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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

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2016

#PopeFrancis "The Sacrament of Reconciliation renders actual for each one the strength..." Audience FULL TEXT - Video



THE HOLY FATHER’S CATECHESIS
 Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
After having reflected on God’s mercy in the Old Testament, today we begin to meditate on how Jesus Himself brought it to its fulfilment. Jesus, in fact, is God’s mercy made flesh – a mercy that He expressed, realized and communicated always, in every moment of His earthly life. In meeting the crowds, in proclaiming the Gospel, in curing the sick, in approaching the last, in forgiving sinners, Jesus makes visible a love open to all: no one excluded! It is open to all without limits. It is a pure, free and absolute love, a love that reaches its culmination in the sacrifice of the Cross. Yes, the Gospel is truly the “Gospel of Mercy,” because Jesus is Mercy!
All four Gospels attest that, before undertaking His ministry, Jesus wished to receive Baptism from John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:29-34). This event imprints a decisive orientation to the whole of Christ’s mission. In fact, He did not present Himself to the world in the splendor of the Temple: He could have done so, He did not have Himself proclaimed by fanfare: He could have done so, He did not even come in the robes of a judge: He could have done so. Instead, after thirty years of a hidden life at Nazareth, Jesus went to the river Jordan, together with many of His people, and He put Himself in the queue with sinners. He was not ashamed; He was there with everyone, with sinners, to be baptized. Therefore, from the beginning of His ministry, He manifested Himself as the Messiah who takes on the human condition, moved by solidarity and compassion. As He Himself affirmed in the synagogue of Nazareth, identifying Himself with Isaiah’s prophecy:  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19).
All that Jesus did after His Baptism was the realization of the initial program: to take to all the love of God that saves; Jesus did not bring hatred, He did not bring enmity: He brought us love! – a great love, a heart open to all, to all of us! – a love that saves!
He made Himself close to the last, communicating to them God’s mercy, which is forgiveness, joy and new life. Jesus, the Son sent by the Father, is really the beginning of the time of mercy for the whole of humanity! Those who were present on the banks of the Jordan did not understand immediately the importance of Jesus’ gesture. John the Baptist himself was astonished by His decision (cf. Matthew 3:14) — but not the heavenly Father! He made His voice heard from on high:  ”You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11).
Thus, the Father confirmed the way the Son undertook as Messiah, while the Holy Spirit descended upon Him as a dove. So Jesus’ heart beats, so to speak, in unison with the heart of the Father and of the Spirit, showing all men that salvation is the fruit of God’s mercy.
We can contemplate the great mystery of this love even more clearly by turning our gaze to Jesus crucified. While He is about to die for us sinners, He entreats the Father: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). It is on the Cross that Jesus presents to the Father’s mercy the sin of the world, the sin of all, my sins, your sins. And there, on the Cross, He presents them to the Father. And with the sins of the world all our sins are cancelled. Nothing and no one remains excluded from this sacrificial prayer of Jesus. This means that we must not be afraid to acknowledge and confess ourselves sinners. How many times we say: “But he is a sinner, he has done this, and that …”, and we judge others. And you? Each one of us should ask himself: Yes, he is a sinner, and I?” We are all sinners, but we are all forgiven: we all have the possibility of receiving this forgiveness, which is God’s mercy. Therefore, we must not be afraid to acknowledge ourselves sinners, to confess ourselves sinners, because every sin was born by the Son on the Cross. And when we confess it repentant, entrusting ourselves to Him, we are certain of being forgiven. The Sacrament of Reconciliation renders actual for each one the strength of the forgiveness that flows from the Cross and renews in our life the grace of mercy that Jesus acquired for us! We must not be afraid of our miseries: each one of us has his own. The power of the love of the Crucified knows no obstacles and is never exhausted, and this mercy cancels our miseries.
Beloved, in this Jubilee Year, let us ask God for the grace to experience the power of the Gospel: the Gospel of mercy that transforms, which makes us enter in God’s heart, which enables us to forgive and to look at the world with greater kindness. If we receive the Gospel of the Risen Crucified One, the whole of our life is moulded by the strength of His love, which renews.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
Greetings for Italian-speakers present
I give a cordial welcome to the Italian-speaking pilgrims. I am happy to receive the faithful of the dioceses of Castellaneta and of Fidenza, accompanied by their Pastors, Monsignor Maniago and Monsignor Mazza; and the participants in the march of nourishing peace, with the Bishop of Gubbio, Monsignor Ceccobelli. I greet the Community of the Saint John Damascene Pontifical College, observing the 75 years of its foundation; the students and relatives of the Schools of the Congregation of Adorers of the Blood of Christ; the doctors of the European Society of Paediatric Orthopaedics as well as the faithful of Recco, Alatri, Vietri of Potenza and the students of Messina. In this Extraordinary Jubilee, I invite you to rediscover the need for the corporal and spiritual works of mercy as an opportunity to nourish our faith.
A particular thought goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Look at the model of the Virgin Mary to live this Paschal Time in listening to the Word of God and with the practice of charity, living with joy your membership in the Church, the family of the missionary disciples of the Risen Christ.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
The Holy Father’s Appeal
Today is the Third International Day of Sport for Development and Peace proclaimed by the United Nations. Sport is a universal language, which brings peoples close and can contribute to have persons meet and overcome conflicts. Therefore, I encourage you to live the sports dimension as a training ground of virtue in the integral growth of individuals and communities.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]

