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St. Alphonsus Liguori’s Impact on Vocation Ministry

St. Alphonsus Liguori has influenced our ministry in so many ways, and I wanted to share why he is so important to me. I am a convert from “not much” to the Catholic faith as of 1999, and asking saints to pray for me was foreign, to say the least. I had so much to learn, and that is what I did for the next ten years. I grew in faith and fell in love with Catholicism.

When my family and I moved parishes and met a brand-new priest Fr. Victor, who asked me to direct a parish vocation committee in 2011, I was so excited because he said this was so important to our parish. Truth be told, though, I had NO IDEA what the word vocation meant in the Catholic context.

I went home that night and googled “What is a vocation?” and found St. Alphonsus Liguori, patron of vocations! Well, that was all I needed. He and I are now best of friends. I ask for his intercession constantly as I am being stretched to promote vocations in bigger and more impactful ways.

A friend of mine allowed me to keep a first-class relic of this amazing saint with me as I wrote my first book about promoting vocations. His relic stays with me still as I continue this work of vocations.

I love the saints and rely on their help each day, especially St. Alphonsus Liguori! Vocation Ministry has grown into an international nonprofit promoting vocations and needs your prayers. St. Alphonsus, pray for us!

St. Alphonsus Liguori’s Impact on Vocation Ministry

Alphonsus Liguori was born near Naples on September 27, 1696, the eldest of seven children. Unlike most men of the time Alphonsus could not enter the military due to health issues, so his father arranged to have him educated in the legal profession. Alphonsus became a very successful lawyer, but after losing an important case (the first in eight years of practice), he decided to leave the legal profession. For many years, Alphonsus had heard an inner calling from the Lord urging him to “Leave the world and give yourself to Me.”

In 1723, Alphonsus entered the Oratory of St. Philip Neri as a novice. Following his ordination, he lived among the homeless and marginalized youth of Naples where he became popular for his plain and simple preaching.

While ministering to earthquake victims in 1731, Alphonsus had a vision of the Virgin Mother in the appearance of a young girl wearing a white veil. Upon his return home, he met a religious sister who revealed she had a vision of him forming a religious order. Less than a year later, after much prayer and discernment, Alphonsus founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. 

In 1762, Pope Clement XIII appointed Alphonsus Bishop of St. Agatha of the Goths, a diocese in Southern Italy. Finding more than 30,000 uninstructed men and women and over 400 indifferent priests, Alphonsus focused his work on reorganizing the seminary and religious houses, as well as instructing families and teaching theology.

St. Alphonsus passed away peacefully at the Redemptorist community in Pagani, Italy on August 1, 1787, as the midday Angelus was ringing. In 1871, Pope Pius IX declared Alphonsus a Doctor of the Church, one of only 37, for his many significant contributions to the theology and doctrine of the Catholic Church.

Quotes by St. Alphonsus Liguori

  • “Realize that you may gain more in a quarter of an hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament than in all other practices of the day.”
  • “If you pray, you are positive of saving your soul. If you do not pray, you are just as positive of losing your soul. “
  • “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.”
  • Your God is ever beside you – indeed, He is even within you.”
  • “The means for maintaining perfect love is to accomplish frequent acts of love. Fire is kindled by the wood we cast into it and love is enkindled by acts of love.”
  • “Let us make up for lost time. Let us give to God the time that remains to us.”
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