Saint Brigid Religious Education
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West Hartford, CT 06110

St. Alphonsus

Feast day: August 1.

St. Alphonsus was a Neapolitan lawyer who lost a court case in a spectacular fashion when it turned out that a key document in his case had been misinterpreted by him and in fact proved his opponent’s case instead. He immediately left the law and studied for the priesthood.

He preached in the rural districts around Naples, and it was his boast that he never delivered a sermon that the poorest old woman in the congregation could not understand. His bishop asked him to establish an order of missionaries to work in the countryside, and the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. He was a bishop from 1762 to 1775, insisting on the dignified and unhurried celebration of the Mass and the firm treatment of persistent wrongdoers.

In spite of all this storm and trouble, Alphonsus lived an exceptionally holy life. He was also an outstanding moral theologian, and won back sinners to the fold by patience and moderation.

He died in 1787 and after his canonization, he was placed by the Pope among the Doctors of the Church

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