St. Alphonsus Liguori
|Bishop of Sant'Agata de' Goti|
|Diocese||Sant'Agata de' Goti|
|See||Sant'Agata de' Goti|
|Appointed||14 June 1762|
|Installed||20 June 1762|
|Term ended||26 June 1775|
|Successor||Onofrio de Rossi|
|Ordination||21 December 1726|
|Consecration||20 June 1762|
by Ferdinando Maria de Rossi
|Born||27 September 1696|
Marianella, Campania, Kingdom of Naples
|Died||1 August 1787 90) (aged|
Pagani, Campania, Kingdom of Naples
|Venerated in||Catholic Church|
|Title as Saint||Bishop, Moral Theologian, Confessor and Doctor of the Church|
|Beatified||15 September 1816|
Rome, Papal States
by Pope Pius VII
|Canonized||26 May 1839|
Rome, Papal States
by Pope Gregory XVI
|Patronage||Pagani, Cancello, Naples (co-patron); arthritis, confessors, moralists|
Saint Alphonsus Liguori CSsR (1696–1787), sometimes called Alphonsus Maria Liguori, was an Italian Catholic bishop, spiritual writer, composer, musician, artist, poet, lawyer, scholastic philosopher, and theologian.
The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, commonly known as the Redemptorists, is a religious congregation of the Catholic Church, dedicated to missionary work and founded by Alphonsus Liguori at Scala, near Amalfi, Italy, for the purpose of labouring among the neglected country people around Naples. Members of the congregation are Catholic priests and consecrated religious brothers and minister in more than 100 countries.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.
He founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, known as the Redemptorists, in November 1732. In 1762 he was appointed Bishop of Sant'Agata dei Goti. A prolific writer, he published nine editions of his Moral Theology in his lifetime, in addition to other devotional and ascetic works and letters. Among his best known works are The Glories of Mary and The Way of the Cross, the latter still used in parishes during Lenten devotions.
The Glories of Mary is a classic book in the field of Roman Catholic Mariology, written during the 18th century by Saint Alphonsus Liguori, a Doctor of the Church.
He was canonized in 1839 by Pope Gregory XVI and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius IX in 1871. One of the most widely read Catholic authors, he is the patron saint of confessors.
Pope Gregory XVI, born Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 2 February 1831 to his death in 1846. He had adopted the name Mauro upon entering the religious order of the Camaldolese.
Doctor of the Church is a title given by the Catholic Church to saints recognized as having made significant contribution to theology or doctrine through their research, study, or writing.
Pope Pius IX, born Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti, was head of the Catholic Church from 16 June 1846 to his death on 7 February 1878. He was the longest-reigning elected pope in the history of the Catholic Church, serving for over 31 years. During his pontificate, Pius IX convened the First Vatican Council (1869–70), which decreed papal infallibility, but the council was cut short owing to the loss of the Papal States.
He was born in Marianella, near Naples, then part of the Kingdom of Naples, on 27 September 1696. He was the eldest of eight children of Giuseppe Liguori and Anna Maria Caterina Cavalieri. Two days after he was born, he was baptized at the Church of Our Lady the Virgin as Alphonsus Mary Anthony John Cosmas Damian Michael Gaspard de' Liguori. The family was of noble and ancient lineage, but the branch to which the Saint belonged had become somewhat impoverished. Alphonsus's father, Don Joseph de' Liguori, was a naval officer and Captain of the Royal Galleys.
Naples is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy after Rome and Milan. In 2017, around 967,069 people lived within the city's administrative limits while its province-level municipality has a population of 3,115,320 residents. Its continuously built-up metropolitan area is the second or third largest metropolitan area in Italy and one of the most densely populated cities in Europe.
The Kingdom of Naples comprised that part of the Italian Peninsula south of the Papal States between 1282 and 1816. It was created as a result of the War of the Sicilian Vespers (1282–1302), when the island of Sicily revolted and was conquered by the Crown of Aragon, becoming a separate Kingdom of Sicily. Naples continued to be officially known as the Kingdom of Sicily, the name of the formerly unified kingdom. For much of its existence, the realm was contested between French and Spanish dynasties. In 1816, it was reunified with the island kingdom of Sicily once again to form the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
Liguori learned to ride and fence but was never a good shot because of poor eyesight.Myopia and chronic asthma precluded a military career so his father had him educated for the legal profession. He was taught by tutors before entering the University of Naples, where he graduated with doctorates in civil and canon law at 16. He remarked later that he was so small at the time that he was almost buried in his doctor's gown and that all the spectators laughed. When he was 18, like many other nobles, he joined the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mercy with whom he assisted in the care of the sick at the hospital for "incurables".
