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Here are a few of our important posts:

The Secret of Mary

The Secret of Mary

how to love Mary

“The Secret of Mary” is a short book by St. Louis de Montfort. It shows how to love Mary, and through her to love Jesus. That Love of God is the force that brings love to everyone.

You may ask, who is St. Louis de Montfort and why should I listen to him?

What is most important is what he says, summarizing the Church’s teaching on Mary. “The Secret of Mary” Is a shorter version of his famous book “True Devotion to Mary.” The Legion started after Servant of God Frank Duff began giving talks on “True Devotion.”

…this devotion is not an occasional act but rather a constant attitude, which “puts us in continual relationship with the Blessed Virgin, because we do not breathe, so to speak, except through her . . . and, as a result, simultaneously in Jesus Christ.”

“The Spiritual Life at the School of Blessed L. M. Grignion de Montfort” (A. Lhoumeau, 1901)

“The secret of Mary” is that she is the most humble, most honorable, easiest and best way to become a saint! Just keep your eyes in her. Mary is the “great mold of God” (SM,14) who continues to form her children into Christ. We are like a statue. It is much easier to be formed into a statue by Mary than to try to chisel ourselves into a statue!

We give to Mary the Queen all that we have in the order of nature and in the order of grace – past, present, and future – and she in turn purifies, increases, and perfects everything to present it to Jesus the King. St. Louis de Montfort gives the image of a poor man handing a worm eaten apple to Mary, and she cleans it, prepares it well, and presents it to the King on a golden platter.

We do everything “with Mary, in Mary, by Mary, and for Mary” (SM,31) solely for the reason to do everything with Jesus, in Jesus, by Jesus, and for Jesus more perfectly!

Consecration to Mary sums up the entire Christian life, showing a way of holiness that is short, easy, secure, and perfect — a way of life chosen by Our Lord Himself.

From the Secret of Mary

Here is a secret, chosen soul, which the most High God taught me…

“you must first discover Mary”

Before you read any further, in an understandable impatience to learn this truth, kneel down and devoutly pray [to Mary and the Holy Spirit,] to ask God to help you understand and appreciate this secret given by him. As I have not much time for writing and you have little time for reading, I will be brief in what I have to say. …

It all comes to this, then. We must discover a simple means to obtain from God the grace needed to become holy. It is precisely this I wish to teach you. My contention is that you must first discover Mary if you would obtain this grace from God.

Let me explain:

Mary alone found grace with God for herself and for every individual person….

It was Mary who gave existence and life to the author of all grace, and because of this she is called the “Mother of Grace”.

God the Father, from whom, as from its essential source, every perfect gift and every grace come down to us , gave her every grace when he gave her his Son. Thus, as St Bernard says, the will of God is manifested to her in Jesus and with Jesus.

God chose her to be the treasurer, the administrator and the dispenser of all his graces, so that all his graces and gifts pass through her hands. Such is the power that she has received from him that, according to St Bernardine, she gives the graces of the eternal Father, the virtues of Jesus Christ, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit to whom she wills, as and when she wills, and as much as she wills.

As in the natural life a child must have a father and a mother, so in the supernatural life of grace a true child of the Church must have God for his Father and Mary for his mother….

-From the Introduction to Chapter II, The Secret of Mary.

Mary is the Mold of God

From the Secret of Mary

Mary is called by St Augustine, and is indeed, the “living mold of God” . In her alone the God-man was formed in his human nature without losing any feature of the Godhead. In her alone, by the grace of Jesus Christ, man is made godlike as far as human nature is capable of it. A sculptor can make a statue or a life-like model in two ways:

By using his skill, strength, experience and good tools to produce a statue out of hard, shapeless matter; or by making a cast of it in a mold. The first way [the chisel] is long and involved and open to all sorts of accidents. It only needs a faulty stroke of the chisel or hammer to ruin the whole work. The second [a mold] is quick, easy, straightforward, almost effortless and inexpensive, but the mold must be perfect and true to life and the material must be easy to handle and offer no resistance.

Mary is the great mold of God, fashioned by the Holy Spirit to give human nature to a Man who is God by the hypostatic union, and to fashion through grace men who are like to God. 

