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ST VINCENT FERRER – HE PERSEVERED BY PRAYING THROUGH HIS TEMPTATIONS

5th APRIL: ST VINCENT FERRER

“St Vincent Ferrer was born in January 1350, the fourth child of the nobleman Guillem Ferrer. Legend has it that his father was told in a dream by a Dominican friar that his son would be famous throughout the world and that his mother experienced no pain when she gave birth to him.

From an early age Vincent was renowned for his service to the poor and for his scholastic appetite. At the age of 18 he entered the Order of Preachers, commonly known as the Dominican Order or the Blackfriars. At first he experienced temptations urging him to leave the order. But he prayed through these trials and was ordained in 1379 in Barcelona.

During his three years of training he had studied Sacred Scripture and committed it to memory. He became a Master in Sacred Theology and was later sent to the University of Lleida where he secured a doctorate.

During the Western Schism which split the Church between 1378 and 1418, with Clement VII living in Avignon and Urban VI in Rome, Vincent believed that the election of Urban was invalid and worked hard to persuade Spaniards to follow Clement. Following Clement’s death, Cardinal Pedro de Luna was elected to the Avignon papacy, taking the name of Benedict XIII.

Vincent worked as apostolic penitentiary and Master of the Sacred Palace for Benedict XIII but tried to persuade him to end the schism. Eventually he encouraged King Ferdinand of Castile to withdraw his support from Benedict XIII.

Vincent travelled extensively to England, Scotland, Ireland, Aragon, Castile, France, Switzerland and Italy, preaching the Gospel and converting people. When he preached to St Colette of Corbie and her nuns, she told him that he would die in France.

Vincent was too ill to go back to Spain and died in Vannes, Brittany, at the age of 69. Vincent was canonised by Pope Calixtus III on June 3 1455. He is the patron saint of builders because he is celebrated for ‘building up’ the Church. He is also the patron of orphanages and is still invoked by fishermen during storms.”
– This article was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue March 28 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

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21st MARCH, GOSPEL READING (MATTHEW 21:33-43, 45-46)

THIS IS THE HEIR. COME ON, LET US KILL HIM.

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: “Listen to another parable. There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug a winepress in it and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad. When vintage time drew near he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his servants, thrashed one, killed another and stoned a third. Next he sent some more servants, this time a large number, and they dealt with them in the same way.

Finally he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him and take over his inheritance.’ So they seized him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They answered, “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will deliver the produce to him when the season arrives.”

Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures: It was the stone rejected by the builders that became the keystone. This was the Lord’s doing and it is wonderful to see? I tell you, then, that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.”

When they heard his parables, the chief priests and the scribes realised he was speaking about them but though they would have liked to arrest him they were afraid of the crowds, who looked on him as a prophet.

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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