Alfie LambeServant of God
Legion of Mary Envoy to South America
Born June 24, 1932
Died January 21, 1958
Cause for the Canonization opened in 1971
The Servant of God, Aiphonsus Lambe,(known as Alfie) was born in Tullamore, Ireland on the feast of St. John the Baptist,Friday, 24th June 1932, during the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin.
Like St. John he was a precursor - the precursor of the Legion of Mary, which Pope Paul VI described as “the greatest movement which has been established for the good of souls since the era of the great religious Orders”.
After spending a period of his youth in the noviciate of the Irish Christian Brothers, which he had to leave because of delicate health, he found his vocation in the Legion of Mary, and was appointed Envoy in 1953. With Seamus Grace, he left for Bogota, Colombia on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (16th July) of that year.
For almost six years he worked ceaselessly in promoting the Legion of Mary in Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay and Brazil. After a short but grave illness he died in Buenos Aires on the feast of St. Agnes, 21st January 1959.
God had bestowed on him great natural gifts, a personality which attracted souls to the service and love of God, an infectious enthusiasm, and a facility for learning languages, which enabled him to rapidly attain fluency in Spanish and Portuguese.
During his years in South America he set up a great number of branches of the Legion of Mary, and trained a multitude in the apostolate of the Legion. His devotion to Mary was outstanding, and in contacts with Legionaries and others he explained and urged the practice of the True Devotion to Our Lady.
He is buried in the vault of the Irish Christian Brothers, in the Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires.
1981 Frank Duff’s article republished in Victory Through Mary, Praedicanda Publications, Dublin, pp.472-486.
1982 Alfie was mentioned as part of an address delivered by the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, to a group of Italian legionaries on 30th October reprinted in the Legion Handbook, p.6.
1989 Maria del Prado’s book, Alfonso Lambe, Servant of God, Buenos Aires.
1995 Frank Duff’s Article republished in Maria Legionis, Vol.38, No.2, June, pp.3-7.
February 1980 Cause for Canonization Introduced in a letter to the Holy Father by the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Aramburu.
A Postulator in Rome was then appointed, Fr. Antonio Cairoli O.F.M. and later two Vice Postulators, Fr. P.J. Regan PP of Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath for Ireland and in 1982, Mons. Carlos R. Copello, Buenos Aires for Argentina.
The following is extracted from Maria Sofia del Prado’s book Alphoso Lambe, Servant of God, Buenos Aires, 1989, pp.62-64.:
Popular devotion to Alfie Lambe has been noticeable in Buenos Aires since 1978. In 1979 the Concilium appointed Maria Sofia del Prado as delegate in charge of his cause in Argentina. A considerable number of testimonies having been gathered, the Legion of Mary considered it opportune to name a Postulator.
In November 1982, that Postulator named Mons. Carlos R. Copello Vice Postulator leaving all the proceedings in his charge. When Mons. Copello died in 1984, I was appointed to replace him. Through the Postulator, the Legion of Mary requested his Eminence Cardinal Juan Carlos Aramburu, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, to introduce the cause for canonization. Accordingly his Eminence set up an ecclesiastical tribunal.
On 21st January 1984, the 25th anniversary of Alphonsus’ death many commemorative services were held. In accordance with the normal procedure of a cause the informative process should be undertaken simultaneously in all countries where the Servant of God had lived or laboured and in other countries where persons who had known him still lived.
To organize these processes, in my official capacity of Vice Postulator I had to visit Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay and in all these countries the informative process is accumulating testimonies which will be added to the principal process.
On the occasion of my visits to the countries just mentioned I had the opportunity to converse with Legionaries who had known Alfie and so I was able to witness with what fervour and emotion they remembered him as also how they spoke of the holiness of his life and the example of his virtues.
As of May 2003, Fr. Oliver Skelly PP of Coole, Co. Westmeath, is the Vice Postulator for Alfie’s Cause in Ireland. A Msgr. John Hanley PP of Laytown, Co. Westmeath is part of the Tribunal and hopes to have the Positio for Alfie completed and submitted by the end of this year.
Irene Sauer is the (unofficial as yet, I believe) Vice Postulator for the cause in Buenos Aires. Noel Lynch is to pay a Concilium visit in the coming months to South America to clarify all matters concerning the cause.
Fr. Luca da Rosa OFM is the postulator for Alfie’s cause in Rome.
The following documents may be useful for praesidia to promote Alfie Lambe.
Tessera Images - nine per page
Flyer about Mass for Servant of God Alfie Lambe - English
Flyer about Mass for Servant of God Alfie Lambe - Spanish