Alphonsus Liguori, Saint

Alphonsus Liguori, Saint ălfŏnˈsəs lĭgwôˈrē [key], 1696–1787, Italian churchman, Doctor of the Church. He was named Alfonso Maria de' Liguori. In 1732 he founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (the Redemptorists) for religious work among the poor, especially in the country. He refused the archiepiscopal see of Palermo, accepting instead (1762) the poor country diocese of Sant'Agata dei Goti. He labored incessantly until 1775, when sickness forced him to resign. He worked for his order under great difficulties caused by an anticlerical government and overzealous monks. Goatherds of the mountains were his special care. St. Alphonsus was an accomplished musician and wrote many hymns and instrumental pieces. His point of view in casuistry, which has become standard, is called equiprobabilism. St. Alphonsus was unusual, even among Roman Catholics, for his great devotion to the Virgin. Feast: Aug. 2.

See biography by D. F. Miller and L. X. Aubin (1940).

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