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The Legion meeting is first of all a prayer. The weekly meeting is the fount of our spiritual nourishment as Legionaries. Each meeting offers us an opportunity to gather together and share our experiences and our efforts. The meeting also helps to remind us of the Legion’s rules and revitalize its spirit. We seek the guidance of the Legion handbook by reading passages as a group and assigning a few further pages as individual reading. Legion meetings foster a familial spirit through which members edify each other in humility and love. We are all members of one family under Mary our Mother and God our Father.
The meeting begins with the Rosary, in a format slightly different than the rosary in the home or the church. It is described in detail in the handbook. In order to make it the same prayer all over the world, all extra prayers are omitted. Also, the first part of the prayer is said by the spiritual director, and all the members reply. Then the next decade members say the first part, and the spiritual director replies.
The format of the Legion meeting reflects the unique character of the Legion as an active lay group. The meeting reflects our choice to offer our prayers, our actions, our wills, and our very lives to the Blessed Mother in explicit obedience. As such, Legionaries are assigned work by the president of their praesidium and report on that work in the spirit of obedience. While other lay groups perform the spiritual works of mercy, no other lay group performs those works in Mary’s name and in explicit obedience.*
That explicit obedience makes all the difference. There is no better way for a lay person to overcome spiritual pride than to commit themselves to obedience to to Mary. And, as Mary is another human being, obedience to her is actually more humble than obedience to her divine Son.
While other lay groups perform the spiritual works of mercy, no other lay group performs those works in Mary’s name and in explicit obedience.*
- * Determined by a review of the current international associations of the faithful, on the Vatican website. Foculare, Totus Tuus, and the Marist lay groups are also explicitly Marian in character, but have no explicit assignments and obedience. This is from a review of public documents available.
The most important parts of our spirituality are combined in the weekly meeting.
The genius of Frank Duff was to combine the spirituality of St. Louis de Montfort with a lay active apostolate. He fused the life of Mary and the life of prayer with the life of work.
The apostolate of St. Vincent de Paul is also part of the history of the Legion. The Legion meeting, like the meetings of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, combines both prayer and reporting on the work of its members. In fact, the Legion developed out of the form of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Through its modifications to this form and its members’ decision to place everything in the hands of Mary, the Legion sought to focus more closely on the spiritual needs of both its members and those they serve.
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