Last Sunday when my wife and I were in Eucharistic Adoration she found some literature about a Venerable I had never heard of, one Alfred Pampalon. The little novena pamphlet and informational brochure labelled him as a “Patron of Alcoholics and Drug Addicts.”
There was nothing whatsoever in the literature to indicate as to why he might be considered a patron of us alcoholics and addicts save for some anonymous testimonials regarding miraculous cure of addictions.
There is nothing wrong with this, you can pray for the intercession of anyone that you think might be in Heaven, and for any reason. But I like to think that if someone is going to be the patron saint of something, then their life on Earth should be connected to it in some manner. Therefore, in my opinion, the Venerable Matt Talbot is still our guy. Matt was an alcoholic, and lived a Catholic spirituality that foreshadowed the Twelve Steps decades before they were ever conceived. St. Maximilian Kolbe is often considered to be a patron of addicts, and I agree; although he was not an addict or an alcoholic, he was executed at Auschwitz by a lethal injection. (St. Maximilian is a patron of mine, I am a member of his “Militia of the Immaculata,” links for him and the MI are in a linkroll on the left sidebar. I have also blogged before on him, just visit “St. Maximilian Kolbe” in the Post Category drop down menu over on the right.)
By no means am I disregarding the Venerable Alfred Pampalon; we alcoholics and addicts can use every means at our disposal to help us keep clean and sober. If the anonymous testimonials are true, then he is indeed a powerful intercessor for us.
The following link is to a website that contains information similar to what I read in the pamphlets, including a Novena and an intercessory prayer (it will be added to links in the sidebar):
By every indication, the Venerable Alfred Pampalon is a person worthy of further study and emulation. His life was saintly, pious and holy, and we can certainly use more examples like him. So, please visit the link above, as well as do a search of your own for more information.Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"