Alphonsus Liguori, CSsR, sometimes called Alphonsus Maria de Liguori or Saint Alphonsus Liguori, was an Italian Catholic bishop, spiritual writer, composer, musician, artist, poet, lawyer, scholastic philosopher, and theologian.
30 Facts About Alphonsus Liguori
Alphonsus Liguori was canonized in 1839 by Pope Gregory XVI and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius IX in 1871.
Alphonsus Liguori was the eldest of seven children of Giuseppe Liguori, a naval officer and Captain of the Royal Galleys, and Anna Maria Caterina Cavalieri.
The family was of noble lineage, but the branch to which Liguori belonged had become somewhat impoverished.
Alphonsus Liguori learned to ride and fence but was never a good shot because of poor eyesight.
Alphonsus Liguori was taught by tutors before entering the University of Naples, where he graduated with doctorates in civil and canon law at 16.
Alphonsus Liguori remarked later that he was so small at the time that he was almost buried in his doctor's gown and that all the spectators laughed.
Alphonsus Liguori was thinking of leaving the profession and wrote to someone, "My friend, our profession is too full of difficulties and dangers; we lead an unhappy life and run risk of dying an unhappy death".
Alphonsus Liguori's father opposed the plan, but after two months, he and his father compromised: he would study for the priesthood, but not as an Oratorian, and would live at home.
Alphonsus Liguori lived his first years as a priest with the homeless and the marginalized youth of Naples.
Alphonsus Liguori became very popular because of his plain and simple preaching.
Alphonsus Liguori said: "I have never preached a sermon which the poorest old woman in the congregation could not understand".
Alphonsus Liguori founded the Evening Chapels, which were managed by the young people themselves.
Alphonsus Liguori's sermons were very effective at converting those who had been alienated from their faith.
Alphonsus Liguori suffered from scruples much of his adult life and felt guilty about the most minor issues relating to sin.
In 1729, Alphonsus Liguori left his family home and took up residence at the Chinese Institute in Naples.
In 1731, while he was ministering to earthquake victims in the town of Foggia, Alphonsus Liguori said he had a vision of the Virgin Mother in the appearance of a young girl of 13 or 14, wearing a white veil.
Alphonsus Liguori founded the congregation with the charism of preaching popular missions in the city and the countryside.
Alphonsus Liguori is said never to have refused absolution to a penitent.
In 1732, while he was staying at the Convent of the Consolation, one of his order's houses in the small city of Deliceto in the province of Foggia in Southeastern Italy, Alphonsus Liguori wrote the Italian carol "Tu scendi dalle stelle" in the musical style of a pastorale.
Alphonsus Liguori was consecrated Bishop of Sant'Agata dei Goti in 1762.
Alphonsus Liguori tried to refuse the appointment by using his age and infirmities as arguments against his consecration.
Alphonsus Liguori wrote sermons, books, and articles to encourage devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Alphonsus Liguori first addressed ecclesiastical abuses in the diocese, reformed the seminary and spiritually rehabilitated the clergy and faithful.
Alphonsus Liguori suspended those priests who celebrated Mass in less than 15 minutes and sold his carriage and episcopal ring to give the money to the poor.
Alphonsus Liguori was beatified on 15 September 1816 by Pope Pius VII and canonized on 26 May 1839 by Pope Gregory XVI.
Alphonsus Liguori was named the patron of confessors and moral theologians by Pope Pius XII on 26 April 1950, who subsequently wrote of him in the encyclical Haurietis aquas.
Alphonsus Liguori was proficient in the arts, his parents having had him trained by various masters, and he was a musician, painter, poet and author at the same time.
Alphonsus Liguori's masterpiece was The Moral Theology, which was approved by the Pope himself and was born of Liguori's pastoral experience, his ability to respond to the practical questions posed by the faithful and his contact with their everyday problems.
Alphonsus Liguori is credited with the position of Aequiprobabilism, which avoided Jansenist rigorism as well as laxism and simple probabilism.