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Saint Vincent Ferrer

Saint Vincent Ferrer
  • Century: 14th & 15th Century
  • Patronage: Builders, Construction Workers, Plumbers, Fishermen, Orphanages
  • Feast Day: April 5th

St. Vincent Ferrer was a Valencian Dominican Friar, who gained acclaim as a missionary.  He was the fourth child of the Anglo-Scottish nobleman William Stewart Ferrer, and his Spanish wife, Constantia Miguel.   Legends surround the birth of Vincent; one being that his father was told in a dream by a Dominican Friar that his son would be famous throughout the world.  His mother is said never to have experienced pain when she gave birth to him.  Vincent would fast every Wednesday and Friday, and he loved the Passion of Christ very much.  He would help the poor and distribute alms to them.  At the age of 14 he started his studies of Theology and philosophy.  

At the age of eighteen he entered the Dominican Order.  He felt temptations to leave almost immediately upon his arrival, and even his parents pleaded with him to leave to become a secular Priest. He however through prayer was able to overcome his temptations to leave.  He solely read Sacred Scripture and eventually committed it to memory.  He was ordained a Priest in 1379, and was sent to Barcelona and eventually to the University of Lleida, where he earned his doctorate in Theology.  

Vincent traveled England, Scotland, Ireland, Aragon, Castile, France, Switzerland, and Italy preaching the Gospel and converting many, for 21 years.  He was endowed with the gift of tongues and could speak the native language of where he was preaching.  He preached to St. Colette of Corbie and to her Nuns, and it was she who told him that he would die in France.  Too ill to return to Spain, he did indeed die in Brittany.  Breton Fishermen still invoke his aid in storms.  In Spain, he is also the patron of orphanages.  He is said to have been responsible for the conversion of many Jews to Catholicism.  One convert went on to become the Bishop of Cartagena and later the Archbishop of Burgos.  

St. Vincent died on April 5th 1419 at Vannes in Brittany, at the age of sixty-nine.  He was buried in Vannes Cathedral.  Pope Calixtus III canonized him on June 3, 1455.  His feast day is celebrated on April 5th.  The Fraternity of Saint Vincent Ferrer, a pontifical religious institute is named after him.  

Practical Take Away

St. Vincent Ferrer was a Valencian Dominican Friar, who gained acclaim as a missionary.  Vincent traveled England, Scotland, Ireland, Aragon, Castile, France, Switzerland, and Italy preaching the Gospel and converting many, for 21 years.  He was endowed with the gift of tongues and could speak the native language of where he was preaching.  He was responsible for converting a lot of Jews to Catholicism.  The time in which he lived, was in desperate need of preachers to travel and spread the Gospel.  St. Vincent was successful in doing just that, and is venerated for his efforts in building up the kingdom of God.