… Let us not imagine, then, as some misguided teachers do, that Mary being simply a creature would be a hindrance to union with the Creator. Far from it, for it is no longer Mary who lives but Jesus Christ himself, God alone, who lives in her. 

-from Ch. 2, The Secret of Mary.

Devotion to Mary

The difficulty, then, is how to arrive at the true knowledge of the most holy Virgin and so find grace in abundance through her. God, as the absolute Master, can give directly what he ordinarily dispenses only through Mary, and it would be rash to deny that he sometimes does so. However, St Thomas assures us that, following the order established by his divine Wisdom, God ordinarily imparts his graces to men through Mary. Therefore, if we wish to go to him, seeking union with him, we must use the same means which he used in coming down from heaven to assume our human nature and to impart his graces to us. That means was a complete dependence on Mary his Mother, which is true devotion to her.

…following the order established by his divine Wisdom, God ordinarily imparts his graces to men through Mary.

St. Thomas

From the conclusion of Ch. 2, The Secret of Mary.

The Worm-eaten Apple of Our Works Made Beautiful

37. 3. Consecrating ourselves in this way to Jesus through Mary implies placing our good deeds in Mary’s hands. Now, although these deeds may appear good to us, they are often defective, and not worthy to be considered and accepted by God, before whom even the stars lack brightness. Let us pray, then, to our dear Mother and Queen that having accepted our poor present, she may purify it, sanctify it, beautify it, and so make it worthy of God. Any good our soul could produce is of less value to God our Father, in winning his friendship and favour, than a worm-eaten apple would be in the sight of a king, when presented by a poor peasant to his royal master as payment for the rent of his farm. But what would the peasant do if he were wise and if he enjoyed the esteem of the queen? Would he not present his apple first to her, and would she not, out of kindness to the poor man and out of respect for the king, remove from the apple all that was maggoty and spoilt, place it on a golden dish, and surround it with flowers? Could the king then refuse the apple? Would he not accept it most willingly from the hands of his queen who showed such loving concern for that poor man?

“If you wish to present something to God, no matter how small it may be,” says St Bernard, “place it in the hands of Mary to ensure its certain acceptance.”

38. Dear God, how everything we do comes to so very little! But let us adopt this devotion and place everything in Mary’s hands. When we have given her all we possibly can, emptying ourselves completely to do her honour, she far surpasses our generosity and gives us very much for very little. She enriches us with her own merits and virtues. She places our gift on the golden dish of her charity and clothes us, as Rebecca clothed Jacob, in the beautiful garments of her first-born and only Son, Jesus Christ, which are his merits, and which are at her disposal. Thus, as her servants and slaves, stripping ourselves of everything to do her honour, we are clad by her in double garments – namely, the garments, adornments, perfumes, merits and virtues of Jesus and Mary. These are imparted to the soul of the slave who has emptied himself and is resolved to remain in that state.

39. 4. Giving ourselves in this way to our Lady is a practice of charity towards our neighbour of the highest possible degree, because in making ourselves over to Mary, we give her all that we hold most dear and we let her dispose of it as she wishes in favour of the living and the dead.

40. 5. In adopting this devotion, we put our graces, merits and virtues into safe keeping by making Mary the depositary of them. It is as if we said to her,

“See, my dear Mother, here is the good that I have done through the grace of your dear Son. I am not capable of keeping it, because of my weakness and inconstancy, and also because so many wicked enemies are assailing me day and night. Alas, every day we see cedars of Lebanon fall into the mire, and eagles which had soared towards the sun become birds of darkness, a thousand of the just falling to the left and ten thousand to the right. But, most powerful Queen, hold me fast lest I fall. Keep a guard on all my possessions lest I be robbed of them. I entrust all I have to you, for I know well who you are, and that is why I confide myself entirely to you. You are faithful to God and man, and you will not suffer anything I entrust to you to perish. You are powerful, and nothing can harm you or rob you of anything you hold.”

“When you follow Mary you will not go astray; when you pray to her, you will not despair; when your mind is on her, you will not wander; when she holds you up, you will not fall; when she protects you, you will have no fear; when she guides you, you will feel no fatigue; when she is on your side, you will arrive safely home” (Saint Bernard).

