Venerable Alfred Pampalon

Venerable Alfred PampalonAlso known as

  • The Hail Mary Saint


Ninth of twelve children born to Antoine and Josephine Dorion Pampalon; his parents were pious people, and his father was a stonemason who built churches. Josephine died when Alfred as five years old, and his father soon married the Irish widow, Margaret Phelan, who was loving, gentle, pious and treated all the children as her own. Two of his brothers and one sister entered religious life. Alfred was home schooled until 1876 when he entered the College of Lévis on a business curriculum; the school staffed by parish priests, and he learned much about their lives. He was an average student, loved to play cricket and soccer, suffered from a speech impediment, contracted tuberculosis at age 14, and was known as a modest prayerful person who early felt a call to the Church and had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

During a near-fatal bout of pneumonia in 1885, he attributed his recovery to the intercession of Saint Anne, and in her honour, make a pilgrimage to the shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré on foot, praying the Rosary as he walked. While there, he asked to join the Redemptorists, and in July 1886 sailed for Saint Trond, Belgium to begin his novitiate. He studied at the seminary of Saint-Jean-de-Beauplateau where he wsa noted for his piety; when asked about his skill in dealing with philosophical questions, he said he would just imagine what Mary would answer and then say that.

He was ordained a priest on 4 October 1892, and was assigned to the mining city of Mons, Belgium. He was not a great preacher, but his piety and zeal revitalized the faith of many. However, the tuberculosis was wearing him down, and he was first transferred to work at the Saint-Jean-de-Beauplateau seminary, and then in September 1895, was sent back to Canada to serve at the shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. He spent his final six months there in the infirmary, too weak to work, in constant pain and in constant prayer.




MLA Citation

  • “Venerable Alfred Pampalon“. CatholicSaints.Info. 29 September 2020. Web. 20 September 2021. <>