Thursday 22nd February 2018

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

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

FRENCH CATHOLICS TO PRAY NATIONAL ROSARY

PARIS (ChurchMilitant.com) – Catholics in France are rallying for a nationwide Rosary on April 28. In the past five months, Church Militant has reported on about a half dozen national Rosary rallies organized in countries such as Poland and Ireland. Inspired by…Continue Reading

Told he has not long to live, Catholic Studies founder Don Briel reflects on dying well

Don Briel, founder and longtime director of Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, was diagnosed in mid-January with two forms of acute leukemia. He was told the cancers were untreatable and he had a month…Continue Reading

Pope Francis says Paul VI will be canonized this year

Vatican City, Feb 17, 2018 / 08:53 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During his annual Lenten meeting with the priests of Rome last week, Pope Francis confirmed that Blessed Pope Paul VI will be made a saint sometime this year. “Paul VI…Continue Reading

Pope reappoints O’Malley to head further work of safeguarding commission

Vatican City, Feb 17, 2018 / 05:10 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Saturday the Vatican announced that Pope Francis has reconfirmed Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston as head of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, also reconfirming seven members…Continue Reading

The Latest: Trump to visit Florida after school shooting

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s response to the Florida school shooting (all times local): 11:36 a.m. President Donald Trump says he’ll visit Parkland, Florida, the site of Wednesday’s shooting that killed 17 people. Trump said from…Continue Reading

U.S. bishops: federal budget should not be balanced ‘on backs of the poor’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the Trump administration’s 2019 federal budget proposal on Monday, the U.S. Catholic bishops are urging for a budget that shows greater concern for “‘the least of these” and warning that the U.S. “must never seek…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood sticker stirs controversy at Connecticut Catholic high school

A Connecticut high school student may have to decide whether to remove a Planned Parenthood sticker on her laptop or leave her Catholic school after administrators told her to remove it, her parents said. Sophomore Kate Murray’s parents told the Greenwich Time that…Continue Reading

Fr. James Martin: ‘People take the Bible…out of context’ on homosexuality

February 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Bible’s condemnation of homosexual acts should be taken in “context” with Biblical times, Jesuit Father James Martin toldGeorgetown University students recently. Martin said as well that Catholics who support gay “marriage” should have no problem…Continue Reading

Mississippi state house votes to ban abortion after 15 weeks

JACKSON, Mississippi, February 2, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A bill banning abortion on babies more than 15 weeks old passed the Mississippi state House today 79-31. House Bill 1510 would make Mississippi the state with the most pro-life laws if it…Continue Reading

All But Three Democrats Voted to Allow Unlimited Abortions Up to Birth

Just three Democrats in the U.S. Senate supported a bill on Monday that would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks when unborn babies are capable of feeling pain. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which has strong public support from Republicans…Continue Reading

Athanasius Schneider invites world’s bishops to sign Profession of Immutable Truths

ROME, January 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In an exclusive interview two weeks after issuing a profession of immutable truths about sacramental marriage, Bishop Athanasius Schneider is inviting his brother bishops around the world to join in raising a common voice…Continue Reading

Cardinal Eijk Asks Pope to Clarify Questions About “Remarried” Divorcees

As Katholisch.de, the official website of the German bishops, reports today, Cardinal Willem Eijk, the Dutch cardinal and Metropolitan Archbishop of Utrecht, requested that Pope Francis bring light into the confusion concerning the question as to how to deal with…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  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 150 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

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

State senator rebuffs Planned Parenthood activists: ‘Abortion is murder’

BOISE, Idaho, February 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Mainstream media is slinging mud at a pro-life Republican state senator in Idaho after he was filmed in a heated exchange with a dozen or so pro-abortion college students affiliated with Planned Parenthood, telling them that abortion is “murder.” When State Sen. Dan Foreman (R) canceled a meeting with University of Idaho students on Monday, the Planned Parenthood

Catholics urged to affirm ‘liberating truth’ of Humanae Vitae

The document ‘defended the integrity of married love and warned us against the danger of reducing sexuality to a source of pleasure alone’ The “liberating truth” of Blessed Paul VI’s encyclical “Humanae Vitae” is as relevant today 50 years after its promulgation, and maybe even more so, said Archbishop of Denver Samuel Aquila in his new pastoral letter, “The Splendor of Love.” “The 50th anniversary of ‘Humanae Vitae’ is an occasio

Correcting Fr. James Martin

Fr James Martin SJ has tweeted his rage against the firing of a gay teacher from a Catholic School. The story is here in the New York Times. It concerns a female Catholic school teacher who “married” her girlfriend and was then dismissed from her job. Fr Martin tweets: Again, where are the comparable firings of straight employees who do not follow Catholic church teaching? Men and women living together before being married? Divorced and remarried without…Continue Reading

Dozens of U.S. bishops sign up for Amoris Laetitia seminars at dissident Catholic colleges