And again,

“She keeps her Son from striking us; she prevents the devil from harming us; she preserves virtue in us; she prevents our merits from being lost and our graces from receding.”

These words of St Bernard explain in substance all that I have said. Had I but this one motive to impel me to choose this devotion, namely, that of keeping me in the grace of God and increasing that grace in me, my heart would burn with longing for it.

41. This devotion makes the soul truly free by imbuing it with the liberty of the children of God. Since we lower ourselves willingly to a state of slavery out of love for Mary, our dear Mother, she out of gratitude opens wide our hearts enabling us to walk with giant strides in the way of God’s commandments. She delivers our souls from weariness, sadness and scruples. It was this devotion that our Lord taught to Mother Agnes de Langeac, a religious who died in the odour of sanctity, as a sure way of being freed from the severe suffering and confusion of mind which afflicted her.

“Make yourself,” He said, “my Mother’s slave and wear her little chain.”

She did so, and from that time onwards her troubles ceased….

Mary is the Tree of Life

St. Louis de Montfort compares Mary to the tree of life found in the garden of Eden. We must not overshadow the tree with our own human powers, constantly nurture that tree with prayer and devotion, cut away all the thorns and vines of pleasures that would hinder its growth, protect it from the insects of self love and the animals of sin, water it with religious practices, and not become alarmed at the frost and snow and storms of trials. Then we will bear fruit, which is Jesus.

“…You must make the sacrifice of yourself to the Blessed Mother, you must disappear in her, so that you may find God alone…

If the Holy Ghost has planted in your soul the true Tree of Life, which is the devotion that I have just explained to you, you must do all you can to cultivate it, in order that it may yield its fruit in due season. …

It will be a good tree, yielding fruit of honor and grace in due season, namely, the sweet and adorable Jesus, who always has been, and always will be, the only fruit of Mary.

 Happy the soul in which Mary, the Tree of Life, is planted; happier the soul in which she has acquired growth and bloom; still happier the soul in which she yields her fruit; but most happy of all: the soul which relishes and preserves Mary’s fruit until death, and for ever and ever. Amen.”

GOD ALONE

“He who holdeth [this], let him hold [it].”

From THE TREE OF LIFE:

ITS CULTURE AND GROWTH OR HOW TO MAKE MARY LIVE AND REIGN IN OUR SOULS

End of The Secret of Mary

“Hide [yourselves] completely in the depths of Mary’s soul, becoming living copies of her.”

(Montfort, TD 217).

“You must offer yourself to Mary, happily lose yourself in her, only to find God in her”

(Montfort, SM 70; cf. TD 222, 264)

For the beginning of a Summary of the Secret of Mary see:

The Secret continues…

Under construction.

This little book contains more than countless other exhausting books. Simply put, Consecration to Mary is a long phrase meaning that we want to do everything through Mary, with Mary, in Mary, and for Mary. St. Louis de Montfort says that “we give ourselves entirely and as a slave to Mary, and to Jesus through Mary.” He means, of course, the slavery of total love. This gives Mary permission to work in us, so the Secret will continue.

More Featured Posts:

The Holy Rosary and the Legion

It would be impossible to do justice to the Holy Rosary in a single webpage. Saints, Popes, and theologians, even in their most voluminous works, have not exhausted the mysteries of the Rosary, and we do not presume that our humble efforts could improve upon the great treasures they have already provided.

Rather, our aim is much narrower — we simply aim to demonstrate some of the ways that the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary relate to our work as members of the Legion of Mary.

The Holy Rosary is the lifeblood of the Legion of Mary. The Legion was born out of the Rosary, is sustained by the Rosary, and would die without constant recitation of the Rosary. The very spirit of the Legion is drawn from its meditation on the Mysteries of the Rosary.

Each Mystery of the Rosary depicts one specific way in which the will of God was shown in the lives of Jesus and his Blessed Mother, Mary. Experience has shown us that reciting the full fifteen decades of the Rosary is the surest way to stay connected to the will of God.

While we are presented with different insights into God’s will every time we meditate on the Rosary, we feel it may be particularly helpful to consider reading about some of the ways in which the Legion’s actions relate to each of the following sets of mysteries. Of course, if you become lost in wonder at the miracles and mighty deeds of God, you should always allow God to work in you, even if that means putting your active meditation on hold.

