Friday 28th August 2015

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes… St. Alphonsus Liguori

July 29, 2014 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

Part 2

After establishing the house at Villa degli Schiavi, Alphonsus stayed there, conducting many of his missions from this site. For the previous five years he had become widely known for his missions and sermons, bringing many Catholics back to the Catholic faith. While Alphonsus is well known as a moral theologian and for his writings, he spent 26 years giving missions in the kingdom of Naples.
From 1726 until 1752, he preached in Naples. With patience people waited to receive absolution, which would allow them to receive Holy Communion. He had an uncommon ability to resolve disputes, bring people back to the Church, and end family feuds — not an easy thing to do in 18th-century Italy.
While his reputation for holiness increased, difficulties increased also. Just as he met with opposition in the first days of the Redemptorines, the newly founded Redemptorists met with troubles, too.
In 1734 Spain exercised her authority over the kingdom of Naples. The Marquis Bernard Tanucci, the prime minister of King Charles III of Spain, was a lifelong opponent of the congregation. Thus when an evil priest spread false rumors about the Redemptorists three years later, Tanucci mounted an armed attack on the Villa degli Schiavi, forcing it to close.
Although Alphonsus removed his men to Scala, that house also had to be closed. It seemed the congregation was doomed, but Giuseppe Cardinal Spinelli, who liked both the method and the results of the missions that St. Alphonsus preached, put them to work in his see.
For two more years Alphonsus gave missions. When his friend and collaborator Msgr. Thomas Falcoia died, however, Alphonsus had to return to the congregation of the Redemptorists. A general chapter was held at which he was elected to be their superior. He took his vows as well as having the others take their vows. He wrote the rules and established a constitution. Finally, they received approval as a religious institute.
Soon after several more houses were founded. Once again Marquis Tanucci sought to disrupt the growth of the young order. As anti-clericalism increased, the Redemptorists were threatened by the prime minister with each new advance. Nevertheless, despite Tanucci’s efforts, the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer thrived.
In 1748, Alphonsus published his first work on moral theology. Eventually, nine editions were published. He dedicated his first edition to a Jesuit, Fr. Busembaum. The second edition was dedicated and approved by Pope Benedict XIV. (In all nine editions were published with the last one coming out in 1785.)
By 1750, St. Alphonsus had worked as lawyer, served as a missionary, founded an order to which he was later elected superior, and written on moral theology. His 26 years of missionary work brought countless souls to Christ.
His heart yearned to address yet another serious problem in 18th-century Europe — the spread of Jansenism, a heresy that denied the freedom of the will and the possibility of resisting grace. The Jansenists also found fault with frequent Communion and devotion to Our Blessed Mother. To answer these claims, St. Alphonsus wrote his wonderful work The Glories of Mary, which is very popular to this day.
For nine years Alphonsus worked without rest, resisting the efforts of Tanucci, overcoming the split in the congregation, giving missions, establishing new houses, and working diligently to win the king’s approval of the order. He also wrote hymns and composed music, having been a brilliant musician from his youth. Furthermore, he did a considerable amount of painting.
Some believe that his sensitive and passionate nature resulted in the failing of his health. Although he was always patient, gentle, and forbearing, it did not mean that the obstacles he constantly had to overcome to protect the work of the Redemptorists did not affect him deeply.
By 1752 his health was failing, so he decreased the number of missions he was giving. He also began to write more books, including The Way of Salvation, The True Spouse of Christ, and Sermons for All the Sundays in the Year.
In 1762, at the age of 66, over the objections of St. Alphonsus, Pope Clement XIII appointed him bishop of Sant’ Agata dei Goti. This isolated see was in a great period of decline both spiritually and physically. The people had fallen away from the practice of their faith. Perhaps they were not at fault since the priests in their see — having had no bishop for many years — did little, if any, pastoral work, with some of them being decadent and immoral.
Naturally, a man whose only intention on earth was to do the will of God would work to improve their spiritual state. Naturally, after three decades or so of idleness, the people would resist. Alphonsus brought in priests from outside the see, preached missions, and reformed the clergy and the seminary.
Again the cross came quickly. Famine and the plague besieged the poor see. Alphonsus did all that he possibly could to feed the hungry and tend the sick. He sold all his personal belongings, including his uncle’s episcopal ring. He even pledged the endowment for the see and went into debt to pay for provisions.
He made many sacrifices for the spiritual welfare of the people as well. He corrected with compassion the first time, but if the penitent did not change his ways, he treated him much more severely. Of course, this also made him many enemies.
An attack of rheumatism in June 1767 left him severely debilitated. His neck was left bent over so far that his chin rubbed his chest raw. He could only celebrate Mass from a wheelchair.
Furthermore, his opponents were attacking his moral theology and accused him of being a puppet of the Jesuits, who were then undergoing suppression. The case against him for the latter accusation was decided in his favor.
After Pope Clement XIII had died, Alphonsus petitioned Pope Pius VI for retirement. It was granted. Free of his responsibilities as bishop, he turned his attention to getting royal sanction for his rule. Now that Alphonsus was virtually blind, deaf, and crippled, the royal almoner sought to betray him in this quest by rewording the rule to the satisfaction of the king, but much to the dissatisfaction of the Pope.
When the copy was presented to Alphonsus for his approval, the copy was difficult to read; but having gone through the first few lines carefully, he assumed the rest was accurate and gave his approval by signing the document. It was not until later that he learned he had been duped. Sadly the Holy See condemned Alphonsus for the new rule and the Redemptorists sided with the Holy See, abandoning the betrayed Alphonsus.
Since he had been removed from the order, he suffered great humiliation without defending himself. Just as he accepted responsibility for losing a court case so many years ago see part 1 of this column), he accepted responsibility for not reading the entire copy of the rule before signing it. He accepted this cross as God’s will.
One more cross — one more trial — was yet to afflict the saint. As he ended the closing of his earthly life, he experienced what St. John of the Cross called, the “dark night of the soul.” Temptations, scruples, and other fears attacked the man. These alternated with brief periods of joy and communion with God. He finally died, at peace on August 1, 1787.
His feast day is celebrated on August 1.

