Alphonsus Liguori

   Saint, Order Founder and Devotional Writer.
   Alphonsus was born near Naples and initially practised as a lawyer. At the age of twenty-four, however, he joined a preaching order. In 1726 he was ordained priest and in 1730 he moved to Scala to be near his friend the Bishop of Castellmare. In 1732 he founded the Redemptorists (the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer). The task of the new order was to perform mission work among the poor. After the Bishop’s death, Alphonsus became Superior-General and in 1749 the rule of the order was formally approved by Pope Benedict XIV. In 1750 a corresponding house was set up for women. In 1762 Alphonsus was consecrated Bishop of Sant’Agata dei Goti, but he resigned in 1775 to dedicate himself to the affairs of the order. His devotional works include the Annotations (1748), Theologia Moralis (2 volumes, 1753 and 1755), the Great Means of Prayer (1759) and the Way of Salvation (1767). These works were very popular and were in sharp contrast with the sombre theology of the Jansenists. Alphonsus was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1871. His order continues its work to the present time.
   A.C. Berthe, Life of Alphonsus Liguori, translated by H. Castle, 2 vols (1905).

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