St. Alphonsus Maria De Liguori was born Sept. 27, 1696, near Naples, Italy. He received a doctorate in law at age 16 and had his own practice by age 21. When he realized his call to the religious life, he studied theology and was ordained at the age of 29. This preacher and home missioner began to write about theology, history and asceticism. He founded the Redemptoristines, an order for women, in 1730. In 1732, he founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Liguorians, Redemptorists). St. Alphonsus came to the rescue of the Redemptorists in 1777 when the government was threatening to disband them. The saint was able to gain the king’s approval for the order. He died in 1787. Pope Piux IX named him a doctor of the church in 1871. St. Alphonsus Maria De Liguori is patron saint of theologians and vocations.