Saint Vaast of Arras, †540

Another pre-schism Saint who has been recognized in the West as an intercessor for disabled people, especially those with eye diseases, is Saint Vaast of Arras, also known as St. Vedastus, the name listed in Alcuin’s extended account below, written around 800 A.D.

He also instructed St. Clovis of the Franks toward baptism into Christ.

See http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-vaast-of-arras/

You may access Alcuin’s account at the website below:

http://www.mtholyoke.edu/courses/cstraw/PrimaryDocuments/thelifeofsaintvedastus.html
(This translation was prepared from the MGH text by Mark Lasnier, University of Kansas, 1996.)

An excerpt:

Having accepted the rank of bishop and the office of preaching he was roused to go and proceed to that city; but in token of future prosperity and salvation, through the testimony of certain miracles, God announced Vedastus’ entry to the citizens.
At the city gate, two needy and infirm men, one blind, the other lame, barred his way, asking in pitiable voices for alms from the man of God. The priest of Christ, immediately feeling their misery, considered what he might be able to offer them. And when he realized he didn’t have any money in his sack, relying on the mercy of God and comforted by the example of the holy apostles Peter and John, the apostolic preacher said “I have neither gold nor silver with me; however, what I have, that is, responsibilities of charity and pious prayers to God, these I will not hesitate to offer to you.” (Acts 3:6) And after these words, the man of God, touched in his innermost heart for their misery, shed tears for their misery and with purity of faith asked a divine act for their bodies and for the spiritual health of the people present. Nor could such pious and necessary prayers be ineffectual, but according to him who said through the prophet Isaiah “At the proper time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I aided you” (Isaiah 69:8). Soon both received their longed-for health in the sight of the multitude; the one given the clearness of sight, the other rejoicing in his speed of foot. They returned home, both giving thanks to supernal piety, carrying away greater things than the the money for which they had hoped.

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