“The Legion of Mary presents the true face of the Catholic Church.”
~Pope John XXIII
THE LEGION OF MARY is a worldwide organization of Catholic men and women who offer their services to their pastor to aid him in performing spiritual works in the parish. Legion members place themselves under the banner of Mary, so that with her help they may develop greater holiness in their own lives as well as spread a deeper devotion to her among others.“The Legion of Mary presents the true face of the Catholic Church.”
Pope John XXIII
ORIGIN AND GROWTH: Frank Duff first originated the idea of the Legion of Mary in 1917. On September 7, 1921, the first meeting was held in Dublin, Ireland. The first praesidium (parish unit) in the United States was formed at Raton, New Mexico, on November 27, 1931, and was composed entirely of men.
1) The personal sanctification of its members, who, taking Mary as their model, endeavor to imitate her virtues, especially her Faith, Charity, and Humility.
2) The spread of devotion to Mary, primarily by encouraging the recitation of the Rosary (Mary’s request at Fatima).
3) The performance of apostolic work under the direction of the Spiritual Director of the parish unit of the Legion.
TYPES OF MEMBERSHIP:
Active members and Auxiliary (praying) members.
DUTIES OF ACTIVE MEMBERS:
1) Attendance at a weekly meeting of the Praesidium.
2) Daily recitation of the Catena (Legion Prayer).
3) The performance of substantial assigned apostolic work weekly.
4) An obligation not to discuss with others matters learned at the meeting or in connection with the work
REASONS FOR BECOMING AN ACTIVE MEMBER:
1) To satisfy the individual’s obligation incurred through the Sacrament of Confirmation, to fulfill his duty as a soldier of Christ.
2) To follow the direction of Saint Pius X who said, “What is most necessary at this time is to have in each parish a group laymen at the same time virtuous, enlightened, determined, and really apostolic.”
ADVANTAGES OF BEING AN ACTIVE MEMBER:
1) The assurance that one is putting forth his best effort in developing his own spiritual life.
2) The knowledge that one is furthering the cause of Christ and His Blessed Mother.
3) The feeling that one is making a worthwhile investment of his time on earth by “laying up treasures in heaven where neither rust nor moths consume nor thieves break in to steal.”
THE LEGION OF MARY HELPS ITS MEMBERS:
1) To see Christ in others and to serve Him there.
2) To develop a closer relationship with Christ themselves.
3) To work hand in hand with Mary, their Queen and Mother.
4) To submit themselves to the Holy Spirit as instruments in His work.
EXAMPLES OF APOSTOLIC WORK:
1) Visiting the sick in hospitals, nursing homes, and their own homes.
2) Visiting door-to-door in the parish, inviting the un-churched to become acquainted with the Catholic Church.
3) Visiting families, encouraging Sunday Mass attendance and the religious instruction of children.
4) Teaching religious education.
5) Distributing Catholic literature.
6) Promoting religious devotions in the home, especially the family Rosary.
7) Encouraging lapsed Catholics to return to the practice of their faith.
HOW TO JOIN THE LEGION OF MARY:
Please contact Walt Bernyk at (303) 499-7517. to arrange to attend a Legion meeting. Currently the Legion of Mary meets on Thursday mornings from 9:30 a.m. -10:30 a.m. in the St. Anne room at St. Martin’s. A prospective member is taken on probation for at least 3 months. During that time he samples the Legion system and takes part in Legion works. After the probation period, he can decide whether or not he wishes to take on full membership.
If for some reason one cannot become a full Active Member, one may become an Auxiliary Member. Auxiliary members are not obligated to attend any meetings, but rather offer the Legion the priceless backing of their prayers. They pray daily the prayers contained in the Legion prayer leaflet, which include the Rosary. Please contact Walt Bernyk at (303) 499-7517. .
ADVANTAGES OF BEING AN AUXILIARY MEMBER:
1) A share in all the prayers and works of the thousands of active members throughout the world.
2) The gaining of all indulgences attached to praying the Rosary and the Legion prayers.
3) After death, a share in the thousands of Masses offered each November by Legion of Mary Praesidia throughout the world, for the repose of the souls of all active and auxiliary members.