St. Vincent Ferrer
A most wonderful Christian hero was St. Vincent Ferrer. He was born in Valencia, Spain, in 1350. He had a special devotion to the Blessed Mother. Whenever anyone spoke of her, it made him very happy. When he was seventeen, Vincent entered the Dominican order. He was very intelligent and did well in his studies. He was handsome too, but he wasn't proud or boastful.
First, Father Vincent taught at different colleges. Then he became a well-known preacher. The Dominicans are called the Order of Preachers. For twenty years, Father Vincent preached all over Spain and France. Although there were no microphones in those days, his voice could be heard from a great distance. Many people were converted just by listening to him. Even a well-known rabbi, Paul of Burgos, became a Catholic. He then became a priest and eventually bishop of Cartagena, Spain.
Many Catholics were so impressed by Vincent's sermons and example of holiness that they became more fervent. Catholics who were not practicing their faith often changed. They became fervent for the rest of their lives.
St. Vincent counted on God. He also asked for the prayers and penance of many people for the success of his sermons. He knew it was not his words or his talents that won people over. That is why he prayed before every sermon. But it is said that one time, when he knew that a very important person was going to listen to him, he worked harder than usual on his sermon. He ran out of time to pray. This sermon which he had prepared so carefully did not affect the nobleman much at all. God let that happen to teach Vincent not to count on himself. Another time, this same important person came to listen to Father Vincent preach. But this time the priest did not know it. He prayed and counted on God, as usual. The nobleman listened to the sermon and was greatly impressed by what he heard. When Vincent was told, he said: "In the first sermon it was Vincent who preached. In the second sermon, it was Jesus Christ."
St. Vincent died in 1419. He was proclaimed a saint by Pope Nicholas V in 1455.
What difference can I make in this world today? What is my dream to make it a better world?