Friday, April 4, 2008

Saint Vincent Ferrer

St. Vincent Ferrer

Feast: April 5

Saint Vincent Ferrer, of the Order of Preachers, the second son —fourth child— of the British nobleman William Stewart Ferrer and his Catalan wife, Constantia Miguel was born in Valencian on January 23, 1350 and entered into glory on April 5, 1419.

St. Vincent was professed in the Order of Preachers at the age of 18, he studied at the University of Lleida gained a Doctorate in Sacred Theology and lectured.

In his forties he became gravely ill and received a miraculous healing, and the inspiration to become a wandering preacher. For twenty-one years, he was said to have traveled throughout Western Europe preaching the gospel and converting many. It is said of him by his biographers that he possessed the gift of tongues. He is credited with the conversion of many Jew to the Faith. One of his converts, a Rabbi by the name of Solomon ha-Levi who took the Christian name Pablo de Santa Maria, went on to become Bishop of Cartagena in Spain and later Archbishop of Burgos.

He is credited with an intervention during the diplomatic discussions that produced the Caspe Compromise of 1412, that brought to the throne of Aragon Fernando de Antequera, brother of King Henry III of Castile, who ruled as Ferdinand I of Aragon.

During the time of the Great Schism St. Vincent supported the Catalan Pope Benedict XIII (Peter de Luna), whom he believed to be the true Pope.

Saint Vincent died on April 5, 1419 at Vannes in Brittany, France and is buried in Vannes Cathedral. He was canonized by Pope Calixtus III on June 3, 1455. His feast day is celebrated on April 5.