Friday, January 22, 2010

Folklore of St Vincent's Day

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
Weather magic charm
Remember on St Vincent's Day
If that the sun his beams display,
Be sure to mark his transient beam
Which through the window sheds a gleam;
For 'tis a token bright and clear,
Of prosperous weather all the year.
Traditional English proverb
(Early Witlow grass, Draba verna, is today's plant, dedicated to this saint)

A deacon of Saragossa, or Zaragoza, Spain, as it in now more correctly called, Vincent was martyred circa 304 during the Emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians.

Imprisoned in Valencia for his faith, and tortured on a gridiron – a story perhaps adapted from the martyrdom of another son of Huesca in Aragon, Spain, St Lawrence -- 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.

Vincent is also the patron of bakers, roof-makers, sailors, schoolgirls, tile-makers, roofers, Portugal, vine dressers (because he protects from frost), vinegar makers, vintners, wine growers, wine makers. For no other apparent reason, he is also a patron saint of alcoholics.

Vincent represents a Christianization of the ancient Greek sun god Apollo, whose rites were performed at this time of year to bring warmth back to the frozen land. Consequently, St Vincent and his feast day are associated with fire, just as we noted on January 20 and 21 for the Eve and Night of St Agnes.

This is just a snippet of today's stories. Read all about today in folklore, historical oddities, inspiration and alternatives, with many more links, at the Wilson's Almanac Book of Days, every day. Click today's date (or your birthday) when you're there.

Categories: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker