The boy was a prodigy
When he was 16, he received his law degree.
By his mid-twenties, he was at the top of his profession and living the high life.
And then he crashed to earth: blowing a big case.
He took a little time off and thought about his life. It was then that he felt the call to a religious vocation.
He was ordained a priest at 30. He preached and ministered to street people and also worked with different religious orders.
When he was 36, he founded his own religious order, but was not elected Superior General until a decade later.
He encountered many obstacles – at one point, nearly everyone abandoned him – but he persevered.
When he was 66, the Pope made him a bishop. Although he faced many challenges there (including disasters in the local economy and even an assassination attempt), he reinvigorated his diocese.
But illnesses piled up, even partial paralysis. His resignation, however, was not accepted until he was 78, whereupon he returned to his cell, ready to die.
But he would still have a long road to travel. His order continued to be buffeted by many forces. At times, even his spiritual life would offer little refuge, as he was spiritually afflicted from many directions.
Finally, Alphonsus Liguori died at the age of 90 on this very day 221 years ago. Six years after his death, the religious order he had founded, the Redemptorists, was fully restored. St. Alphonsus Ligouri was canonized in 1839 and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1871.
(from a previous post)