Legion of Mary
The Legion of Mary was founded by Frank Duff on 7 September 1921 at Myra House, Francis Street, in Dublin. His idea was to help Catholic lay people fulfil their baptismal promises to be able to live their dedication to the Church in an organised structure, which would be supported by fraternity and prayer. The Legion draws its inspiration from Louis de Montfort's book True Devotion to Mary.
The Legion first started out by visiting women with cancer in hospitals, but it soon became active among the most destitute, notably among Dublin prostitutes. Duff subsequently laid down the system of the Legion in the Handbook of the Legion of Mary in 1928.
The Legion soon spread around the world. At first, it was often met with mistrust because of its then-unusual dedication to lay apostolate. After Pope Pius XI praised it in 1931, the Legion had its mistrust quelled.
Most prominent for spreading the legion was Edel Quinn (1907-1944) for her activities in Africa in the 1930s and the 1940s. Her dedication to the mission of the legion, even in the face of her ill health (tuberculosis) brought her great admiration inside and outside the legion. A beatification process is currently under way for the legendary Quinn, as well as for Duff and Alfie Lambe (1932–1959), the endearing Legion Envoy to South America.
On 27 March 2014, the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Bishop Josef Clemens, delivered the decree in which the Legion is recognised by the Holy See as International Association of the Faithful.
The basic unit of the Legion is called a Praesidium, which is normally based in a parish. The Praesidium, usually a group of 3–20 members, meets weekly in its parish. The Curia is the next level, each supervising several Praesidia.
The next level is the Comitium, which is in charge of several Curiae, usually over an area like a medium city or a part of a province. The next level is the Regia, which is in charge of larger territories like a province or state (like in the US and Brazil). The Senatus is the next level, and it generally has control over the Regiae in a very large area, usually a country or a very large territory.
The Concilium is the highest level and has its seat in Dublin. It has control over the whole Legion.
Each level of the Legion has the same officers: the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and the Spiritual Director. The last is always in the clergy, but all other offices are held by the laity. All positions regardless of responsibility are voluntary and the Legion has no paid workers.
The Legion of Mary will celebrate 100 years in 2021. It will be a time of joy, of celebration and of thanksgiving.
All Dublin City and County Libraries have accepted and were given a complimentary copy of “Miracles on Tap” by Frank Duff.
All Frank Duff books are being re-printed.
Dependant on travel restrictions due to Covid-19, for those intending to visit Dublin during the Centenary Year – a visitors’ booklet will be available. The booklet will include a tour of the graves of Legion interest at Glasnevin Cemetery – about 10 in all. These graves will be identified and a short biographical note will be supplied for each.
A musical composition is underway by a well-known Irish musician/composer.
A media firm is being engaged to take short testimonies from legionaries of all age groups to include on social media. Video clips highlighting Legion events from the decades will also be made.
One Dublin Curia, Gloriosa, has undertaken to make a Centenary Garden and hope to involve local residents in its preparation.
Irish Legion councils are being exhorted to start planning events throughout Ireland.
The Concilium correspondents are being asked to take a special interest in this and follow up regularly with their respective councils.
The main celebrations will centre round the anniversary date of the 1st meeting in September 1921.
3rd September 2021: Vigil of Thanksgiving and Opening Mass, followed by light refreshments in Myra House, 100 Francis Street. Throughout the week it will be possible to visit places associated with the Legion of Mary during the day and with impromptu musical evenings.
11th September: To facilitate visiting legionaries the Concilium meeting will be held on the 2nd Saturday (instead of the usual 3rd Sunday of the month).
12th September: Closing Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated.
Archdiocese of Armagh, Cashel & Emly and Tuam: It is suggested that a Mass of Thanksgiving be arranged in the Cathedral of these Archdioceses with the respective Archbishops (if available) being invited to be Chief Celebrant.
A Social with light refreshments served afterwards would mark the occasion. Active, Auxiliary, Adjutorian, former members and the general public would be invited to attend.
This should not deter each Diocese (with the Bishop in attendance, where possible) organising a Mass in its own Diocese during 2021. Members (past and present) as well as the general public would be invited to join in the celebrations.
All parts of the world: All Legion Councils throughout the world are invited to let the Concilium know their plans at local level so that every legionary can attend events local to them so as to incur little, if any cost.
Photographs and video clips of these events can be sent to Concilium as they happen.
The model set out above is suggested for every Archdiocese and Diocese of the world.
