St. Vincent Ferrer
Today’s saint of the day is St. Vincent Ferrer.
St. Vincent Ferrer was a famous Dominican missionary, credited with having converted thousands of Europeans to Catholicism. He was born in Valencia, Spain, in 1350 and entered the Dominican Order at the age of 17.
After years of study in Toulouse, in 1379, he was retained by Cardinal Pedro de Luna, legate of the Court of Aragon, who was trying to win the king to the obedience of the Avignon pontiff.
When France withdrew from the obedience of Avignon in September 1398 and the troops of Charles VI laid siege to the city, St. Vincent was struck by a fever that nearly killed him. He was miraculously cured after having an apparition of Christ, accompanied by St. Dominic and St. Francis. He began his preaching ministry again in November 1399, and for 20 years was a missionary in Western Europe.
He was responsible for the conversion of thousands in the different regions of France, Switzerland, Spain and Italy, including an estimated 25,000 Jews. He had a huge following, and his assemblies would sometimes number 10,000 people.
St. Vincent performed many miracles and had the gift of tongues. He lived austerely, sleeping on the floor, perpetually fasting, and waking at two in the morning to chant the Office. He would celebrate mass daily and preach afterwards, sometimes for three hours.
He died April 5, 1419 and was canonized in 1455.
St. Vincent Ferrer is the patron of: builders, plumbers, and construction workers.