No-one likes losing, yet, when this happened to a promising lawyer from Naples, it became a turning point. Until losing the court battle, Alphonsus de Liguori had spoken for the powerful elite of his day, but he felt that something was missing. Through prayer he began to see that people around him were in need, and through his contact with the poor, he realised that God was calling him to serve people in a new way.
Eventually he became a priest and bishop, and is now honoured as a doctor of the church and patron of confessors. He is the only Moral Theologian whose opinion the Roman Catholic Church has specifically said we can follow on moral issues. His opinions always came from a profound understanding of people and their real life situation. This is an understanding and wisdom that Redemptorist priests and brothers continue to share with the contemporary Church.
What Redemptorists try to do is to receive from people the wealth of their ordinary experience and when this meets with gospel compassion, something wonderful emerges. And that is what they want to share with the whole world.
Alphonsus founded the Redemptorists in 1732 to proclaim the good news to the abandoned. His words were now at the service of Christ, reaching the poor through preaching, writing and retreats.
Pope John Paul II described Alphonsus as
a close friend of the people
…a missionary who went in search of the most abandoned
…a founder who wanted a group which would make a radical option in favour of the lowly
…a bishop whose house was open to all
…a writer who focused on what would be of benefit to people.
To read more on Pope John Paul's thoughts click here.
In all of the above, we his present day brothers, continue Christ’s mission to the marginalized through the inspiration of our brother Alphonsus.
The principal thing I recommend to you is the love of Jesus Christ. Very much are we bound to love Him. For this end He has chosen us from all eternity and called us into His Congregation, there to love Him and to make others love Him. What greater honor what greater mark of love could Jesus Christ show us? He has taken us from the world in order to draw us to His love and so that, during the pilgrimage of this life by which we must pass into eternity, we might think of nothing but of pleasing Him and of bringing those crowds of people to love Him who, every year by means of our ministry, put themselves into the grace of God.