By Catholic News Service
Detail of mosaic at Sacred Heart Convent, Springfield, Ill. Photo: CNS
St. Vincent Ferrer
Stirring preacher and missionary
Feast day: April 5
Born in Valencia to an English father and Spanish mother, Vincent joined the Dominican friars in 1367 and became a noted preacher, making converts even among Jews and Muslims. After years of backing the Avignon papal claimants, Vincent withdrew his support, helping to end the papal schism that had divided the Western church. He did intensive mission work in France, Spain and Italy, drawing huge revival-type crowds and gaining fame as a miracle worker. He died during a preaching tour of Brittany.
Detail of icon by Joan K. Brand-Landkamer at St. Catherine of Siena Church, Seattle. Photo: Victoria Ries
St. Catherine of Siena
Doctor of the church
Feast day: April 29
Catherine was the 24th of 25 children of a Sienese dyer. Her mystical experiences and raptures began at age 6. She refused to marry, and in about 1367 joined the Third Order of St. Dominic. She attracted a like-minded group in Siena for prayer and good works, and devoted her last five years to church unity and ending the scandal of rival papacies. Though she experienced the pain of the stigmata, it became visible only after her death at 33. And, in an odd division of relics, her body is in a Roman church, while her head is in a Sienese church. Named a doctor of the church in 1970, Catherine is a patron saint of Europe and Italy, and the patron of fire prevention, nurses and nursing.
NORTHWEST CATHOLIC - April 2014