After a long eclipse it was finally re-established, though in a very modified form, by Alfonso Liguori about the middle of the 18th century.
ALFONSO MARIA DEI LIGUORI (1696-1787), saint and doctor of the Church of Rome, was born at Marianella, near Naples, on the 27th of September 1696, being the son of Giuseppe dei Liguori, a Neapolitan noble.
Its members, popularly called Liguorians or Redemptorists, devote themselves to the religious instruction of the poor, more especially in country districts; Liguori specially forbade them to undertake secular educational work.
Liguori is the chief representative of a school of casuistry and devotional theology still abundantly represented within the Roman Church.
Eighteenth-century Italy looked on religion with apathetic indifference, and Liguori convinced himself that only the gentlest and most lenient treatment could win back the alienated laity; hence he was always willing to excuse errors on the side of laxity as due to an excess of zeal in winning over penitents.
Alfonso de Liguori (London, 1857), and art.
The chief of these congregations are the Passionists (founded by St John of the Cross, 1725) and the Redemptorists (founded by St Alfonsus Liguori, 1749), both dedicated to giving missions and retreats.
Spain was utterly dumb; Italian fervour could only boast the foundation of two small orders of popular preachers - the Passionists (1737), and the Redemptorists, instituted in 1732 by St Alfonso Liguori, who also won for himself a dubious reputation on the unsavoury field of casuistry.
He held monks strictly to the performance of their vows; took care to satisfy himself of the fitness of candidates for bishoprics; enjoined regular catechetical instruction, greater simplicity in preaching, and greater reverence in worship. The moral teaching of the Jesuits incurred his condemnation (1679) (see Liguori), an act which the society never forgave, and which it partially revenged by forcing, through the Inquisition, the condemnation of the quietistic doctrines of Molinos (1687), for which Innocent entertained some sympathy (see MoLINOs).