Information For People Interested in Joining the Legion of Mary
St. James The Greater has two Praesidia of the Legion of Mary
Our Lady of Grace
Meets Thurs. 1PM @ Library Spiritual Director: Fr. Grassi
Our Lady of Good Help
Meets Thurs. 7PM @ Library Spiritual Director: Deacon Bill Bronzi
WHAT IS THE LEGION OF MARY?
The Legion of Mary is the largest apostolic organization of lay people in the Catholic Church, with well over 3 million active members in almost every country of the world. It has been active in the United States since 1931, has been approved by the last 6 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.
WHAT DOES THE LEGION OF MARY DO?
Members become instruments of the Holy Spirit through a balanced program of prayer and service. Works include door-to-door evangelization, parishioner visitation, prison ministry, visitation of the sick or aged, crowd contact, religious education, visiting the newly baptized, Pilgrim Virgin Statue rotations, and meeting the other spiritual needs of the parish community. Legionaries are under the guidance of a spiritual director named by the pastor. The Legion is, in essence, an extension of the heart and hands of the pastor.
HOW DOES THE LEGION OF MARY WORK?
Members meet once a week for prayer, planning and discussion in a family setting. Then they do two hours of definite work each week in pairs and under the guidance of their spiritual director.
WHO CAN BELONG TO THE LEGION OF MARY?
The Legion of Mary is open to all Catholics (& Orthodox) who:
Faithfully practice their religion.
Are animated by the desire to participate in the Church's apostolate through membership in the Legion;
Are prepared to fulfill each and every duty which active membership in the Legion involves
HOW CAN I GET MORE INFO?
• E-mail the Legion of Mary: [email protected]
Pope John Paul II to the Legion of Mary
(to a group of Italian legionaries on 30th October 1982)
1. My welcome is addressed to each and every one of you. It is reason for joy for me to see you in this hall in such great numbers from various regions of Italy, more so in that you are only a small part of that apostolic movement, that in the span of sixty years has rapidly spread in the world and today, two years from the death of its founder, Frank Duff, is present in so many dioceses in the universal Church.
My predecessors, beginning with Pius XI, have addressed words of appreciation to the Legion of Mary, and I myself on 10 May 1979, when receiving one of your first delegations, recalled with great pleasure the occasions I had previously had to come in contact with the Legion, in Paris, Belgium and Poland, and then, as Bishop of Rome, in the course of my pastoral visits to the parishes of the city.
Today, therefore, as I receive in audience the Italian pilgrimage of your movement, I would like to emphasize those aspects, which constitute the substance of your spirituality and your modus essential within the Church.
2. You are a movement of lay people who propose to make faith the aspiration of your life up to the achievement of personal sanctity. It is without doubt a lofty and difficult ideal. But today the Church, through the Council, calls all Christians of the Catholic laity to this ideal, inviting them to share in the kingly priesthood of Christ with the witness of a holy life, with mortification and charitable works; to be in the world, with the splendour of faith, hope and charity, what the soul is in the body (LG 10,38).
Your proper vocation as lay people, that is the vocation to be a leaven in the People of God, a Christian inspiration in the modern world, and to bring the priest to the people, is eminently ecclesial. The same Second Vatican Council exhorts all the laity to accept with ready generosity the call to be united ever more intimately to the Lord and, considering as one's own everything that is his, to share in the same salvific mission of the Church, to be its living instruments, above all where, because of particular conditions of modern society - a constant increase in population, a reduction in the numbers of priests, the appearance of new problems, the autonomy of many sectors of human life - it could be more difficult for the Church to be present and active (ibid. 33).
The area of the lay apostolate today is extraordinarily enlarged. And so the commitment of your typical vocation becomes more impelling, stimulating, live and relevant. The vitality of the Christian is the sign of the vitality of the Church. And the commitment of you legionaries becomes more urgent, considering on the one hand the needs of the Italian society and of the nations of ancient Christian tradition, and on the other hand the shining examples which have gone before you in your own movement. To give just some names: Edel Quinn, with her activity in Black Africa; Alfonso Lambe in the most emarginated areas of Latin America; and then the thousands of legionaries killed in Asia or ending up in work camps.
3. Yours is an eminently Marian spirituality, not only because the Legion glories in carrying Mary's name as its unfurled banner, but above all because it bases its method of spirituality and apostolate on the dynamic principle of union with Mary, on the truth of the intimate participation of the Virgin Mary in the plan of salvation.
In other words, you intend to render your service to every person, who is the image of Christ, with the spirit and the solicitude of Mary.
If our one and only Mediator is the man Jesus Christ, as the Council states, "Mary's motherly role towards men in no way dims or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ: on the contrary, it demonstrates its efficacy" (LG 60). So the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Perpetual Help, Mediatrix, Mother of the Church.
For its birth and growth, apostolic work looks to her who gave birth to Christ, conceived by the Holy Spirit. Where the Mother is, there too is the Son. When one moves away from the Mother, sooner or later he ends up keeping distant from the Son as well. It is no wonder that today, in various sectors of secularized society, we note a widespread crisis of faith in God, preceded by a drop in devotion to the Virgin Mother.
Your Legion forms a part of those movements that feel personally committed to the spread or the birth of that faith through the spread or the revival of devotion to Mary. It therefore will always be able to do its utmost that, through love for the Mother, the Son, Who is the way, the truth and the life of every person, will be more known and loved.
In this perspective of faith and love I impart the Apostolic Blessing to you from my heart.