Legend has it that St. Vincent once stopped by the edge of a vineyard to talk with the men working there and while he was at it, his donkey nibbled at the young vine shoots. Come the next harvest, it was discovered that the vine stock that had been browsed had produced more fruit than all the others. St Vincent’s donkey had invented the art of vine pruning. This is one of the reasons that he is the patron saint of vine dressers; vinegar makers; vintners; wine growers; wine makers.
Saint Agnes was a Roman girl who was only thirteen years old when she suffered martyrdom for her Faith. Agnes had made a promise, a promise to God never to stain her purity. Her love for the Lord was very great and she hated sin even more than death! Since she was very beautiful, many young men wished to marry Agnes, but she would always say, "Jesus Christ is my only Spouse."
According to his legend, Saint Sebastian was born at Narbonne, Gaul. He became a soldier in the Roman army at Rome in about 283, When it was discovered during Maximian's persecution of the Christians that Sebastian was indeed a Christian, he was ordered executed.
Saint Henry of Uppsala, the Patron of Finland, was an Englishman of the twelfth century residing at Rome. In 1152, he was consecrated Bishop of Uppsala, Sweden, by the Papal Legate Nicholas Breakspear, who later became Pope Adrian IV.
St. Archelais, St. Thecla and St. Susanna were Christian virgins of the Romagna region of Italy. During the persecution by Diocletian in the third century, these holy virgins dressed themselves in men’s clothing, cut their hair and went to the Italian province of Campagna. They were gruesomely martyred in ad 293.
Saint Anthony the Great is the father of Christian monasticism. Born in Egypt c.251, he gave away his large inheritance and fled to the desert and led a solitary life of fasting, prayer, and manual labor.
Six Franciscan friars accepted from St. Francis of Assisi an assignment to go to Morocco. They were to announce Christianity to the Muslims. Friars Berard, Peter, Adjutus, Accursio and Odo traveled by ship in 1219. Morocco is in the northwest corner of Africa and the journey was long and dangerous. The group arrived at Seville, Spain. They started preaching immediately, on streets and in public squares. People treated them as if they were crazy and had them arrested. To save themselves from being sent back home, the friars declared they wanted to see the sultan. So the governor of Seville sent them to Morocco.
Saint Paul the Hermit was reportedly born in Egypt, where he was orphaned by age 15. During the persecution of Decius he fled in a cave in the desert. He went on to live in that cave for the next 90 years. Thought to have been about 112 when he died, Paul is known as the "First Hermit."
Saint Felix of Nola (3rd cen.) was a Syrian who had been a Roman soldier. After being imprisoned, an Angel freed him so he could assist the ailing Bishop St. Maximus. St. Felix hid St. Maximus from soldiers in a vacant building. When the two were safely inside, a spider quickly spun a web over the door, fooling the imperial forces into thinking it was long abandoned, and they left without finding the Christians.
Saint Hilary of Poiters, Doctor of the Church ( 315-368) was a leader in the Church in the fight against Arianism in the fourth century. He spent the later years of his life writing. He was also noted for composing many hymns. He was held in highest regard, even during his time, as a Latin writer of the highest rank. St. Augustine of Hippo already was referring to him as "the illustrious doctor of the churches."