Saints of The English Year – St. Vincent.

January 22nd.

Little is known of Vincent of Saragossa apart from the fact that he was martyred for his faith in AD 304, but he was a widely popular saint across Europe and in Anglo-Saxon England. In English tradition, his day is only remembered in weather predictions, most of which agree that sunshine on the day augurs well for the year. A Northumberland version, quoted in1904, by local folklorist Mrs. Balfour, makes the point:

Remember on St. Vincent’s Day,

if the sun his beams display

be sure to mark his transient beam,

which through the casement sheds a gleam

for ’tis a token bright and clear

of prosperous weather all the year

[© Steve Roud: The English Year. 2006]

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