A rector is a senior official in an educational institution, can refer to an official in either a university or a secondary school. Outside the English-speaking world the rector is the most senior official in a university, whilst in the United States the most senior official is referred to as President and in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth of Nations the most senior official is the Chancellor, whose office is ceremonial and titular; the term and office of a rector can be referred to as a rectorate. The title is used in universities in Europe, and is common in Latin American countries. It is used in Brunei, Russia, the Philippines, Indonesia and the Middle East. In the ancient universities of Scotland the office is sometimes referred to as Lord Rector, is the third most senior official, is responsible for chairing the University Court; the head of a university in Germany is called a president, rector magnificus or rectrix magnifica, as in some Belgian universities. In Dutch universities, the rector magnificus is the most publicly prominent member of the board, responsible for the scientific agenda of the university.
In the Netherlands, the rector is, not the chair of the university board. The chair has, in the most influence over the management of the University. In some countries, including Germany, the position of head teacher in secondary schools is designated as rector. In the Netherlands, the terms "rector" and "conrector" are used for high school directors; this is the case in some Maltese secondary schools. In the Scandinavian countries, the head of a university or a gymnasium is called a rektor. In Sweden and Norway, this term is used for the heads of primary schools. In Finland, the head of a primary school or secondary schools is called a rector provided the school is of sufficient size in terms of faculty and students, otherwise the title is headmaster; the head of some Finnish universities is called chancellor. In the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal's and Spain's university heads or presidents have the title; those universities whose foundation has been approved by the Pope, as e.g. the rector of the University of Coimbra, the oldest Portuguese university, is referred to as Magnífico Reitor.
The others are referred to as Excelentíssimo Senhor Reitor. In Spain, all Rectors must be addressed as Señor Rector Magnífico according to the law, but the Rector of the University of Salamanca, the oldest on the Iberian Peninsula, is styled according to academic protocol as Excelentísimo y Ilustrísimo Señor Profesor Doctor Don, Rector Magnífico de la Universidad de Salamanca. In a few "Crown lands" of the Austrian Empire, one seat in the Landtag was reserved for the rector of the capital's university, notably: Graz in Steiermark, Innsbruck in Tirol, Wien in Nieder-Österreich. Today Austrian universities are headed by a Rectorate consisting of one Rector and 3-5 additional Vizerectors; the Rector is the CEO of the university. The heads of Czech universities are called the rektor; the rector acts in the name of the university and decides the university's affairs unless prohibited by law. The rector is nominated by the University Academic Senate and appointed by the President of the Czech Republic.
The nomination must be agreed by a simple majority of all senators, while a dismissal must be agreed by at least three fifths of all senators. The vote to elect or repeal a rector is secret; the term of office is four years and a person may hold it for at most two consecutive terms. The rector appoints vice-rectors. Rectors' salaries are determined directly by the Minister of Education. Among the most important rectors of Czech universities were reformer Jan Hus, physician Jan Jesenius and representative of Enlightenment Josef Vratislav Monse. Jiřina Popelová became the first female Rector in 1950; the rectors are addressed "Your Magnificence Rector". In Danish, rektor is the title used in referring to the heads of universities, schools of commerce and construction, etc. Rektor may be used for the head of any educational institution above the primary school level, where the head is referred to as a'skoleinspektør'. In universities, the second-ranked official of governance is known as prorektor. Most English universities are formally headed by "chancellors".
In a few colleges, the equivalent person is called a "president", "provost", or "warden". At two Oxford colleges, Lincoln College and Exeter College, the head is called "rector". At Oxford and Cambridge, the university's overall head is called "chancellor", but this is chiefly a ceremonial position while the academic head of each university is the "vice-chancellor". At St Chad's College, one of the two so-called "recognised colleges" of the University of Durham, there is a "rector" as titular head while the academic head is the "principal"; the University of London has a chancellor (a
Evangelista Torricelli was an Italian physicist and mathematician, best known for his invention of the barometer, but is known for his advances in optics and work on the method of indivisibles. Evangelista Torricelli was born on 15 October 1608 in Rome; the firstborn child of Gaspare Torricelli and Caterina Angetti. His family was from Faenza in the Province of Ravenna part of the Papal States, his father was a textile worker and the family was poor. Seeing his talents, his parents sent him to be educated in Faenza, under the care of his uncle, Giacomo, a Camaldolese monk, who first ensured that his nephew was given a sound basic education, he entered young Torricelli into a Jesuit College in 1624 the one in Faenza itself, to study mathematics and philosophy until 1626, by which time his father, had died. The uncle sent Torricelli to Rome to study science under the Benedictine monk Benedetto Castelli, professor of mathematics at the Collegio della Sapienza. Castelli was a student of Galileo Galilei.
"Benedetto Castelli made experiments on running water, he was entrusted by Pope Urban VIII with hydraulic undertakings." There is no actual evidence. It is certain that Torricelli was taught by Castelli. In exchange he worked for him as his secretary from 1626 to 1632 as a private arrangement; because of this, Torricelli was exposed to experiments funded by Pope Urban VIII. While living in Rome, Torricelli became the student of the mathematician Bonaventura Cavalieri, with whom he became great friends, it was in Rome that Torricelli became friends with two other students of Castelli, Raffaello Magiotti and Antonio Nardi. Galileo referred to Torricelli and Nardi affectionately as his "triumvirate" in Rome. In 1632, shortly after the publication of Galileo's Dialogues of the New Science, Torricelli wrote to Galileo of reading it "with the delight of one who, having practiced all of geometry most diligently and having studied Ptolemy and seen everything of Tycho Brahe and Longomontanus forced by the many congruences, came to adhere to Copernicus, was a Galileian in profession and sect".
Aside from several letters, little is known of Torricelli's activities in the years between 1632 and 1641, when Castelli sent Torricelli's monograph of the path of projectiles to Galileo a prisoner in his villa at Arcetri. Although Galileo promptly invited Torricelli to visit, he did not accept until just three months before Galileo's death; the reason for this was that Torricelli's mother, Caterina Angetti died. "his short intercourse with the great mathematician enabled Torricelli to finish the fifth dialogue under the personal direction of its author. After Galileo's death on 8 January 1642, Grand Duke Ferdinando II de' Medici asked him to succeed Galileo as the grand-ducal mathematician and chair of mathematics at the University of Pisa. Right before the appointment, Torricelli was considering returning to Rome because of there being nothing left for him in Florence. In this role he solved some of the great mathematical problems of the day, such as finding a cycloid's area and center of gravity.
As a result of this study, he wrote the book the Opera Geometrica in which he described his observations. The book was published in 1644. Little was known about Torricelli in regard to his works in geometry when he accepted the honorable position, but after he published Opera Geometrica two years he became esteemed in that discipline. "He was interested in Optics, invented a method whereby microscopic lenses might be made of glass which could be melted in a lamp." As a result, he built a number of telescopes and simple microscopes. On 11 June 1644, he famously wrote in a letter to Michelangelo Ricci: Noi viviamo sommersi nel fondo d'un pelago d'aria; however his work on the cycloid involved him in a controversy with Gilles de Roberval, who accused him of plagiarizing his earlier solution of the problem of its quadrature. Although there seems no room for doubt that Torricelli's was arrived at independently, the matter was still in dispute up to his death. Torricelli died of fever, most typhoid, in Florence on 25 October 1647, 10 days after his 39th birthday, was buried at the Basilica of San Lorenzo.
He left all his belongings to his adopted son Alessandro. "Belonging to that first period are his pamphlets on Solidi spherali and the major part of the propositions and sundry problems which were gathered together by Viviani after Torricelli's death. This early work owes much to the study of the classics." Sixty-eight years after Torricelli had died, his genius still filled his contemporaries with admiration, as evidenced by the anagram below the frontispice of Lezioni accademiche d'Evangelista Torricelli published in 1715: En virescit Galileus alter, meaning "Here blossoms another Galileo." In Faenza, a statue of Torricelli was created in 1868 in gratitude for all that Torricelli had done in advancing science during his short lifetime. The asteroid 7437 Torricelli and a crater on the Moon were named in his honor; the perusal of Galileo's Two New Sciences inspired him with many developments of the mechanical principles there set forth
Postgraduate education, or graduate education in North America, involves learning and studying for academic or professional degrees, academic or professional certificates, academic or professional diplomas, or other qualifications for which a first or bachelor's degree is required, it is considered to be part of higher education. In North America, this level is referred to as graduate school; the organization and structure of postgraduate education varies in different countries, as well as in different institutions within countries. This article outlines the basic types of courses and of teaching and examination methods, with some explanation of their history. There are two main types of degrees studied for at the postgraduate level: academic and vocational degrees; the term degree in this context means the moving from one stage or level to another, first appeared in the 13th century. Although systems of higher education date back to ancient Greece, ancient Rome, ancient India and Arabian Peninsula, the concept of postgraduate education depends upon the system of awarding degrees at different levels of study, can be traced to the workings of European medieval universities Italians.
University studies took six years for a bachelor's degree and up to twelve additional years for a master's degree or doctorate. The first six years taught the faculty of the arts, the study of the seven liberal arts: arithmetic, astronomy, music theory, grammar and rhetoric; the main emphasis was on logic. Once a Bachelor of Arts degree had been obtained, the student could choose one of three faculties—law, medicine, or theology—in which to pursue master's or doctor's degrees; the degrees of master and doctor were for some time equivalent, "the former being more in favour at Paris and the universities modeled after it, the latter at Bologna and its derivative universities. At Oxford and Cambridge a distinction came to be drawn between the Faculties of Law and Theology and the Faculty of Arts in this respect, the title of Doctor being used for the former, that of Master for the latter." Because theology was thought to be the highest of the subjects, the doctorate came to be thought of as higher than the master's.
The main significance of the higher, postgraduate degrees was that they licensed the holder to teach. In most countries, the hierarchy of postgraduate degrees is: Master's degrees; these are sometimes placed in a further hierarchy, starting with degrees such as the Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees the Master of Philosophy degree, the Master of Letters degree. In the UK, master's degrees may be taught or by research: taught master's degrees include the Master of Science and Master of Arts degrees which last one year and are worth 180 CATS credits, whereas the master's degrees by research include the Master of Research degree which lasts one year and is worth 180 CATS or 90 ECTS credits and the Master of Philosophy degree which lasts two years. In Scottish Universities, the Master of Philosophy degree tends to be by research or higher master's degree and the Master of Letters degree tends to be the taught or lower master's degree. In many fields such as clinical social work, or library science in North America, a master's is the terminal degree.
Professional degrees such as the Master of Architecture degree can last to three and a half years to satisfy professional requirements to be an architect. Professional degrees such as the Master of Business Administration degree can last up to two years to satisfy the requirement to become a knowledgeable business leader. Doctorates; these are further divided into academic and professional doctorates. An academic doctorate can be awarded as a Doctor of Philosophy degree or as a Doctor of Science degree; the Doctor of Science degree can be awarded in specific fields, such as a Doctor of Science in Mathematics degree, a Doctor of Agricultural Science degree, a Doctor of Business Administration degree, etc. In some parts of Europe, doctorates are divided into the Doctor of Philosophy degree or "junior doctorate", the "higher doctorates" such as the Doctor of Science degree, awarded to distinguished professors. A doctorate is the terminal degree in most fields. In the United States, there is little distinction between a Doctor of Philosophy degree and a Doctor of Science degree.
In the UK, Doctor of Philosophy degrees are equivalent to 540 CATS credits or 270 ECTS European credits, but this is not always the case as the credit structure of doctoral degrees is not defined. In some countries such as Finland and Sweden, there is the degree of Licentiate, more advanced than a master's degree but less so than a Doctorate. Credits required are about half of those required for a doctoral degree. Coursework requirements are the same as for a doctorate, but the extent of original research required is not as high as for doctorate. Medical doctors for example ar
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand II, called the Catholic, was King of Aragon from 1479 until his death. His marriage in 1469 to Isabella, the future queen of Castile, was the marital and political "cornerstone in the foundation of the Spanish monarchy." As a consequence of his marriage to Isabella I, he was de jure uxoris King of Castile as Ferdinand V from 1474 until her death in 1504. At Isabella's death the crown of Castile passed to their daughter Joanna, by the terms of their prenuptial agreement and her last will and testament. Following the death of Joanna's husband Philip I of Spain, her alleged mental illness, Ferdinand was recognized as regent of Castile from 1508 until his own death. In 1504, after a war with France, he became King of Naples as Ferdinand III, reuniting Naples with Sicily permanently and for the first time since 1458. In 1512, he became King of Navarre by conquest. In 1506 he married Germaine of Foix of France, but Ferdinand's only son and child of that marriage died soon after birth. Ferdinand had a role in inaugurating the first European encounters in the future Americas, since he and Isabella sponsored the first voyage of Christopher Columbus, in 1492.
That year was the final victory in the war with Granada which defeated the last Muslim state in Iberia and all of Western Europe. This brought to a close the centuries-long Christian reconquest of Iberia. For that Christian victory, Pope Alexander VI, born in the Kingdom of Valencia, awarded the royal couple the title of Catholic Monarchs. At Ferdinand's death Joanna's son, Ferdinand's grandson, Charles I, co-ruler in name over all the several Iberian kingdoms except for Portugal, succeeded him, making Charles the first King of Spain. However, during the regency of Ferdinand, many called him the King of Spain as distinct from his daughter Joanna, "queen of Castile". Ferdinand was born in Sada Palace, Sos del Rey Católico, Kingdom of Aragon, as the son of John II of Aragon by his second wife, Juana Enríquez, he married Infanta Isabella, the half-sister and heiress of Henry IV of Castile, on 19 October 1469 in Valladolid, Kingdom of Castile and Leon. Isabella belonged to the royal House of Trastámara, the two were cousins by descent from John I of Castile.
They were married with a clear prenuptial agreement on sharing power, under the joint motto "tanto monta, monta tanto." He became jure uxoris King of Castile when Isabella succeeded her deceased brother in 1474 to be crowned as Queen Isabella I of Castile. The two young monarchs were obliged to fight a civil war against Joan of Castile, the purported daughter of Henry IV, were swiftly successful; when Ferdinand succeeded his father as King of Aragon in 1479, the Crown of Castile and the various territories of the Crown of Aragon were united in a personal union. The various states were not formally administered as a single unit, but as separate political units under the same Crown; the first years of Ferdinand and Isabella's joint rule saw the Spanish conquest of the Nasrid dynasty of the Emirate of Granada, the last Islamic al-Andalus entity on the Iberian peninsula, completed in 1492. The completion of the Reconquista was not the only significant act performed by Ferdinand and Isabella in that year.
In March 1492, the monarchs issued the Edict of Expulsion of the Jews called the Alhambra Decree, a document which ordered all Jews either to be baptised and convert to Christianity or to leave the country. It allowed Mudéjar Moors and converso Marrano Jews to stay, while expelling all unconverted Jews from Castile and Aragon. 1492 was the year in which the monarchs commissioned Christopher Columbus to find a westward maritime route for access to Asia, which resulted in the Spanish arrival in the Americas. In 1494 the Treaty of Tordesillas divided the entire world beyond Europe between Portugal and Castile for conquest and dominion purposes – by a north–south line drawn down the Atlantic Ocean. Ferdinand violated the 1491 Treaty of Granada peace treaty in 1502 by dismissing the guaranteed religious freedom for Mudéjar Muslims. Ferdinand forced all Muslims in Castile and Aragon to convert, converso Moriscos, to Catholicism, or else be expelled; some of the Muslims who remained were mudéjar artisans, who could design and build in the Moorish style.
This was practised by the Spanish inquisitors on the converso Marrano Jewish population of Spain. The main architect behind the Spanish Inquisition was King Ferdinand II. Ferdinand destroyed over ten thousand Arabic manuscripts in Granada alone; the latter part of Ferdinand's life was taken up with disputes with successive Kings of France over control of Italy, the so-called Italian Wars. In 1494, Charles VIII of France invaded Italy and expelled Alfonso II, Ferdinand's first cousin once removed and stepson of Ferdinand's sister, from the throne of Naples. Ferdinand allied with various Italian princes and with Emperor Maximilian I to expel the French by 1496 and install Alfonso's son, Ferdinand, on the Neapolitan throne. In 1501, following the death of Ferdinand II of Naples and accession of his uncle Frederick, Ferdinand signed an agreement with Charles VIII's successor, Louis XII, who had just asserted his claims to the Duchy of Milan, to partition Naples between them, w
Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its motion, behavior through space and time, that studies the related entities of energy and force. Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, its main goal is to understand how the universe behaves. Physics is one of the oldest academic disciplines and, through its inclusion of astronomy the oldest. Over much of the past two millennia, chemistry and certain branches of mathematics, were a part of natural philosophy, but during the scientific revolution in the 17th century these natural sciences emerged as unique research endeavors in their own right. Physics intersects with many interdisciplinary areas of research, such as biophysics and quantum chemistry, the boundaries of physics which are not rigidly defined. New ideas in physics explain the fundamental mechanisms studied by other sciences and suggest new avenues of research in academic disciplines such as mathematics and philosophy. Advances in physics enable advances in new technologies.
For example, advances in the understanding of electromagnetism and nuclear physics led directly to the development of new products that have transformed modern-day society, such as television, domestic appliances, nuclear weapons. Astronomy is one of the oldest natural sciences. Early civilizations dating back to beyond 3000 BCE, such as the Sumerians, ancient Egyptians, the Indus Valley Civilization, had a predictive knowledge and a basic understanding of the motions of the Sun and stars; the stars and planets were worshipped, believed to represent gods. While the explanations for the observed positions of the stars were unscientific and lacking in evidence, these early observations laid the foundation for astronomy, as the stars were found to traverse great circles across the sky, which however did not explain the positions of the planets. According to Asger Aaboe, the origins of Western astronomy can be found in Mesopotamia, all Western efforts in the exact sciences are descended from late Babylonian astronomy.
Egyptian astronomers left monuments showing knowledge of the constellations and the motions of the celestial bodies, while Greek poet Homer wrote of various celestial objects in his Iliad and Odyssey. Natural philosophy has its origins in Greece during the Archaic period, when pre-Socratic philosophers like Thales rejected non-naturalistic explanations for natural phenomena and proclaimed that every event had a natural cause, they proposed ideas verified by reason and observation, many of their hypotheses proved successful in experiment. The Western Roman Empire fell in the fifth century, this resulted in a decline in intellectual pursuits in the western part of Europe. By contrast, the Eastern Roman Empire resisted the attacks from the barbarians, continued to advance various fields of learning, including physics. In the sixth century Isidore of Miletus created an important compilation of Archimedes' works that are copied in the Archimedes Palimpsest. In sixth century Europe John Philoponus, a Byzantine scholar, questioned Aristotle's teaching of physics and noting its flaws.
He introduced the theory of impetus. Aristotle's physics was not scrutinized until John Philoponus appeared, unlike Aristotle who based his physics on verbal argument, Philoponus relied on observation. On Aristotle's physics John Philoponus wrote: “But this is erroneous, our view may be corroborated by actual observation more than by any sort of verbal argument. For if you let fall from the same height two weights of which one is many times as heavy as the other, you will see that the ratio of the times required for the motion does not depend on the ratio of the weights, but that the difference in time is a small one, and so, if the difference in the weights is not considerable, that is, of one is, let us say, double the other, there will be no difference, or else an imperceptible difference, in time, though the difference in weight is by no means negligible, with one body weighing twice as much as the other”John Philoponus' criticism of Aristotelian principles of physics served as an inspiration for Galileo Galilei ten centuries during the Scientific Revolution.
Galileo cited Philoponus in his works when arguing that Aristotelian physics was flawed. In the 1300s Jean Buridan, a teacher in the faculty of arts at the University of Paris, developed the concept of impetus, it was a step toward the modern ideas of momentum. Islamic scholarship inherited Aristotelian physics from the Greeks and during the Islamic Golden Age developed it further placing emphasis on observation and a priori reasoning, developing early forms of the scientific method; the most notable innovations were in the field of optics and vision, which came from the works of many scientists like Ibn Sahl, Al-Kindi, Ibn al-Haytham, Al-Farisi and Avicenna. The most notable work was The Book of Optics, written by Ibn al-Haytham, in which he conclusively disproved the ancient Greek idea about vision, but came up with a new theory. In the book, he presented a study of the phenomenon of the camera obscura (his thousand-year-old
A papal bull is a type of public decree, letters patent, or charter issued by a pope of the Roman Catholic Church. It is named after the leaden seal, traditionally appended to the end in order to authenticate it. Papal bulls have been in use at least since the 6th century, but the phrase was not used until around the end of the 13th century, only internally for unofficial administrative purposes. However, it had become official by the 15th century, when one of the offices of the Apostolic Chancery was named the "register of bulls". By the accession of Pope Leo IX in 1048, a clear distinction developed between two classes of bulls of greater and less solemnity; the majority of the "great bulls" now in existence are in the nature of confirmations of property or charters of protection accorded to monasteries and religious institutions. In an epoch when there was much fabrication of such documents, those who procured bulls from Rome wished to ensure that the authenticity of their bull was above suspicion.