#PopeFrancis “every day each one of us is called to say ‘yes’ to God”. #Homily at Vatican

Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Casa Santa Marta - OSS_ROM
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Casa Santa Marta - OSS_ROM
04/04/2016 12:31


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation encouraging the faithful to open their hearts to God and to say ‘yes’ to his message of salvation.
Speaking during the homily at morning Mass the Pope asked those present to ask themselves the question whether they are men and women who respond to the Lord’s call or whether they look the other way to avoid answering.
Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni:
 
Celebrating Mass at the Casa Santa Marta for the first time since the Easter break, the Pope took his cue from the April 4th Feast of the Annunciation which tells of  Mary’s “yes” to God and opens the door to the “yes” of Jesus.  
Pope Francis focused his homily on the chain of affirmative answers that run through the Scriptures.

He spoke of Abraham who obeyed the Lord and left his land without knowing his destination and he recalled that “humanity of men and women” – even although many were elderly like Abraham or Moses - “who said ‘yes’ to hope offered by the Lord.”
The Pope also mentioned those who initially refused or hesitated – like Isaiah or Jeremiah – but ended up saying “yes” to the Lord. 
And reflecting on the Gospel reading of the day, Pope Francis said it marks the end of ‘this chain’ while opening the door to yet another ‘yes’.

Mary's ‘yes’ – he explained – allows God not only to look over man and walk with him, but to become one of us and take on our flesh.
“Mary’s ‘yes’ opens the door to Jesus’ ‘yes’: I have come to do Your will, this is the ‘yes’ that Jesus carries with him throughout his life, until the cross” he said. 
And Pope Francis pointed out that Mary’s affirmative answer contains the whole history of salvation.
“Today, he said, is a beautiful day in which to thank God for showing us that path, but also for thinking about our lives”
With a special word for some of the priests present who were celebrating the 50th anniversary of their Ordination, the Pope said “every day each one of us is called to say ‘yes’ to God”. And he asked them to think of how many times they may have chosen to pretend they hadn’t heard, and he encouraged them to persevere in always listening to the Lord’s voice.
Finally, Pope Francis said, it is God’s ‘yes’ that creates and re-creates the world and man: “It is God’s ‘yes’ that sanctifies us and keeps us alive in Jesus Christ”.
He concluded inviting the faithful to thank God for all of this and prayed the Lord to give us the grace to always say ‘yes’ to His call.(Linda Bordoni)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. April 6, 2016


Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter
Lectionary: 269


Reading 1ACTS 5:17-26

The high priest rose up and all his companions,
that is, the party of the Sadducees,
and, filled with jealousy,
laid hands upon the Apostles and put them in the public jail.
But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison,
led them out, and said,
“Go and take your place in the temple area,
and tell the people everything about this life.”
When they heard this,
they went to the temple early in the morning and taught.
When the high priest and his companions arrived,
they convened the Sanhedrin,
the full senate of the children of Israel,
and sent to the jail to have them brought in.
But the court officers who went did not find them in the prison,
so they came back and reported,
“We found the jail securely locked
and the guards stationed outside the doors,
but when we opened them, we found no one inside.”
When the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard this report,
they were at a loss about them,
as to what this would come to.
Then someone came in and reported to them,
“The men whom you put in prison are in the temple area
and are teaching the people.”
Then the captain and the court officers went and brought them,
but without force,
because they were afraid of being stoned by the people.

