Founder of the Legion of Mary
Frank Duff was born in Dublin, Ireland, on June 7, 1889. He entered the Civil Service at the age of 18. At 24 he joined the Society of St. Vincent de Paul where he was led to a deeper commitment to his Catholic faith and at the same time he acquired a great sensitivity to the needs of the poor and underprivileged.
One day in 1937 a Dutch priest was driving an Irish girl to a Legion of Mary meeting some miles from his mission in Africa. They came to a river in such flood that the bridge across it could not even be seen. He was about to turn back when the girl cried out, "Oh Father, please go on, I'm sure Our Lady will protect us". He was aghast but found he couldn't resist such faith. Some men standing by formed a human chain to see if the bridge was still there.
It was, so he drove on blindly. The water flooded the engine and plugs but the impetus carried the car across and up an incline at the far side. He dried the plugs and tried the starter. The car got going and they were in time for the meeting.The girl was Edel Quinn and the incident typical of her story. In 1936 she had been sent from Dublin to establish the Legion in East and Central Africa.
The Servant of God, Alphonsus 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 novitiate 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, Columbia on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel 16th July) of that year.