The celebration of Mass would be the highlight and centrepiece. Light refreshments, the musical and other talents to be shared afterwards.
All celebrations should be modest. It would not be in keeping with the Legion spirit to put a burden (financial or travel) on legionaries. Therefore no charge should be made and the venue should be easily accessible to all.
Neither would it be in keeping with the Legion spirit to make use of uniforms or specially made up t-shirts, dresses etc.
The member of the Legion of Mary is a leaven in society not someone publicly marked out as a legionary.
Legacy left to the Legion:
It would be desirable and important to remind ourselves of the legacy left to us by those legionaries who established the Legion where we are, the officers and members who served, most if not all now deceased.
We should also call to mind the persons who have crossed our paths in the course of our Legion apostolic works.
So too should we remember with gratitude the many Bishops, Priests and Religious who have supported the Legion down through the years.
An opportunity to offer the Legion to newcomers:
All of us would agree our membership has taught us much, enabled us to gain many extra graces.
The Centenary should present us with opportunities to extend that offer to many more people whose lives could be greatly enriched including primary, secondary and third level students.
Above all, we mark the celebrations by thanking God and Our Blessed Lady for the millions of graces they have showered upon us – members and contacts alike – since the foundation of the Legion of Mary.
Before and after
Be sure to let the Concilium know what your plans are and afterwards to send us a short report and photographs of the celebrations from your place.
Founder Br. Frank Duff:
The legion of Mary is an Association of Catholics who, with the sanction ot the church and under the powerful leadership of Mary immaculate, mediatrix of all graces, have formed themselves into a Legion for service in the warfare which is perpetually w aged by the church against the world and its evil powers Legion motto prayer and services.
The Legionaries to render themselves worthy of their great heavenly Queen by their loyalty, their virtues, and their courage. The Legion of Mary is organized on the model of Roman Army but the arms are not of this World.
The Legion of Mary is open to all Catholics who (a) faithfully practice their religion (b) are animated by the desire to fulfill their role in the church's apostolate through membership of the Legion,(c) are prepared to fulfill each and every' duty which active membership of the Legion involves.
The unit of the Legion of Mary is called a Presidium. The councils of the Legion shall be the Curia. The Comitium Legionaries.
The following are the functions of the Legion (I) The Acies (2) The Annual General Reunion, (3) An outdoor Functions (4) The Presidium functions (5) The congress.
Suggestions are to works :
- Apostalate in the parish eg: conducting religious instruction classes
- Visitation of the Homes of the people
- Enthronement of the sacred heart in the homes
- The making of the parish census
- Visitation of the hospitals
- G.W'ork for the most wreteared and dejected of the population
- Works for the young
- The book barroar
- Croud contact
- The Dissemination of Catholic Literature
- Proniationg the practice of daily mass and devotion to the blessed sacrament
- The recruiting and after care of Auxiliaries.
- Work for the missions each member should work minimum 2 hours per week on 1st October 2013 Legion of Mary is active in 170 countries with 40 lakhs of active Legionaries and 50 lakhs of Auxiliary members Br. Alphonse Lambic and Sr.Edel Quinon did marvelous work to spread Legion of Mary.
The Legion of Mary received Papal letters and messages from Pieces XI Pieces XI1. John XXI11, Paul VI. John Paul 11. " The Legion of Mary \ what a perfectly chosen name! (Pope Pius XI) "T he Legion of Mary' presents the true face of the Catholic church”(Pope John XXI11)
The first Legion Presidium was stalled at Myra house, Francis street.. Dublin, Irland on 7th September 1921.
In our Visakhapatnam Diocese Legion of Mary was established in 1944 at Gnanapuram by Rev.Fr.Ravilapalli Joseph. The first Curia president was Br. Adari Rayappa.
Varaprasadamulu Maatha Comitium Visakhapatnam :
Supervises Legion activities in Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, East Godavari and Srikakulam districts.
Strength : 144 Presidias, Active Legionaries 2000 and Auxilary members, 1000 spiritual.
Directors: Most Rev. Dr. Prakash Mallavarapu & Rev. Fr.P. Jeevan Babu
President: Br.PJV Anandrao
Vice President: Br.KS Babji
Secretary: Sr.J. Nirmala
Treasurer: Sr.P. Rosy
Correspondent: Br.P. Mariadas
Asst. Secretary: Sr.P. Agnes
Asst. Treasurer: Sr.P. Rosy
For further details contact : +91-9295407037, 9247320201
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org