the patron of vintners and vinegar-makers.

And finally, as Saint Vincent is my patron saint that makes today my Saint's Name Day! May we by grace share in the perseverance of St. Vincent and so never tire to bear witness to Christ the Eternal Word. So let us all remember the good Saint Vincent -- the first in Spain to lay down his life for the sake of the Lord of Life, our Saviour Jesus Christ -- and ask him to pray for us and to intercede for the entire Diaconate in Christ. Amen.

Good St. Vincent Martyr,
pray for us
who are named for thee.

+Laus Deo.

21 January 2018

Radio Walsingham ceases broadcasting on January 24, 2018

Updated for clarification 22 Jan 2018

Radio Walsingham will cease broadcasting on Live365.com on 24 January, 2018.

I am personally grateful for those who have supported this apostolate which began as the Walsingham Hour on Catholic radio in Galveston-Houston. Then followed Radio Walsingham on the original Live365.com through which thousands of listeners from most nations of the world listened to our unique broadcasting of the great music of the Christian traditions.  

With the demise of Live365.com we thought Radio Walsingham was finished, but then Live365.com was bought by a new company and we began again. Unfortunately, US law governing copyrights, the lack of international reciprocity on copyrights and fees, and the ever-rising copyright broadcasting fee schedules in the USA made it impossible for Radio Walsingham to broadcast via internet around the world.  We could only reach those in the USA and its territories and possessions and a few other locations.  Promised financial support did not materialise, and with the US royalties set to increase again, the decision has been taken to cease broadcasting.

I would say this is the end for Radio Walsingham in this format, but one never knows what opportunities God will open up for those who seek to serve Him faithfully.   My personal prayer is that what we have done has been pleasing to Our Lord and Our Lady.  I also hope that it has been a blessing to our listeners.

Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.

A novena for the Martyred Sovereigns


IN the sight of the unwise he seemed to die and his departure was taken for misery; but he is in peace.

Let us pray.

BLESSED Lord, in whose sight the death of thy saints is precious; We magnify thy name for that abundant grace bestowed upon our late Martyred Sovereigns; by which they were enabled so cheerfully to follow the steps of their blessed Master and Saviour, in a constant meek suffering of all barbarous indignities, and at last resisting unto blood; and even then, according to the same pattern, praying for their murderers. Let their memory, O Lord, be ever blessed among us, that we may follow the example of their patience, and charity. And grant, that our Lands may be freed from the vengeance of their blood, and thy mercy glorified in the forgiveness of our sins: and all for Jesus Christ’s sake.

01 January 2018

Mary, Mother of God, pray for us to the Lord of All


On the first day of the year, I would like to share with you, dear Reader, the Ronald Knox translation of Dante Alighieri's hymn to Mary:

Maiden, yet a mother,
Daughter of thy Son,
High beyond all other,
Lowlier is none;
Thou the consummation
Planned by God's decree,
When our lost creation
Nobler rose in thee!

Thus his place preparèd,
He who all things made
'Mid his creatures tarried,
In thy bosom laid;
There his love he nourished,
Warmth that gave increase 
To the root whence flourished
Our eternal peace.

Lady, lest our vision,
Striving heavenward, fail,
Still let thy petition
With thy Son prevail
Unto whom all merit,
Pow'r and majesty
With the Holy Spirit
And the Father be.