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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Allocutio by Sr Immaculata:

The Servant of God, Alphonsus Lambe, also known as Alfie Lambe, is a hero through his service to God in the Legion of Mary. Born in Ireland on the feast of St. John the Baptist, Friday, 24th June 1932, he proved his heroic love for God in his 27 years of life.

After spending his youth in the novitiate of the Irish Christian Brothers, he found his vocation in the Legion of Mary when he was almost 18.He found that a majority of the people were baptized but knew little about their Faith. Many had to be reintroduced to the Christian way of life. He always taught legionaries of all walks of life and of all ages that everyone must be invited to join the Legion of Mary. Once, Alfie was meeting with a young railroad employee, Miguel Mancini. Alfie asked him if he would like to work for Our Blessed Lady. The reply Miguel gave him was that he was baptized but didn’t go to Mass that often. Alfie persisted. A month later Miguel became President of his praesidium, and is now Rector of one of the largest seminaries in South America.
no one is too bad to be Legionary.

One challenge in being Legionary is to keep the Legionary alive within us, to pass it on especially to the newer Legionary. We have our Handbook and apprenticeships, to learn from the more experienced. We need to build this sense of always to be on duty wherever we are.

Alfie was never seen sad or depressed, never without patience, he always had a smile. And he bore those qualities up to his death. C. S Lewis commented that, “Joy is the serious buseness of heaven”. On this Fr Bede McGregor commented “ How are we going to recruit new members if we are not genuinely happy and joyful? Saints are not glum and neither are apostolic men and women? Our Lady is the cause of our joy since She gives us Jesus and She gives us the privilege of sharing with her the joy to gives Jesus to others!”

A group of 14 of them accompanied Alfie on a 24 hour train journey. He set up the miniature Legion altar he brought with him and they held their first Legion meeting in the carriage. He then assigned them in pairs to go through the carriages and speak to the passengers about the Mass and what devotion to Our Lady means to a Catholic. After two hours they reported back and discussed what they learned. During that journey four Legion meetings and work assignments took place.

Alfie Lambe has been a true example of one who really live the spirit of the Legionary service, as it is stated on chapter 4 in our Handbook. He lived the spirit of lay apostolate – one character of the Legion of Mary, its laity, he ‘put on the whole armour of God’, ‘be a living sacrifice’ even to the heroic level, ‘not turn from toil and hardship’, ‘live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us’ by his joyfulness and selflessness, ‘and he ‘finish the race’ very well, making use of all the times God has given to him for the glory of God.

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