Responsorial PsalmPS 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 3:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 3:16-21

God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

Saint April 6 : St. William of Eskilsoe : #Abbot and #Confessor


St. William of Eskilsoe
ABBOT OF ESKILLE, CONFESSOR
Feast: April 6


Information:

Feast Day:
April 6
Born:
1125 at Paris, France
Died:
6 April (Easter Sunday) 1203 in Denmark
Canonized:
21 January 1224 by Pope Honorius III
He was born of an illustrious family in Paris, about the year 1105, and received his education in the abbey of St. Germain-des-Prez, under his uncle Hugh, the abbot. By the regularity of his conduct, and the sanctity of his manners, he was the admiration of the whole community. Having finished his studies, he was ordained sub-deacon, and installed canon in the church of St. Genevieve au-Mont. His assiduity in prayer, love of retirement and mortification, and exemplary life, seemed a troublesome censure of the slothful and worldly life of his colleagues; and what ought to have gained him their esteem and affection, served to provoke their envy and malice against him.
Having in vain endeavored to prevail on this reformer of their chapter, as they called him, to resign his canonry, in order to remove him at a distance, they presented him to the curacy of Epinay, a church five leagues from Paris, depending on their chapter. But not long after, Pope Eugenius III. coming to Paris, in 1147, and being informed of the irregular conduct of these canons, he commissioned the celebrated Suger, abbot of St. Denys, and prime minister to King Louis the Young, to expel them, and introduce in their room regular canons from the abbey of St. Victor: which was happily carried into execution, Eudo of St. Victor's being made the first abbot. St. William with joy embraced this institute, and was by his fervor and devotion a pattern to the most perfect. He was in a short time chosen sub-prior.
The perfect spirit of religion and regularity which he established in that community, was an illustrious proof of the incredible influence which the example of a prudent superior has over docile religious minds. His zeal for regular discipline he tempered with so much sweetness and modesty in his injunctions, that made all to love the precept itself, and to practice with cheerfulness whatever was prescribed them. The reputation of his wisdom and sanctity reached the ears of Absalon, bishop of Roschild, in Denmark, who, being one of the most holy prelates of his age, earnestly sought to allure him into his diocese. He sent the provost of his church, who seems to have been the learned historian Saxo the Grammarian, to Paris on this errand. A prospect of labors and dangers for the glory of God was a powerful motive with the saint, and he cheerfully undertook the voyage. The bishop appointed him abbot of Eskille, a monastery of regular canons which he had reformed. Here St. William sanctified himself by a life of prayer and austere mortification; but had much to suffer from the persecutions of powerful men, from the extreme poverty of his house in a severe climate, and, above all, from a long succession of interior trials: but the most perfect victory over himself was the fruit of his constancy, patience, and meekness. On prayer was his chief dependence, and it proved his constant support.
During the thirty years of his abbacy, he had the comfort to see many walk with fervor in his steps. He never left off wearing his hair-shirt, lay on straw, and fasted every day. Penetrated with a deep sense of the greatness and sanctity of our mysteries, he never approached the altar without watering it with his tears, making himself a victim to God in the spirit of adoration and sacrifice, together with, and through the merits of the holy victim offered thereon: the dispositions in which every Christian ought to assist at it. He died on the 6th of April, 1203, and was canonized by Honorius III. in 1224.
See his life by a disciple in Surius, and at large in Papebroke's Continuation of Bollandus, t. 1, Apr. p. 620. Also M. Gourdan in his MSS. Lives of Illustrious Men among the regular Canons at St. Victor's, in Paris, kept in the library of MSS. in that house, in fol. t. 2, pp. 324 and 814.

