St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) was a rising young lawyer in Naples, but losing an important case prompted him to forsake the law and to become a priest instead. Alphonsus soon gained a reputation as a great preacher (though he later claimed that all his sermons could be understood by even the simplest person in the congregation). Alphonsus founded a congregation of priests known as the Redemptorists, a group of missionaries intended especially for work in rural areas. In 1748 he published a famous work on moral theology (a subject on which he is considered a master); he also wrote many other works intended to foster Christian faith.
In 1762, Alphonsus was appointed bishop of a small Italian diocese where he insisted upon simple preaching and a dignified and unhurried celebration of the Eucharist by his priests. Difficulties within his diocese and religious order caused him great suffering and disappointment, but he remained faithful to God and died peacefully in 1787. St. Alphonsus was especially known for his belief that sinners should be treated with patience and moderation, instead of being threatened or condemned.
Other Saints We Remember Today
7 Holy Macabees (150 B.C.), Martyrs
St. Peter in Chains (6th Century)
Sts. Faith, Hope, and Charity (2nd Century), Martyrs