Legion of Mary
What is the Legion of Mary?
The Legion of Mary is a world-wide organization of the lay apostolate, in which Catholic men, women, and youth sanctify themselves through prayer and apostolic work in union with Our Lady under the guidance of a priest.
The Legion of Mary was first organized in Dublin, Ireland, on September 7, 1921. In the first decade of its existence, it consolidated itself in Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland. In the second, the Legion spread rapidly throughout the United States, Canada, India, Australia and Africa. The third decade saw it span the length and breadth of Europe. Finally, the vast Spanish-speaking countries caught its contagious missionary zeal, so that the Legion now exists on all continents.
Today the Legion is organized in nearly all the dioceses throughout the world. The Handbook, the official guide in the hands of every active legionary, is printed in some thirty languages and its prayers are recited in over sixty. It is estimated that there about 3 million active and 12 million praying members throughout the world today.
What is the purpose of the Legion of Mary?
The purpose of this association of Catholics is to make its members better Catholics, to mobilize the Catholic laity, and to raise the spiritual level of the entire community through direct contacy with and interest in every member and potential member of the Mystical Body of Christ.
The sanctification of its own members is achieved through prayer and work. Each weekly meeting offers to Legionaries the recitation of the Rosary, spiritual reading, a short talk by the Spiritual Director, a discussion of Catholic doctrine an devotion, and an evaluation of the work program. At the meeting each member is assigned two hours of apostolic work, to be performed during the week and reported on at the following meeting.
The doing of apostolic work is really only a means to an end, namely, the sanctification of the individual member. The Legion is thus needed in every parish, for in every parish there are parishioners who want to become better Catholics. Experience has shown that in every parish there is a nucleus of people called, it seems, to be sanctified in this unique way.
What types of work does the Legion do?
The Legion system is adapted to various kinds of apostolic work, and is always subject to the discretion of the spiritual director. Follow Pope Paul's exhortation on evangelization and also the United State bishops' pastoral letter, the Legion of Mary has established a priority for its possible work as:
- Conservation, and
Who is eligible for membership?
The Legion of Mary is open to all Catholic men or women over eighteen years of age who have the good will to want to serve God in the capacity of helpers to the priest, and who will conform to the Legion system.
Does the Legion also have a youth membership?
Yes. The Legion trains groups of young Legionaries, generally from eight to twelve years of age for Juniors, and from thirteen to eighteen years of age for Intermediates. These young Legionaries are the hope and joy of the Legion. The follow the Legion system, and in their way, do marvellous apostolic works.
What type of person makes the best member?
Membership in the Legion does not require specific skills or advanced spirituality. The Legion can take an ordinary Catholic with the willingness to give the required time and to follow the Legion system, and develop him or her through the spirituality of the meetings and the experiences of the apostolate itself, into an excellent lay apostle. This development is definitely the work of the Holy Spirit Who gives to those who give themselves to Him.
The Legion of Mary gathers every Wednesday from 5:30 - 6:45 in room 1 of the School. Then at 7pm they have a mass in the church which is followed by praying The Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help.