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Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

August 1, 2021

Saint Alphonsus Liguori’s Story

Moral theology, Vatican II said, should be more thoroughly nourished by Scripture, and show the nobility of the Christian vocation of the faithful and their obligation to bring forth fruit in charity for the life of the world. Alphonsus, declared patron of moral theologians by Pius XII in 1950, would rejoice in that statement.

In his day, Alphonsus fought for the liberation of moral theology from the rigidity of Jansenism. His moral theology, which went through 60 editions in the century following him, concentrated on the practical and concrete problems of pastors and confessors. If a certain legalism and minimalism crept into moral theology, it should not be attributed to this model of moderation and gentleness.

At the University of Naples, Alphonsus received a doctorate in both canon and civil law by acclamation, at the age of 16, but he soon gave up the practice of law for apostolic activity. He was ordained a priest, and concentrated his pastoral efforts on popular parish missions, hearing confessions, and forming Christian groups.

He founded the Redemptorist congregation in 1732. It was an association of priests and brothers living a common life, dedicated to the imitation of Christ, and working mainly in popular missions for peasants in rural areas. Almost as an omen of what was to come later, he found himself deserted after a while by all his original companions except one lay brother. But the congregation managed to survive and was formally approved 17 years later, though its troubles were not over.

Alphonsus’ great pastoral reforms were in the pulpit and confessional—replacing the pompous oratory of the time with simplicity, and the rigorism of Jansenism with kindness. His great fame as a writer has somewhat eclipsed the fact that for 26 years he traveled up and down the Kingdom of Naples preaching popular missions.

He was made bishop at age 66 after trying to reject the honor, and at once instituted a thorough reform of his diocese.

His greatest sorrow came toward the end of his life. The Redemptorists, precariously continuing after the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773, had difficulty in getting their Rule approved by the Kingdom of Naples. Alphonsus acceded to the condition that they possess no property in common, but with the connivance of a high Redemptorist official, a royal official changed the Rule substantially. Alphonsus, old, crippled and with very bad sight, signed the document, unaware that he had been betrayed. The Redemptorists in the Papal States then put themselves under the pope, who withdrew those in Naples from the jurisdiction of Alphonsus. It was only after his death that the branches were united.

At 71, Alphonsus was afflicted with rheumatic pains which left incurable bending of his neck. Until it was straightened a little, the pressure of his chin caused a raw wound on his chest. He suffered a final 18 months of “dark night” scruples, fears, temptations against every article of faith and every virtue, interspersed with intervals of light and relief, when ecstasies were frequent.

Alphonsus is best known for his moral theology, but he also wrote well in the field of spiritual and dogmatic theology. His Glories of Mary is one of the great works on that subject, and his book Visits to the Blessed Sacrament went through 40 editions in his lifetime, greatly influencing the practice of this devotion in the Church.


Reflection

Saint Alphonsus was known above all as a practical man who dealt in the concrete rather than the abstract. His life is indeed a practical model for the everyday Christian who has difficulty recognizing the dignity of Christian life amid the swirl of problems, pain, misunderstanding and failure. Alphonsus suffered all these things. He is a saint because he was able to maintain an intimate sense of the presence of the suffering Christ through it all.


Saint Alphonsus Liguori is the Patron Saint of:

Theologians
Vocations

————————————————————————————-


franciscanmedia.org

Additionally, patronage: confessors, moralists


Saint Alphonsus Liguori’s Story

Moral theology, Vatican II said, should be more thoroughly nourished by Scripture, and show the nobility of the Christian vocation of the faithful and their obligation to bring forth fruit in charity for the life of the world. Alphonsus, declared patron of moral theologians by Pius XII in 1950, would rejoice in that statement.

In his day, Alphonsus fought for the liberation of moral theology from the rigidity of Jansenism. His moral theology, which went through 60 editions in the century following him, concentrated on the practical and concrete problems of pastors and confessors. If a certain legalism and minimalism crept into moral theology, it should not be attributed to this model of moderation and gentleness.

At the University of Naples, Alphonsus received a doctorate in both canon and civil law by acclamation, at the age of 16, but he soon gave up the practice of law for apostolic activity. He was ordained a priest, and concentrated his pastoral efforts on popular parish missions, hearing confessions, and forming Christian groups.

He founded the Redemptorist congregation in 1732. It was an association of priests and brothers living a common life, dedicated to the imitation of Christ, and working mainly in popular missions for peasants in rural areas. Almost as an omen of what was to come later, he found himself deserted after a while by all his original companions except one lay brother. But the congregation managed to survive and was formally approved 17 years later, though its troubles were not over.

Alphonsus’ great pastoral reforms were in the pulpit and confessional—replacing the pompous oratory of the time with simplicity, and the rigorism of Jansenism with kindness. His great fame as a writer has somewhat eclipsed the fact that for 26 years he traveled up and down the Kingdom of Naples preaching popular missions.

He was made bishop at age 66 after trying to reject the honor, and at once instituted a thorough reform of his diocese.

His greatest sorrow came toward the end of his life. The Redemptorists, precariously continuing after the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773, had difficulty in getting their Rule approved by the Kingdom of Naples. Alphonsus acceded to the condition that they possess no property in common, but with the connivance of a high Redemptorist official, a royal official changed the Rule substantially. Alphonsus, old, crippled and with very bad sight, signed the document, unaware that he had been betrayed. The Redemptorists in the Papal States then put themselves under the pope, who withdrew those in Naples from the jurisdiction of Alphonsus. It was only after his death that the branches were united.

