to the web site of
Saint Vincent Ferrer
A Roman Catholic Community of Faith and Good Works
Begun as a Mission in 1971 & Established as a Parish in 1975
1006 New Haven Road (Route 63)
Catholics Come Home!
“Even now, return to me with your whole heart.
Gather the people, notify the congregation,
assemble the elders, gather the
Come back to me!”
“Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I have sinned,
For I acknowledge my offense; my sin is ever before me.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
And my mouth shall proclaim your praise.”
convert the [at] to @ in the addresses below)
Church email: stvincentfer[at]sbcglobal.net
Pastor email: KevinJForsyth[at]hotmail.com
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and our Gallery & color Bulletin
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Family Center: 203-723-7591
Our Patron Saint:
Saint Vincent Ferrer
“Angel of the Judgment”
Also known as Vincent Ferreri
Feast Day April 5
Vincent Ferrer was born on January 23,
1350 in Valencia, Spain, the fourth child of the
Anglo-Scottish nobleman William Stewart Ferrer (an immigrant to Spain)
and his Spanish wife, Constantia Miguel.
They instilled in him a deep devotion to the Lord Jesus and the
Blessed Mother and a great love for the poor.
His father is reported to have had a
dream in which he was told that Vincent would become a world famous
Dominican friar. Even still, Vincent
joined the Dominican Order in his native Spain in 1367 at age 18 against
his family’s wishes! After brilliant
studies, he received his doctorate of theology from the University of Lleida. He was ordained a priest by Cardinal Peter de Luna - who would
later figure tragically in Vincent’s life.
He was chosen Prior of the Dominican house in Valencia shortly after his
A handsome man, Vincent was of an ardent
nature and practiced the austerities of his Order with great energy. He had the gift of tongues (he spoke only
Spanish, but all listeners understood him), lived an endless fast, slept on
the floor, celebrated Mass daily, and was known as a miracle worker. He is reported to have brought a murdered
man back to life to prove the power of Christianity to the onlookers, and
he would heal people throughout a hospital just by praying in front of
it. He worked so hard to “build up”
the Church that he became the patron of people in building trades.
Vincent was a priest, missionary and
teacher of theology and advisor to the King of Aragon. Everywhere crowds flocked to hear him,
innumerable conversions and miracles occurred. He converted thousands in Spain, France,
Italy, Germany, Holland,
England, Scotland, and Ireland. He was offered an appointment as bishop,
but declined it.
The Western Schism of 1378 to 1417
divided Christianity, first between two, then three, popes. Clement
VII (and his successor Benedict XIII) lived at Avignon,
France, Urban VI lived in Rome.
(Later the third “pope” would emerge at Pisa – Alexander V and his successor,
John XXIII). Vincent was convinced
the election of Urban of Rome was invalid, although Catherine of Siena was
just as devoted a supporter of Urban as Vincent was of Clement. (The papal line would eventually be
established through Urban.)
While in the service of Cardinal Peter
de Luna– the one who ordained Vincent a priest - he worked to persuade
Spaniards to follow Clement of Avignon.
When Clement died, Cardinal de Luna was elected pope at Avignon and became
Benedict XIII. He was also known as
Vincent served as Counselor to Pope
Benedict XIII and also as Apostolic Penitentiary and Master of the Sacred Palace. But Benedict XIII did not resign as all
the candidates in the conclave had sworn to do. He remained stubborn despite being
deserted by the French King and nearly all of the Cardinals. Vincent became disillusioned as he
believed any renewal in the Church depended on healing the schism.
In 1398, Vincent became very ill with a
severe fever (and disheartened by the schism), and had a vision of Christ,
Saint Dominic de Guzman and Saint Francis of Assisi.
It was a life changing experience.
He was told he would recover and live to preach repentance like the
two saints. After the three departed
from him, Vincent was instantly restored to health. He received supernatural gifts and
believed that he was sent as an “angel of the apocalypse” to prepare
humankind for the Judgment of Christ.
An eloquent and fiery preacher, he took
up the work of simply “going through the world preaching Christ,” spending
the last 20 years of his life spreading the Good News and converting
thousands in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland,
the Low Countries and Lombardy, England, Scotland, and Ireland. He was even invited to preach in Muslim
Granada, all while working to end the Western Schism, stressing the need of
repentance and the fear of the coming judgment. (He became known as the “Angel of the
labored to have Benedict XIII end the schism, and after an extended period
of receiving empty promises, he tried, unsuccessfully, in 1408 and
again in 1415, to persuade his former friend – Pope Benedict XIII - to
resign. Vincent finally concluded that
Benedict was not the true pope and encouraged King Ferdinand of Castile
to withdraw his support from Benedict XIII.
In 1428, though once again very ill and
weak, he mounted the pulpit before an assembly over which Benedict XIII
himself was presiding and thundered his denunciation of the man who had
ordained him a priest! Benedict fled
for his life, abandoned by those who had formerly supported him. Strangely, Vincent had no part in the
Council of Constance, which finally brought an end to the schism.
Vincent died of natural causes at age 69
on April 5, 1419 at Vannes
Brittany, France. He was interred in the Cathedral of
Vannes. He was canonized by Pope Callistus III on June 3, 1455. At the ceremony of his canonization, the
stories of 800 of his validated miracles were read out
loud; there were more, but the celebrants got so tired they decided to
simply move on with the next part of the ceremony!
Vincent Ferrer is the patron saint of
reconciliation, brick makers, builders, Calamonaci, Italy,
workers, Leganes, Philippines, pavement workers,
plumbers, and tile makers.
In Art, he is represented with a Bible,
a cardinal’s hat, as a Dominican preacher with a flame on his hand, a
Dominican preacher with a flame on his head, a Dominican holding an
open book while preaching, a Dominican with a cardinal’s hat, a Dominican
with a crucifix, a Dominican with a trumpet nearby, often coming down from
heaven, (referring to his vision), a Dominican with wings, (referring to
his vision as being an “angel of the apocalypse”), in a pulpit, (representing his life as a preacher), a
flame, (referring to his gifts from the Holy Spirit).
In his book, “On the Spiritual Life,
Vincent Ferrer wrote, “If you truly
want to help the soul of your neighbor, you should approach God first with
all your heart. Ask him simply to
fill you with charity, the greatest of all virtues; with it you can
accomplish what you desire.”