Saturday, January 21, 2006
Relatively few commercial lawyers have managed to make their way to sainthood, but one of them is Alphonsus Mary Antony John Cosmas Damian Michael Gaspard de' Liguori (left), who as St. Alphonsus Liguori became one of the Doctors of the Catholic Church. On this date, January 21, 1713, the sixteen-year-old Alphonsus took his degree as Doctor of Laws at Naples. The spectators apparently laughed when the pint-sized teenager appeared in his doctor's gown.
By 27, he was one of the leaders of the Neapolitan bar. One story -- no one knows if it's true -- is that he gave up practice after he found himself committing a fraud on the court as a result of the actions of a dishonest client. (Right, Church of St. Alphonsus Liguori, from Diocese of St. Louis, Missouri.)