Asthma is a common long-term inflammatory disease of the airways of the lungs. It is characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and easily triggered bronchospasms. Symptoms include episodes of wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. These may occur a few times a day or a few times per week. Depending on the person, they may become worse at night or with exercise.
He became a successful lawyer. He was thinking of leaving the profession and wrote to someone, "My friend, our profession is too full of difficulties and dangers; we lead an unhappy life and run risk of dying an unhappy death".At 27, after having lost an important case, the first he had lost in eight years of practicing law, he made a firm resolution to leave the profession of law. Moreover, he heard an interior voice saying: "Leave the world, and give yourself to me."
In 1723, he decided to offer himself as a novice to the Oratory of St. Philip Neri with the intention of becoming a priest. His father opposed the plan, but after two months (and with his Oratorian confessor's permission), he and his father compromised: he would study for the priesthood but not as an Oratorian and live at home.He was ordained on 21 December 1726, at 30. He lived his first years as a priest with the homeless and the marginalized youth of Naples. He became very popular because of his plain and simple preaching. He said: "I have never preached a sermon which the poorest old woman in the congregation could not understand". He founded the Evening Chapels, which were managed by the young people themselves. The chapels were centers of prayer and piety, preaching, community, social activities and education. At the time of his death, there were 72, with over 10,000 active participants. His sermons were very effective at converting those who had been alienated from their faith.
Liguori suffered from scruples much of his adult life and felt guilty about the most minor issues relating to sin.Moreover, the saint viewed scruples as a blessing at times and wrote: "Scruples are useful in the beginning of conversion.... they cleanse the soul, and at the same time make it careful".
In 1729, Alphonsus left his family home and took up residence in the Chinese Institute in Naples.It was there that he began his missionary experience in the interior regions of the Kingdom of Naples, where he found people who were much poorer and more abandoned than any of the street children in Naples. In 1731, while he was ministering to earthquake victims in the town of Foggia, Alphonsus claimed to have had a vision of the Virgin Mother in the appearance of a young girl of 13 or 14, wearing a white veil.
On 9 November 1732, he founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer,when Sister Maria Celeste Crostarosa told him that it had been revealed to her that he was the one that God had chosen to found the congregation. He founded the congregation with the charism of preaching popular missions in the city and the countryside. Its goal was to teach and preach in the slums of cities and other poor places. They also fought Jansenism, a heresy that preached an excessive moral rigorism: "the penitents should be treated as souls to be saved rather than as criminals to be punished". He is said never to have refused absolution to a penitent.
A gifted musician and composer, he wrote many popular hymns and taught them to the people in parish missions. In 1732, while he was staying at the Convent of the Consolation, one of his order's houses in the small city of Deliceto in the province of Foggia in Southeastern Italy, Liguori wrote the Italian carol "Tu scendi dalle stelle" ("From Starry Skies Descending") in the musical style of a pastorale. The version with Italian lyrics was based on his original song written in Neapolitan, which began Quanno nascette Ninno (When the child was born). As it was traditionally associated with the zampogna, or large-format Italian bagpipe, it became known as Canzone d'i zampognari the ("Carol of the Bagpipers").
Alphonsus was consecrated Bishop of Sant'Agata dei Goti in 1762.He tried to refuse the appointment by using his age and infirmities as arguments against his consecration. He wrote sermons, books, and articles to encourage devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin Mary. He first addressed ecclesiastical abuses in the diocese, reformed the seminary and spiritually rehabilitated the clergy and faithful. He suspended those priests who celebrated Mass in less than 15 minutes and sold his carriage and episcopal ring to give the money to the poor. In the last years of his life, he suffered a painful sickness and a bitter persecution from his fellow priests, who dismissed him from the Congregation that he had founded.
In 1775, he was allowed to retire from his office and went to live in the Redemptorist community in Pagani, Italy, where he died on 1 August 1787.
