The Legion Of Mary is a lay Catholic organisation whose members are giving service to the church on a voluntary basis in almost every country. The Legion was founded by Frank Duff on 7 September, 1921 in Dublin. His idea was to help Catholic laypeople fulfill their baptismal promises and be able to live their dedication to the Church in an organised structure, supported by fraternity and prayer.
The Legion sees as its priority the spiritual and social welfare of each individual. The members participate in the life of the parish through visitation of families, the sick, both in their homes and in hospitals and through collaboration in every apostolic and missionary undertaking by the parish.
Every legionary is required to carry out a weekly apostolic work in the spirit of faith and in union with Mary.
“For all states of the laity the perfect example of spiritual and apostolic life in the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Apostles, who while leading the life common to all on earth, one filled with family concerns and labours, was always intimately united with her Son and ion an entirely unique way co-operated in the work of the Saviour……All should devoutly venerate her and commend their life and apostolate to her maternal care”.
The unit of the Legion of Mary is called a praesidium, which holds a weekly meeting, where prayer is intermingled with reports and discussion. Persons who wish to join the Legion must apply for membership in a Praesidium.
The Aims of the Legion
1) Increase the personal holiness of its members through the imitation of the virtues of Mary.
2) Foster a deeper devotion to Mary among all people.
3) Undertake various apostolic works.
The Object of the Legion
The object of the Legion is the sanctification of it’s members by prayer and active apostolic work in union with Mary.
The Legion prayers include a petition to the Holy Spirit, the Rosary, the Magnificat and a beautiful concluding prayer for a faith which will be a Pillar of Fire.“To kindle everywhere the fires of Divine Love – To enlighten those who are in darkness and the shadow of death – To inflame those who are lukewarm. To bring back life to guide the Legionary’s own feet in the Way of Peace”.