CHICAGO, February 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich, a key promoter of the progressive agenda advanced under Pope Francis, has invited American bishops to a series of conferences about Amoris Laetitia in February. Catholic News Agency reported this week that it had “obtained” a letter by the Archbishop of Chicago about the seminars. Called “New Momentum Conferences on Amoris Laetitia”,  the series is advertised as a “tailor-made program that goes from why Amoris Laetitia provides New Momentum for Moral…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood Sues President Trump After He Defunded Its Programs Pushing Sex on Kids

There’s nothing, it seems, that the abortion chain Planned Parenthood won’t sue over. On Thursday, affiliates of the abortion chain in seven states sued the Trump administration for cutting funding for their questionable teen pregnancy prevention programs. The Daily Nonpareil reports the lawsuits argue that the Trump administration wrongly cut their funding prematurely and without cause. Nine groups, including Planned Parenthood affiliates in Washington, Iowa, North Carolina, South C

Advertisement(2)

Youth’s Predicament… The Longing For Love And Meaning

By GEORGE A. KENDALL Living in a nursing home has had an unexpected effect on my life — putting me in more contact with young people than I have been used to since I was young myself (about a hundred years ago). I am talking about the nurse’s aides who provide the day to day…Continue Reading

Notre Dame Professor… Criticizes University’s Provision Of “Simple Contraceptives”

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (CNA/EWTN News) — After the University of Notre Dame announced it would fund “simple contraceptives” in its insurance plan, one Notre Dame professor has criticized the move, calling it “a giant leap into immorality.” “Now the University [of Notre Dame] is to be sole funder and proprietor of a contraception giveaway,” wrote…Continue Reading

Fulton Sheen’s Final Resting Place Not Yet Final

NEW YORK (CNA/EWTN News) — Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s niece has said her uncle’s remains belong in Peoria, Ill., but a lawsuit seeking his internment there has been returned to a lower court for further consideration. “I just hate that this is dragging on and on and on,” Joan Sheen Cunningham said, according to The New…Continue Reading

Blessed Paul VI Revisited

By DONALD DeMARCO Unlike the daily news, papal statements are news that stay news. On January 1, 1977, Pope Paul VI delivered a Day of Peace message entitled, If You Want Peace, Defend Life. The need to conjoin peace with life is more relevant today than it was better than forty years ago and warrants…Continue Reading

President Trump Bans U.S. Aid for International Abortions

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Within a week of taking office on January 23, 2017, President Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, now called the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance, which bans U.S. funding for abortions overseas. The expanded policy prohibits $9 billion in U.S. taxpayer money from funding foreign organizations that perform or…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Cardinal Zen . . . “A Schismatic Church With The Pope’s Blessing Will Be Horrible!”

By DIANE MONTAGNA ROME (LifeSiteNews) — Hong Kong’s Joseph Cardinal Zen issued another strongly worded criticism February 13 of the Vatican’s proposed deal with China’s Communist regime, suggesting it would amount to a papal endorsement of schism. “There is no reason to fear a schismatic church created by the [Communist] Party. It will fade with the collapse of the regime,”…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… The “Inner Room” Of Lent

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “Go to your inner room and pray to your Father in private.” Another Lent is upon us. With the Mass of Ash Wednesday we hear once again the Lord’s call to grow into a deeper awareness and love of the Father who is always lovingly aware of us. The tasks of Lent in prayer, fasting,…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ . . . Delving Into The Great Mystery Of The Eucharist

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 16 The Holy Eucharist is the greatest Mystery left to our faith by Our Divine Redeemer. Thus, to delve into it is something we do on our knees, as it were, spiritually speaking, since we are considering the Presence of a Divine Person under the appearances of bread and wine. We have His word…Continue Reading

The Effects Of The Sacrament Of Matrimony

By DON FIER For a variety of reasons (a defect of consent, a diriment impediment, or a defect of the required form), many supposed modern-day marriages entered into by Catholic persons are invalid from their origin in the eyes of God and the Church. However, as we saw last week, depending on the circumstances, the Church has procedures by which…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Concerning what our Blessed Mother said in Fatima about the rosary, I am confused as to whether or not she meant us to meditate on the mysteries while we are praying the Hail Marys or whether she meant us to meditate on the mysteries right before we say the Hail Marys. The consensus seems to be that we are…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Agnes Of Bohemia

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the thirteenth century, many alliances were solidified by a marriage between members of royalty from other nations. There were also quite a few royal persons who were known for their holiness by following Christianity, including St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Ludmila and St. Wenceslaus of Czechoslovakia. Related to all of these saints, Princess Agnes also…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Margaret Of Cortona

By CAROLE BRESLIN Great sinners make great saints. It takes a strong-willed child to become a saint. These are statements which would easily fit saints such as Mary Magdalene and St. Augustine. In the thirteenth century, a young lady free in spirit and strong in will led such a life that she was essentially driven from her home village, but…Continue Reading