We have covered Legion Spirituality and Activities lightly in the opening pages and posts of this site. If you want to dig deeper, here we go!
First of all, Legion spirituality is nothing more than catholic spirituality. Nothing added, nothing taken away. Legion activities are nothing more than catholic activities. Nothing added, nothing taken away.
The result of all our Legion spirituality is that we are happy to be called “Mary lovers.” Our relationship with her is more than a natural human relationship. We say, “We love you, Mom” to our Mother, over and over.
Take a look at the posts “Why Mary?” and “The Secret of Mary” to get the deeper meaning of the Legion of Mary. By God’s design, we are Mary’s children.
The Spirit of the Legion
The Legion is more than its works, its rules, and even its spirituality. The spirit of the Legion is hard to define, and is best seen by coming to a local Praesidium meeting or a Day of Evangelization, or a Patricians meeting. Come and see!
We all have sinful tendencies, but most of the time we don’t even realize it. We only realize it when we get upset, or something bad happens. We get upset because of secret pride. And that is just one sin we can work on. The easiest solution to sin and it’s effects is not to concentrate on sin but on Mary. She alone of all mankind was conceived immaculate, without sin, so that we could receive the grace to fight sin from her, our Mother in grace. For an explanation, read:
Can we all be Saints?
By God’s design, we are Mary’s children. With that life as Mary’s child in mind, the best starting point is to read “Can we all be Saints?” by Servant of God Frank Duff.
Here is an excerpt:
Frank Duff On Affection for Others:
For there is one thing that can clothe you with power in your dealings with others: affection for them. This is the great secret of all real influence. To possess it, follow this simple rule – Look only for good qualities in anyone you meet; you will find them. Never look for faults, for you would find them. Act thus, and you will easily develop the habit of love.
(from Frank Duff on the Spirit of the Legion in “Can We All be Saints?”)
there is one thing that can clothe you with power in your dealings with others: affection for them.
We would like to give you with a message of hope, through Encouragement from the Saints.
For a deeper understanding of St. Louis de Montfort’s spirituality and the reasons why God chose Mary as our Mother, look at
You may ask, who is St. Louis de Montfort and why should I listen to him?
Let’s assume this is the first time you ever heard anything like this. You will probably have questions. You might say,
Or, “Wait a minute,” you might say, “I don’t understand all this.” In the Legion, we normally listen to people first, and then talk to them. This website does the opposite, so it is naturally limited and not really in the spirit of the Legion of Mary to just put things on a website. We would like to have that conversation with you. Please bear with us, and contact us with any questions at all. We really do want to help. https://thelegionofmaryri.com/contact-us/
If you think about life, you will wonder about suffering. Jesus unites our suffering to His. There is no other way to explain this mystery.
You might say, aren’t there other ways to pray?
No one wants to be excessive or extreme. We should be moderate in all virtues, except Love, which should be infinite. What is the right balance between prayer and the rest of life?
You might ask “Why the Rosary and not another devotion or the Holy Mass?”
Please read The Secret of the Rosary. It is very short, and free online. Paper copies are inexpensive.
Perhaps you are saying, “OK, I pray the Rosary, or, I will pray the Rosary, but why do we need the Legion? For more on the unique role of the Legion please look at:
The Role of the Legion of Mary in the Church
Another way of looking at the Legion is by it’s relationship with the Church. St. Therese wondered what her role in the Church was, and then she realized that she wanted to be the Heart, at the center of the Church. The Legion strives to be like the Blood, seeking the center of the Church’s spirituality, and then traveling to the furthest extremities to bring the love of Jesus to all.
Spiritual Classics that can be read again and again:
Above all, the Scriptures are given to us by the Holy Spirit to guide and nourish us. We recommend beginning with the Gospels, and the Psalms, and the rest of the New Testament. A good catholic commentary or Bible with notes is essential. Clerics and Religious say the Psalms every day in the Divine Office, and many lay people join them. Frank Duff prayed the whole Divine Office every day. Besides the Scriptures and the Divine Office, there are several classics that can be read and re-read. The ones we have discussed on this website already are, from shortest to longest,
The Secret of Mary, including a short preparation for consecration to Mary.
True Devotion to Mary all written by St. Louis de Montfort
and the Legion of Mary Handbook written mostly by Frank Duff
We also recommend for frequent reading:
“The Glories of Mary” by St. Alphonsus Liguori which gives the richness of teaching on Mary. It is useful because St. Alphonsus Ligouris is a doctor of the Church, and his dogmatic works have been used to train priests and theologians. His works have been pronounced without error.