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Untitled 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

If You Still Support Planned Parenthood, You Are Simply Not A Decent Person

Another Planned Parenthood video has been released. I promised I would write about every new video that comes out, so here is my write up on the latest. Please read and share. I don’t usually ask you to share things…Continue Reading

“Catholic” Group Sends Cakes to Thank Planned Parenthood Staff After It Sells Aborted Babies

Apparently, Catholics for Choice want their friends at Planned Parenthood to know how appreciated they are since they will be “harassed” tomorrow at the protests across the country regarding their organ harvesting business.  As LifeNews previously reported, tens of thousands…Continue Reading

Facebook’s very (very) suspicious ‘trending’ Planned Parenthood story

Update Aug. 20, ’15 at 7:54 AM EST: I woke up this morning, and lo and behold, the “trending” news topic had changed. It now reads, “7th video critical of organization released by anti-abortion group.” That’s more like it. I…Continue Reading

Questions raised after pro-life activist Twitter accounts suspended without warning: one now restored

ONTARIO, August 20, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — A pro-life activist campaigning against Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s abortion extremism as well as a pro-life organization on a mission to show the violent reality of abortion through large graphic billboards had their Twitter…Continue Reading

Archbishop Cordileone thankful for San Francisco teacher contract agreement

San Francisco, Calif., Aug 23, 2015 / 06:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Efforts to promote Catholic culture in the San Francisco archdiocese’s high schools and to agree on a contract acceptable for the schools’ teachers concluded on Wednesday with a new…Continue Reading

Catholic Priests’ Forgotten Flock: Catholic Men

The New Emangelization Project has documented that a key driver of the collapse of Catholicism in the U. S. is a serious and growing Catholic “man-crisis”.[1] One third of baptized Catholic men have left the faith and the majority of…Continue Reading

Shortages in Venezuela mean priests are running out of Hosts

Caracas, Venezuela, Aug 15, 2015 / 03:33 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Venezuela’s ongoing economic crisis has hit the Church in a unique way: the production of Hosts fell 60 percent during the past month, affecting three states in the South American…Continue Reading

Do We really need a new day dedicated to the environment?

The Pope has decided in the wake of his well received encyclical on the environment to institute a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. This day will take place on 1st September. At present the 1st September…Continue Reading

There is no equivalence

Here’s a simple exercise in basic reasoning. On a spectrum of bad things to do, theft is bad, assault is worse and murder is worst. There’s a similar texture of ill will connecting all three crimes, but only a very…Continue Reading

Syrian Bishop: on kidnapping of Christians from Qaryatain

(Vatican Radio) The Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo in Syria, Antoine Audo says he believes the so-called Islamic State fighters are seeking to push Christians out of Syria and spread terror everywhere. He also warned that if the war continues, as…Continue Reading

Archbishop Cupich will attend synod, Vatican source says

Vatican City, Aug 7, 2015 / 12:35 pm (CNA).- Originally selected as an alternate synod delegate, Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago will in fact be an attendee at the Vatican gathering on the family this fall, a Vatican source told…Continue Reading

A word of caution about the Society of Saint Pius X

Bishop’s Column Written by Robert C. Molrino, Bishop of Madison Thursday, Aug. 06, 2015 — 12:00 AM The 50 years since the close of the Second Vatican Council have been tumultuous for the Church. Forces both inside and outside of…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope Francis Recalls Feast of St. Monica

Vatican City, August 27, 2015 (ZENIT.org) Deborah Castellano Lubov Pope Francis has recalled the feast day of Saint Monica, mother of St. Augustine of Hippo. Toward the conclusion of Wednesday’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square in his remarks to Italian-speaking pilgrims, Pope Francis recalled that today, August 27, is the feast day of St. Monica. To the intercession of her and her son, Francis said, “We entrust newlyweds and Christian parents so that, like…Continue Reading

