St. Vincent Ferrer is the patron saint of builders because of his fame for “building up” and strengthening the Church: through his preaching, missionary work, in his teachings, as confessor and adviser. At Valencia in Spain, this illustrious son of St. Dominic came into the world on January 23, 1357. In the year 1374, he entered the Order of St. Dominic in a monastery near his native city. Soon after his profession he was commissioned to deliver lectures on philosophy. On being sent to Barcelona, he continued his scholastic duties and at the same time devoted himself to preaching. At Lerida, the famous university city of Catalonia, he received his doctorate. After this he labored six years in Valencia, during which time he perfected himself in the Christian life. In 1390, he was obliged to accompany Cardinal Pedro de Luna to France, but he soon returned home. When, in 1394, de Luna himself had become Pope at Avignon he summoned St. Vincent and made him Master of the sacred palace. In this capacity St. Vincent made unsuccessful efforts to put an end to the great schism. He refused all ecclesiastical dignities, even the cardinal’s hat, and only craved to be appointed apostolical missionary. Now began those labors that made him the famous missionary of the fourteenth century. He evangelized nearly every province of Spain, and preached in France, Italy, Germany, Flanders, England, Scotland, and Ireland. Numerous conversions followed his preaching, which God Himself assisted by the gift of miracles. Though the Church was then divided by the great schism, the saint was honorably received in the districts subject to the two claimants to the Papacy. He was even invited to Mohammedan Granada, where he preached the gospel with much success. He lived to behold the end of the great schism and the election of Pope Martin V. Finally, crowned with labors, he died April 5, 1419.
He worked for the salvation of souls and for unity in the Church. He also showed great humility and patience in bearing all things for the love of Christ and for the work of the Church.
For someone who had constantly preached about brotherly love and unity, the schism must have been a constant source of misery to St. Vincent Ferrer. And God in His goodness, relieved St Vincent of this burden by letting him witness the end of the great schism.
O glorious Apostle and worker of miracles, St Vincent Ferrer, new angel of the Apocalypse and our kind protector, receive our humble prayers and obtain for us a copious shower of divine favors. By that love with which thy heart was inflamed, obtain for us from the Father of mercies the pardon of all our sins, confirmation in the Faith, and perseverance in good works; so that by living as good and fervent Christians we may become worthy of thy powerful patronage. Extend thy patronage also to our bodies, and free us from our infirmities. Protect our lands from the violence of tempest and hail, and keep misfortune far from us. Thus, blessed by thee in the goods of soul and body, we shall be ever devout to thee, and one day see thee in heaven, there with thee to praise God forever and ever. Amen.