Liguori’s book remains authoritative today, and it does represent official Catholic doctrine. Liguori’s works underwent a rigorous examination and received the unqualified approval of the Catholic Church. His works were tested 20 times by the rules of Urban VIII and Benedict XIV, and the resulting judgment was that they did not contain “one word worthy of censure.” The Glories of Mary was pronounced to be without error by Pope Pius VII in 1803 and by Pope Leo XII in 1825. (cite)
“The Introduction to the Devout Life” by St. Francis de Sales, a manual on the virtues written especially for laymen in ordinary states of life:
St. Francis de Sales was a man whose conduct and manners were not the least of the means by which he brought many souls to God. It was he who recommended that everyone who wished to practice charity should cultivate what he called “the little virtues”: friendliness, courtesy, good manners, consideration, patience and understanding, especially with the difficult.From the Handbook
“The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas a Kempis:
“With Mary live joyfully, with Mary bear all your trials, with Mary labour, with Mary pray, with Mary take your recreation, with Mary take your repose. With Mary seek Jesus; in your arms bear Jesus and with Jesus and Mary fix your dwelling at Nazareth. With Mary go to Jerusalem, remain near the Cross of Jesus, bury yourself with Jesus. With Jesus and Mary rise again, with Jesus and Mary mount to Heaven, with Jesus and Mary live and die.”(Thomas a Kempis: Sermon to Novices)
Love feels no burden, values no labour, would willingly do more than it can ; complains not of impossibility, because it conceives that it may and can do all thingsThe Imitation of Christ cited in the Handbook about the Legion Spirit.
“The Spiritual Exercises” by St. Ignatius of Loyola can help us decide what to do next in the Legion.
“The Divine Master himself was wont to invite his apostles to the friendly silence of retreat: ‘Come apart into a desert place, and rest a little.’ (Mk 5:31) When he left this earth of sorrows to go to heaven, he willed that these same apostles and his disciples should be polished and perfected in the upper chamber at Jerusalem. There for the space of ten days ‘persevering with one mind in prayer’ (Acts 1:14), they were made worthy to receive the Holy Spirit: surely a memorable retreat, which first foreshadowed the Spiritual Exercises; from which the Church came forth endowed with virtue and perpetual strength; and in which, in presence of the Virgin Mary Mother of God, and aided by her patronage, those also were instituted whom we may rightly call the precursors of Catholic Action.” (MN)Quoted in the Handbook
Written by the founder of the Society of Jesus, the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius is a powerful book. Derived mostly from St. Ignatius’ conversion experiences in 1521-3, Spiritual Exercises has provided guidance and encouragement to its readers for several hundred years.
The aim of Spiritual Exercises is to assist people in finding God’s will for their life, and to give them the motivation and courage to follow that will. It is not a continuous piece of writing, but more like a program of sorts, containing a collection of thoughts, rules, encouragements, readings, meditations, prayers, warnings, and notes.
Nevertheless the condensed writing is organized into four “weeks,” or periods of time, with each week focusing upon a different theme–the first, human sin; the second, Christ’s life on earth; the third, Christ’s death on the cross; the fourth, Christ’s risen life.
A key theme throughout the Spiritual Exercises is discernment–the need to discern between good desires and evil desires in one’s life. It is by following the four weeks, and by utilizing such discernment, that a person can better realize God’s will for his or her own life. Although more profitably worked through with another person or spiritual director, Spiritual Exercises can be extremely beneficial for private personal study.Tim Perrine
CCEL Staff Writer
For more on Ignatian retreats see:
And of course, it goes without saying, the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
This website only concerns itself with things specifically touching on the Legion. There are many parts of the Catholic faith which are general or important but not directly associated with the Legion. There are many forms of prayer for example, which support the Legion, and the Legion supports them without any specific mention. For example, there is little mention of Adoration in the Legion Handbook but Adoration is essential to many legionaries and the Legion in general.
We have tried to give a taste of the riches God wants to give the world through Mary and the Legion in this website. Much spirituality and action of the Legion and the Church has been left out. Think of all the heroic works the Legion as done in the Church has done already. There is more to do. It is a great adventure, so let’s explore together!
Several wonderful books on the Legion and Mary have been written by Frank Duff, Legion priests, and others. Please check our “Legion Books and Pamphlets” page.
Above and beyond these texts which have a close relationship to the Legion of Mary, there are many books that we use for Spiritual Reading in the Catholic Church. Some Spiritual Reading is easy enough for a beginner to understand, but deep enough for the most advanced saint. A good book for spiritual reading is one that can be read again and again, and digested slowly. If you find yourself repeating a sentence or rereading a page many times, then it is probably a good book for spiritual reading. We have a page on “General Spiritual Reading” that includes books that were once hard to find, but which have been carefully preserved and translated. If one is praying in church, a physical copy is nice, but we have included some available texts for free to read here.
There are several more interesting subtopics under this menu heading “Further Reading”. Check the menu for more…