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About Today for St. Alphonsus Liguori, B & D

August 1

Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Memorial

“If we would completely rejoice the heart of God, let us strive in all things to conform ourselves to his divine will. Let us not only strive to conform ourselves, but also to unite ourselves to whatever disposition God makes of us.” [1]

St. Alphonsus was born in 1696 to a strong-willed noble family in Naples. He was bright and talented; mastering sports such as fencing, riding, shooting, cards, and playing the harpsichord. He was tutored from home and in his late teens, passed the bar. A decade into his career, St. Alphonsus decided to leave law and pursue religious life, becoming ordained at age 30. In the beginning of his priesthood, he devoted his time to youth ministry. He founded Evening Chapels, which were spiritual centers dedicated to street children. They were shown community, social engagement, preaching, education and leadership. Over time, many of the centers were run by the youth themselves. Next, St. Alphonsus founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, focused on serving adults on the fringes of society. Thirty years later, he was consecrated Bishop of Santa Agata dei Goti and spent much of his time devoted to writing. He penned over 100 works spanning prayer, love, pastoral needs, moral theology, and even hymns. He was canonized in 1839 by Pope Gregory XVI and is honored as one of the Doctors of the Church. [2]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Uniformity with God’s Will, 5, www.ccel.org.
[2] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. Alphonsus of Liguori.”

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