Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Meet the Doctors: St. Alphonsus Liguori


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From Matins of the Feast of St. Alphonsus Liguouri, Bishop, Confessor, Doctor (2nd Nocturn)
Online Source: www.breviary.net

Lesson iv
Alfónsus María de Ligório, Neápoli nobílibus paréntibus natus, ab ineúnte ætáte non obscúra præbuit sanctitátis indícia.  Eum adhuc infántem cum paréntes obtulíssent sancto Francísco de Hierónymo e societáte Jesu, is bene precátus edíxit eúmdem ad nonagésimum usque annum perventúrum, ad episcopálem dignitátem evéctum iri, maximóque Ecclésiæ bono futúrum.  Jam tum a puerítia, a ludis abhórrens, nóbiles ephébos ad christiánam modéstiam verbo et exémplo componébat.  Adoléscens, dato piis sodalitátibus nómine, in públicis nosocomíis ægrótis inservíre, jugi in templis oratióni vacáre, ac sacra mystéria frequénter obíre in delíciis habébat.  Pietátem litterárum stúdiis ádeo conjúnxit, ut séxdecim vix annos natus utriúsque juris láuream in pátria universitáte fúerit assecútus.  Patri obtémperans, causárum patrocínia suscépit ; in quo múnere obeúndo, etsi magnam sibi laudem comparásset, fori tamen perícula expértus, ejúsmodi vitæ institútum ultro dimísit.  Spreto ígitur præcláro conjúgio sibi a patre propósito, avíta primogenitúra abdicáta, et ad aram Vírginis de Mercéde ense suspénso, divínis ministériis se mancipávit.  Sacérdos factus, tanto zelo írruit in vítia, ut apostólico múnere fungens, huc illuc pérvolans, ingéntes perditórum hóminum conversiónes perágeret.  Páuperum præsértim et ruricolárum miserátus, congregatiónem Presbyterórum instítuit sanctíssimi Redemptóris, qui, ipsum Redemptórem secúti, per agros, pagos, et castélla paupéribus evangelizárent.
Alphonsus Mary Liguori was born of a noble family at Naples.  From his earliest days he gave no dark signs of holiness.  When he was but a babe, his parents carried him to holy Francis de Geronimo, of the Society of Jesus, and holy Francis, after long prayer, said that the child would live to ninety years of age, that he would become a Bishop, and that he would be a great blessing to the Church.  From his childhood, he had a strong distaste to games, and by his entreaty and example, induced the noble pages to conduct themselves with Christian decency.  As a young man, he became a member of divers godly guilds, and made it among his delights to nurse the sick in the hospitals, to spend much time in prayer in the Churches, and often to receive the Holy Sacraments.  With his godliness he so joined zeal for learning, that when he was scarcely sixteen years of age he took degrees in Canon and Civil Law in the University of Naples.  In obedience to the wish of his father, he adopted the profession of an advocate, in which he gained great credit, but, finding dangers in the practice of the law, he entirely gave it up.  He declined a very brilliant marriage which was proposed to him by his father, resigned his family inheritance as an eldest son, hung up his sword at the Altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary, styled of Ransom, and surrendered himself altogether to the service of God.  He became a Priest, and made so zealous an onslaught on sin, running hither and thither in the office of an Apostle, that he accomplished the conversion of multitudes of lost creatures.  The poor and the country-people most chiefly roused his compassion, and he founded the Congregation of Priests called that of the Most Holy Redeemer, to follow the Redeemer's footsteps by preaching the Gospel to the poor throughout the fields, villages, and hamlets.
V.  Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R.  Deo grátias.
V.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R.  Thanks be to God.

University of Naples
R.  Invéni David servum meum, óleo sancto meo unxi eum : * Manus enim mea auxiliábitur ei.
V.  Nihil profíciet inimícus in eo, et fílius iniquitátis non nocébit ei.
R.  Manus enim mea auxiliábitur ei.
R.  I have found David my servant, with my holy oil have I anointed him. * My hand shall hold him fast.
V.  The enemy shall not be able to do him violence ; the son of wickedness shall not hurt him.
R.  My hand shall hold him fast.

