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.
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.
“Is there anyone who does not know the power of Mary’s prayers with God? The law of clemency is on her tongue. Every prayer of hers is as a law established by our Lord, that mercy shall be exercised towards those for whom Mary intercedes.”
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 6
While the continual intensity of reiterated acts of virtue which we have called driving-power is what really creates sanctity, there is another indispensable quality. The extreme difficulty of the lifelong work of fashioning a saint consists precisely in this, that every act of virtue the saint performs goes to strengthen his character, that is, his will. On the other hand, ever since the Fall of Man, the will of man has been his greatest danger. It has a tendency at every moment to deflect, and if it does deflect from the right path, the greater the momentum the more terrible the final crash. Now the saint has a very great momentum indeed, and a spoiled saint is often a great villain.
To prevent the ship from going to pieces on the rocks, it has need of a very responsive rudder, answering to the slightest pressure of Divine guidance. The rudder is humility, which, in the intellect, is a realization of our own unworthiness, and in the will, docility to right guidance. But how was Alphonsus to grow in this so necessary virtue when he was in authority nearly all his life? The answer is that God kept him humble by interior trials. From his earliest years he had an anxious fear about committing sin which passed at times into scruple.
He who ruled and directed others so wisely, had, where his own soul was concerned, to depend on obedience like a little child. To supplement this, God allowed him in the last years of his life to fall into disgrace with the pope, and to find himself deprived of all external authority, trembling at times even for his eternal salvation. St. Alphonsus does not offer as much directly to the student of mystical theology as do some contemplative saints who have led more retired lives. Unfortunately, he was not obliged by his confessor, in virtue of holy obedience, as St. Teresa was, to write down his states of prayer; so we do not know precisely what they were. The prayer he recommended to his Congregation, of which we have beautiful examples in his ascetical works, is affective; the use of short aspirations, petitions, and acts of love, rather than discursive meditation with long reflection. His own prayer was perhaps for the most part what some call “active”, others “ordinary”, contemplation. Of extraordinary passive states, such as rapture, there are not many instances recorded in his life, though there are some. At three different times in his missions, while preaching, a ray of light from a picture of Our Lady darted towards him, and he fell into an ecstasy before the people. In old age he was more than once raised in the air when speaking of God.
His intercession healed the sick; he read the secrets of hearts, and foretold the future. He fell into a clairvoyant trance at Arienzo on 21 September, 1774, and was present in spirit at the death-bed in Rome of Pope Clement XIV… (To be continued)
- (Culled from New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia)
(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…
Through the intercession of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, may Almighty God bless you + the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Compiled by Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Loreto, São Paulo, Brazil
email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
PS: Have you prayed your Rosary today?