Published March 18, 2004
St. Alphonsus was born in 1696 in Marianelli, a city near Naples, Italy. Born to the nobility, he was a child prodigy who received his law doctorate at 16. By the time he was 21, he had his own practice and was known as one of the leading lawyers in Naples. But the pious young man never went to court without going to Mass first.
His Contribution To The Church
At 29, weary of his worldly life, Alphonsus was ordained a priest. He focused his ministry on preaching parish missions. Known for his clear, direct preaching style, and his gentle understanding in the confessional, he also became one of the greatest moral theologians in church history. He founded the Redemptorist Congregation in 1732, and was made a bishop in 1762 at the age of 66. He died in 1787, just shy of his 90th birthday.
He was canonized in 1839 by Pope Gregory XVI and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1871 by Pope Pius IX.
How He Can Help You
St. Alphonsus is the patron saint of vocations. Ask him to help you to understand God’s plan for your life.
Quotable St. Alphonsus
“He who trusts himself is lost. He who trusts in God can do all things.”
“When we hear people talk of riches, honors and amusements of the world, let us remember that all things have an end, and let us then say: ‘My God, I wish for You alone and nothing more.’”