St. Alphonsus was born of noble parents near Naples, Italy, in 1696, and died in 1787. In the midst of many evils he appeared with a three fold mission as a Doctor, Bishop, and founder of a new religious Order. As Doctor he became the great teacher of Moral Theology; he founded the middle way between the two extremes of the lax and the over rigorous, and by his ascetic writings he spread amongst the people Catholic piety, devotion to Our Lady, to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, to the Passion, and defended the supreme rights of the Church and the Pope.
As apostle and bishop St. Alphonsus sought to imitate Our Divine Redeemer in His evangelizing journeys through the villages of Galilee and Judea. Hence he founded his own society of missionaries whom he destined to labor amongst the poor peasants and mountaineers rather than the inhabitants of the towns.
As founder of a new Order, the saint has the merit of having adapted the scope of his work to the needs of the time, and of having brought tit to completion in spite of innumerable difficulties. Although approved by the Pope, the King of Naples refused to permit the new Order to establish itself. St. Alphonsus himself was excluded from the houses of his own Order in the Kingdom of Naples. This schism existed until his death. After his death the whole scene changes; the rejected founder is raised to the altars, and his Congregation extends its boundaries beyond the confines of Italy and of Europe.
He was devoted in a special manner to the Holy Eucharist, and left a beautiful little book entitled Visits to the Blessed Sacrament.