St. Alfonso Maria de Liguori – 1st August. Alfonso was born in 1696 in Marianelli in Italy, he was the son of a nobleman from Naples. He was an excellent scholar andthe age of 16 had obtained a doctorate in both civil and canon law from the university of Naples. Frompromising beginning he went on to practice successfully at the bar in Naples for 8 years , renowned for his eloquence ,until onea mistake cost him avery important case . It was a pivotal point for Alfonso , he turned to the priesthood and after much private theological study , he was ordained with the Oratorians in 1726. He is most well remembered for the establishment of the order of “The Most Holy Redeemer” otherwise known as the Redemptorists . Sadly he was deposed and effectively excluded from his own foundation due to a forged document that he was tricked in to signing.The next few years he spent in physical and mental anguish however he was able to overcome his depression and before his death was reported to have experienced visions ,performed and prophesied. He died peacefully in 1787 in Nocera, was canonised in 1839 and named a Doctor of the Church in 1871 by Pope Pius 1X. Alfonso is the patron saint of confessors and theologians, he wrote several influential works of which his most famous is his “Moral Theology”.
St. Jean- Baptiste- 4th August. St Jean Vianney was born in 1786 in Dardilly in France and was the son of a peasant farmer. He spent his youth as a shepherd on his fathers farm but from a young age felt a strong calling to the priesthood .At the age of 20 he commenced his theological studies but mistakenly he wasin to the French army,deserted and resumed his studies in secret. In 1813 he received the tonsure and entered the seminary at Lyons, due to his background his progress was rather slow but he was finally ordained in 1815 as one of the “most devout.” In 1818 he was appointed the parish priest of a small village in France called “Arcen- Dombes”. Hereproved himself an unexpectedly brilliant preacher and counsellor,attacked all manifestations of indifferent immorality with gusto.Many men travelled miles for his advice and he thus spent numerous hours hearing confessions and weeping for men’s sins. As his severity mellowed the central theme of his teaching and preaching became the ever merciful love of God.the continual demand on his time and energy left him utterly exhausted .Eventually weekend by his austere and busy lifestyle heat Ars731859. Vianney was canonised in 1925 by Pope Pius X1, who declared him patron of allpriests.
The Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus – 6th August. The account of the Transfiguration of Christ is reported in the New Testament, it celebrates the revelation of Christ’s Kingship andon Mt Tabor in Galilee. The event takes part at a crucial moment in Christ’s life as he has just revealed to his disciples the proximity of his future death and suffering. The Transfiguration is a sign of future hope, a glimpse of heavenand ofresurrected body something all Christians should look forward to and ultimately aim for.Jesus reveals his true self, behind the image of this humble gentle man in simple clothinga glorious King of the New Kingdom.Aquinas considered the Transfiguration the “Greatest Miracle”, in that it compliments baptism and shows the perfection of life in heaven. St John Paul 11 introduced it in to the Luminous Mysteries of the Holy Rosary .As in the story of Jesus Baptism the voice of God is heard from above, acknowledging Christ as His Son and Word. Jesus is accompanied by his three closets disciples Peter ,James and John the body of Christ Shines in a dazzling light transformed to its future glory . The four our joined by the prophets Elijah and Moses but it is Jesus who is the fulfilment of the new Law the connecting point between heaven and earth the embodiment of eternal life.