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Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Feast Day
Aug 01, 2012
Arthritis, Confessors, Moralists
<p>St. Alphonsus was born in Naples in 1696.&nbsp; He was the first born of seven, belonging to the Neapolitan Nobility.&nbsp; Alphonsus went to law school at the age of sixteen, and became a very well known lawyer.&nbsp; He was thinking of leaving the profession, and was quoted as saying, &ldquo;our profession is too full of difficulties and dangers, leaving us to lead an unhappy life and risk dying any unhappy death&rdquo;.&nbsp; Because he wanted to secure the salvation of his soul, he quit his career.&nbsp; He was twenty-seven at the time he quit. &nbsp;</p> <p>Against his father&rsquo;s wishes, he began his seminary studies in preparation for the Priesthood at the Oratory of St. Phillip Neri.&nbsp; He was ordained a Priest at the age of 30, living his first years as a priest with the homeless and marginalized youth in Naples.&nbsp; He actually founded the &ldquo;Evening Chapels&rdquo; which were managed by the young people themselves.&nbsp; These Evening Chapels were Centers of prayer, piety, preaching, community, social activities, and education in the faith.&nbsp; By the end of his life, there were 72 of these chapels with over 10,000 in active participants.&nbsp; He had a profound gift to preach his sermons in ways that converted those who were alienated from their faith. &nbsp;</p> <p>He suffered from scruples (an unwarranted fear that something is a sin which, as a matter of fact, is not) much of his adult life, and felt guilt about &lsquo;minor&rsquo; issues related to sin.&nbsp; He felt it was a blessing though, or at least in the beginning of his conversion as it cleansed the soul and at the same time made him careful. &nbsp;</p> <p>In 1732 St. Alphonsus founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.&nbsp; Sister Maria Celeste Crostarosa told him that it had been revealed to her that he was the one God had chosen to found the Congregation.&nbsp; The primary goal of the congregation was to preach and teach in the slums of the cities and poor places.&nbsp; His congregation also fought &ldquo;Jansenism&rdquo; which was a heresy that denied humans free will and barred many Catholics from receiving the Eucharist.&nbsp; He dedicated himself entirely to this mission, and Sister Maria Celeste founded a companion congregation of Nuns that worked with him. &nbsp;</p> <p>St. Alphonsus was consecrated Bishop in 1762.&nbsp; He tried to refuse accepting the appointment, using his age and infirmities as arguments against his consecration.&nbsp; During this time however, he wrote sermons, books, and articles to encourage devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin Mary.&nbsp; He was allowed to retire from his office and went to live in the Redemptorist Community he founded, in Italy.&nbsp; He passed away there on August 1<sup>st</sup>, 1787.&nbsp; He was beatified in 1816, and canonized in 1839. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>Practical Take Away</strong></span></p> <p>St. Alphonsus was an influential lawyer and realized that if he continued down that path with no concern for his soul, he could jeopardize his salvation.&nbsp; Wanting to secure it, he left his profession and served the Church as a Priest and then Bishop.&nbsp; He even went on and founded the Redemptorists, the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.&nbsp; Serving the poorest of the poor in the inner cities he found peace and happiness in being a servant.&nbsp; This was quite a contrast from his life as a prominent lawyer.&nbsp; He shows us, as many before him; securing our salvation and finding true peace in this world, comes only from reaching outside of ourselves and serving others.&nbsp; When done in accordance with the Divine Will of God, we find peace.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p>