Sunday 25th September 2016

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

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Donald Trump Names Rick Santorum and Other Top Pro-Life Catholics as Key Advisers

Fresh from announcing a list of pro-life leaders who are advising him on issues that matter to pro-life voters, Donald Trump has named a group of pro-life Catholic leaders as additional key advisers, including pro-life former presidential candidate Rick Santorum.…Continue Reading

Argentine bishop threatened with prosecution for condemning ‘culture of fornication’

September 20, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The Catholic archbishop of the Argentinean city of La Plata is under investigation by the country’s “discrimination” police for condemning the modern acceptance of sexual promiscuity and “unnatural” unions, according to local media sources. Archbishop…Continue Reading

First minor killed by euthanasia in Belgium after child euthanasia legalized

BELGIUM, September 19, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Belgium’s federal euthanasia commission confirmed Saturday the country’s first instance of child euthanasia, which became legal in 2014. Belgian media suggested the minor killed via lethal injection was 17. Some media also suggested the…Continue Reading

Donald Trump commits to defunding abortion, Planned Parenthood if elected

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 16, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Donald Trump has pledged to end taxpayer funding of abortion in the United States and to defund the nation’s leading abortion provider. In a new, personally signed letter, Mr. Trump attacked “Hillary Clinton’s…Continue Reading

Pope Francis issues motu proprio harmonizing Canon Law codes

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Letter motu proprio on Thursday, in which he brings the basic legal instruments that govern the Latin Church and the Eastern Churches in communion with Rome more closely into accord with one another…Continue Reading

Another “Catholic” Politician trying to redefine the Catholic Faith . . . Devout Catholic™ Kaine breaks with his church on gay marriage, with media blessing

Tim Kaine has officially joined the ranks of Devout Catholic™. How do we know? Because he says he’s Catholic, yet criticizes the church. The Democratic vice presidential nominee played weekend prophet and theologian when he told activists in the Human…Continue Reading

Bishop Morlino’s Move to Ad Orientem Masses in Madison

This past weekend the Most Reverend Robert Morlino, Bishop of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin made an announcement of great liturgical importance. Going forward His Excellency will be offering all of his Masses at the Cathedral ad orientem. Make no…Continue Reading

Longtime conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly dead at 92

phillis

Phyllis Schlafly, the iconic pro-family activist who rose to fame in the 1970s when she campaigned against the Equal Rights Amendment, has died at age 92, according to the Eagle Forum, the conservative organization she founded. Schlafly had been an…Continue Reading

Soros’ Catholic useful idiots

By Robert A. Sirico – – Tuesday, August 30, 2016 A most remarkable set of documents was coughed up recently by WikiLeaks. George Soros‘ Open Society Policy Center, it turns out, made donations to two faith-based organizations to the tune…Continue Reading

Pope Francis “gratified” by UN goals that demand “universal access to sexual and reproductive health”

Pope Francis has said that he is “gratified” by UN goals that call on member states to “ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health” by 2030. The term “sexual and reproductive health”, as generally defined, includes access to contraception, including abortifacient methods, and,…Continue Reading

Psychiatrist: The Vatican’s sex ed is the most dangerous threat to youth I’ve seen in 40 years

September 2, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — In recent years, the Catholic Church has been going through one of her most severe crises as a result of the priestly abuse of youth. The primary victims have been adolescent males.1  This worldwide scandal was…Continue Reading

Catholics protest at Tim Kaine’s parish: If priest won’t ‘instruct parishioners’ on Church teaching, we will

RICHMOND, Virginia, August 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Roughly a dozen pro-life activists protested Sunday outside of pro-abortion, pro-homosexual Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine’s Catholic parish. “Sen. Kaine has failed in his duty as a Catholic public servant to…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

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Paul Likoudis (RIP)

Sad news today, we received word that Paul Likoudis, The Wanderer news editor from 1990 to 2014 has died. He lost his battle with colon cancer yesterday, which he had been fighting for over three years. Please pray for the repose of his soul. (The Wanderer will have much more in the days to come).  

500 Catholic scholars lash back at Humanae Vitae critics

Washington D.C., Sep 20, 2016 / 03:53 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Nearly 50 years after the “prophetic” papal document Humanae Vitae, the Catholic Church’s longstanding teaching against contraception continues to promote the human good, said a group of Catholic thinkers on Tuesday. “We hold that Catholic teaching respects the true dignity of the human person and is conducive to happiness,” said hundreds of Catholic scholars in a Sept. 20 document. “Humanae Vitae speaks against the distorted…Continue Reading

