Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

January 22 | What Did I Do Wrong?

Saint Vincent of Saragossa

3rd century – 304

“What did I do wrong?”

When we suffer, this is the question we often ask ourselves. We can ruminate on it for weeks and months, looking for ways to blame ourselves. 

But one of life's enduring mysteries is that you don't have to do anything wrong for things to go horribly wrong. In fact, you can suffer precisely for doing the right thing.

That was the case with Saint Vincent of Saragossa. He and his bishop were arrested during the Roman persecution of Christians. Because the bishop had a speech impediment, Vincent spoke on his behalf, fearlessly proclaiming their faith.

Their governor was determined to force them into renouncing the Christian faith. He put Vincent through horrific tortures, including being burned and stretched on the rack.

Saint Vincent did nothing to deserve this torture. He followed the truth, practiced his faith peacefully, and in return received intense pain. Perhaps he too asked the question so many of us ask in the face of unjust suffering: “What did I do wrong?” This question could have easily led to another: “Was I right in following the Christian faith?” 

But Saint Vincent did not succumb to this doubt. His faith remained unshaken, and his spiritual strength inspired others—including his jailer, who converted to Christianity.

When we are hurt, rejected, or manipulated, we search our hearts and minds, wondering what we did wrong. Often, you did nothing wrong. Sometimes, suffering just happens. But every time it does, it is an invitation to trust in the Lord. 

We may not be able to control when suffering comes to visit us. But we can choose not to give into self-blame. We can cling to faith. And when we do that, we allow God to see us through even the worst of situations.

Do I blame myself too much? In the face of senseless suffering, what question can I ask instead of, “What did I do wrong?”

I will not blame myself for suffering I cannot control. I will turn to the Lord.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Lisbon, Valencia, Wine Makers, and Wine Merchants

Symbols: Two crossed wooden beams

Feast Day: January 22

Feast Day Shared By: Saint Anastasius and Saint Vincent Pallotti

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