A papal confirmation, under certain conditions, could be pleaded as itself constituting sufficient evidence of title in cases where the original deed had been lost or destroyed. Since the 12th century, papal bulls have carried a leaden seal with the heads of the Apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul on one side and the pope’s name on the other. Papal bulls were issued by the pope for many kinds of communication of a public nature, but by the 13th century, papal bulls were only used for the most formal or solemn of occasions. Papyrus seems to have been used uniformly as the material for these documents until the early years of the eleventh century, after which it was superseded by a rough kind of parchment. Modern scholars have retroactively used the word "bull" to describe any elaborate papal document issued in the form of a decree or privilege, solemn or simple, to some less elaborate ones issued in the form of a letter. Popularly, the name is used for any papal document. Today, the bull is the only written communication in which the pope will refer to himself as "Episcopus Servus Servorum Dei".
For example, when Pope Benedict XVI issued a decree in bull form, he began the document with "Benedictus, Servus Servorum Dei". While papal bulls always used to bear a metal seal, they now do so only on the most solemn occasions. A papal bull is today the most formal type of public decree or letters patent issued by the Vatican Chancery in the name of the pope. A bull's format began with one line in tall, elongated letters containing three elements: the pope's name, the papal title "Episcopus Servus Servorum Dei", its incipit, i. e. the first few Latin words from which the bull took its title for record keeping purposes, but which might not be directly indicative of the bull's purpose. The body of the text had no specific conventions for its formatting; the closing section consisted of a short "datum" that mentioned the place of issuance, day of the month and year of the pope's pontificate on which issued, signatures, near, attached the seal. For the most solemn bulls, the pope signed the document himself, in which case he used the formula "Ego N. Catholicae Ecclesiae Episcopus".
Following the signature in this case would be an elaborate monogram, the signatures of any witnesses, the seal. Nowadays, a member of the Roman Curia signs the document on behalf of the pope the Cardinal Secretary of State, thus the monogram is omitted; the most distinctive characteristic of a bull was the metal seal, made of lead, but on solemn occasions was made of gold, as those on Byzantine imperial instruments were. On the obverse it depicted somewhat crudely, the early Fathers of the Church of Rome, the Apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, identified by the letters Sanctus PAulus and Sanctus PEtrus. St. Paul, on the left, was shown with flowing hair and a long pointed beard composed of curved lines, while St. Peter, on the right, was shown with curly hair and a shorter beard made of dome-shaped globetti; each head was surrounded by a circle of globetti, the rim of the seal was surrounded by an additional ring of such beads, while the heads themselves were separated by a depiction of a cross.
On the reverse was the name of the issuing pope in the nominative Latin form, with the letters "PP", for Pastor Pastorum. This disc was attached to the document either by cords of hemp, in the case of letters of justice and executory letters, or by red and yellow silk, in the case of letters of grace, looped through slits in the vellum of the document; the term "bulla" derives from the Latin "bullire", alludes to the fact that, whether of wax, lead, or gold, the material making the seal had to be melted to soften it for impression. In 1535, the Florentine engraver Benvenuto Cellini was paid 50 scudi to recreate the metal matrix which would be used to impress the lead bullae of Pope Paul III. Cellini retained definitive iconographic items like the faces of the two Apostles, but he carved them with a much greater attention to detail and artistic sensibility than had been in evidence. On the reverse of the seal he added several fleurs-de-lis, a heraldic device of the Farnese family, from which Pope Paul III descended.
