Today we honor St. Francis Ligouri, who was born of the nobility of Naples in 1696. Until now I had known nothing about him other than that he was the founder of the Redemptorist Fathers, who are highly respected and liked men. They are noted for giving parish missions, and all other priests appreciate their willingness to help out.
Francis, the oldest of seven, was a successful young lawyer who grew impatient with the seamy side of public life in Naples. The priests at the Oratory of Philip Neri allowed him to move in with them while he studied for the priesthood, but his father blocked him from joining the Oratorians. Francis then became a priest of the Naples diocese where his bishop left him free to devote himself to helping and educating tens of thousands of poor Neapolitans
With young men who were drawn by the wonderful work he was doing he funded the Redemptorist Order. Then, after repeatedly refusing an appointment as bishop of Naples, Francis accepted consecration as bishop of a nearby diocese of extreme poverty.
Francis could be the patron saint of those suffering from rheumatism. He was so bent over, that he had to drink with a straw.