August 2009
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St. Alphonsus Liguori Feast Day — August 1

Alphonsus was what we call a “gifted” student today. He was a lawyer by the time he was sixteen years old! He came from a wealthy family in Naples, Italy and had every advantage in life from the moment he was born in 1696. But Alphosus knew that the greatest blessing he had been given was his faith. He prayed often and attended Mass even on days when he was appearing in court.

Alphonsus found that he was not happy with his life. He finally realized that God was calling him to a different life—the life of a priest. Alphonsus studied theology and was ordained when he was 29.

Alphonsus became famous for his preaching. He spoke so that everyone in church—even people who had never gone to school—could understand his message. He gave retreats for the poor and he encouraged people to pray more often. He founded an order of priests called the Redemptorists. These men were devoted to serving the average working family and peasants.

Even though he was such a busy priest, Alphonsus took time to write books and hymns. Alphonsus also worked to correct a false teaching of his day that said that people were too sinful to ever be worthy of receiving Jesus’ Body and Blood in the Eucharist. Alphonsus taught that receiving Communion helped us to overcome our sins and to become more holy.

Alphonsus is a saint and a Doctor of the Church, a person who made an important contribution to the Church by helping us to understand what it means to be Catholic. We can honor St. Alphonsus by receiving the Eucharist frequently and asking Jesus to help us to grow in holiness.

Related posts:

  1. St. Sophronius Feast Day — March 11
  2. St. John Damascene Feast Day – December 4
  3. St. Leo the Great Feast Day — November 10
  4. Sts. Roque Gonzalez, Alphonsus Rodriguez and Juan de Castillo: The Martyrs of Paraguay Feast Day – November 17
  5. St. Stanislaus Feast Day — April 11

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