The feast day of St. Alphonsus Liguori is celebrated on August 1. Alphonsus was born in 1696 near Naples, Italy. His father was a captain in the Royal Navy. At the age of 16 he received a doctorate in civil an canon law. At the age of 18 he joined the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mercy which cared for the sick, devoting himself to works of mercy. He became a lawyer by the age of 20. However, the work proved to be unfulfilling. After losing an important case, Alphonsus left his career as a lawyer to enter the priesthood. He was ordained in 1726.
As a priest St. Alphonsus ministered to the poor working to the point of exhaustion. In 1732 he decided to dedicate himself completely to the poor and abandoned. He founded the Congregation of the Holy Redeemer which became known as the Redemptorists.
St. Alphonsus was a gifted preacher who reached many people.The Redemptorists led mission revivals in the countryside preaching to anyone who would listen. They traveled from town to town. St. Alphonsus focused on three images; Jesus as an infant in the crib, Jesus crucified on the cross, and Jesus vibrantly alive and filled with love for everyone in the Eucharist. He also had a great devotion to Mary, the Mother of the Redeemer.
St. Alphonsus was an artist, composer and a writer. He wrote music which he composed on a harpsichord. It spread throughput the countryside. He wrote over 100 books including “Prayer, the Great Means of Salvation.” He was given the title “Doctor of Prayer”. St. Alphonsus believed that if you pray your salvation is secure.
St. Alphonsus was troubled by illness most of his life. His final years, he suffered from severe arthritis which kept him in a wheelchair. St. Alphonsus died at the age of 91 after a night of prayer. He was canonized in 1839 and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1871. He is the patron saint of confessors and theologians.
We must love God in a way that pleases Him,
and not just in a way that suits ourselves.
God wishes people to empty themselves
of everything and to be filled with is divine love.
Quote of St. Alphonsus Liguori
August is the Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.