St. Vincent Ferrer
St. Vincent Ferrer, Priest and Preacher
On April 5th, Catholics around the world who follow the Roman Liturgical Calendar celebrate the life, death and gifts of St. Vincent Ferrer, Priest. He was born in Valencia, Spain in the year 1350 and joined the Dominican order in 1367. These were the followers of St. Dominic who also bear the letters O.P, for Order of Preachers. Dominic and his followers set Europe ablaze with their wonderful preaching of the Catholic Christian faith. They were also known as excellent theologian. Vincent lived up to the reputation which continues to this day.
Fr. Vincent received higher theological education in both Barcelona and Toulouse. He always wanted to perfect his already recognized gift for preaching the Gospel and calling men, women and children to conversion. It was a difficult time in the Catholic Church in Europe. Two different men claimed to be the successor of the Apostle Peter. One was seated in Rome and one in Avignon. This occurred between 1378 and 1409. As a result, the Church was being torn in a Schism.
In 1379 Vincent was asked by Cardinal Peter de Luna to join with him in ministry. He was a supporter of the man seated in Avignon. The Cardinal succeeded the one seated in Avignon. He took the name Benedict VIII and called Fr Vincent to come and serve as his confessor and confidante, which the young priest did. During this time, Vincent had a vision which led him to believe that Benedict’s claim to be a successor of the Apostle Peter was harming the Church. Upon request, he was given permission to leave and become a traveling preacher.