“Catholic” Tim Kaine: “I Believe Women Should Be Able to” Have an Abortion

Yesterday on Meet the Press, Democratic Vice Presidential pick Tim Kaine, attempted to make his pitch to Millennials by saying that they agree with Hillary Clinton and the Democratic platform on the big issues. One of the big issues is obviously abortion. Part of what he said was: “Do you believe women should be able to make their own health care decisions, or don’t you? Millennials do, Hillary Clinton and I do, Donald Trump doesn’t.”…Continue Reading

Pope visits neonatal unit, hospice to highlight respect for life

Vatican City, Sep 16, 2016 / 11:19 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Friday, Pope Francis visited a neonatal hospital unit and a hospice for the terminally ill, stressing the dignity of human life from conception to natural death. The Sept. 16 visit is the latest in the Pope’s “Mercy Friday” initiatives, to spend time with various groups each month during the Jubilee of Mercy. In previous trips, he has made surprise stops at places including an…Continue Reading

Alberta bishops: No Communion for ‘remarried’ Catholics unless they practice continence

EDMONTON, Alberta, September 15, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The Catholic Church has not changed her practice towards divorced and civilly remarried Catholics — despite what the faithful may have been led to believe through the media or other sources, the Alberta and Northwest Territory bishops stated in pastoral guidelines released Wednesday. It is “erroneous” to conclude that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics can receive Holy Communion “if they simply have a conversation with a priest,” stated…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101… The Bridge Between Abortion And Euthanasia

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, “Euthanasia,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + Speaking at a conference of the Hemlock Society — an organization whose primary…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred… At The Hour Of Our Death

By JAMES MONTI The onset of autumn has deeper lessons to offer than merely the return of students to their classrooms for another semester of studies. Our Lord Himself told us to derive spiritual instruction from even the change of seasons when He compared the budding of leaves on the fig tree that presage summer…Continue Reading

Last Chance For The “Deplorables”

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Speaking to 1,000 of the overprivileged at an LGBT fundraiser, where the chairs ponied up $250,000 each and Barbra Streisand sang, Hillary Clinton gave New York’s social liberals what they came to hear. “You could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?” smirked Clinton…Continue Reading

A Book Review… The Limitless Wisdom Of The Parables

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN Hints of Heaven: The Parables of Christ and What They Mean for You, by Fr. George Rutler (Sophia Institute Press: Manchester, NH, 2014), 151 pp.; $14.95. Available through www.SophiaInstitute.com or 1-800-888-9344. A collection of short meditations on the 24 parables that appear in the Gospel, this book relates these stories to the…Continue Reading

A Book Review… The Cost Of Assimilation

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Shaw, Russell. Catholics in America: Religious Identity and Cultural Assimilation From John Carroll to Flannery O’Connor. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2016; 141 pp. This is a delightful book, to say the least, in part because Russell Shaw has a way of uncovering facts you wish you had known all along. The book…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Necessity Of Baptism

By DON FIER The Church’s immemorial tradition of baptizing infants demonstrates in a particular way one of the great truths of our Catholic faith — that every human person is in need of salvation. Born into this world afflicted with original sin, “a sin which is the death of the soul” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 403), even…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Following up on a recent question about how much money the U.S. bishops get from the federal government, an article in LifeSiteNews reported that the Obama Administration is pouring hundreds of million of dollars into Catholic institutions and charities. “We’ve got the most virulently anti-life administration in the history of the United States,” said international child rights advocate…Continue Reading

If It Delays, Wait For It

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Seventh Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Hab. 1:2-3, 2:2-4 2 Tim. 1:6-8, 13-14 Luke 17:5-10 I have commented many times before on the last lines of the Gospel reading today where our Lord tells us to say: “We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.” Tragically, I wish that…Continue Reading

The Role Of The Sacred Liturgy In Developing A Catholic Conscience

By FRANCIS CARDINAL ARINZE Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Francis Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, delivered this lecture at The Church Teaches Forum in Louisville, Ky., July 16, 2016. (The lecture is reprinted here with permission; all rights reserved. We are presenting it in two parts because of…Continue Reading

A Noble Confession Of Faith

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Sixth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Amos 6:1a, 4-7 1 Tim. 6:11-16 Luke 16:19-31 In the second reading today, St. Paul addresses Timothy in a very strong and direct manner. Calling him a man of God, St. Paul then tells him to strive for righteousness, to compete well for the faith, and to take…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Bernardina Maria Jablonska

By CAROLE BRESLIN Some people look back on their lives and see how differently things turned out from what they had planned. A professor once told his business students that very few students work in the field they studied in college. If someone had told the young Bernardina Maria Jablonska that she would be the superior of a religious order…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Aubert

By CAROLE BRESLIN Near the west coast of France just below England lies the See of Avranches. If you take a drive around the waterways for about 24 miles, you will arrive at one of the world’s most famous pilgrimages, another World Heritage Site — one of 41 in France. This place, Mont Saint-Michel, is dedicated to St. Michael the…Continue Reading