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April 5

St Vincent Ferrer - April 5

Saint Vincent Ferrer

Priest, Confessor

(1350 – 1419)

“Pay attention to what you do yourself, and not to what others do.

Saint Vincent Ferrer

Saint’s Life Story

His Early Studious Years 

Vincent was born on January 23, 1350, in Valencia, Spain, the son of William Ferrer and Constantia Miguel, bof theo noble families. He was educated at Valencia and joined the Dominicans in 1367.Vincent was sent to Barcelona for further studies. At the age of 21, Vincent taught philosophy at Lerida. Then, Vincent returned to Barcelona in 1373, where he earned fame for predicting accurately the timely arrival of grain ships during a famine.

Two Popes

Three years later, Vincent continued his studies at Toulouse, France. In 1379, Vincent became a member of Pedro Cardinal de Luna’s court, the beginning of a long friendship. De Luna had voted for Pope Urban VI in 1378. However, he was convinced the election had been invalid and joined a bunch of cardinals who elected Robert of Geneva as Pope. This action created a schism.

Teacher and Confessor to the Queen

Vincent taught at the cathedral in Valencia from 1385-1390. He was the confessor to Queen Yolanda of Aragon from 1391 to 1395.  Vincent was cited for heresy. In 1394, the charge was dismissed by De Luna, who became the newly elected successor to the antipope Clement VII. De Luna became known as the antipope Benedict XIII. Vincent became part of the papal legate to the court of Aragon and the antipope Benedict XIII. Vincent was convinced of the legitimacy of the Avignon Popes and was their ardent champion. 

So, in 1394, Vincent took the position of confessor and apostolic penitentiary to antipope Benedict XIII. Vincent declined offices and honors, including cardinalate, that antipope Benedict wanted to bestow on him. During a French siege of Avignon in 1398, Vincent fell gravely ill and nearly died. After he had a vision of Christ, St Dominic, and St Francis of Assisi, Vincent miracously recovered. In this vision, Vincent was directed to “go through the world preaching Christ.”

Worldwide Preacher

However, he had some resistance from antipope Benedict XIII, who did not want Vincent to leave Avignon. In 1399, Vincent was finally released by antipope Benedict XIII and started preaching all over western Europe. His passion and eloquence attracted large crowds of believers. For the next twenty years, he travelled to England, Scotland, Ireland, Aragon, Castile, France, Switzerland and Italy, preaching the Gospel and converting many.  Vincent had converts that included Saint Bernardine of Siena and Blessed Margaret of Savoy. 

Judge

In Spain, Vincent was named one of nine judges to decide the succession to the crown of Aragon in which King Ferdinand was chosen.  One of Vincent’s greatest achievements was his effort to end the Great Western Schism, which had divided the Church since 1378. In 1408, while ministering to the plague-stricken of Genoa, Vincent tried unsuccessfully to persuade Benedict to withdraw his claims to the papacy so the Church could be united under one Pope.

Vincent spent a lot of time preaching for an end to the schism and even begged his friend Benedict to resign after the Council of Constance had deposed a third person who laid claim to the papacy – antipope John XXIII. After Benedict refused, Vincent advised King Ferdinand to withdraw his allegiance to Avignon. King Ferdinand did so and then Benedict was deposed and the Great Western Schism ended.

His Death

Vincent spent the last three years of his life preaching in northern France. He died at Vannes, Brittany, France on April 5, 1419.

Beatified:           Not Available

Canonized:        June 3, 1455 by Pope Calixtus III

Feast Day:         April 5

Patron Saint:    Archdiocese of Valencia, Spain; Builders; Prisoners

Source:

Reflection

​Saint Vincent Ferrer, you lived a life of fervor and dedication to the truths of the Catholic faith, imparting the education you received to others through your witness and preaching. Come to the aid of all teachers and preachers to emulate your virtues with your same zeal for the house of the Lord. 

How can you “preach” to others today through your actions and words? You may not be a preacher, but you can show your zeal for God through your actions and words to those you encounter every day.

Source: Saint Vincent Ferrer, Priest – My Catholic Life!

Prayers

O Saint Vincent Ferrer, our guardian,
because God, our eternal Father,
has blessed you with an inexhaustible
fountain of grace and blessing,
we beg you to hear our prayers
and to assist us with your powerful intercession which is even more effective now that you are in heaven
than it was when you were on earth.
Full of confidence in your mercy and compassion, we kneel in prayer before you, and commend to your powerful intercession all our needs,
those of our families, our friends and relatives.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.  Amen.

Source: Prayer to St. Vincent Ferrer | Missionary Society of St. Columban US

Saint Links 

Aleteia – Another saint of impossible causes: He brought about hundreds of miracles even in his lifetime

AnaStpaul – Saint of the Day – 5 April – St Vincent Ferrer O.P. (1350-1419)

Bartleby.com – Rev. Alban Butler. Volume IV: April. The Lives of the Saints. 1866. April 5 St. Vincent Ferrer, Confessor

Catholic Culture – St. Vincent Ferrer and the Divided Papacy

Catholic Exchange – St. Vincent Ferrer (Priest)

Catholic Fire – St. Vincent Ferrer: Dominican Missionary who converted thousands

Catholic Ireland – Apr 5 – St Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419)

Catholic News Agency – St. Vincent Ferrer Feast Day: Apr 05

CatholicSaints.Info – Saint Vincent Ferrer

Franciscan Media – Saint Vincent Ferrer

Loyola Press – Saint Vincent Ferrer Feast Day April 5

My Catholic Life – Saint Vincent Ferrer, Priest

New Advent – Reinhart, A. (1912). St. Vincent Ferrer. In The Catholic Encyclopedia.

Saints, Feast, Family – Saint Vincent Ferrer’s Story

Saint Mary’s Press – Saint Vincent Ferrer (c.1350-1419)

Saints Sources – Vincent Ferrer

uCatholic – Saint Vincent Ferrer

Wikipedia – Vincent Ferrer

Video Link

Saint Vincent Ferrer – YouTube (Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network – USA)

Saint Vincent Ferrer, The Angel of the Apocalypse – YouTube (Quo Vadis)