Vincent initially served as a soldier but left that life to become a monk on the island of Lerins off the southern French coast near Cannes. He was ordained there and about 434 wrote the Commonitories under the pseudonym Peregrinus [the Pilgrim]. He died there, between 434 and 450. St. Eucherius of Lyons calls him a holy man, conspicuous for eloquence and knowledge.
Vincent attempted, as did St John Cassian, to find a way that avoided the extremes both of Pelagius and of Augustine. His Commonitories [reminders] offer a guide to distinguish Orthodox teaching from innovation, the maxim now known as the Vincentian Canon: quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est (i.e. only “what has been believed everywhere, always, and by all” is the catholic Faith of Christianity). Vincent taught that the ultimate source of Christian truth was Holy Scripture and that the tradition of the Church was to be invoked to guarantee the correct interpretation of Scripture.