Old Calendar: St. Vincent Ferrer, confessor
St. Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419) was born in Valencia, Spain, and died in Vannes, Britany. He was a great scholar and became Master of Theology — he knew the entire Bible by heart. He was also a great preacher, preaching throughout Europe. Jews, infidels and heretics were converted by his sermons on the true faith. The most obdurate sinners embraced a life of holiness. The favorite topic of his sermons was the final judgment. He repeated over and over the words of the prophet, "Arise, ye dead, and come to the judgment." He is often called the "Angel of the Judgment." A renowned wonder-worker, by God's grace, St. Vincent cured the sick, the blind and the lame.
St. Vincent Ferrer's father was an Englishman, who had been knighted at the siege of the city. On February 5th, 1367, having completed his studies in philosophy, he became a Dominican. He was moved to Barcelona in the next year, and in 1370 became lecturer in philosophy at the Dominican house in Lerida. In 1373, when he returned to Barcelona to the 'Studium Arabicum et Hebraicum', he was already a famous public preacher.
- St. Vincent reduces the rules of perfection to avoiding three things: first, the exterior distraction of superfluous activities; secondly, all interior secret elation of heart; and thirdly, all immoderate attachment to created things. Also to the practicing of three things: first, the sincere desire of contempt and abjection; secondly, the most affective devotion to Christ crucified; and thirdly, patience in bearing all things for the love of Christ. Examine your own life and consider how well you embrace the desire for perfection.
- Learn more about St. Vincent by reading this longer account of his life and/or reading this excerpt from his writing.
The Station today is in St. Lawrence's in Damaso—a church built by Pope St. Damascus in honor of the martyred deacon. It was one of the first parish churches in Rome and was rebuilt in the late 15th century by Bramante, and has since been restored several times. Pope St. Damasus' relics are beneath the altar. Today the church is part of the Cancelleria, or the chancery, and houses the Holy Father's Tribunals: the Roman Rota, Apostolic Signatura, and Apostolic Penitentiary.
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