Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Saint of the day
Saint Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Saint Alphonsus Liguori was the forefather of the Redemptorists and a bishop. He was born into a noble family in Naples, Italy. He was educated at the University of Naples, where he earned a doctorate in law by the age of 16. Alphonsus began a successful practice of law, but soon gave up his passion for something greater: exclusively serving God. He became a priest, and focused his energy on assigning missions and instructions, hearing confessions, and establishing religious groups. One such religious group was the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, which focused on living a simple life, living by Christ's example, and doing mission work for the poor in rural areas. The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, or Redemptorists, focused on being kind and simple, as opposed to the strictness and severity of the Jansenists, another religious group. Alphonsus finally became bishop of Saint Agatha dei Goti, after refusing to become a bishop many times. As bishop, Alphonsus wrote, was a teacher of theology, and tended to the needs of the poor. Alphonsus became very ill in his later years, and passed away in 1787 at the age of 90. He was canonized in 1839 and professed a Doctor of the Church in 1871. He is the patron saint of theologians and vocations.
It is easy to forget that, as Christians, our mission is actually quite simple. We are to love God and emulate Jesus. This was the message of Saint Alphonsus. Contrary to the rigid, austere, and rule-heavy orders of his time, Saint Alphonsus advocated a simple, unassuming life centered around absorbing and reflecting the love of Christ. He taught also that this love ought to lead us to help those less fortunate than ourselves. In what ways do you imitate Christ? In what ways do you think that you could more fully imitate Christ?
Dear Jesus, please help me to more fully imitate your every emotion, thought, and action. Help me to more fully know your love and teach that love to others.
Liturgical season information
Place in Year: Ordinary Time
Color of decorations and priest's vestments:
Reading 1: Jer 28:1-17
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 119:29, 43, 79, 80, 95, 102
Alleluia: Mt 4:4
Gospel: Mt 14:13-21View complete readings on USCCB.org