1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Vincent Ferrer, St

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VINCENT FERRER, ST (1355-1419), Spanish Dominican preacher, was born of respectable parentage at Valencia on the 23rd of January 1355. In February 1374 he took the Dominican habit, and after spending some years in teaching, and in completing his theological studies, he was licensed to preach. He graduated as doctor of theology at Lerida in 1374, and his sermons in the cathedral of Valencia from 1385 onwards soon became famous. Cardinal Peter de Luna took him with him to Paris in 1391; and on his own election to the pontificate as antipope Benedict XIII. made Ferrer his confessor and master of the sacred palace. Finding, however, the ecclesiastical atmosphere of Avignon an uncongenial one, he in 1397 resumed his work as a preacher, and Spain, France, Italy, Germany and Great Britain and Ireland were successively visited by him; and in every case numerous conversions were the result of his eloquence, which is described as having been singularly powerful and moving. In 1412 he was delegated by his native city to take part in the election of a successor to the vacant crown of Aragon; and in 1416 he received a special invitation to attend the council of Constance, where he supported the cause of the Flagellants (q.v.). He died at Vannes on the 5th of April 1419, and was canonized by Calixtus III. in 1455, his festival (duplex) being observed on the 5th of April.

See A. Sorbelli, Il trattato di S. Vincenzo Ferrer intorno al Grande Scisma d'Occidente (Bologna, 1906).