SAN VICENTE FERRER
Saint Vincent was born at Valencia, Spain in 1350 to William Ferrer and Constancia Miguel, both nobles. He was educated in Valencia and at the age of 17 received the habit of the Order of Preachers. He was sent to Barcelona for further studies. Later, he taught philosophy at Lerida and in three years returned once more to Barcelona. He proceeded to continue his studies at Toulouse.
In the troubled times in which he lived, he was an Angel of Peace. After recovering from a serious illness in 1398, during which he had a vision of Christ accompanied by Saint Dominic de Guzman and Saint Francis of Assisi directing him to teach penance, he devoted himself to preaching. He traveled throughout Spain, France, and Italy, preaching the Word of God with special stress on penance for sin and preparations for the Last Judgement. Although he preached in his own native tongue to people who spoke different languages, he was clearly understood by all because of his extraordinary Gift of Tongues. He was also outstanding for the Gift of Prophecy, worked astonishing miracles and brought back thousands, including Jews and Moors, to the faith. His authority helped to bring the Great Schism to an end.
The Saint spent the last three years of his life in France and died at Vannes, Brittany on April 5, 1419. Pope Calixtus III canonized him in 1455.
O God, you sent to the world your priest St. Vincent as a minister of the evangelical preaching; grant, we beseech you, that he whom St. Vincent announced to come as judge on earth, we may joyfully contemplate reigning in Heaven. This we ask through Christ our Lord. Amen.
FEASTDAY: APRIL 5