He was beatified on 15 September 1816 by Pope Pius VII and canonized on 26 May 1839 by Pope Gregory XVI.
In 1949, the Redemptorists founded the Alphonsian Academy for the advanced study of Catholic moral theology. He was named the patron of confessors and moral theologians by Pope Pius XII on 26 April 1950, who subsequently wrote of him in the encyclical Haurietis aquas .
Alphonsus was a prolific and popular author.He was proficient in the arts, his parents having had him trained by various masters, and he was a musician, painter, poet and author at the same time. Alphonsus wrote 111 works on spirituality and theology. The 21,500 editions and the translations into 72 languages that his works have undergone attest to the fact that he is one of the most widely-read Catholic authors.
His best known musical work is his Christmas hymn Quanno Nascetti Ninno, later translated into Italian by Pope Pius IX as Tu scendi dalle stelle ("From Starry Skies Thou Comest").
Stronger defender of the Catholic Church, Alphonsus said:
To reject the divine teaching of the Catholic Church is to reject the very basis of reason and revelation, for neither the principles of the one nor those of the other have any longer any solid support to rest on; they can then be interpreted by every one as he pleases; every one can deny all truths whatsoever he chooses to deny. I therefore repeat: If the divine teaching authority of the Church, and the obedience to it, are rejected, every error will be endorsed and must be tolerated."
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Alphonsus' greatest contribution to the Church was in the area of moral theology. His masterpiece was The Moral Theology (1748), which was approved by the Pope himselfand was born of Alphonsus' pastoral experience, his ability to respond to the practical questions posed by the faithful and his contact with their everyday problems. He opposed sterile legalism and strict rigorism. According to him, those were paths closed to the Gospel because "such rigor has never been taught nor practiced by the Church". His system of moral theology is noted for its prudence, avoiding both laxism and excessive rigor. He is credited with the position of Aequiprobabilism, which avoided Jansenist rigorism as well as laxism and simple probabilism. Since its publication it has remained in Latin, often in 10 volumes or in the combined 4-volume version of Gaudé. It saw only recently its first publication in translation, in an English translation made by Ryan Grant and published in 2017 by Mediatrix Press. The English translation of the work is projected to be around 5 volumes.
His Mariology, though mainly pastoral in nature, rediscovered, integrated and defended that of St Augustine of Hippo, St Ambrose of Milan and other fathers; it represented an intellectual defence of Mariology in the 18th century, the Age of Enlightenment, against the rationalism to which contrasted his fervent Marian devotion.
John Nepomucene Neumann was a Catholic priest from Bohemia. He immigrated to the United States in 1836, where he was ordained and later joined the Redemptorist order and became the fourth Bishop of Philadelphia (1852–1860). He is the first United States bishop to be canonized. While Bishop of Philadelphia, Neumann founded the first Catholic diocesan school system in the United States. He is a Roman Catholic saint, canonized in 1977.
Eugène de Mazenod, more commonly known as Eugène de Mazenod, was a French Catholic priest. At the age of eight, the Mazenod family was forced to flee the French revolution, leaving their considerable wealth behind. As refugees in Italy, they were very poor, and moved from place to place. At the age of twenty, he returned to France and became a priest. Mazenod founded the congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Initially focused on rebuilding the Church in France after the Revolution, their work soon spread, particularly to Canada. Mazenod was appointed Bishop of Marseille in 1837, and Archbishop in 1851. He was beatified on 19 October 1975 by Pope Paul VI, and canonized on 3 December 1995 by Pope John Paul II. His feast day is 21 May.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help is a Roman Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary as represented in a celebrated 15th-century Byzantine icon also associated with the same Marian apparition.
The Congregation of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, commonly known as the Transalpine Redemptorists or The Sons, are a religious institute of the Catholic Church canonically erected in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Aberdeen and based on Papa Stronsay in the Orkney Islands, Scotland, as well as in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. They were formed in 1988 as a traditionalist offshoot of the Redemptorists, following a monastic rule based on that of St. Alphonsus Liguori, and was later formally erected as a religious institute in 2012.
Gerard Majella, C.Ss.R., was an Italian lay brother of the Congregation of the Redeemer, better known as the Redemptorists, who is honored as a saint by the Catholic Church.
