Alphonsus Maria de Liguori  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Saint Alphonsus Liguori (September 27, 1696 – August 1, 1787) was a Roman Catholic Bishop, spiritual writer, Theologian, and founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, known as the "Redemptorists," an influential religious order. He was canonized in 1839 by Pope Gregory XVI and is a Doctor of the Church.

Contents

Works

Overview

Alphonsus was proficient in the arts- his parents having had him being trained by various masters of the arts - being a musician, painter, poet, and author at the same time. He put all his artistic and literary creativity at the service of the Christian mission and he asked the same of those who joined his Congregation. His biography says that, in his later days, he liked to go to the local theater, which at the time had a very bad reputation; after being ordained, each time he attended the recitals Alphonsus simply took his optic glasses off and sat in the last row, listening to the music and not paying attention to anything else.

Alphonsus wrote 111 works on spirituality and theology. The 21,500 editions and the translations into 72 languages that his works have undergone attest to the fact that he is one of the most widely read Catholic authors. Among his best known works are The Great Means of Prayer, The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ and The Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament. Prayer and its power, love, his relationship with Christ and his first-hand experience of the pastoral needs of the faithful made Alphonsus one of the great masters of the interior life.

His best known musical work is his Christmas hymn Quanno Nascetti Ninno, later translated into Italian by Pope Pius IX as Tu scendi dalle stelle ("From starry skies Thou comest").

Mariology

In the field of Mariology, Alphonsus Liguori wrote The Glories of Mary, Marian Devotion, Prayers to the Divine Mother, Spiritual Songs, Visitations to the Blessed Sacrament and to the Virgin Mary, The True Spouse of Jesus Christ, and other writings. His Mariology, though mainly pastoral in nature, rediscovered, integrated and defended the Mariology of Saint Augustine and Saint Ambrose and other fathers and represented an intellectual defence of Mariology in the 18th century, the Age of Enlightenment, with whose cold rationalism his often flaming Marian enthusiasm contrasted.

Moral theology

Alphonsus' greatest contribution to the Church was in the area of moral theological reflection with his Moral Theology. This work was born of Alphonsus' pastoral experience, his ability to respond to the practical questions posed by the faithful and from his contact with their everyday problems. He opposed sterile legalism and strict rigorism - according to Alphonsus, those were paths closed to the Gospel because "such rigor has never been taught nor practiced by the Church". His system of moral theology is noted for its prudence, avoiding both laxism and excessive rigor. He is credited with the position of Aequiprobablism, which avoided Jansenist rigorism as well as laxism and simple probablism.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Alphonsus Maria de Liguori" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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