SOURCE: The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and
Principal Saints, by Alban Butler

#PopeFrancis "The harmony of the Holy Spirit grants us the generosity..." #Homily

In his homily at Mass at the Casa Santa Marta 5 April 2016, Pope Francis invites reflection on the shared values of early Christian communities - OSS_ROM
In his homily at Mass at the Casa Santa Marta 5 April 2016, Pope Francis invites reflection on the shared values of early Christian communities - OSS_ROM
05/04/2016 13:


(Vatican Radio)  A Christian community that lives in "harmony" is fruit of the Holy Spirit and should not be confused with "tranquility" that often is a hypocritical whitewashing of its contrasts and divisions. That’s the message conveyed by Pope Francis during his homily at Tuesday’s morning Mass celebrated in the Casa Santa Marta. A community united in Christ, the Pope said, is also a courageous community.
Listen to Tracey McClure's report:
 
Reflecting on the day’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles, Pope Francis points to the  one word that sums up the sentiments and lifestyle of the very first Christian community: harmony.  Theirs is a life in communion, based on shared values and shared wealth for the benefit of all.
Harmony vs contrived coexistence
But, Pope Francis is careful to point out that the harmony which bound together the Church’s first Christians came as a gift of the Holy Spirit.  It was not a man-made or contrived form of tranquil coexistence.
"We can negotiate some sort of peace ... but harmony is an inner grace that only the Holy Spirit can grant. And these communities lived in harmony. And there are two signs of harmony: there is no one wanting, that is, everything was shared. In what sense? They had one heart, one soul, and no one considered as his own any property that belonged to him, but everything was shared in common amongst them. None of them was ever in need.  The true 'harmony' of the Holy Spirit has a very strong relationship with money: money is the enemy of harmony; money is selfish.”  
Proof of the first Christian community’s harmony, the Pope says, was shown in the fact that they freely gave of their own goods “so that others would not be in need."
God and money: two “irreconcilable” masters
The Pope draws from the day’s reading the virtuous example of Barnabas who sells his field and gives the proceeds to the Apostles. And in contrast, Francis cites another passage from Acts: that of Ananias and Sapphira, a couple who sell their field and pretend to give the entire proceeds to the Apostles but who in fact, keep part of the money for themselves.  That lie costs them dearly; both die on the spot. 
God and money are two “irreconcilable” masters, Francis stresses. And, he warns against confusing "harmony" with "tranquility:"
"A community can be very tranquil…things are fine ... But it is not harmonious. I once heard a wise thing from a bishop: 'There is tranquility in the diocese. But if you touch on a certain problem - this problem or that problem - war breaks out.’  This is negotiated harmony, and this is not of the Spirit. Let’s say that it’s a hypocritical harmony like that of Ananias and Saphira and what they did."
The Spirit, generosity and courage
Francis concludes, encouraging a re-reading of the Acts of the Apostles and their portrayal of the first Christians and their life together. "We will do well," he says, to understand the importance of their fraternal generosity and how to bear witness to such a lifestyle in our daily lives.
"The harmony of the Holy Spirit grants us the generosity to possess nothing as our own, while there is someone in need.”
The harmony of the Holy Spirit, he adds, also fortifies us with courage. “‘With great power the Apostles bore witness to the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all:’ namely, courage. When there is harmony in the Church, in the community, there is courage, the courage to bear witness to the Risen Lord."

(Tracey McClure)

#BreakingNews Mass Grave of Bodies found as 400 Killed by ISIS in Palmyra - most Women and Children - Please PRAY


The Syrian Army has found a mass grave with at least 40 corpses, many of them women and children. They were butchered by Islamic State in the city of Palmyra a city that was liberated. ISIS kills 400, mostly women & children, in Palmyra – Examination of the bodies showed that some were beheaded while others were tortured before their deaths. Russian combat engineers arrived in Palmyra on Thursday with special robotic units to offer their expertise in detecting and dismantling mines in an area comprising over 180 hectares (445 acres). “At least 3,000 explosive devices were installed in the city,”Palmyra was seized by IS jihadists in May 2015. That month, IS reportedly slaughtered 400 people, mostly women and children. Please Pray for Peace. (Edited from RT)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : April 5, 2016


Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter
Lectionary: 268


Reading 1ACTS 4:32-37

The community of believers was of one heart and mind,
and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own,
but they had everything in common.
With great power the Apostles bore witness
to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
and great favor was accorded them all.
There was no needy person among them,
for those who owned property or houses would sell them,
bring the proceeds of the sale,
and put them at the feet of the Apostles,
and they were distributed to each according to need.

