Vatican City, Mar 23, 2021 / 13:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Pope Francis on Tuesday highlighted St. Alphonsus Liguori as a model of moral teaching, particularly the formation of well-formed consciences.
The pope issued a letter March 23 marking the 150th anniversary of Pope Pius IX’s proclamation of Liguori as a Doctor of the Church on March 23, 1871 and reflected on the example that the 18th century saint provides for evangelization today.
“Following the example of St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori, who revived moral theology, it is desirable and therefore necessary to accompany, shepherd, and support those most deprived of spiritual aid on the path to redemption,” Pope Francis wrote on the March 23 anniversary.
“The radicalism of the Gospel should not be set against the weakness of man. It is always necessary to find the way that does not create distance, but brings hearts closer to God, just as Alphonsus did with his spiritual and moral teaching.”
St. Alphonsus Liguori is the patron saint of confessors and moralists. He founded the Redemporist religious order near Naples in 1732. He practiced civil law for eight years before becoming priest and went on to write extensively within the field of moral theology, in addition to devotion writings on the Blessed Sacrament and the Virgin Mary.