V.  Jube domne, (Dómine) benedícere.
V.  Vouchsafe, Reverend Father (O Lord), thy blessing.
Benedíctio 5: Christus perpétuæ det nobis gáudia vitæ.R.  Amen.
Benediction 5: May Christ bestow upon us the joys of life eternal.
R.  Amen.
Lesson v

Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help
in the Redemptorist Church of St. Alphonsus in Rome
Ne autem a propósito umquam divérteret, perpétuo se voto obstrínxit nullam témporis jactúram faciéndi.  Hinc animárum zelo succénsus, tum divíni verbi prædicatióne, tum scriptis sacra eruditióne et pietáte refértis, ánimas Christo lucrifácere et ad perfectiórem vitam addúcere stúduit.  Mirum sane quot ódia exstínxerit, quot dévios ad rectum salútis iter revocáverit.  Dei Genitrícis cultor exímius, de illíus láudibus librum édidit, ac de iis dum fervéntius concionándo dísserit, a Vírginis imágine, in eum immísso miro splendóre, totus fácie coruscáre et in éxtasim rapi coram univérso pópulo non semel visus est.  Dominicæ passiónis et sacræ Eucharístiæ contemplátor assíduus, ejus cultum mirífice propagávit.  Dum vero ad ejus aram oráret vel Sacrum fáceret, quod numquam omísit, præ amóris veheméntia, vel seráphicis liquescébat ardóribus, vel insólitis quatiebátur mótibus, vel abstrahebátur a sénsibus.  Miram vitæ innocéntiam, quam nulla umquam letháli labe fœdávit, pari cum pœniténtia sócians, corpus suum inédia, férreis caténulis, cilíciis cruentáque flagellatióne castigábat.  Inter hæc prophetíæ, scrutatiónis córdium, bilocatiónis et miraculórum donis incláruit.
That he might not turn aside from his work, he bound himself by a vow never to lose any time.  Inflamed with the love of souls, he toiled to gain them to Christ and to amend their lives, not only by preaching of the word of God, but also by writings full of holy learning and godliness.  It is a marvel how many hatreds he stilled, and how many backsliders he led again into the paths of salvation.  He was eminently devoted to the Mother of God, published a book on her glories, and when he was earnestly speaking thereof in his sermons, it happened more than once that all the people openly saw a strange brightness fall upon him from her image, till all his countenance shone, and he was rapt in an ecstasy.  The sufferings of the Lord and the Holy Eucharist were ever before his eyes, and to them he spread abroad a wonderful love.  When he was praying before the Altar of the Blessed Sacrament, or celebrating the Holy Liturgy, which he never failed to do every day, through the seraphic violence of his love, he wept burning tears, or shook with strange movements, or became altogether beside himself.  He joined a wonderful innocence and purity, which he never polluted by the stain of deadly sin, to a wonderful depth of repentance, and chastised his body with hunger, iron chains, hair-cloth, and scourgings even to blood-shedding.  Among all these things he was remarkable for the gift of prophecy, the power of seeing into the hearts of men, the ability to be in more places than one at the same time, and other miracles.
V.  Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R.  Deo grátias.
V.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R.  Thanks be to God.

Church of St. Alphonsus, Rome
R.  Pósui adjutórium super poténtem, et exaltávi eléctum de plebe mea : * Manus enim mea auxiliábitur ei.
V.  Invéni David servum meum, óleo sancto meo unxi eum.
R.  Manus enim mea auxiliábitur ei.
R.  I have laid help upon one that is mighty, I have exalted one chosen out of the people. * My hand shall hold him fast.V.  I have found David, my servant, with my holy oil have I anointed him.
R.  My hand shall hold him fast.

