(Naples, Italy) The Alphonsian Academy community on the occasion of the annual Festival of St. Alphonsus (date agreed by the Alphonsian Academy) went to Naples, for a guided tour of the Marianella district on Tuesday 9th April. St. Alphonsus was born on 27 September 1696 from Giuseppe and Caterina Anna Cavalieri “the holiest of Neapolitans and the most Neapolitan of saints.” It was an opportunity for us, the students, to move from the information gathered in texts or illustrated by the teachers to the beautiful experience of touching, seeing and hearing the message of our patron St. Alphonsus de Liguori. Received by Fr. Rajaonarison Jean Honoré CSsR, by the teacher Filomena Sacco and some collaborators of the Redemptorist community, and we listened to the story and visited the house where Saint Francis de Gironimo, apostle of charity, congratulated the parents of St. Alphonsus, prophesying “that he would live for many years More than ninety, he would have become a bishop and done great things for Jesus Christ.”
In the homily during the Holy Mass celebrated in the beautiful and grand chapel built next to the birthplace of the saint, Professor Antonio Fidalgo CSsR, invited us to reflect on the fact that, right in Marianella’s country house, he matured, not without difficulty, the path of conversion of Alphonsus, a Doctor of jurisprudence at sixteen and then on his way to a brilliant forensic career, learning and deepening of legal training, began increasingly to feel the desire to take care of the poor and the abandoned. It is, therefore, in this difficult district of the city where the Alphonsian option springs for the latter. The abandoned, beloved as brothers in Jesus, became the object of their compassion.
Before returning to Rome after stopping in a pizzeria in the neighborhood,, from the Capodimonte hill, immersed in the nature of the Real Bosco born in the eighteenth century as a hunting reserve of King Charles of Bourbon, Professor Sacco indicated us from the high places of the city of Naples, significant in the history of Alphonsus, told us about the beginnings of popular missions and the style of his preaching.
The hope is that this beautiful day, spent under the banner of sharing and deepening the life and work of the saint of Campania origin, pushes us more and more into the study of morality and pastoral action starting from the spiritually abandoned, favorite of St Alphonsus, as he himself teaches: “Now the preacher who makes a high reasoning satisfies the appetite of a few, but leaves most of the audience fasting. As stated, will the Lord ask them to take their efforts to indoctrinate the few numbers of the intendants, without taking care of the majority who do not understand it? And of the others who do not come to their sermons, why does the preacher not make himself understood? St. Paul wrote: Sapientibus et insipientibus debitor sum (I am under obligation to the wise and to the foolish, Rom 1:14). And so the preacher is also indebted “(Letter I to a religious friend).
Don Gennaro Busiello,