“…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.”
Before the end of the year 1392, St. Vincent being forty-two years old, set out from Avignon towards Valencia. He preached in every town with wonderful efficacy; and the people having heard him in one place followed him in crowds to others. Public usurers, blasphemers, debauched women, and other hardened sinners everywhere were induced by his discourses to embrace a life of penance. He converted a great number of Jews and Mohammedans, heretics and schismatics. He visited every province of Spain in this manner, except Provence and Dauphine. He went thence into Italy, preaching on the coasts of Genoa, in Lombardy, Piedmont, and Savoy, as he did in part of Germany, about the Upper Rhine and through Flanders. Numerous wars and the unhappy great schism in the Church had been productive of a multitude of disorders in Christendom; gross ignorance and a shocking corruption of manners prevailed in many places, whereby the teaching of this zealous apostle, who, like another Boanerges, preached in a voice of thunder, became not only useful but even absolutely necessary, to assist the weak and alarm the sinner. The ordinary subjects of his sermons were sin, death, God’s judgments, hell, and eternity. He delivered his discourses with so much energy that he filled the most insensible with terror. A great number of his sermons have come down to us, some in Latin and many in the vernacular. By them one seizes the man and the saint to the life. They are masterpieces of naturalness, intelligence, picturesqueness and, at moments, poetry. In their kind there is nothing better. And they all develop one same theme.
…The saint was honored with the gift of tongues. Preaching in his own, he was understood by men of different languages, which is affirmed by Lanzano, who says that Greeks, Germans, Sardes, Hungarians, and people of other nations declared they understood every word he spoke, though he preached in Latin or his mother-tongue, as spoken at Valencia. There is another marvelous fact which is beyond normal explanation. However far away people might be, everyone heard every syllable. He could make himself heard literally about three miles away, when it was of importance that he should be heard.
Saint Louis Bertrand Born at Valencia, Spain, 1 Jan., 1526; died 9 Oct., 1581.
Unknown to his brethren, St. Louis had long cherished the desire to enter the mission fields of the New World. The hope that there he might find the coveted crown of martyrdom contributed not a little to sharpening the edge of his desire. Possessed of the necessary permission he sailed for America in 1562, and landed at Cartagena, where he immediately entered upon the career of a missionary. The work thus begun was certainly fruitful to an extraordinary degree, and bore unmistakably the stamp of Divine approbation. The process of his canonization bears convincing testimony to the wonderful conquest which the saint achieved in this new field of labour. The Bull of canonization asserts that, to facilitate the work of converting the natives to God, the apostle was miraculously endowed with the gift of tongues.