Interesting Quotes in St. Alphonsus’ Book, The History of Heresies & Their Refutation


Bro. Peter Dimond


What follows are some interesting quotes that I found in St. Alphonsus’ book, The History of Heresies & Their Refutation.  More interesting quotes from the book might be added as time permits.




The following quote is particularly interesting because in it St. Alphonsus says that Mahomet is in Hell.


St. Alphonsus, The History of Heresies & Their Refutation, Chap. 7, Article I, On Mahometanism (Islam): “The impious sect of Mahometanism sprung up in this century [the 7th]… Mahomet, the founder of this destroying sect… was born in Arabia, in 586… He [Mahomet] pretended to have long conversations with the Archangel Gabriel, in the cave of Hera… In the year 608, being then forty years of age, he began to give out that he was a Prophet, inspired by God, and he persuaded his relatives and domestics of this first, and then began to publicly preach in Mecca, and attack idolatry.  At first, the people did not very willingly listen to him, and asked him to prove his mission by a miracle; but he told them that God sent him to preach the truth, and not to work miracles.  The impostor, however, boasts of having wrought one, though ridiculous in the extreme: a piece, he says, fell off from the moon into his sleeve, and he fixed it on again; and it is said that this is the reason for the Mahometans adopting the half moon as the device of their Empire…

     “He composed the Koran… It is a collection of precepts, taken from the Mosaic and Christian Law, together with many of his own, and interspersed with fables and ridiculous revelations…. He professes that there is but one God; but in his Alcoran [the Koran] he relates many trivialities unworthy of the Supreme Being, and the whole work is, in fact, filled with contradictions, as I have shown in my book on the ‘Truth of the Faith.’… The Mahometan Paradise, however, is only fit for beasts; for filthy sensual pleasure is all the believer has to expect there… The Mahometans shave the head, and leave only a lock of hair on the crown, by which they hope Mahomet will take them up to Heaven, even out of Hell itself.”


This is another good quote to refute the “you can’t judge” heresy.  According to those who espouse the “you can’t judge” heresy, we cannot say that people who die outside the faith are lost because “we can’t judge.”  The truth is that God has already judged.  God has revealed that those who are saved must fall within a certain category: they must be baptized and have the Catholic faith.  Hence, those who have the faith (i.e., true Catholics) believe and can profess that people who have died outside the Church are lost.  As we see, St. Alphonsus did not subscribe to the “you can’t judge” heresy.  Also notice how vigorously he condemns Islam and the Koran; he speaks of them with no respect whatsoever.  This is a stark contrast to the apostate manner in which Benedict XVI and his sect members speak of Islam, the Koran, etc.




Here’s a very interesting new quote from St. Alphonsus which refutes the heresy that people can be saved who are ignorant of the Gospel, the Trinity and the Incarnation (the essential mysteries of the Catholic faith).  This is important because many baptism of desire heretics in our day – who believe that souls can be saved in false religions and without belief in Christ – falsely assert that saints such as St. Alphonsus agreed with them. 


This is obviously not to suggest that saints, such as St. Alphonsus, were correct about everything; rather it is prove, once again, that not one saint held the heresy of “invincible ignorance,” the idea that ignorant non-Catholics can be saved in false religions or without belief in the Trinity and the Incarnation.  This heresy of invincible ignorance is held by almost all people who believe in “baptism of desire” today.  Here’s the quote from St. Alphonsus’ book, The History of Heresies.


St. Alphonsus, The History of Heresies, Refutation 6, #11, p. 457: “Still we answer the Semipelagians, and say, that infidels who arrive at the use of reason, and are not converted to the Faith, cannot be excused, because though they do not receive sufficient proximate grace, still they are not deprived of remote grace, as a means of becoming converted.  But what is this remote grace?  St. Thomas explains it, when he says, that if anyone was brought up in the wilds, or even among brute beasts, and if he followed the law of natural reason, to desire what is good, and to avoid what is wicked, we should certainly believe either that God, by an internal inspiration, would reveal to him what he should believe, or would send someone to preach the Faith to him, as he sent Peter to Cornelius.  Thus, then, according to the Angelic Doctor [St. Thomas], God, at least remotely, gives to infidels, who have the use of reason, sufficient grace to obtain salvation, and this grace consists in a certain instruction of the mind, and in a movement of the will, to observe the natural law; and if the infidel cooperates with this movement, observing the precepts of the law of nature, and abstaining from grievous sins, he will certainly receive, through the merits of Jesus Christ, the grace proximately sufficient to embrace the Faith, and save his soul.”


As we see, St. Alphonsus is clearly making reference to the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas below (which is cited in my book), in which he denies that any soul who is ignorant of the Gospel can be saved.  Rather, if there is a person who is completely ignorant of the faith but who is of good will, God will make sure that he comes to a knowledge of the faith. 


St. Thomas Aquinas, De Veritate, 14, A. 11, ad 1: Objection- “It is possible that someone may be brought up in the forest, or among wolves; such a man cannot explicitly know anything about the faith.  St. Thomas replies- It is the characteristic of Divine Providence to provide every man with what is necessary for salvation… provided on his part there is no hindrance.  In the case of a man who seeks good and shuns evil, by the leading of natural reason, God would either reveal to him through internal inspiration what had to be believed, or would send some preacher of the faith to him…”


St. Thomas Aquinas, Sent. II, 28, Q. 1, A. 4, ad 4: “If a man born among barbarian nations, does what he can, God Himself will show him what is necessary for salvation, either by inspiration or sending a teacher to him.”


St. Thomas Aquinas, Sent. III, 25, Q. 2, A. 2, solute. 2: “If a man should have no one to instruct him, God will show him, unless he culpably wishes to remain where he is.”


In the Summa Theologica, St. Thomas further taught the truth that all men above reason are bound to know the principal mysteries of Christ for salvation with no exceptions for ignorance.


St. Thomas, Summa Theologica:  After grace had been revealed, both the learned and simple folk are bound to explicit faith in the mysteries of Christ, chiefly as regards those which are observed throughout the Church, and publicly proclaimed, such as the articles which refer to the Incarnation, of which we have spoken above.”


Saint Thomas, Summa Theologica:  “And consequently, when once grace had been revealed, all were bound to explicit faith in the mystery of the Trinity.


Therefore, St. Alphonsus and St. Thomas, like all of the fathers of the Church, rejected the modern heresy of “invincible ignorance” saving those who die as non-Catholics.  Their speculation and erroneous teaching on baptism of blood/desire only regarded those who believe in the Trinity and Incarnation (the most essential mysteries of Catholic faith).  And this point really shows the dishonesty of modern heretics, who like to quote St. Alphonsus and St. Thomas Aquinas on baptism of desire to somehow justify their heretical idea that members of false religions can be saved by “baptism of desire.”