Alfonso Maria Da Liguori, a saint of the Roman Catholic church, born at Marianella, near Naples, Sept. 26, 1696, died in Nocera, Aug. 1, 1787. He belonged to a noble family, and was bred to the profession of the law; but in 1722 he became a priest, and henceforth devoted himself to the instruction and reform of the more ignorant and vicious classes of the population, particularly in country places. To this end he founded at the hermitage of Santa Maria de la Scala in 1732 a congregation to which he gave the name of the Most Holy Redeemer. In 1762 Pope Clement XIII. raised Liguori to the see of Sant' Agata dei Goti, which he governed for 13 years, when at the age of 79, being deaf, almost blind, and afflicted with a painful malady, he resigned and retired to one of the houses of his congregation, where he ended his days. In theology he was a warm opponent of Jansenism and rigorism. He was remarkable for his profound contempt for all exterior show, for the extreme austerity of his life, his apostolic zeal, and activity in reforming abuses. He was highly esteemed by the kings of Naples, the bishops and cardinals of his time, and the popes. The veneration of the people for him, especially in his old age, was unbounded.
He was canonized by Gregory XVI., May 26, 1839. His statue has been placed in St. Peter's, and he is one of the patron saints of Naples. He was raised to the rank of "doctor of the church" by Pius IX. in 1871. He left a number of theological and devotional works, including Theologia Moralis (Naples, 1755); Directorium Ordinandorum (Venice, 1758); Opera Dogmatica (1770); Is-toria di tutte l'eresie con loro confutazione (3 vols. 8vo, 1773); Istruzione pratica per i con-fessori (3 vols. 12mo, Bassano, 1780); Homo Apostolicus Instructus in sua Vocatione (3 vols. 4to, Venice, 1782); and Le glorie di Maria (2 vols. 8vo, 1784). His complete works, translated into French, were published in Paris in 30 vols. 8vo (1834 et seq.). Many of his devotional works have been translated into English, and frequently republished.