Please click the links below to read some of our thoughts about each set of Mysteries of the Rosary:

The Joyful Mysteries

The Joyful Mother

Excerpt: As members of the Legion of Mary, we always seek to imitate Mary’s “Yes” to God and to likewise do His will by the Holy Spirit. Like Mary, we strive to live a balanced life of prayer and action. By seeking to imitate Mary, we hope to embody the humility that allowed her to do the greatest things for the glory of God.

The Sorrowful Mysteries

The Sorrowful Mother

Excerpt: As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to imitate Jesus in offering this prayer, no matter how difficult it may be. We understand that the works we undertake can sometimes be difficult and discouraging, but we continue to persevere knowing that what truly matters is that God’s will be done in our lives and the lives of those around us.

The Glorious Mysteries

The Glorious Mother

Excerpt: As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to imitate the faith of Mary which, as our Legion handbook explains, “has in her alone been found in its utmost extent and never equalled.” In this spirit, the Legion, in accordance with the Imitation of Christ, “complains not of impossibility, because it conceives that it may and can do all things.’’

The Luminous Mysteries

The Luminous Mother

Excerpt: As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to promote openness to the Holy Spirit in whatever small ways we can. Through our works of consolation, conservation, and conversion, we hope to make straight a path for the Holy Spirit to act in the lives of those we meet. It is only fitting, then, that St. John the Baptist is one of the patrons of the Legion.

Further information about the spiritual foundation of the Rosary can be found under the heading of “The Holy Rosary and the Legion” in the Spirituality section of the main menu.

Home Enthronements

‘I will give to Priests the grace to touch the most hardened hearts.’

From the Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart

The Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a powerful devotion. It offers us a unique opportunity to crown our Lord Jesus as King and center of our family’s life under God the Father and our Blessed Mother Mary. The portrait of the Sacred Heart which we enthrone in our homes becomes a means by which we can deepen our love of God and enlighten our souls with divine truths.

Throughout the Gospels, Christ seeks out the sick and sinners and invites them into a personal relationship with Him. Christ wants to be our “king, brother, and friend.” Devotion to the Sacred Heart is intended to draw us back to the Heart of Christ so we might recognize His deep and passionate love for us.

Legionaries promote this sacred practice in as many homes as possible, focusing primarily on Active Legionaries, Legion Auxiliaries, and other parishioners of the praesidium’s home parish. These enthronements deepen the Faith and promote the true conversion of Catholics, increasing their zeal in the Lord’s mission for the salvation of souls. Enthronements often encourage Legion extension and recruitment of new Legionaries. 

the Sacred Heart of Jesus

By drawing close to Jesus’ Heart we seek not only a place of refuge and consolation but we also seek to be strengthened by him so as to bring him to those whom we meet day in and day out.

(SacredHeartCongressColumbus.org)

The Legion’s devotion to the Sacred Heart is rooted in the very person of Jesus. John 19:34 tells us that a Roman soldier thrust his lance into the side of Christ, and blood and water from His pierced heart. Cardinal Raymond Burke explains that,

The blood and water which flowed from the Pierced Heart of Jesus is the sign of his life with us in the Church. Once risen from the dead and seated in glory at the right hand of the Father, Christ has never ceased to pour out, from his glorious Pierced Heart, the grace of the Holy Spirit upon his disciples.

(Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: Sacred Scripture)

This image of Christ’s Heart outside of His body is a great source of refuge and consolation. It is a perfect representation of Our Lord’s deep desire to spread His love to all mankind, drawing each and every one of us closer to his ever-loving Heart.

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque’s visions

Devotion to the Sacred Heart first gained prominence thanks to a series of extraordinary visions experienced by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647–1690), a French mystic who was canonized by Pope Benedict XV in 1920. 

