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St. Vincent Ferrer

Stained glass window from St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, D.C. Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.

Stained glass window from St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, D.C. Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.

The following reflection is part of an ongoing series about the life of St. Dominic & the Order of Friars Preachers.

Born in the province of Valencia, Spain, Vincent Ferrer (1350 – 1419) joined the Dominican friars in 1367. In Spain, France, and elsewhere he drew huge crowds among Jews and Muslims as well as Christians as he warned of the evils of the time and preached the need for penance and church reform. A significant figure in ending the Western schism, he worked tirelessly for peace and unity within the church. Vincent is depicted holding the Book of Revelation, its key theme inscribed in Latin: “Timete Deum et date illi honorem quia venit hora iudicii eius” (“Fear God and give honor to him for the hour of judgement is coming”). The flame above his head symbolizes the Holy Spirit’s call to preach the Gospel. Vincent is known as a preacher of the Apocalypse, represented by the trumpet, according to Revelation: “At the time when you hear the seventh angel blow his trumpet, the mysterious plan of God shall be fulfilled.”

Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P. (a member of the English Province) was invited by the Dominican Foundation to take pictures of some of the locations where our friars serve throughout the Northeast. During his time in Washington, D.C., Fr. Lew photographed the interior of the Church of St. Dominic. St. Dominic’s has been the church where our friars are ordained to the priesthood each May. Surrounding the church, is a collection of beautiful stained glass windows that chronicle the life of St. Dominic & the foundation of the Order of Preachers. Fr. Lew accomplished a great work by capturing the splendor of these windows, and in the process, the life of a towering saint.

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