St. Vincent Ferrer (1350?-1419)
A prophet for his time, Vincent is remembered most for his preaching. Vincent was born in Valencia, Spain. While still a youth, he entered the Dominican Order. Vincent was recognized for his great learning and leadership. Embarking as a missionary preacher, Vincent traveled Western Europe preaching on the need for repentance and conversion in light of the coming Judgment of God. Many healings and miracles accompanied Vincent’ preaching. Massive crowds flocked to witness this preacher, and many conversions were had. Even a great number of heretics, Jews, and Muslims turned to the true Christian faith. These were troublesome times in the life of the Church, though, with two men purported to be the legitimate and current Pope (i.e. the Great Western Schism). Vincent himself supported the papacy of Clement VII, and his successor Benedict XIII, who resided in Avignon, France. For a time, Vincent served as the confessor and advisor to Benedict XIII. However, when an attempt at unity was made by having the multiple purported Popes resign and then electing one new Pope, Benedict XIII refused to resign. Since Benedict XIII was preventing the Church from being united, Vincent turned his support away from Benedict XIII. Consequently, Benedict XIII was deposed. While on a preaching mission, seeking to end the Hundred Year War between England and France, Vincent died.
Father, you called St. Vincent Ferrer to preach the Gospel of the Last Judgment. Through his prayers may we come with joy to meet your Son in the Kingdom of Heaven.