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By Rodney Pelletier, Church Militant, August 2, 2021

St. Alphonsus Liguori and the spiritual life

Artistic renderings of St. Alphonsus show him as a smiling saint with shoulders bent with arthritis. Despite that, he was a spiritual giant whose expositions of the Catholic faith have benefited many souls. He was born near Naples in 1696 and showed his great intellectual gifts when, at 16 years old, he earned a doctorate in civil and Church law. He became a celebrated lawyer and was overly proud of his abilities.

God, however, allowed him to lose a prominent case that shook Alphonsus’ dependence on worldly prestige. And like many saints in similar situations, he afterward sought only the glory of God.

At 30 years old, in 1726, he became a priest and worked with the poor. They loved his preaching because, despite Alphonsus possessing a profound grasp on theology, he made the loftiest concepts understandable to everyone. …

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