Saint Alphonsus Ligouri was born near Naples, Italy, in 1732. He was a hard-working student. He received his degree in law and became a famous lawyer. A mistake he made in court convinced Alphonsus of what he had already thought: he should give up his law practice and become a priest.

His father tried to persuade him not to do it. However, Alphonsus had made up his mind. He became a priest. His life was filled with activity. He preached and wrote books. He started a religious congregation called “Redemptorists.”

St. Alphonsus offered wise spiritual direction and brought peace to people through the sacrament of Reconciliation. He also wrote hymns, played the organ and painted pictures. St. Alphonsus wrote sixty books. This is incredible considering his many other responsibilities. He also was often sick. He had frequent headaches, but would hold something cold against his forehead and keep doing his work.

Although he was naturally inclined to be hasty, Alphonsus tried to control himself. He became so humble that when Pope Pius VI wanted to make him a bishop, he gently said “no.” When the pope’s messengers had come in person to tell him of the pope’s choice, they called Alphonsus “Most illustrious Lord.” Alphonsus said, “Please don’t call me that again. It would kill me.”

The pope helped Alphonsus understand that he really wanted him to be a bishop. Alphonsus sent many preachers all over his diocese. The people needed to be reminded again of the love of God and the importance of their religion. Alphonsus told the priests to preach simple sermons. “I never preached a sermon that the simplest old woman in the church could not understand,” he said.

As he got older, St. Alphonsus suffered from illnesses. He had painful arthritis and became crippled. He grew deaf and almost blind. He also had disappointments and temptations. But he had great devotion to the Blessed Mother as we know from his famous book called the Glories of Mary. The trials were followed by great peace and joy and a holy death.

St. Alphonsus died in 1787 at the age of ninety-one. Pope Gregory XVI proclaimed him a saint in 1839. Pope Pius IX proclaimed him a Doctor of the Church in 1871.

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  1. My math does not compute the age as you state for St Alphonsus Liguori. If born in 1732 as you indicate how could he become bishop in 1798 but die in 1787 at the age 91. I do believe in St Alphonsus but the math does not compute properly. Please explain.

    A Child in Christ,

    Mary T

  2. St. Alphonsus Liguori, you know what it is to be sick and in pain. Please intercede with Our Lord to bring comfort and healing to all cancer patients, especially my friend Dianne W., Paul H., the husband of my friend Molly; Charles B. who at age two is battling brain cancer, and Marley H., a grade schooler also with brain cancer. Please ask Our Lord to send His Holy Spirit to guide their health care providers in every way, and to put His loving arms around these patients, their families, and loved ones to give them strength and courage during this most difficult time in their lives. I ask you, St. Alphonsus Liguori, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

  3. Heavenly Father, thank you for another productive day and forgive me for my sins. Please pray for the souls of my Mother Carmen, Father Victorino, Brother Nelson and other relatives who had passed away already. Comfort them in your arms in their eternal life in your kingdom. Protect our whole family from any harms and danger. Be my guide at all times in all plans and actions in life. Lead me the way towards the right path and directions to follow. Hear the prayer requests of this online community. Lord, hear our prayers. Mary Help of Christians, pray for us! In Jesus name, Amen.

  4. Saint Alphonsus, please intercede for all of us who are suffering from sickness and pain. You also suffered from this. Please help us continue to be strong and patient and faithful to our Lord . Please Lord hear our prayers. Amen.

  5. Saint Alphonsus Ligouri, pray for us. Especially for those who suffer from arthritis and visual or hearing impairment, including Tinnitus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc. Let that humble sacrifice offered with pious prayer be fruitful for The Redemptorists and for the Kingdom of God on earth. Amen.


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