At 71, Alphonsus was afflicted with rheumatic pains which left incurable bending of his neck. Until it was straightened a little, the pressure of his chin caused a raw wound on his chest. He suffered a final 18 months of “dark night” scruples, fears, temptations against every article of faith and every virtue, interspersed with intervals of light and relief, when ecstasies were frequent.

Alphonsus is best known for his moral theology, but he also wrote well in the field of spiritual and dogmatic theology. His Glories of Mary is one of the great works on that subject, and his book Visits to the Blessed Sacrament went through 40 editions in his lifetime, greatly influencing the practice of this devotion in the Church.


Reflection

Saint Alphonsus was known above all as a practical man who dealt in the concrete rather than the abstract. His life is indeed a practical model for the everyday Christian who has difficulty recognizing the dignity of Christian life amid the swirl of problems, pain, misunderstanding and failure. Alphonsus suffered all these things. He is a saint because he was able to maintain an intimate sense of the presence of the suffering Christ through it all.


Saint Alphonsus Liguori is the Patron Saint of:

Theologians
Vocations


franciscanmedia.org

Additionally, patronage: confessors, moralists


Stained glass window of Saint Alphonse Liguori | Carlow Cathedral | Franz Mayer & Co. (Mayer & Co. of Munich)Image: Stained glass window of Saint Alphonse Liguori | Carlow Cathedral | Franz Mayer & Co. (Mayer & Co. of Munich)

Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Saint of the Day for August 1

(September 27, 1696August 1, 1787)


On Prayer According to St. Alphonsus Liguori
How Saint Alphonsus Liguori Converted…
“The Dignity and Duties of the Priest” (excerpt) by St. Alphonsus Liguori [Catholic Caucus]
On St. Alphonsus Liguori
[CATHOLIC CAUCUS] 50 Maxims for becoming a Saint! (from St Alphonsus Liguori)
The Death of Jesus, An essay by Alphonsus Liguori

ADVICE TO PARENTS by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Habits of Holiness [On the Life of St. Alphonsus Maria de’ Liguori]
On the Advantages of Tribulations by Saint Alphonsus Liguori/a>
A Scriptural Way of the Cross with Meditations by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (Lenten Prayer/Devotional)

On the Love of Christ [St. Alphonsus Liguori]
Meditation on the Fourteenth Station of the Cross (According to the Method of St. Alphonsus Ligori)
ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI, OF THE DOLOURS OF MARY, The Glories [Sorrows] of Mary
Sermons of St. Alphonsus Liguori

St Alphonsus Liguori
St. Alphonsus Liguori


Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop & Doctor of the Church

Saint Alphonsus Liguori,
Bishop & Doctor of the Church
Memorial
August 1st

“Copiosa apud eum redemptio”
“With Him there is Plentiful Redemption”  

History:

Born September 27, 1696.
Ordained a priest on December 21, 1726
Founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorist) in 1732.
Died at Nocera de’ Pagani, August 1, 1787.
Canonized in 1839 by Pope Gregory XVI.
Declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius IX in 1871.
Patron of Confessors and Moral Theologians.

Collect:

O God, who constantly raise up in your Church new examples of virtue,
grant that we may follow so closely in the footsteps
of the Bishop Saint Alphonsus in his zeal for souls
as to attain the same rewards that are his in heaven.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Romans 8:1-4

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:13-19

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

“Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

***

My Jesus, I believe that Thou art truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love Thee above all things, and I desire to possess Thee within my soul. Since I am unable now to receive Thee sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace Thee as being already there, and unite myself wholly to Thee; never permit me to be separated from Thee. — St. Alphonsus Liguori

I the Lord Am with you Always, Prayers and Mediations for Eucharistic Adoration
Society for Eucharistic Adoration, Ashfield, NSW, Australia – ©2003

***

POPE BENEDICT XVI
GENERAL AUDIENCE
St. Peter’s Square
Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Our catechesis today deals with Saint Alphonsus Liguori, an outstanding eighteenth-century preacher, scholar and Doctor of the Church. Alphonsus left a brilliant career as a lawyer to become a priest, and greatly contributed to the renewal of the Church in his native Naples. He began as a missionary among the urban poor, gathering small groups for prayer and instruction in the faith. Broadening his pastoral outreach, he founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer – the Redemptorists – as a group of itinerant missionaries. Alphonsus’ pastoral zeal also found expression in his moral teaching, which emphasized divine mercy and the relationship between God’s law and our deepest human needs and aspirations. His many spiritual writings, marked by a deep Christological and Marian piety, stressed the practice of prayer, especially before the Blessed Sacrament. May this great Doctor of the Church, venerated also as the patron of moral theologians, help us to respond ever more fully to God’s call to grow in holiness, and inspire in priests, religious and laity a firm commitment to the new evangelization.

© Copyright 2011 – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Details

Date:
August 1, 2021
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Organizer

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church
Phone:
(973) 473-0246

Venue

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
10 St. Francis Way
Passaic, NJ 07055 United States
+ Google Map
Phone:
973-473-0246
Website:
www.olmcpassaic.com