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Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Born: September 27, 1696 in Marianella, Campania, Kingdom of Naples

Died: August 1, 1787 in Pagani, Campania, Kingdom of Naples

Venerated: Catholic Church

Beatified: September 15, 1816 by Pope Pius VII

Canonized: May 26, 1839 by Pope Gregory XVI

Feast Day: August 1

Patronages: Arthritis; Confessors; Moralists
PLACES: Pagani, Cancello, Naples

Saint Alphonsus was born in the village of Marianella near Naples, Italy, September 27, 1696. At the tender age his pious mother inspired him with the deepest sentiments of piety. The education he received under the auspices of his father, aided by his own intellect, produced in him such results that at the early age of 16 he graduated in law. Shortly after, he was admitted to the Neapolitan bar. In 1723, he lost as case, and God made use of his disappointment to wean his heart from the world. In spite of all opposition he now entered the ecclesiastical state. In 1726, he was ordained priest. He exercised the ministry at various places with great fruit, zealously laboring for his own sanctification.

in 1732, God called him to found the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, with the object of laboring for the salvation of the most abandoned souls. Amid untold difficulties and innumerable trials, Saint Alphonsus succeeded in establishing his Congregation, which became his glory and crown, but also his cross. The holy founder labored incessantly at the work of the missions until, about 1756, he was appointed Bishop of Saint Agatha, a diocese he governed until 1775, when, broken by age and infirmity, he resigned this office to retire to his monastery where he died.

Few Saints have labored as much, either by word or writing, as Saint Alphonsus. He was a prolific and popular author, the utility of whose works will never cease. His last years were characterized by intense suffering, which he bore with resignation. His happy death occurred at Nocera de Pagani, August 1, 1787. He was canonized in 1839 by Pope Gregory XVI and declared Doctor of the Church in 1871 by Pope Pius IX.

PRAYER: God, You constantly introduce new examples of virtue in Your Church. Walking in the footsteps of Saint Alphonsus, Your Bishop, may we be consumed with zeal for souls and attain the rewards he has won in heaven. Amen.