St. Alphonsus Liguori was born in 1696 to Neapolitan nobility at Marianella, Italy. He became a widely respected lawyer after completing law school at just sixteen, but later left his practice to give his salvation more attention. Alphonsus joined the Oratory of St. Philip Neri as a seminarian and was ordained in 1726, when he was thirty. The powerful homilies he gave were known for their profound ability to convert those who had fallen away from the faith. He also founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer and authored works such asThe Glories of Mary, The True Spouse of Jesus Christ, Attaining Salvation, The Blessed Virgin Mary, Preparation for Death Abridged, What Will Hell Be Like?, The Twelve Steps to Holiness and Salvation, andThe Way of the Cross. After being a bishop for over a decade, St. Alphonsus Liguori died on the first of August, 1787. He was canonized by Pope Gregory XVI in 1839 and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1871. His feast is celebrated on August 1."