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Hagiography of St. Vincent

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MessagePosté le: Sam Déc 08, 2018 11:09 am    Sujet du message: Hagiography of St. Vincent Répondre en citant


Hagiography of St. Vincent

The history of the Church, after Christos.

"And the centuries passed, some were crossed by wars and famines, others made discoveries and became influential Saints.”

The First Century after Christos

Vincent lived in Roman Gaul, in the province called Lyonnaise, among the Eduens people, the region now known as Burgundy. He was a farmer. Life was difficult in those distant days of our history, but his deep piety made ​​him an important figure and a source of reference for his village.

Corn was struggling to sell. Like many villagers, he stored it in the granary. Nobody would starve, but their bodies and souls grumbled despite the numerous exhortations for patience and selflessness that Vincent gave.

Often the villagers sharply complained, "But we lack strength with only corn to eat! We’re short of milk and fish and our intelligence suffers the consequences! And what about vegetables that take so long to grow and fruit that’s impossible to pick without an orchard? We’re not very charismatic! This makes us miserable …”

"And, what!” he retorted passionately. "Did Christos not deliver us from a far greater evil, so we would not increase our desire to vary our diet? Did Aristotle not teach us that ‘the virtuous man is one who deals with circumstances by always acting with the greatest nobility possible?’ Aren’t you chasing after an illusion of what you believe to be happiness? While not being complacent, we can still be happy by making the best of things!”

And everyone went off to work again ...

One day as he was ploughing the hard soil of his field, he heard coming from the village a growing babble as a group of farmers approached him. He felt anger, and this time knew that words would not appease his fellow workers.

He shouted at them, “Fine! Since you want to change your lives, and don’t know how to be content with what you have in your village, I'll go to the surrounding hills to think about the matter!”

“And may Aristotle come to my aide,” he added to himself, in a whisper filled with faith and hope.

He left his harvest of corn and cart there, and before his stunned companions began to slowly climb the nearest hill. Some watched him heartbroken and resigned to the apparent absurdity of his gesture, but Vincent was determined to find something new! Or at least try ...

It was the end of summer: September was covered with Burgundian flora in full bloom, still green or barely turned brown. Each pair of animals were happily busy as they fed, protected and taught the principles of life to their various offspring.

For a while Vincent climbed the leafy and tangled trail, and then arrived at the top of this very high hill. Its summit was empty, quite rocky, and he finally sat on a large flat stone warmed by the sun. It seemed to be put there on purpose by the Almighty to serve as a seat for the lonely climber …

He rested there for a long time not yet looking down the other side of that hill. He scrutinized the landscape that stretched out before him: the hundreds of small peaked hats shaded with dark arrows, the hills all covered by leafy firs; clouds touched their passage on the forests with their caressing shadows, revealing their nature.

Almost all the way down between two tiny knolls, lay the village, surrounded by an undulating line of small, sun-drenched mountains. Some smoke frayed nonchalantly towards the benevolent Heaven. The bell tower of the church extended its divine arrow to the celestial canopy on high.

... He was able to remain for a long time thusly in contemplation, which was for him a kind of prayer, but imperious, angry shrieks were heard not far from him: two blackbirds evidently in battle to win what each other wanted.

A strange shrub grew in a deep crevice of the rock, filled with loose soil. Its leaves were large with a green stalk, and small fruit, round and dark, hung in heavy bunches beneath them. He recognized the black grape, the one made into a good wine for dominican rites and noble tables. He was beyond surprise, for he had always thought that the wine came from distant vineyards, and that the grapes grew in the Southern Kingdoms.

The two birds were fighting over the same grain.

“Ah!” he said, vaguely angry. “All of these berries and two bird fight over a grain! What selfishness and greed tarnishes the creatures of the Most High sometimes!”

He mused over the problematic desires of his fellow villagers ...

He drove the animals away and tasted the grapes without thought, and was surprised by their intense flavour and rich aroma.

... Suddenly he leapt up!

"What? From this vine here?” he cried with great jubilation. ''But if this wild grape grows here, will it not also grow on our hills!”

He looked down the other side of the hill, and indeed many vines were growing here and there, pell-mell, among the pines and various shrubs. Some were stifled and virtually gave nothing, others were more beautiful in foliage and form, with all but virgin grapes. He noted in particular that the smaller plants were most abundant in fruit. They were thus through being struck by lightning and cut back naturally.

As Vincent already worked with plants, he had a shrewd and clear understanding of the possibilities. After all, did he not already create potions for the sick? He immediately understood why the smaller plants were best, and would take full advantage of this discovery. He studied the necessary distance between each of the vines by observing the finest, and their location and placement in that spot. He brought lots of clusters back to the villagers. He would explain to them. They would learn. He would give thanks to Jah for his bounty.

It did not even occurred to him that his discovery was equally the result of his listening to the villagers, his tenacity to work for the good, his powers of observation and above all else of following this wise precept: "Help yourself and heaven will help you."

Rather he only thought himself to be the human instrument of the Most High and His proposal for cultivation ...

An image of fields planted with a multitude of these small trees came to him while he was giving thanks.

"May Aristotle be praised, whose dogma I faithfully follow. It is thanks to his way of thinking that I'm walking here!” he gratefully said.

... While it took centuries for the vines he planted to benefit the Kingdom, henceforth the church had wine to share in ceremonies and religious rites more easily. He was happy that wine would not have to make a long journey to be available in the Kingdom. The village was the first, and remained so a long time, to cultivate the vine.

... Three centuries later, another by the name of Vincent, a descendant of the first, was making a tour of Burgundy at the end of January, and was very tired. He slept therefore by a vineyard, having loosely tied the tether of his donkey to a large stone. During his sleep, the donkey escaped and nibbled the young shoots of several plants. Winemakers who witnessed this arrived too late to prevent it.

The following year, they noticed the vine that had been eaten was far more productive than others. The Saint’s ass had invented precision pruning! From that moment, this easy manner of pollarding recommended by Vincent became a method for regular, neat pruning and the grapes now grew better and bigger.

Vincent (Vin-sang - "The blood of the vine") became the patron saint of winemakers, who, in a supreme libation, emptied his blood from his tortured body, as the grape does when it is crushed in a press.

Citations of Vincent
- Twenty hundred thousand donkeys in a meadow, how many hoofs, tails and ears?
- When many a pitcher goes to the wine, at the end the barrel is empty!
- Without wine, how is Mass held?

Saint Vincent is generally celebrated on January 22, when winter is well underway and the season is bleak, and the vine requires more care. We then feel the need to come together, to find solace before resuming the first wine work, especially pruning.
It is particularly celebrated in Burgundy and Champagne, regions very close to where he was known by many.
He was a deacon and archdeacon for a period of his life in Zaragoza.
He is represented in effigy in the processions for harvest celebrations in cities with good vineyards. (September 27)

Translated by Sister Feuilllle

His Excellency the Most Reverend Monsignor Prof. Dr. theol. Policarpo von Wittelsbach
Bishop of Würzburg
Archabbot of the Abbey of Heiligenbronn
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