St. Vincent Ferrer

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By Catholic Digest Staff


St. Vincent Ferrer
April 5


As a child, Vincent showed signs of great academic ability and devotion to the Lord. He joined the Dominicans in 1367, and only a few years later began teaching philosophy at the famous university in Catalonia, Spain. After ordination he continued his theological and Hebrew studies. He became famous for converting sinners during his sermons and dedicated himself to the good of the Church. After pushing for unity and negotiations during the Western Schism (1378-1417), when three leaders who each claimed to be Pope divided the Church, Vincent became a wandering minister. He was inspired to travel by a vision of Jesus standing between St. Francis and St. Dominic, instructing him to evangelize the world. He traveled all over Europe and his preaching was so moving that he once converted a Rabbi, who later became the bishop of Cartagena. Large crowds came to hear him speak, and he urged them to repent their sinful ways. Vincent is accredited with many miracles, and toward the end of his life, he once more tried to heal the Schism. At the time there were still three rival popes, and Vincent preached before an enormous crowd of bishops and nobles at the Council of Constance, opening with, “You dry bones, listen to the world of the Lord,” and then condemned them for placing their pride above the unity of the Church. After great effort he persuaded the King of Aragon to cease his support of one of the popes, and unity finally was restored among the council.

Catholic Digest Staff