V.  Jube domne, (Dómine) benedícere.
V.  Vouchsafe, Reverend Father (O Lord), thy blessing.
Benedíctio 6: Ignem sui amóris accéndat Deus in córdibus nostris.
R.  Amen.
Benediction 6: May God enkindle in our hearts the fire of his holy love.
R.  Amen.
Lesson vi
Ab ecclesiásticis dignitátibus sibi oblátis constantíssime abhórruit ; at, Cleméntis décimi tértii Pontíficis auctoritáte coáctus, sanctæ Agathæ Gothórum ecclésiam gubernándum suscépit.  Epíscopus, extérnum dumtáxat hábitum, non autem sevéram vivéndi ratiónem immutávit.  Eadem frugálitas, summus christiánæ disciplínæ zelus, impénsum in vítiis coërcéndis arcendísque erróribus, et in réliquis pastorálibus munéribus obeúndis stúdium.  Liberális in páuperes, omnes ecclésiæ provéntus iísdem distribuébat, ac, urgénte annónæ caritáte, ipsam domésticam supelléctilem in aléndis famélicis erogávit.  Omnibus ómnia factus, sanctimoniáles ad perfectiórem vivéndi formam redégit, suæque congregatiónis moniálium monastérium constituéndum curávit.  Episcopátu ob graves habitualésque morbos dimísso, ad alúmnos suos, a quibus pauper discésserat, revértitur pauper.  Demum, quamvis senio laboribúsque, diutúrna arthrítide aliísque gravíssimis morbis fractus córpore, spíritu tamen alácrior, de cæléstibus rebus disseréndi aut scribéndi finem numquam adhíbuit, donec nonagenárius, Kaléndis Augústi, anno millésimo septingentésimo octogésimo séptimo, Nucériæ Paganórum, inter suórum alumnórum lácrimas, placidíssime exspirávit.  Eum, inde virtútibus et miráculis clarum, Pius séptimus Póntifex máximus anno millésimo octingentésimo décimo sexto Beatórum fastis ; novísque fulgéntem signis, Gregórius décimus sextus in festo sanctíssimæ Trinitátis, anno millésimo octingentésimo trigésimo nono, solémni ritu, Sanctórum catálogo accénsuit.  Tandem Pius nonus Póntifex máximus, ex sacrórum Rítuum Congregatiónis consúlto, universális Ecclésiæ Doctórem declarávit.
He firmly and perseveringly refused all high places in the Church which were offered him, but Pope Clement XIII absolutely commanded him to take the Bishoprick of the Church of Santa Agata dei Goti.  On becoming a Bishop, the only change which he made in the hardness of his life was that of his outer raiment.  There remained, too, the same simplicity of meats, the same strong zeal for Christian discipline, the same determined will to put down sin and keep out false doctrines, and the same earnestness in all the duties of a shepherd of souls.  In his tenderness to the poor, he spent among them all the revenues of his Church, and in a year of famine sold the furniture of his own house to feed his starving people.  He was all things to all men ; and brought nuns to lead a more perfect life, while he saw to it that a monastery was opened for nuns attached to his own Congregation.  On account of grievous and continual sickness, he resigned his Bishoprick, and poor as when he had left them, poor he returned among his disciples.  On the 1st day of August, in the year 1787, he peacefully died at Nocera-dei-Pagani, amid the tears of his followers.  He was then ninety years of age ; his body was worn out with old age and hard work, and with chronic gout, and other painful maladies, but the freshness of his mind never failed to the last, in talking and writing on heavenly things.  In the year 1816 Pope Pius VII, finding him famous on account of his good works and miracles, enrolled his name among those of the Blessed.  God still glorified him by new signs and wonders, and on the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, in the year 1839, Gregory XVI, with solemn pomp, numbered him among the Saints of the Church.  Lastly, Pope Pius IX, in accordance with a resolution of the Congregation of Sacred Rites, gave him the title of Doctor of the Universal Church.
V.  Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R.  Deo grátias.
V.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R.  Thanks be to God.
R.  Iste est, qui ante Deum magnas virtútes operátus est, et omnis terra doctrína ejus repléta est : * Ipse intercédat pro peccátis ómnium populórum.V.  Iste est, qui contémpsit vitam mundi, et pervénit ad cæléstia regna.
R.  Ipse intercédat pro peccátis ómnium populórum.V.  Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.
R.  Ipse intercédat pro peccátis ómnium populórum.
R.  This is he who wrought mighty deeds and valiant in the sight of God, and all the earth is filled with his doctrine: May his intercession avail for the sins of all the people.V.  He was a man who despised the life of the world and attained unto the kingdom of heaven.
R.  May his intercession avail for the sins of all the people.V.  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R.  May his intercession avail for the sins of all the people.


    
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