Fr. Vicente of the Cross (Gallén Ibáñez) was born on September 29, 1908, in Vallat, Castellón de la Plana, Spain. He was the fourth of five children born to Vicente and Maria. Shortly after the family had moved to Badalona, Vicente´s father died when he was still a young boy. In Badalona, the Carmelite friars, who ran the grammar school, became well acquainted with the Gallén family and eventually enrolled Vicente at the age of eleven.
He entered the novitiate in November of 1925 and made his first vows at the hands of Fr. Lucas of St. Joseph the following year. After only two years of Theology in Barcelona, his superiors sent him to complete his studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. in 1930 where he was stationed at the Carmelite House of Studies that was within walking distance of the University. He received a degree in Canon Law in 1933. However, he was not able to continue with further studies due to illness. After his ordination to the priesthood at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on June 9, 1934, he was sent to Tucson, Arizona for a year to assist the pastor at Holy Family Church.
Fr. Vicente became an outstanding minister to the Native Americans, specifically to the Yaqui tribe in Arizona. He had established catechism for the children, visits to the sick, and supplied the poor with their necessities. Yet, after establishing a great ministerial service to the Yaquis, he requested to be sent back to Spain. He was assigned to the monastery in Tarragona.