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30 September

Venerable Alfred Pampalon, CSsR

Alfred Pampalon was born on November 24, 1867, in Lévis (Quebec), the ninth of twelve children. His father was a builder and contractor, who worked building churches. After attending primary school for two years, Alfred enters the Collège de Lévis, in 1876, where he takes courses in business. Five years later, after an illness, he begins classical studies in order to become a priest. Shortly before his sixth year, in 1885, he contracts pneumonia. They thought he was going to die.

Following his recovery, that was attributed to the intercession of Saint Anne, Alfred sets out on a pilgrimage, by foot, to the shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré to give thanks for his healing. Here, on this occasion, he asks to enter the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer of which his brother was already a member. He is accepted and in July 1886 he sails off for the Redemptorist novitiate in Saint-Trond, Belgium. On September 8, 1887, he takes his perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Given the precarious state of his health, the superiors had been reluctant to receive him into the community, but his exemplary piety outweighed all objection. After completing his studies in Philosophy and Theology, he is ordained priest on October 4, 1892. The following year, on August 31, he is appointed to the monastery in Mons, where he carries out various duties, replacing absent priests or on occasion accompanying those who go to preach in neighboring parishes.

From April to September 1894 he undertakes a second novitiate at Beau Plateau, which among the Redemptorists served as a preparation for conducting missions and parish retreats. Meanwhile though Pampalon’s health continues to deteriorate and the Belgian climate doesn’t help. His superiors therefore decide to send him back to Canada, hoping that in his native clime he will recover. He returns in September 1895 and is assigned to the monastery at Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, where he is able to carry out simple duties, preaching in the basilica and hearing confession. In February, 1896, he enters the infirmary for the last time. He dies on September 30, 1896. He was declared venerable by Pope John Paul II on May 14, 1991. He is the Patron of Alcoholics and Drug Addicts.

LINK: www.redemptorists.com