Starting the morning off with God
is the key to strength and success in your day!
St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696–1787) was born near Naples, the eldest of eight children of a noble family. He became a lawyer after receiving doctorates in canon and civil law at the age of 16. For many years he was successful in practicing law, but grew disenchanted with the profession. After losing a case for the first time at the age of 27 after eight years of practicing the law, he discerned a call to enter the seminary and became a priest. Alphonsus spent the early years of his priesthood ministering to homeless and marginalized youth, and through this work eventually founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, known as the Redemptorists, which aimed to preach in city slums. He was known best for his sermons, especially his ability to convert those who were estranged from the faith, and for his great works in moral and spiritual theology. He was a practical and prudent theologian, avoiding the extremes of being too rigid and legalistic on the one hand, and too lax on the other, despite the fact that he struggled with scrupulosity in his personal life. He suffered much from arthritis in his old age, his neck becoming so bent that his chin left an open sore on his chest. His most famous written works were on the Virgin Mary and the Blessed Sacrament. For his work in moral theology he was declared a Doctor of the Church. He is the patron saint of moral theologians, vocations, arthritis sufferers, and those who struggle with scrupulosity. St. Alphonsus Ligouri's feast day is August 1st.
The Church dedicates the month of August to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is a dogma of the Catholic faith that Mary is the Immaculate Conception; that is, in preparation for the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity in her womb, she was conceived without the corruption of sin through the foreseen and infinite merits of her Son, Jesus Christ. Over the centuries, as saints and theologians reflected on how Mary pondered and treasured the sacred events from the life of Christ in her holy heart, as attested in Scripture, her pure heart was recognized as something to be imitated. Devotion to Our Lady’s purity of heart began to flower—so much so that in the 17th century, St. John Eudes promoted it alongside the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The devotion rose to a new level after the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, when Mary revealed an image of her Immaculate Heart to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco.
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month. Amen.
Almighty and everlasting God, have mercy upon Thy servant, Pope Francis, our Supreme Pontiff, and direct him, according to Thy loving kindness, in the way of eternal salvation; that, of Thy gift, he may ever desire that which is pleasing unto Thee and may accomplish it with all his might. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Our Father. Hail Mary.