NOVENA TO SAINT ALPHONSUS LIGUORI, PATRON SAINT OF ARTHRITIS, ETC. – DAY 2

On August 1, the Church celebrates the Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori. St. Alphonsus is the founder of the Religious Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists); he is the patron saint of confessors, moral theologians, and those who suffer from arthritis—a condition that caused him great pain and left him confined to a wheelchair later in life.
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In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.

Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

BRIEF THOUGHTS – DAY 2

“Acquire the habit of speaking to God as if you were alone with Him, familiarly and with confidence and love, as to the dearest and most loving of friends.”
—St. Alphonsus

DAILY NOVENA PRAYER:

Glorious St Alphonsus, loving Father of the poor and sick, all your life you devoted yourself, with a heroic charity, to lighten their spiritual and bodily miseries. Full of confidence in your tender pity for the sick, since you yourself patiently borne the cross of illness, I come to you for help in my present need… (Mention your request here…) Loving father of the suffering, St Alphonsus, look with compassion upon me in my suffering. Ask God to give me good health. If it is not God’s will, then give me the strength to bear my cross patiently and to offer my sufferings with my crucified Savior and his Mother of Sorrows, for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, in reparation for my sins and those of others, for the needs of this troubled world, and the Holy Souls in purgatory. Amen.

BRIEF BIOGRAPHY – PART 2

PREPARATION FOR DEATH (English Edition) eBook : Maria de Liguori, Saint Alphonsus, Redemptorists, Transalpine: Amazon.com.br: Livros

Alphonsus, like so many saints, had an excellent father and a saintly mother. Don Joseph de’ Liguori had his faults. He was somewhat worldly and ambitious, at any rate for his son, and was rough-tempered when opposed. But he was a man of genuine faith and piety and stainless life, and he meant his son to be the same. Even when taking him into society in order to arrange a good marriage for him, he wished Alphonsus to put God first, and every year father and son would make a retreat together in some religious house. Alphonsus, assisted by divine grace, did not disappoint his father’s care. A pure and modest boyhood passed into a manhood without reproach. A companion, Balthasar Cito, who afterwards became a distinguished judge, was asked in later years if Alphonsus had ever shown signs of levity in his youth. He answered emphatically: “Never! It would be a sacrilege to say otherwise.” The Saint’s confessor declared that he preserved his baptismal innocence till death. Still, there was a time of danger.

There can be little doubt but that the young Alphonsus with his high spirits and strong character was ardently attached to his profession, and on the way to being spoilt by the success and popularity which it brought. About the year 1722, when he was twenty-six years old, he began to go constantly into society, to neglect prayer and the practices of piety which had been an integral part of his life, and to take pleasure in the attention with which he was everywhere received.

“Banquets, entertainments, theatres,” he wrote later on–“these are the pleasures of the world, but pleasures which are filled with the bitterness of gall and sharp thorns. Believe me who have experienced it, and now weep over it.” In all this there was no serious sin, but there was no high sanctity either, and God, Who wished His servant to be a saint and a great saint, was now to make him take the road to Damascus. In 1723 there was a lawsuit in the courts between a Neapolitan nobleman, whose name has not come down to us, and the Grand Duke of Tuscany, in which property valued at 500,000 ducats, that to say, $500,000 or 100,000 pounds, was at stake. Alphonsus was one of the leading counsels; we do not know on which side. When the day came the future Saint made a brilliant opening speech and sat down confident of victory. But before he called a witness the opposing counsel said to him in chilling tones: “Your arguments are wasted breath. You have overlooked a document which destroys your whole case.” “What document is that?” said Alphonsus somewhat piqued. “Let us have it.” A piece of evidence was handed to him which he had read and re-read many times, but always in a sense the exact contrary of that which he now saw it to have. The poor advocate turned pale. He remained thunderstruck for a moment; then said in a broken voice: “You are right. I have been mistaken. This document gives you the case.” In vain those around him and even the judge on the bench tried to console him. He was crushed to the earth. He thought his mistake would be ascribed not to oversight but to deliberate deceit. He felt as if his career was ruined, and left the court almost beside himself, saying: “World, I know you now. Courts, you shall never see me more.” For three days he refused all food. Then the storm subsided, and he began to see that his humiliation had been sent him by God to break down his pride and wean him from the world. Confident that some special sacrifice was required of him, though he did not yet know what, he did not return to his profession, but spent his days in prayer, seeking to know God’s will. After a short interval–we do not know exactly how long–the answer came. On 28 August, 1723, the young advocate had gone to perform a favourite act of charity by visiting the sick in the Hospital for Incurables. Suddenly he found himself surrounded by a mysterious light; the house seemed to rock, and an interior voice said: “Leave the world and give thyself to Me.” This occurred twice. Alphonsus left the Hospital and went to the church of the Redemption of Captives. Here he laid his sword before the statue of Our Lady and made a solemn resolution to enter the ecclesiastical state, and furthermore to offer himself as a novice to the Fathers of the Oratory. He knew that trials were before him. His father, already displeased at the failure of two plans for his son’s marriage, and exasperated at Alphonsus’s present neglect of his profession, was likely to offer a strenuous opposition to his leaving the world. So indeed it proved. He had to endure a real persecution for two months. In the end a compromise was arrived at. Don Joseph agreed to allow his son to become a priest, provided he would give up his proposal joining the Oratory, and would continue to live at home. To this Alphonsus by the advice of his director, Father Thomas Pagano, himself an Oratorian, agreed. Thus was he left free for his real work, the founding of a new religious congregation. On 23 October of the same year, 1723, the Saint put on the clerical dress. In September of the next year he received the tonsure and soon after joined the association of missionary secular priests called the “Neapolitan Propaganda”, membership of which did not entail residence in common. In December, 1724, he received minor orders, and the subdiaconate in September, 1725. On 6 April, 1726, he was ordained deacon, and soon after preached his first sermon. On 21 December of the same year, at the age of thirty, he was ordained priest. For six years he laboured in and around Naples, giving missions for the Propaganda and preaching to the lazzaroni of the capital. With the aid of two laymen, Peter Barbarese, a schoolmaster, and Nardone, an old soldier, both of whom he converted from an evil life, he enrolled thousands of lazzaroni in a sort of confraternity called the “Association of the Chapels”, which exists to this day. Then God called him to his life work… (To be continued)

