St. Alphonsus Mary de Liguori
Our parish priest Msgr. Matt Claro Garcia and Parish Vicar Fr. Lorenzo Ruggiero at the tomb of St. Alphonsus Mary de Liguori in Italy
St Alphonsus Mary de Liguori
Bishop, Moral Theologian, Confessor and Doctor of the Church.
PATRON OF LAWYERS
Born Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori into a wealthy family in Marianella, in the Kingdom of Naples on September 27,1696, he became a lawyer at the age of 16. Hence, he is a Patron of Lawyers.
FOUNDER OF REDEMPTORISTS
Six years after becoming a priest, he founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, or the Redemptorists, with the intention of bringing Christ’s message beyond the slums of Naples to the most remote corners of Italy.
MODEL FOR NEW EVANGELIZATION
St. Alphonsus was Bishop of Sant’Agata dei Goti in Southern Italy from 1762 to 1775, where he stood as a fine example of the genuine pastoral experience, with his unique ability to respond to practical questions posed by the faithful on their everyday problems. He is even remembered for selling his carriage and episcopal ring just to give the money to the poor.
He was declared a model for New Evangelization by Pope Benedict XVI in March 2011, more than 200 years after his death, calling the saint “a model of missionary action which can also inspire us today for a ‘new evangelization”. It is remembered that St. Alphonsus, as a young priest, created the the Evening Chapels – centers of prayer and piety, preaching, community, social activities and education managed by the young people themselves, which had multiplied to 72 chapels and had over 10,000 participants at the time of his death.
PATRON OF CONFESSORS
He also stressed the importance of the Sacrament of Confession. Pastors of souls and confessors must be faithful to the Catholic moral doctrine, he advised, but at the same time must assume a charitable, understanding, and gentle attitude so that penitents might feel accompanied, supported and encouraged on their journey of faith and of Christian life. He stressed that priests are a visible sign of the infinite mercy of God who forgives and enlightens the mind and heart of the sinner so that he may convert and change his life. For this, he is regarded as the patron of confessors.
He was known to be firm in his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. “Certainly”, he wrote, “amongst all devotions, after that of receiving the sacraments, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament takes the first place, is the most pleasing
to God, and the most useful to ourselves…. Oh, what a beautiful delight to be before an altar with faith… to represent our wants to him, as a friend does to a friend in whom he places all his trust”