St. Margaret Mary’s visions affirmed Christ’s love for humanity through His most Sacred Heart. Christ expressed His desire for St. Margaret Mary to promote a devotion to the Sacred Heart, making twelve incredible promises to all who participate:

  • I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
  • I will give peace in their families and will unite families that are divided.
  • I will console them in all their troubles.
  • I will be their refuge during life and above all in death.
  • I will bestow the blessings of heaven on all their enterprises.
  • Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
  • Tepid souls shall become fervent.
  • Fervent souls shall rise quickly to great perfection.
  • I will bless those places wherein the image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored and will imprint my love on the hearts of those who would wear this image on their person. I will also destroy in them all disordered movements.
  • I will give to priests who are animated by a tender devotion to my Divine Heart the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
  • Those who promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be effaced.
  • I promise you in the excessive mercy of My Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence: They will not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.

He also asked her to promote three further devotions: attending Mass on each First Friday of the month for nine consecutive months, starting a Holy Hour of Reparation, and establishing a feast day to honor Christ’s Most Sacred Heart.

The enthronement Process

The process of enthronement of the Sacred Heart requires the recitation of seven days of prayer and the performing of a final enthronement ceremony, which includes many beautiful prayers and the placement of an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  

Often this image is accompanied by a second image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for it was she who said at the Wedding Feast of Cana, “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5). Mary is the perfect model of faithfully following Our Lord, and we look to her to learn how to love Christ more profoundly.

Enthronement and the Legion

 …The Enthronement of the Sacred Heart is one of the oldest and most treasured apostolates of the Legion and one that Frank Duff himself personally engaged in.

In Sacred Scripture the heart is the symbol of the deepest centre and identity of a person. In the case of Jesus it means that it is love that defines Him. Loves is His most specific characteristic. The Sacred Heart is the human language for revealing the basic fact that God is Love. In devotion to the Heart of Jesus we are honouring the human and divine love that Jesus has for each one of us. That is essentially what the Gospel is: that God loved us while we were still sinners. In a few words, devotion to the Sacred Heart means that we have a practical understanding and realisation of the place that Jesus has in our lives as God and man and especially His Love for us. And we try to respond to Him by dedicating and entrusting ourselves to His Sacred Heart as the symbol of His infinite and personal love for us. This devotion goes to the very heart of evangelisation. What else are we called to but to let every one that we meet know that they are infinitely important to God and eternally loved by Him.

Pope Leo XIII is remembered for many great things: we think, for example, of his great social encyclicals, his preaching of the Rosary, his promotion of the teaching of St. Thomas in Universities, seminaries and houses of religious formation. But he said that his act of Consecrating the human race to the Sacred Heart was the greatest act of his pontificate. It would be a beautiful thing for a legionary to be able to say that he or she was instrumental under God for enthroning the Sacred Heart in the centre of a family home. To enthrone or consecrate a home to the Sacred Heart means to put Gods love at the centre of the home, to place a reminder of the central teaching of the Gospel in the midst of the family. The Handbook tells us that this apostolate would mean that we could take to ourselves the fullness of the Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart. Even the tenth: ‘I will give to Priests the grace to touch the most hardened hearts’. Because we go everywhere, even to the most difficult and forbidding places as representatives of the Priest. For this reason legionaries will go with perfect confidence to grapple with cases branded ‘hopeless’. It would be wonderful if every praesidium in every part of the world would make the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in homes an important part of its apostolate.

To really undertake this particular Legion work fully it would be good to read and study and pray about devotion to the Sacred Heart and practice some concrete way of showing our love and gratitude for the infinite gift of Himself that he gives us as symbolised by the Sacred Heart.

Of course, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is intimately associated with devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Pope Pius XII wrote:‘By the will of God, the most Blessed Virgin Mary was inseparably joined with Christ in accomplishing the work of man’s redemption, so that our salvation flows from the love of Jesus Christ and His sufferings, intimately united with the love and sorrows of his Mother. It is then, highly fitting that after due homage has been paid to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Christian people, who have obtained divine life from Christ through Mary manifest similar piety and the love of their grateful souls for the most loving heart of our Heavenly Mother’.

I leave the last words to the Handbook once more: ‘As it is the mission of Mary to bring about the reign of Jesus, so there is a special appropriateness (which should attract the special graces of the Holy Spirit) in the Legion of Mary propagating the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart.

