Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Saint Vincent Ferrer, Pray For Us

Today, we remember the "preacher [who] brought thousands of Europeans into the Catholic Church during a period of political and spiritual crisis in Western Europe" — Dominican missionary St. Vincent Ferrer celebrated April 5. Catholic readers might recognize this bit as being topical: "Popular acclaim, however, did not distract him from a life of asceticism and poverty."

Also, from the same region, but two later "period[s] of political and spiritual crisis in Western Europe" — Pope approves new ‘blesseds’ from Spanish Civil War, French Revolution.

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Blogger Terry Nelson said...

I like this image. I might use it and link. Anticipating the memorial, I thought of him in the same way - "popular acclaim did not distract him from a life of asceticism and poverty."

8:58 AM  
Blogger David Lindsay said...

He is very much a Saint for our times. As devoted a Biblical scholar as he was a philosopher, and vice versa. A vigorous converter of the Jews. A tireless itinerant missionary, preaching to tremendous effect in Aragon, Castile, Switzerland, France, Italy, England, Ireland and Scotland.

And blessed with the gift of tongues, since, other than Ecclesiastical Latin and despite his English father, he had no language but Limousin, which was what they spoke in his native Valencia in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. (Whatever my solidly left-wing objections to the likes of the Welsh language lobby in South Wales, or the anti-black Spanish lobby in the United States, or the enforcers of bilingualism in English-speaking Canada, I am as Jacobite, Legitimist and Carlist as any in my affection for the old tongues of the pre-Jacobin, and therefore pre-capitalist, Kingdoms.)

Speaking in tongues? The very same. Thoroughly Biblical, and a feature of the Lives of the Saints, notably in this case, and always mirroring the Day of Pentecost in making intelligible what was previously unintelligible. Whereas glossolalia is a twentieth-century running together of two Biblical Greek words in order to describe a twentieth-century phenomenon which does not occur in the Bible. Is it Saint Paul's "tongues of angels"? There is nothing in Scripture to support that view.

The gift of tongues is as manifested by Saint Vincent Ferrer OP, Biblical scholar, philosopher, thus doubly informed and doubly informing theologian, and thanks to that ongoing formation a gloriously successful preacher of the Gospel precisely as an ordained priest and a solemnly professed Religious in perfect unity with the See of Peter. Like the reconciled, previously schismatic community of traditionalist Dominicans under his patronage at Chémeré-le-Roi, recalling his efforts to heal the Great Schism between Rome and Avignon, and celebrating the Old Dominican Rite that he, miraculously healed and a speaker in tongues, also celebrated.

Ora pro nobis.

10:06 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Amen, and thanks.

11:15 AM  
Blogger xavier said...


Nice homage to St Vinenç. Just a note, he didn't speak limousin but valencià- the regional variant of Catalan. I haven't had a chance to read his Catalan sermons but I did read a fictional sermon and it was quite powerful but as it was from an historical novel, I wanted to read his actual sermons.

Also his brother (Bartolemeu) also a priest (but not a monk I think) translated the bible into Catalan and it was the first one. It seems to be well done.


11:35 PM  

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.