Vincent Ferrer

Vincent Ferrer

Infobox Saint
name=Saint Vincent Ferrer
birth_date=January 23, 1350
death_date=April 5, 1419
feast_day=April 5

birth_place=Valencia, Kingdom of Valencia
death_place=Vannes, Brittany, France
canonized_date=June 3, 1455
canonized_by=Pope Calixtus III
attributes=pulpit; cardinal's hat; trumpet; captives; Bible
patronage=builders, construction workers, plumbers
major_shrine=Vannes Cathedral
Saint Vincent Ferrer (Valencian: "Sant Vicent Ferrer"; 23 January 1350 – 5 April 1419) was a Valencian Dominican missionary and logician. Vincent was the fourth child of the Anglo-Scottish nobleman "William Stewart Ferrer" (William being the younger of two brothers descended from the English Ferrer family and the Stewarts of Scotland) and his Spanish wife, Constantia Miguel. [ [] ] [ [ Algorfa, Costa Blanca, The Website For Everything Algorfa ] ] [ St. Vincent Ferrer] "Catholic Encyclopedia". Retrieved on 2007-12-14] [Dress, Clayton J. "The Late Medieval Age of Crisis and Renewal, 1300-1500: A Biographical Dictionary". Greenwood Press, 2001. ISBN 0313305889. (p. 490)] Legends surround his birth. It was said that his father, William Stewart Ferrer, was told in a dream by a Dominican friar that his son would be famous throughout the world. His mother never experienced pain when she gave birth to him. He would fast on Wednesdays and Fridays and he loved the Passion of Christ very much. He would help the poor and distribute many alms to them. Vincent decided to join the Dominicans when his father gave him a choice whether to enter into secular, ecclesiastical, or a religious state.

Ferrer entered the Dominican Order at the age of eighteen and studied philosophy and theology. He prayed and practiced penance. For a period of three years, he read the Sacred Scriptures without any interruption to read any other book and he memorized the Bible. He published a treatise on Dialectic Suppositions after his solemn profession. He eventually became a Master of Sacred Theology and was commissioned to deliver lectures on philosophy. He was then sent to Barcelona and eventually to the University of Lleida, where he earned his doctorate in theology.

Vincent later claimed that the Great Schism had such a depressing effect on his mind that it caused to be seriously ill at the age of forty. He claimed that God healed him and instructed him to go out and convert many. For twenty-one years he was said to have traveled to Aragon, Castile, Switzerland, France, Italy, England, Ireland, and Scotland, preaching the Gospel and converting many. Many biographers believe that he was endowed with the gift of tongues, as he could speak only catalan. Vincent is also said to be responsible for converting many Jews to Catholicism. One of his converts, a former rabbi by the name of Solomon ha-Levi, went on to become Bishop of Cartagena and later Archbishop of Burgos.

Vincent intervened during a political crisis in his homeland, which resulted in the Compromise of Caspe, by which the Crown of Aragon was given to a Castilian prince, Ferdinand of Antequera.

According to two sources [ [ Catholic Encyclopedia: "St. Vincent Ferrer"] ] [ [ Second Exodus: St. Vincent Ferrer] ] Vincent was very loyal to the Avignonese Pope Benedict XIII, better known as "Papa Luna" in Castile and Aragon, remained in steadfast loyalty to him, and believed that Benedict XIII was the true Pope. [ [ Catholic Encyclopedia: "St. Vincent Ferrer"] ] According to another source [ [ "The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints" by Rev. Alban Butler] ] , Vincent labored to have Benedict XIII end the schism, and after an extended period of receiving empty promises, Vincent encouraged King Ferdinand of Castile to withdraw his support from Benedict XIII.

Sources are also contradicting of Vincent's achievement in converting a synagogue in Toledo, Spain into the church of Santa María la Blanca; one source says he preached to the mobs whose riots led to the appropriation of the synagogue and its transformation into a church in 1391 [fr icon cite web | url= | accessdate = 2007-08-26 | author = Michel Despland | publisher = Encyclopédie de l'Agora | title = La religion en Occident: Grandes ou petites vérités? ] ; a second source says he converted the Jews of the city who changed the synagogue to a church after they embraced the Faith, but hints at the year 1411 [ [ "The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints" by Rev. Alban Butler] ] ; a third source identifies two distinct incidents, one in Valencia in 1391 and one in Toledo at a later date, but says he put down an uprising against Jews in one place and diffused a persecution against them in the other [ [ Second Exodus: St. Vincent Ferrer] ] .

Saint Vincent died on 5 April 1419 at Vannes in Brittany and was buried in Vannes Cathedral. He was canonised by Pope Calixtus III on 3 June 1455. His feast day is celebrated on April 5. The Fraternity of Saint Vincent Ferrer, a Pontifical religious institute, is named after him.

External links

* [ Magnificat, Saint-Jovite, Québec, Canada biography]
* [ saints]
* [ online saints]
* [ Catholic Encyclopedia: "St. Vincent Ferrer"]
* [ S.Vincenzo Ferreri Italy]


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Vincent Ferrer, Saint — • Biography of this Spanish born Dominican missionary, who died in 1419 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Vincent Ferrer, Saint — ▪ French friar born c. 1350, , Valencia, Aragon died April 5, 1419, Vannes, Fr.; canonized 1455; feast day April 5       Aragonese friar and renowned preacher who helped to end the Great Western Schism.       In 1367 he entered the Dominican… …   Universalium

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  • FERRER, VICENTE° — (c. 1350–1419), Dominican friar, canonized by the Catholic Church. Some scholars consider that he was directly responsible for the anti Jewish persecutions in Spain of 1391. However, it seems that he was on his way to Avignon at the time. In a… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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