The Three Causes

Servant of God Frank Duff (June 7, 1889 - November 7, 1980)

Frank Duff was born in Dublin, Ireland, on June 7, 1889. He was the eldest of seven children. In 1913, he joined the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and was greatly influenced by the spirit of the Society. As a member, he gradually came to have a great love for the poor and underprivileged, in whom, as in everyone he met, he recognized and honored Christ. In 1916, aged 27, he published his first pamphlet "Can We Be Saints?"  In it he expressed one of the strongest convictions of his life, namely, that all without exception are called to be Saints, and that through our Catholic Faith we have available the means necessary to attain this.

In 1917, he came to know the Treatise of St. Louis Marie de Montfort on the True Devotion to Mary, a work which changed his life completely, and resulted in his founding of the Legion of Mary. This is a lay apostolic organization at the service of the Church, under ecclesiastical guidance.  Its twofold purpose is the spiritual development of its members and advancing the Reign of Christ through Our Lady, the Mother of God.  The Legion which is to be found in 168 countries, has more than three million active members and many more auxiliary members, who pray the daily Legion Prayers.  In 1965, Pope Paul VI invited Frank Duff to attend the Second Vatican Council as a Lay Observer, and honor by which the Pope recognized and affirmed his enormous work for the Lay Apostolate. On November 7, 1980, Frank Duff died, and was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin Ireland.  In July 1996, the Cause for his Beatification was introduced by the then Archbishop of Dublin, now his Eminence, Desmond Cardinal Connell. If you have received a favour attributed to Frank Duff's intercession, please write and describe the circumstances of the action, and mail to: Legion of Mary, De Montford House, Morning Star Avenue, Brunswick Street, Dublin 7, Ireland.

Servant of God Alfie Lambe (June 24, 1932 - January 21, 1958)

On 16th July 1953, the two envoys, Seamus Grace and Alfie Lambe, took off for Colombia. They were greeted in Bogota by a host of legionaries including envoy Joaquina Lucas. Alfie was to work initially with Joaquina until she was assigned to Brazil. In February 1954, he set off alone to Ecuador to address the Bishops Conference there. After setting up innumerable praesidia, including amongst the native Indians and in the biggest prison in Quito, he set off for Bolivia and from there to Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Uruguay. His irrepressible energy amazed all those who witnessed him at work. He had spent a great part of his youth in the novitiate of the Irish Christian Brothers, but had to leave because of his delicate health. 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.

Alfie Lambe died in Buenos Aires at the young age of 26 (January 21, 1959) but by then, had already accomplished so much for the Legion of Mary. Before the famous ‘Just Do It’ slogan came into being in the 90’s, Alfie Lambe had already began using it as his motivation in his tireless efforts establishing praesidia and councils in South America. When asked by the Irish Ambassador to Argentina, “How do you really know that you are following your vocation?” he replied: “I wondered about it myself. I believe one has simply to go on doing what one is doing at the moment. Just do it.” (From the book, “Alfie Lambe, Legion Envoy by Hilde Firtel).

Alfie had many chats and conversations with Frank Duff himself, among which is the Treatise on True Devotion to Mary by Saint Louis Marie de Montfort. Together they studied the book in great depth. 

The Cause for the Beatification of Alfie Lambe was introduced by the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires in 1978 and closed there on 26th March 2015, after which the papers were transferred to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome

Venerable Edel Quinn (September 14, 1907 -May 12, 1944) 

Sifting through the book, “Edel Quinn” by Cardinal Suenens, one would see the ordinariness of Edel Quinn as a young woman (a lover of golf, animals and a penchant for music and the arts) and her extraordinary holiness wrapped in prayer, sacraments and apostolic vigor. Early on she had decided to give her life to a life of vocation by wanting to join the Poor Clare Convent but was prevented because of advanced tuberculosis.  Thus, when Pierre Landrin, the manager of the company she worked for, proposed marriage to her, her choice was clear, she belonged to God alone.  Born in Castlemagner, County Cork, Edel Mary Quinn was the eldest child of bank official Charles Quinn and Louisa Burke Browne of County Clare. She was a great-granddaughter of William Quinn. She was recruited by her friend Mona McCarthy to the Legion of Mary, becoming president of a praesidium whose main work was visiting women’s lodging houses and caring for prostitutes.  In 1936, at age 29, with a delicate health condition, Edel Quinn, became the Legion Envoy to South Africa (joining another Legion Envoy, Ruby Dennison). She departed for Mombasa and began work in Nairobi having been told by Bishop Heffernan that this was the most convenient base for her work. By the outbreak of World War II, she was working as far off as Dar es Salaam and Mauritius. In 1941, she was admitted to a sanatorium near Johannesburg. While fighting her illness, in seven and a half years as envoy, she established hundreds of Legion praesidia and councils.

Early in 1944, she made a retreat in the Carmelite Convent in Nairobi as her preparation for death. She spent sometime in various Vicariates. Her last visit was at Kisumu in Kenya, during which she got a heart attack that made her think that the end was perhaps at hand. After a month's stay, she had to give up and once more faced the long journey to Nairobi where she arrived with death in her eyes.

She was taken to her little room adjoining the Chapel of the Sisters of the Precious Blood. It was on the 11th of April, Edel got back to Nairobi and for the next month she suffered greatly from frequent heart attacks. In the evening of Friday, May 12th she became convulsed with a violent heart attack. A priest who happened to be visiting the convent came and gave her Extreme Unction. Then, the attack began again and after a few moments, she died with the Holy Name on her lips.

Edel Quinn died on May 12, 1944 and her Cause for Canonization was introduced in 1952.