The Legion of Mary and the Sacred Heart


Further readings for study about the Sacred Heart of Jesus devotion:

 A reflection by Cardinal Raymond Burke called “The Riches of His Sacred Heart”

An excerpt entitled “Substance and Foundation of Devotion to the Sacred Heart” from Pope Benedict XVI’s book Behold the Pierced One

Sacred Heart Enthronement 

Enthronement to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Our Activities

The Legion is not more work and effort, but less! Because we are assigned a work every week, and repeat it, it becomes easier and easier, like tapping in a nail. It keeps us from being too busy with too many different things. Ideally, a praesidium should rotate the assignments, so that we gain experience with consolation, conservation, and conversion.

The Secret of the Legion is the combination of prayer and action. Both depend on the other. Prayer is like the eyes, and action is like the hands. Prayer without reaching out to others is useless. Action without prayer is blind. We step out in faith, both in our action and prayer. Of course, those who lead a higher life of prayer help those who go out.

The Legion of Mary has performed a number of different activities throughout its history, but legionaries always strive to bring Christ to others. These activities include both assigned works, such as visiting nursing homes, and unassigned activities, such as offering Miraculous Medals, Rosaries, and information to those we meet. These are otherwise known as the spiritual works of mercy. Everything we do tries to lead to God and heaven. 

Every little conversation can lead to Mary and, through her, to Christ. Often, we categorize our activities under the categories of Conversion, Conservation and Consolation. These are the same categories we use for our Spirituality.

The main works and prayers of the Legion are found in the three C’s. Conversion, conservation and consolation are all essential to the Legion. Most importantly, however, conversion is primary and pre-eminent. The Legion, and the Catholic Church itself, and its work, would not survive and thrive without Conversion. Conservation and Consolation alone are insufficient. As Frank Duff would say, a presidium must always include Conversion. Conversion above all is daily and spontaneous and one on one. Woe to us if we do not preach the gospel and give the Good News. 

If you have already read this section under the Overview of Spirituality, you can skip down to the section on Evangelization:

THE THREE “C”s – CONSOLATION, CONSERVATION, AND CONVERSION.

The actions of the Legion are designed to carry out the three primary desires of Mary — to console her children, to conserve those within the church, and to bring perfect conversion both to those within the church and those outside of it. Conversion, Conservation and Consolation are not technical terms, but simply a poor way of saying that we are all one family under Mary our Mother and God our Father.

In practical terms, we bring consolation to those who are hospitalized, living in nursing homes, or homebound, as well as to those who have lost a loved one or who are otherwise beset by great sorrow.

As the Legion handbook states, visits by members of the Legion can “educate the patients to a true conception of their sufferings, that they may bear them in the proper spirit” and that they may “be persuaded that what they regard as so intolerable is in reality a moulding to the likeness of Christ.”

Conservation is essential for the renewal of our faith and should never be allowed to become mundane. Practically, we teach the youth of our parish through Catechism and RCIA and sponsor continuing faith education in the form of monthly talks about the faith and yearly retreats.

For Legionaries, our weekly meeting itself is a great opportunity to grow in our spirituality. Through our apostolate in our parishes, Legionaries foster the growth of a true community spirit.

Conversion comes from prayer.

While conversion is often imagined to be synonymous with the propagation of the Catholic faith, its scope expands far beyond that. Conversion must always begin at home, within ourselves. Even the greatest of saints are in constant need of conversion.

(It is said that, at the end of his life, St. Francis asked the Lord what he ought to do. Jesus responded by simply saying, “Convert!” If even St. Francis was in need of conversion, how much greater must our own need for conversion be!)

Jesus help our poor hearts.

In practical terms, the most important way in which the Legion fosters conversion is prayer. Conversion comes from prayer, and that must begin with those who are already familiar with the faith. Only when the faithful are willing to channel the love of God towards others can they offer conversion to others. As Dr. Williams, former Archbishop of Birmingham, said,

“Religion is caught, not taught. It is a flame set alight from one person to another. It is spread by love and not in any other way. We take it only from those whom we think friendly to us. Those whom we regard as indifferent or hostile cannot recommend religion to us.”

The Legion handbook continues this line of thought further, asking,

“How can the opponents of the Church guess from the outward chill of Catholics the warmth of faith that lies beneath? And are they not to be excused for thinking that Catholic belief, which seldom shows any enthusiasm, is little or not at all removed from their own admitted unbelief?”

