The Legion of Mary is the largest apostolic organization of lay people in the Catholic Church, with about 3 million active members in over 160 countries around the world. The Legion of Mary has been active in the United States (USA) since 1931, has been approved by 7 Popes, and was endorsed by the Second Vatican Council.
The main purpose of the Legion of Mary is to give glory to God through the sanctification of its members. Members of the Legion of Mary become instruments of the Holy Spirit through a balanced program of prayer, the sacraments and devotion to Mary and the Trinity, and service in a family atmosphere. Legionaries are under the guidance of a spiritual director named by the pastor. The Legion of Mary is, in essence, an extension of the heart and hands of the pastor.
To learn more about the Legion of Mary, the first step is to be a guest at one of our meetings. Guests are always welcome and may go on one of the work assignments with an experienced member if they choose. The apostolic works of the Legion include:
- New parishioner visitation
- Visitation of the sick or aged
- Religious Education
- Sacred Heart Enthronement*
- Pilgrim Virgin Statue Visits*
- Door-to-door evangelization
- Meeting other spiritual needs of the Parish under guidance of our Spiritual Director Father Farrell
*Please call to sign up for Sacred Heart Enthronement or Pilgrim Virgin Statue visit.
What is the Legion of Mary?
It is a world-wide organization of the lay apostolate, in which Catholic men and women sanctify themselves through prayer and spiritual work in union with Mary, the Mother of God, under the guidance of a priest.
The Legion of Mary began in Dublin, Ireland, on September 7, 1921, and is now in every country of the world.
- To make its members better Catholics and to mobilize the Catholic Laity.
- To raise the spiritual level of the entire community through direct contact with and interest in, every member and potential member of the Mystical Body of Christ.
- To accomplish this through Mary, Mother of Souls and Mediatrix of All Grace.
Types of Membership
Active Members and Auxiliary (praying) members. Active members must attend a weekly meeting and perform a weekly work obligation of at least two hours.
Who May Belong
Any practicing Catholic who is willing to fulfill the obligations of membership in the proper spirit. Senior members must be 18 years of age. Junior members are those under 18.
Duties of Active Members
- To attend a weekly meeting.
- To do a minimum of two hours of Apostolic work each week with a partner. This work is selected by the priest and assigned at the meeting.
- To recite the Legion prayer, the Catena, daily.
- To follow the system of the Legion according to its official Handbook.
Some Types of Work Undertaken
- Visiting the sick in the homes and hospitals.
- Establishing friendly contact with non-Catholics.
- Sacred Heart Enthronement
- Pilgrim Virgin Statue Visits
- Instructing prospective converts and school children.
- Visiting families in the parish to foster Catholic devotions such as First Friday, missions, daily rosary, etc.
Reasons for Joining
- Our Lady needs you. The Legion of Mary will give you a chance to dedicate yourself to her service. By actually working for her, your love for her will be translated into action.
- You will grow in your Faith, and the gifts of grace you received in Baptism and Confirmation will be developed.
- You will enjoy the friendship of your fellow Legionaries and the friendship of those for whom you work.
Not Required for Membership:
- Great intelligence
- Extraordinary talent
- Confidence in your capabilities
Required for Membership:
A willingness to let Our Lady use you as you are. She needs your hands and feet, your lips and heart, your time and effort, for Legionaries are simply Mary’s means of action in the world today. She will use what you give her to the best advantage, for although others may surpass your offering, they cannot replace it.
Interested? Contact Deborah Baird at (703) 430-8554.
Purpose of Auxiliary Membership
Auxiliary members supply the prayer power which is needed for the active works of the Legion.
Degrees of Auxiliary Membership
- Ordinary auxiliary membership consists of those religious or laity who recite daily in honor of Our Blessed Lady all the prayers contained in the Legion prayer leaflet called the “Tessera,” which includes the rosary.
- The adjutorian degree of auxiliary membership consists of priests, religious and lay persons and requires:
- Prayers said by the ordinary auxiliary (as above) and in addition:
- Daily Mass and Holy Communion.
- Daily recitation of an Office approved by the Church (i.e., Liturgy of the Hours) (However, adjutorian membership does not require an Office from religious who are not bound by their rule to say one.)
If one is already saying a daily rosary for a certain intention, is it necessary to say another one?
No, just add the Legion Prayers.
How does one become an auxiliary member?
Submit your name, address and parish to an active member, who will place your name on a probationary roll for three months. After that you will be contacted to see if you have been able to say the prayers. If so, you will be placed on the permanent list of auxiliary members.
Are there any dues, or any meetings to attend?
No, there are no dues, and the auxiliary members are not bound to attend any meetings. Once a year they are invited to a ceremony of consecration to our Lady called the “Acies.” It is also customary for each Praesidium (parish unit in the Legion) to plan a get-together at least once a year for its auxiliary members so that they can get better acquainted with the Legion of Mary and what it is accomplishing.
Is there any age limit in membership?
No, persons of any age may be auxiliaries if they are able to say the required prayers.
Some suggestions for keeping your interest alive:
- Subscribe to Maria Legionis, the Legion magazine published four times a year. It will keep you in touch with Legion activity throughout the world. Subscription price is $8.00 a year. Write: Maria Legionis, 5109 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19141, or contact an active member.
- Read the following books: Woman of Faith, the life of Edel Quinn who died after eight years in Africa; Frank Duff: A Living Autobiography; and Miracles on Tap by Frank Duff. Ask your active Legionaries to obtain these and other books for you.
- Attend the Patricians, a Legionary discussion group that meets once a month to discuss the Catholic Faith in all its aspects.
Our Lady, Hope of Martyrs Praesidium
Meetings are on Monday evenings, 7:00pm
Location – St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Meeting Room
For more information, please contact Deborah Baird at (703) 430-8554 or TDM3ABaird@aol.com.