St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori was born in 1696 in Italy. The oldest of seven children, he grew up to receive his doctorate at age 16 and become a lawyer by the age of 19, but consecrated his life to God following a vision at the age of 26 and became a priest. St. Alphonsus founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists) in 1732, then became a bishop in the Naples area in 1762.
Crippled by body-deforming rheumatism later in life, St. Alphonsus died in 1787, was canonized in 1839 and declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius IX in 1871. St. Alphonsus is the patron of confessors, theologians and the lay apostolate, and his feast day is celebrated in the Church on August 1, the anniversary of his death.