Since the late 18th century, the lead bulla has been replaced with a red ink stamp of Saints Peter and Paul with the reigning pope's name encircling the picture, though formal letters, e. g. the bull of Pope John XX
Vincent Ferrer, O. P. was a Valencian Dominican friar, who gained acclaim as a logician. He is honored as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church and other churches of Catholic traditions, like the Iglesia Filipina Independiente. Vincent was the fourth child of the nobleman Guillem Ferrer, a notary who came from Palamós, wife, Constança Miquel from Valencia itself or Girona. Legends surround his birth, it was said that his father was told in a dream by a Dominican friar that his son would be famous throughout the world. His mother is said never to have experienced pain, he was named after the patron saint of Valencia. He would fast on Wednesdays and Fridays and he loved the Passion of Christ much, he would distribute alms to them. He began his classical studies at the age of eight, his study of theology and philosophy at fourteen. Four years at the age of nineteen, Ferrer entered the Order of Preachers called the Dominican Order, in England known as Black Friars; as soon as he had entered the novitiate of the Order, though, he experienced temptations urging him to leave.
His parents pleaded with him to do so and become a secular priest. He practiced penance to overcome these trials, thus he succeeded in advancing to his profession. For a period of three years, he read Sacred Scripture and committed it to memory, he published a treatise on Dialectic Suppositions after his solemn profession, in 1379 was ordained a Catholic priest at Barcelona. He became a Master of Sacred Theology and was commissioned by the Order to deliver lectures on philosophy, he was sent to Barcelona and to the University of Lleida, where he earned his doctorate in theology. Vincent Ferrer is described as a man of medium height, with a lofty forehead and distinct features, his hair tonsured. His eyes were dark and expressive. Pale was his ordinary color, his voice was strong and powerful, at times gentle and vibrant. The Western Schism divided Roman Catholicism between two eventually three, claimants to the papacy. Antipope Clement VII lived at Avignon in France, Pope Urban VI in Rome. Vincent was convinced that the election of Urban was invalid, although Catherine of Siena was just as devoted a supporter of the Roman pope.
In the service of Cardinal Pedro de Luna, Vincent worked to persuade Spaniards to follow Clement. When Clement died in 1394, Cardinal de Luna was elected as the second antipope successor to the Avignon papacy and took the name Benedict XIII. Vincent was loyal to Benedict XIII known as "Papa Luna" in Castile and Aragon, he worked for Benedict XIII as apostolic Master of the Sacred Palace. Nonetheless Vincent labored to have Benedict XIII end the schism; when Benedict XIII did not resign as intended at either the Council of Pisa or the Council of Constance, he lost the support of the French king and of most of his cardinals, was excommunicated as a schismatic in 1417. Vincent encouraged King Ferdinand I of Aragon to withdraw his support from Benedict XIII. Vincent claimed that the Western Schism had had such a depressing effect on his mind that it caused him to be ill. For twenty-one years he was said to have traveled to England, Ireland, Castile, France and Italy, preaching the Gospel and converting many.
Many biographers believe that he could speak only Valencian, but was endowed with the gift of tongues. He preached to St. Colette of Corbie and to her nuns, it was she who told him that he would die in France. Too ill to return to Spain, he did, die in Brittany in 1419. Breton fishermen still invoke his aid in storms, in Spain he is the patron of orphanages. Vincent is said to have been responsible for the conversion of many Jews to Catholicism by questionable means according to the Jewish Encyclopedia. One of his converts, a former rabbi by the name of Solomon ha-Levi, went on to become the Bishop of Cartagena and the Archbishop of Burgos. Vincent is alleged to have contributed to anti-Semitism in Spain, as violence accompanied his visits to towns that had Jewish communities; because of the Spanish's harsh methods of converting Jews at the time, the means which Vincent had at his disposal were either baptism or spoliation. He won them over by his preaching, estimated at 25,000. Sources are contradictory concerning Vincent's achievement in converting a synagogue in Toledo, into the Church of Santa María la Blanca.
One source says he preached to the mobs whose riots led to the appropriation of the synagogue and its transformation into a church in 1391. A third source identifies two distinct incidents, one in Valencia in 1391 and one in Toledo at a date, but says that Vincent put down an uprising against Jews in one place and defused a persecution against them in the other. Vincent attended the Disputation of Tortosa, called by Avignon Pope Benedict XIII in an effort to convert Jews to Catholicism after a debate among scholars of both faiths. Vincent participated in the management of a significant political crisis in his homeland. King Martin of Aragon died in 1410 without a legitimate heir, five potential candidates came forth to claim the throne, a