Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Feast of St. Vincent Ferrer
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Today is the feast of the great Dominican missionary St. Vincent Ferrer. Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419) was a great Spanish Dominican missionary and master of souls. It is estimated that through the labors of St. Vincent, over 25,000 Jews were brought into the Church.  He also brought in numerous converts among the Islamic Moors.

In addition to carrying on an inspired apostolate in Spain, he preached to thousands of persons in France, Switzerland, and Italy. By his preaching and miracles, he converted thousands of sinners and heretics. He pleaded so eloquently for penance that he was known as the "Angel of the Judgment." He raised over 30 people from the dead.

The Roman Martyrology says of him: "At Vannes in Brittany, St. Vincent Ferrer, of the Order of Preachers, and confessor. He was mighty in word and deed, and converted many thousands of infidels to Christ."

Dom Gueranger writes, "To-day, again, it is Catholic Spain that offers one of her sons to the Church, that she may present him to the Christian world as a model and a patron. Vincent Ferrer, or, as he was called, the angel of the judgment, comes to us proclaiming the near approach of the Judge of the living and the dead. During his lifetime, he traversed almost every country of Europe, preaching this terrible truth; and the people of those times went from his sermons striking their breasts, crying out to God to have mercy upon them—in a word, converted."

The traditional Matins lessons:
Vincent was born at Valencia, in Spain, of respectable parents. He showed the gravity of old age, even when quite a child. Considering within himself, as far as his youthful mind knew it, the dangers of this dark world, he received the Habit in the Order of Preachers when he was eighteen years of age. After his solemn profession, he diligently applied himself to sacred studies, and gained, with much applause, the degree of doctor of divinity. Shortly after this, he obtained leave from his superiors to preach the word of God. He exposed the perfidy of the Jews, and refuted the false doctrines of the Saracens, but with so much earnestness and success, that he brought a great number of infidels to the faith of Christ, and converted many thousand Christians from sin to repentance, and from vice to virtue. God had chosen him to teach the way of salvation to all nations, and tribes, and tongues; as also to warn men of the coming of the last and dread day of judgment. He so preached, that he struck terror into the minds of all his hearers, and turned them from earthly affections to the love of God. 
His mode of life, while exercising this office of apostolic preaching, was as follows: he every day sang Mass early in the morning, delivered a sermon to the people, and, unless absolutely obliged to do otherwise, observed a strict fast. He gave holy and prudent advice to all who consuited him. He never ate flesh meat, or wore linen garments. He reconciled contending parties, and restored peace among nations that were at variance. He zealously laboured to restore and maintain the union of the seamless garment of the Church, which, at that time, was rent by a direful schism. He shone in every virtue. He was simple and humble, and treated his revilers and persecutors with meekness and affection. 
Many were the signs and miracles which God wrought through him, in confirmation of the holiness of his life and preaching. He very frequently restored the sick to health, by placing his hands upon them. He drove out the unclean spirits from the bodies of such as were possessed. He gave hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, sight to the blind. He cured lepers, and raised the dead to life. At length, worn out by old age and bodily infirmities, after travelling through many countries of Europe, and reaping an abundant harvest of souls, this untiring herald of the Gospel terminated his preaching and life at Vannes, in Brittany, in the year of our Lord 1419. He was canonized by Pope Calixtus III.
This noble Dominican is an example for us all.  Please read the story of his noteworthy life at Nobility.org by clicking here. And for more information, the book "The Angel of Judgment" is a must-read.

Collect:

O God, who didst vouchsafe to glorify Thy Church by the merits and preaching of blessed Vincent, Thy Confessor: grant to us Thy servants that we may be taught by his example, and delivered by his patronage from all adversities. Through our Lord . . .

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

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