January 23, 2011

Happy Feast of St. Ildephonsus

Today is a very special feast day of a very special and saintly priest way off over the other side of the Great Big Blue. So naturally we need to celebrate. It has absolutely nothing to do with a desire for dessert.

You may read about his life at the Catholic Encyclopedia but this is my favorite section:
"Ildephonsus was the disciple of St. Isidore of Seville, and recalls in particular two marvellous stories, of which the second, a favourite theme of hagiographers, poets, and artists, has been for ages entwined with the memory of the saint. Ildephonsus, it is said, was one day praying before the relics of Saint Leocadia, when the martyr arose from her tomb and thanked the saint for the devotion he showed towards the Mother of God. It was related, further, that on another occasion the Blessed Virgin appeared to him in person and presented him with a priestly vestment, to reward him for his zeal in honouring her. "

I don't know about you but I have a very special fondness for stories that include spiritual friendships where saints knew saints, where saints were taught and trained by saints, where saints had loving, purely spiritual relationships with other saints. Truly those kinds of friendships are the most beautiful.

May God continue to bless Fr. Alfonso on this very special day. And if you would like to hear his wonderful homilies and editorials (well, you have to read those), they are translated into English on his website.

PS: Happy Birthday to Karen in KS :)


  1. I wonder if Fr. Alfonso knows that we're all so joyful to be celebrating with him here? We need to practice for heaven, right?

  2. my husband's name is Alfonso, but he celebrates on St. Alfonso Maria de Liguori's festday (August, 1st). Why does father Alfonso celebrate on St. Idelfonso (whose name is totally different)? (Cecilia)

  3. Yes, Carrie, practicing for Heaven, where the wine will actually be really good, so I've read :)

    Cecilia,I wondered that too! I am not sure, but I suppose because he is from Spain and named after this Spanish saint would be my best guess :) Perhaps it is a derivative like we have many derivatives in English that don't match the "real" name? I'll see if I can find out...

  4. Cecilia, I began to read in the Butler's Lives of the Saints about St. Ildephonsus and here is the first sentence: "The name Ildephonsus or Hildephonsus seems to be the original form from which the variants Alphonsus, Alfonso and Alonzo have subsequently developed." Being that St. Ildephonsus lived 1000 years before St. Alphonsus de Liguori, perhaps he was named after St. Ildephonsus as well. :) Of course St. Alphonsus had something like 8 names before his surname! haha