Father Alban de Jerphanion entered the Province of the Near East in the Society of Jesus early in his life, beginning a career as a university professor and educator as a literature teacher at Saint Joseph College in Beirut, Lebanon at the age of 21. He later became the director of the College from 1934-1945, the director of the medical department, the director of the engineering department, and even the president of the College from 1958-1965. He also served as the director of the “Club of Catholic Youth,” a group of socially active, educated young people in Lebanon, in addition to serving as a member of the board of the Jesuit Press, or the Catholic Press. His position as the head of the Collège Notre Dame de Jamhour, located near Beirut, turned out to be his last.
On March 14, 1976, at the height of the Lebanese civil war, Father de Jerphanion accompanied a severely injured and paralyzed friend and fellow Jesuit to the airport, where his friend hoped to fly to France and undergo an important surgical procedure. However, before they arrived at the airport, they were stopped at a checkpoint where the driver of the car and the school nurse who were accompanying the two Jesuits were taken hostage. Father de Jerphanion, instead of walking back to his school as the soldiers ordered, left his friend on the sidewalk and walked two kilometers to a nearby convent to seek help. When he returned to the checkpoint to find his friend, he was shot in the abdomen and later died of his wounds.