Thus Joseph, also named by the Apostles Barnabas
(which is translated "son of encouragement”),
a Levite, a Cypriot by birth,
sold a piece of property that he owned,
then brought the money and put it at the feet of the Apostles.

Responsorial PsalmPS 93:1AB, 1CD-2, 5

R. (1a) The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD is king, in splendor robed;
robed is the LORD and girt about with strength.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
or:
R. Alleluia.
And he has made the world firm,
not to be moved.
Your throne stands firm from of old;
from everlasting you are, O LORD.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed:
holiness befits your house,
O LORD, for length of days.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 3:14-15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Son of Man must be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him
may have eternal life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 3:7B-15

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“‘You must be born from above.’
The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes,
but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes;
so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus answered and said to him,
‘How can this happen?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this?
Amen, amen, I say to you,
we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen,
but you people do not accept our testimony.
If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe,
how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?
No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

Saint April 5 : St. Vincent Ferrer : #Dominican : Patron of #Builders, construction workers, Plumbers



Information:
Feast Day:April 5
Born:January 23, 1350, Valencia, Kingdom of Valencia
Died:April 5, 1419, Vannes, Brittany, France
Canonized:June 3, 1455, Rome by Pope Calixtus III
Major Shrine:Vannes Cathedral
Patron of:builders, construction workers, plumbers
Famous Dominican missionary, born at Valencia, 23 January, 1350; died at Vannes, Brittany, 5 April, 1419. He was descended from the younger of two brothers who were knighted for their valour in the conquest of Valencia, 1238. In 1340 Vincent's father, William Ferrer, married Constantia Miguel, whose family had likewise been ennobled during the conquest of Valencia. Vincent was their fourth child. A brother, not unknown to history, was Boniface Ferrer, General of the Carthusians, who was employed by the antipope Benedict XIII in important diplomatic missions. Vincent was educated at Valencia, and completed his philosophy at the age of fourteen. In 1367 he entered the Dominican Order, and was sent to the house of studies at Barcelona the following year. In 1370 he taught philosophy at LĂ©rida; one of his pupils there was Pierre Fouloup, later Grand Inquisitor of Aragon. In 1373 Vincent returned to the Dominican "Studium arabicum et hebraicum" at Barcelona. During his stay there famine was prevalent; filled with compassion for the sufferers; Vincent foretold, while preaching one day, the near approach of ships bearing wheat. His prediction was fulfilled. In 1377 he was sent to continue his studies at Toulouse, where, in his own words, "study followed prayer, and prayer succeeded study". In 1379 Vincent was retained by Cardinal Pedro de Luna, legate of the Court of Aragon, who was endeavouring to win King Peter IV to the obedience of Avignon. The saint, thoroughly convinced of the legitimacy of the claims of the Avignon pontiffs, was one of their strongest champions. From 1385 to 1390 he taught theology in the cathedral at Valencia.
After this Vincent carried on his apostolic work while in Pedro de Luna's suite. At Valladolid he converted a rabbi, later well known as Bishop Paul of Burgos. At Salamanca Queen Yolanda of Aragon chose him for her confessor, 1391-5. About this time he was cited before the Inquisiton for preaching publicly "the Judas had done penance", but Pedro de Luna, recently raised to the papal chair as Benedict XIII, cited the case before his tribunal and burned the papers. Benedict then called him to Avignon and appointed him confessor and Apostolic penitentiary. Notwithstanding the indifference of so many prelates in the papal Court, he laboured zealously among the people. He steadfastly refused the honours, including the cardinalate, which were offered to him. France withdrew from the obedience of Avignon in September, 1398, and the troops of Charles VI laid siege to the city. An attack of fever at this time brought Vincent to death's door, but during an apparition of Christ accompanied by St. Dominic and St. Francis he was miraculously cured and sent to preach penance and prepare men for the coming judgment. Not until November, 1399, did Benedict allow Vincent Ferrer to begin his apostolate, furnished with full powers of a legate a latere Christi. For twenty years he traversed western Europe, preaching penance for sin and preparation for judgment. Provence was the first field of his apostolate; he was obliged to preach in squares and open places, such were