San Vicente Mártir is the patron saint of Valencia and today we are going to tell you who he was and why he is the patron saint of the city of Valencia. His appointment as patron saint of the city was designated by Jaume Primer, known by the Valencians as the conqueror of Valencia after defeating the Muslims and returning the Valencian lands to the Christians. According to legend, the conquest of the city took place thanks to the intervention of Saint Vincent the Martyr, which is why King Jaume I, in gratitude, named him protector of the city of Valencia. Although he is not only the patron saint of the city, but also of the guild of tailors and dressmakers, a festival that is also celebrated on 22 January.
This saint died in Valencia without renouncing his beliefs and his faith after being tortured the year 304. It was a complicated time for Christianity, as the polytheistic Roman world did not accept a doctrine such as Christianity. This is why the Christians were persecuted by many Roman emperors. In the case of Saint Vincent Martyr, it was the Emperor Diocletian who captured and tortured him.
Although he is also known as Vicente de Huesca after the town where he was born, he was a Spanish cleric in charge of preaching the faith together with Bishop Valero of Zaragoza, who was affected by a speech impediment and was helped in his speeches by St. Vincent.
The story goes that the ruler Publius Dacianus ordered his capture and transfer to Valencia. Bishop Valero was condemned to exile and Vincent was martyred until he finally died on 22 January after the numerous tortures that he suffered.
Although we will never know where reality begins and legend ends, his martyrdom, like so many others, begins on the cross. Where he was scourged and torn apart and his bones broken. While still alive and faced with the impossibility of his executioners to make him renounce his faith, Publius Dacian ordered him to be flayed and placed on a grill, and then thrown into a dungeon where he finally died without ever renouncing his Christian faith.
The legend says that his body was thrown into the river Turia with a millstone, but that the waters returned him to the banks, where he was finally buried in the basilica of San Vicent de la Roqueta, where his cult was maintained for much of the Islamic period.
Today, in addition to commemorating his death with a local festival, Valencia conserves archaeological remains corresponding to the prison in which San Vicente Mártir was imprisoned.
Although not very touristy, the Crypt of San Vicente is one of the most magical places to be found in Valencia. Located in Plaza del Arzobispo, 3, it is inside a building in which the city’s prisons were previously hidden. It was in one of these prisons that San Vicente Mártir was imprisoned.
According to current data, it is known that in the 14th century there was a chapel dedicated to the saint, built by Jaume I. Now in the space where that chapel was located, we can find archaeological remains of great value and a multimedia representation that tells the story of a part of the city of Valencia so little known as the Crypt of San Vicente Mártir.