  • (Culled from New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia)

—SILENT REFLECTION—

 

St. Alphonsus, "outstanding moral theologian and master of spiritual life"CONCLUDING PRAYER 

(From the Redemptorists Media)

Glorious St. Alphonsus, bishop and doctor of the Church, devoted servant of our Lord and loving child of Mary, I invoke you as a saint in heaven. I give myself to your protection that you may always be my protector and my guide in the way of holiness and salvation. Aid me in observing the duties of my state of life. Obtain for me great purity of heart and a fervent love of the interior life after your own example. Great lover of the Blessed Sacrament and the Passion of Jesus Christ, teach me to love Holy Mass and Holy Communion as the source of grace and holiness. Give me a tender devotion to the Passion of my Redeemer.

Promoter of the truth of Christ, through your preaching and writing, give me a greater knowledge and appreciation of the divine truths. Gentle father of the poor and sinners, help me to imitate your charity toward others in word and deed. Consoler of the suffering, help me to bear my daily cross patiently in imitation of your own patience in your long and painful illness and to resign myself to the will of God. Good Shepherd of the flock of Christ, obtain for me the grace of being a true child of Holy Mother Church.

St. Alphonsus, I humbly implore your powerful intercession for obtaining from the heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I recommend to you, in particular, this favor: (mention your request). I have great confidence in your prayers. I earnestly trust that if it is God’s holy will, my petition will be granted through your intercession for me at the throne of God. St. Alphonsus, pray for me and for those I love. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, do not abandon us in our needs. May we experience the peace and joy of your holy death. Amen.

Heavenly Father, You continually build up Your Church by the lives of Your saints. Give us grace to follow St. Alphonsus in his loving concern for the salvation of people and so come to share his reward in heaven. Walking in the footsteps of this devoted servant of Yours, may we be consumed with zeal for souls and attain the reward he enjoys in Your kingdom. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be…

Saint Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us!
 
Blessing+

Through the intercession of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, may Almighty God bless you + the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Shalom!
Compiled by Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Loreto, São Paulo, Brazil
nozickcjoe@gmail.com / fadacjay@gmail.com

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PS: Have you prayed your Rosary today? 

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Chinaka Justin Mbaeri

A staunch Roman Catholic and an Apologist of the Christian faith. More about him here.

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4 Comments
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Michael Umande
Michael Umande
4 months ago

Promoter of the truth of Christ, St. Alphonsus, through your preaching and writing, give me a greater knowledge and appreciation of the divine truths. Amen

Steph
Steph
4 months ago

St. Alphonsus, pray for me and for those I
love. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, do not abandon us in our needs. Amen.

Adaeze
Adaeze
4 months ago

Amen. St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us. Amen

Emmanuella
Emmanuella
4 months ago

Amen

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