The Oblates of the Virgin Mary is a religious institute of priests and brothers founded by the Venerable Bruno Lanteri (1759–1830) in the Kingdom of Sardinia in the early 19th century. The institute is characterized by a zeal for the work of preaching and the sacrament of confession, according to the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola and the moral theology of St. Alphonsus Liguori. It is also marked by love for Mary and fidelity to the magisterium.
Blessed Gennaro Maria Sarnelli was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and a professed member from the Redemptorists. Sarnelli was one of Saint Alphonsus Maria de' Liguori's earliest companions and was also a prolific writer during his life; he wrote on a range of religious topics which still survive. He wanted to become a Jesuit though was dissuaded from this before working in the Hospital of the Incurables where he call to the priesthood blossomed. His apostolic zeal knew no limits: he preached missions and aided his friend Liguori in his work; he tended to the sick and helped to get girls out of prostitution despite the threats levelled against him.
St. Alphonsus Liguori "Rock" Catholic Church is an historic, Roman Catholic church in St. Louis, Missouri. The church is a Gothic Revival structure and has a towering steeple, flanking spires, and an assortment of stained glass.
Anthony Konings was a Redemptorist professor, who wrote works of theology which influenced Catholic life in late nineteenth century America.
Saint Gaetano Errico was an Italian Roman Catholic priest from Naples and the founder of the Missionari dei Sacri Cuori di Gesù e Maria. Errico was born to devout and hardworking parents whose income was modest but sufficient for him to do his ecclesial studies in Naples. It was common for him to be seen twice a week tending to the ill despite his studies and he also helped his father on occasion at his warehouse. He became a teacher after his ordination and later a parish priest.
The Order of the Most Holy Redeemer is a Catholic female religious order. Their traditional habit is deep red, and the scapular and choir-mantle blue, on the scapular there is a coloured medallion of the Most Holy Redeemer. The 15-decade rosary hangs at the side bearing a medal upon one side of which are embossed the emblems of the Saviour's passion. The nuns wear two veils: one white and another black, folded back over the head, but which may be drawn forward over the face and as far as the medallion on the scapular. Some houses wear a modified habit of a red dress, a black veil and a medal of the Holy Redeemer on one side and St. Alphonsus on the other that is suspended on a chain.
A parochial mission or parish mission is a special pastoral effort in the Catholic Church aimed at preaching to and instructing Catholic followers. These are "home missions" geared toward Catholics, distinguished from apostolic missions to make conversions among non-believers. Such missions may consist of systematic preaching and instruction, extending over a stated number of days, performed by authorized missionaries.
The Roman Catholic tradition includes a number of devotions to Jesus Christ. Like all Catholic devotions, these prayer forms are not part of the official public liturgy of the Church but are based on the popular spiritual practices of Roman Catholics. Many are officially approved by the Holy See as suitable for spiritual growth but not necessary for salvation.
Venerable Father Pio Bruno Pancrazio Lanteri, O.M.V., or simply Bruno Lanteri, was a Catholic priest and founder of the religious congregation of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia in northwestern Italy in the early 19th century. His spiritual life and work centered on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. He was also renowned for challenging Jansenism by distributing books and other publications that promoted the moral theology of St. Alphonsus Liguori, as well as establishing societies to continue this work.
The Church of St. Alphonsus Liguori is a rectory church located on the Via Merulana on the Esquiline Hill of central Rome's Vth prefecture, Italy, and a titular church for a Cardinal-priest under the name Santissimo Redentore e Sant'Alfonso in Via Merulana.
The Chaplet of the Five Wounds of Jesus or the Little Chaplet of the Five Wounds of Jesus Crucified is a devotional prayer written in 1761 by St. Alphonsus Liguori, a devotional writer and founder of the Redemptorist Fathers religious community.
The Alphonsian Academy is a pontifical institution of higher education in Rome, Italy.
Francis Jeremiah Connell, C.SS.R., was a Redemptorist priest, professor, author, and noted Catholic American theologian. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts and died in Washington, D.C.
Blessed Giulia Crostarosa was an Italian Roman Catholic nun who founded the Order of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptoristines). She reported a series of visions in her life that led to the establishment of her order which was bestowed upon it a rule of its own. She assumed the religious name of "Maria Celeste" when she became a professed nun.
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