1. Frank Duff, now Servant of God, who founded the Legion in 1921. A recent documentary on Frank Duff that was aired on Easter Sunday, 27th April can be found on www.shalomworldtv.org Glorious Lives – Frank Duff
  2. Venerable Edel Quinn, their Envoy to Africa.
  3. Servant of God Alphonsus Lambe, their Envoy to South America.

 

Alfie Lambe, Servant of God.

June 24, 1932 – January 21, 1959.

 

Alphonsus Lambe, (known as Alfie) was born in Tullamore, Co. Offaly on the 24th June 1932. From an early age his dream was to become an Irish Christian Brother in devoting his life to the education of youth. At the age of 13 he entered the novitiate in Marino, Dublin and was very happy there. As a young novice he heard Frank Duff giving an address on the Legion of Mary and that talk awakened his interest in it. Due to ill health, the frail young boy was advised by his superiors to recuperate at home for a while before returning to the novitiate. Alfie was heartbroken as he knew that this was the end of his dream but it seems that Divine Providence was preparing him for a bigger Mission in life.

He got an office job in a mill in his hometown and joined the Legion of Mary there. When the firm closed down unexpectedly he did not seek employment locally but went to the Legion Headquarters in Dublin and served in the Morning Star Hostel as an indoor brother. This meant full time Apostolic Work of the most difficult type. His commitment and dedication in this work of helping to save souls inspired Frank Duff to appoint him as a Legion Envoy to South America.

On the 16th June 1953 at the age of 21 he set off with another Legionary who was appointed as Envoy to Columbia and Venezuela. Life was not easy for him in his new surroundings as he had to learn to speak Spanish and adapt himself to the different cultures and customs. After about a year’s experience there, he was now capable of standing on his own and he was appointed as Envoy to Ecuador, a country on the Equator with a climate which could be overpowering for any Irish person.

At the time Ecuador, through the influence of Communism, was going through a lot of political upheaval. There was only minimal contact with the Church due to the low level of Mass attendance. Alfie saw the challenging times in Ecuador as an opportunity and not a crisis. He said that Ecuador did not have a Communist problem but a Catholic problem. He saw that many baptised did not have an awareness of their faith as a gift from God and a source of hope and strength in their life. He addressed the Bishops’ Conference and spoke about the benefits of the Legion for the formation of Lay people in their faith. Before he left that country the Legion was established in every Diocese in Ecuador and many Communists were converted to the Catholic faith.

He also served in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil. During his years in South America he set up a great number of branches of the Legion of Mary. In December of 1958 Alfie Lambe was diagnosed with cancer. He died in Buenos Aires, on the 21st January 1959 at the age of 26. He is buried in the vault of the Irish Christian Brothers Cemetery in Buenos Aires. The Superior there at that time had been one of his fellow novices in Marino. The Cause for his Beatification was introduced by the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires in 1978.

 

Prayer for the Beatification of the Servant of God, Alphonsus Lambe.

O God, who by your infinite mercy inflamed the heart of your servant, Alphonsus Lambe with an ardent love for you and for Mary, our Mother; a love which revealed itself in a life of intense labour, prayer and sacrifice for the salvation of souls, grant, if it be your will, that we may obtain, by his intercession, what we cannot obtain by our own merits. We ask this through Jesus Christ, Our Lord, Amen.                       

                                                                                (with ecclesiastical approval)

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