the numbers that flocked to hear him. In 1401 he evangelized Dauphiny, Savoy, and the Alpine region, converting many Catharins and Waldensians. Thence he penetrated into Lombardy. While preaching at Alexandria he singled out from among the hearers a youth who was destined to evangelize Italy, Bernadine of Siena. Another chosen soul with whom Vincent came in contact while in Italy was Margaret of Savoy. During the years 1403-4 Switzerland, Savoy, and Lyons received the missionary. He was followed by an army of penitents drawn from every rank of society, who desired to remain under his guidance. Vincent was ever watchful of his disciples, and never did the breath of scandal touch this strange assemblage, which numbered at times 10,000. Genoa, Flanders, Northern France, all heard Vincent in turn. It would be difficult to understand how he could make himself understood by the many nationalities he evangelized, as he could speak only Limousin, the language of Valencia. Many of his biographers hold that he was endowed with the gift of tongues, an opinion supported by Nicholas Clemangis, a doctor of the University of Paris, who had heard him preach.
In 1408 Vincent was at Genoa consoling the plague-stricken. A meeting had been arranged there between Gregory XII and Benedict XIII in the hope of putting an end to the schism. Vincent again urged Benedict to have pity on the afflicted Church, but in vain. Disappointed, he returned to Spain. It would be difficult to overestimate the influence which he exercised in the Iberian peninsula. Castile, Aragon, Valencia, Murcia, Granada, Andalusia, and Asturias were visited in turn, and everywhere miracles marked his progress; Christians, Jews, and Moslems were all lost in admiration of the thaumaturgus. From 1408 until 1416 he worked almost continuously south of the Pyrenees. At different times in Spanish history strenuous attempts had been made to convert the Jewish people, baptism or spoliation being the alternatives offered to them. This state of affairs existed when Vincent began to work among them; multitudes were won over by his preaching. Ranzano, his first biographer, estimates the number of Jews converted at 25,000. In the Kingdom of Granada he converted thousands of Moors. Vincent was often called upon to aid his country in temporal affairs, as the counsellor of kings and at one time the arbiter of the destiny of Spain. In 1409 he was commissioned by Benedict XIII to announce to Martin of Aragon the death of his only son and heir.
After Martin's death, the representatives of the Kingdoms of Aragon, Valencia, and Catalonia appointed Vincent one of the judges to determine the succession to the Crown. At the judgment, known as the Compromise of Caspe, he took the leading part and helped to elect Ferdinand of Castile. Vincent was one of the most resolute and faithful adherents of Benedict XIII, and by his word, sanctity, and miracles he did much to strengthen Benedict's position. It was not until 1416, when pressed by Ferdinand, King of Aragon, that he abandoned him. On 6 January, preaching at Perpignan, he declared anew to the vast throng gathered around his pulpit that Benedict XIII was the legitimate pope, but that, since he would not resign to bring peace to the Church, Ferdinand had withdrawn his states from the obedience of Avignon. This act must have caused Vincent much sorrow, for he was deeply attached to Benedict. Nevertheless, it was thought that Vincent was the only person sufficiently esteemed to announce such a step to the Spanish races. John Dominici was more fortunate in his attempts to pave the way for reunion, when he announced to the Council of Constance the resignation of Gregory XII. Vincent did not go to the Council of Constance; he continued his apostolic journeys through France, and spent the last two years of his life in Brittany, where consciences without number were reformed and instructed in a Christian way of life.
Vincent felt that he was the messenger of penance sent to prepare men for the judgment. For twenty years he traversed Western Europe preaching penance and awakening the dormant consciences of sinners by his wondrous eloquence. His austere life was but the living expression of his doctrine. The floor was his usual bed; perpetually fasting, he arose at two in the morning to chant the Office, celebrating Mass daily, afterwards preaching, sometimes three hours, and frequently working miracles. After his midday meal he would tend the sick children; at eight o'clock he prepared his sermon for the following day. He usually travelled on foot, poorly clad. Among St. Vincent's writings are: De suppositionibus dialecticis"; "De natura universalis"; "De monderno ecclesiae schismate", a defence of the Avignon pontiffs; and "De vita spirituali". His "Sermons" were published at Antwerp (1570), Augsburg (1729), and Lyons (1816); and his complete works at Valence (1591). He was canonized by Calixtus III at the Dominican Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, Rome, 3 June, 1455.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)
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