St. Vincent Ferrer
Born: January 23, 1350
Died: April 5, 1419
Canonized: June 3, 1455, by Pope Calixtus III
Feast Day: April 5
Patron Saint of: builders
Vincent Ferrer served the Church in a time of turmoil. One of close friends,
Pedro de Luna, was one of two men that claimed right of the papacy. Pedro de
Luna changed his name to Benedict XIII and moved the Holy See to Avignon,
France. Even though a close friend, in his heart, he knew that Benedict XIII was
not the rightful pope and this confusion as highly damaging to the Church.
Vincent tried in vain to convince his close friend of his error, but he did
convince King Ferdinand of Castile and thus led to the end of Benedict XIII's
reign as antipope.
The work of Saint Dominic de Guzman and Saint Francis of Assisi so inspired Saint Vincent Ferrer that he became a missionary preacher where he was often heard by crowds numbering in the thousands. The combination of this oratory skills and the fear of the end times that was prevalent in France in the 15th Century, made him one of the most sought after and listened to preachers of his time. By the time of his death at age 70, he had traveled to Switzerland, Italy, Britain, Holland and Spain taking a message that would convert thousands upon thousands.
The Catholic Encyclopedia