Lex Cordis Caritas – The law of the heart is Love

God’s greatest and most beloved treasure is human life by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki The Bible points us to the truth of what lies at the heart of every moral teaching of Jesus Christ and his church. In the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians, we hear him warn the people to “[w]atch carefully how you live” (Ephesians 5:15). He does this not because he wants to control their lives, dictating what they can…Continue Reading

Pope to parents: find time for prayer in busy family life

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday continued his reflections on family life, focusing especially on the importance of finding time for prayer. Greeting visitors from many different countries, gathered for the weekly General Audience in St Peter’s Square, the Pope said families often experience difficulty in devoting time for prayer. But he said a heart filled with the love of God can make even a silent thought or small gesture of devotion into a moment…Continue Reading

Thousands Rally at Planned Parenthoods for End to Tax Payer Funding

United States of America, August 24, 2015 (ZENIT.org) Staff Reporter A national day of protest took place Saturday at Planned Parenthoods across the United States as the federal and local governments are being asked to defund the abortion giant. Though there has been an ongoing call for an end to tax payer funding of Planned Parenthood for years, Saturday’s rallies came in response to a series of undercover videos that have been released in recent…Continue Reading

ACLU: Force Catholic Hospitals To Abandon Catholic Faith

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY The woefully misnamed American Civil Liberties Union is launching a crusade to force Catholic hospitals to act against Catholic moral teachings and the natural law. This is an un-American attack on religious liberty. The ACLU’s intentions came to light this week after it threatened to sue Mercy Medical Center in Redding,…Continue Reading

Kenneth D. Whitehead, RIP . . . A Personal Tribute To An Outstanding Layman

By JAMES LIKOUDIS Last April, the Church in the United States lost to cancer one of its most dedicated and well-informed laymen. His life was dedicated to defending the faith from the major errors that have afflicted the Church in the postconciliar period. I had the great privilege of working with Ken Whitehead when for…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… Same-Sex “Marriage” And The Crisis Of Leadership

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bi-monthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Carry On The Fight With Faith

By ANNE W. CARROLL Robert C. Cetrulo, J.D. On the Gift of Life, From Eden to Eternity. Northern Kentucky Right to Life Educational Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 1202, Covington, KY 41012, 2015. 189 pp. $10.00. “I tell you not for your comfort, yea not for your desire,/ Save that the sky grows darker yet, and…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Sainthood In Married Life

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN The Journey of Our Love: The Letters of Saint Gianna Beretta and Pietro Molla, edited by Elio Guerriero (Pauline Books & Media, Boston: 2014); 282 pp.; $17.95. Available through www.pauline.org. Many know the courageous story of St. Gianna’s sacrifice of her life for the sake of her newborn fourth child and recall…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. The Supreme Court has a history of immoral decisions, such as declaring black slaves as property, permitting credit card companies to charge usurious interest rates, allowing the public sale of contraceptives, okaying the killing of unborn babies, and approving sodomy. What’s next? Polygamy? Incestuous “marriage”? Person-animal “marriage”? It would appear that we are on a par with Sodom of…Continue Reading

A Blindness In The Heart

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Third Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 35:4-7a James 2:1-5 Mark 7:31-37 In the first reading God speaks through the Prophet Isaiah telling the people that those whose hearts are frightened should be strong and not afraid because God is with them. He then says that on that day the eyes of the blind…Continue Reading

Novena To Our Lady Of Knock . . . The Family Is Reason To Give Thanks

By MOST REV. KEVIN DORAN KNOCK, Ireland (ZENIT) — Here is the homily given Sunday, August 16 by Bishop Kevin Doran for the 2015 National Novena to Our Lady of Knock, which lasted through August 22. The theme was “Always and Everywhere Giving Thanks — The Gift of the Family.” Bishop Doran heads the Diocese of Elphin, Ireland. ZENIT News…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Our Persecuted Faithful Desire Leadership In Tradition

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Many of our Catholic people today are very insecure in their faith and thus needlessly fearful because they are without the experience of the presence of God in an abiding way. Whether because of Islamic terrorism which is committing genocide against Eastern Christians or attacks through a newly re-paganized society and our unjust and anti-Christian…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . Jesus’ Greatest Miracle: His Resurrection

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 16 If we take the Gospels as simple historical records about the life of a Galilean preacher, we’ll find in them a remarkable entry: They say that the man died and rose again. He was crucified, had His side pierced after death, and was buried. No doubt about it. The tomb was found empty,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Aidan

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Church names many saints as patrons of certain professions, troubles, or countries. St. Benedict is the patron saint of Europe. As the father of Western monasticism, he is credited with building Western civilization. St. Catherine of Siena is also a patron of Europe since she played important roles in settling both civil and ecclesiastical disputes. St.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bernard Of Clairvaux

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Gospel of John, during the Last Discourse at the Last Supper, our Lord prays for unity. Jesus said: “that they may be one even as we are” (John 17:11). During the most challenging times of Church history, God has sent men to restore peace to His Church. Certainly St. Bernard of Clairvaux should be counted…Continue Reading