In its prayers, the Legion seeks to demonstrate and model for others the enthusiasm for Catholicism that might not be displayed by the average Catholic, and thereby to draw those others towards conversion. Conversion brings us closer to God and heaven by holiness.

Prayer and work

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 prayer with the life of work. One of the first works he wrote was Can we all be Saints?” The call to holiness is for everyone.

The Legion of Mary initially grew out of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and similar active apostolates. Drawing on this heritage, the Legion strives to perform works of mercy, though unlike its forbears, it focuses on the spiritual rather than corporal works of mercy. The goal of the spiritual works of mercy is to evangelize all into the kingdom of heaven. 

As such, Legion meetings consist of a combination of prayer and reporting on the spiritual works of mercy performed by active members. That unique combination for Mary is the Legion way of life.


The reason why we do all this is because it is the desire of our Mother Mary that we help our all brothers and sisters. It is the positive will of God to tell everyone about Him. “Go out to all the world and tell the Good News!” He commanded us to tell everyone, not to convince everyone. We leave that to God in each person’s heart of hearts.

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.

(Mark)

Evangelization

The most important work of the Legion is evangelization, and the Legion in Rhode Island is particularly committed to carrying out that work. In fact, the Legion’s Days of Evangelization began in the Providence diocese.

Weigh these words of Cardinal Pie: “When prudence will be everywhere, then courage will no longer be anywhere. You will find that we will die of prudence.”

Do not let the Legion die of prudence.


The Legionary is always on duty:

The Legion works in small everyday actions — in the local parish, in the diocese, and beyond to the whole world.

In the Parish:

We are happy to help our pastors in whatever way we can. Legionaries often assist their pastors in taking a Parish Census.

We provide religious instruction to the youth of our parishes:

In the Diocese:

Legionaries are involved all over the Diocese of Providence, both in our local parishes and beyond.

We often pay a visit to those in spiritual need. Such visits include the visitation of hospitals, nursing homes, and those who are home bound.

Those who are imprisoned or in halfway houses are often in the greatest spiritual need. As such, legionaries visit prisoners and minister to their needs as well.

The residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities also can make their own praesidia:

Praesidia in Nursing Homes

Another great need which legionaries minister to is the need for protection of the unborn.

Legionaries also minister to the need for spiritual education on a diocesan level by organizing Patricians’ Meetings, which offer their fellow Catholics an opportunity to learn more about their faith.

In the whole world:

The Legion of Mary in Rhode Island seeks to reach beyond the Diocese of Providence by sponsoring Days of Evangelization and even “vacations” in other diocese when legionaries donate their time to evangelize in distant parishes. The Legion as a whole sponsors Legion missionaries (envoys) through out the world and has found great success in Africa, South and Central America, and China.

Of Every Age:

Another way of looking at The Legion of Mary is by the age of those working and of those served. Starting from the youngest to the oldest, consider how the Legion helps young people by organizing youth clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, religious groups for youth, and so forth. These can be informal meetings or more formal like the Junior Praesidia.

The oldest people served are often homebound, in Assisted Living facilities or Nursing Homes. Bringing communion and praying the rosary with our elders is life giving and life changing for both those served and those serving. Consider the wonderful Nursing Home Praesidia, which are made up of elderly who are able to meet every week at their facility.

other typical activities:

  • Door to Door and Street Evangelization.
  • Visitation of the homes of the people;
  • Recitation of the rosary at wakes and funerals;
  • Organizing and promoting the Pilgrim Virgin Statue;
  • Organizing Rosary Groups;
  • Promotion of Catholic Associations and Parish Societies, including Church Confraternities or Sodalities, where they exist, by recruiting new members and encouraging existing members to persevere;
  • Collaboration in apostolic and missionary undertakings sponsored by the parish;
  • Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the home;
  • Visitation of the homeless and destitute, and of lodging-houses, hostels and jails.

Here is a complete List of Approved Works from the Dublin Concilium:

The Handbook outlines all these works and more, as well as any limitations or special circumstances that might apply to a particular work.

We don’t undertake our activities in the spirit of the world. We rely on the Holy Spirit. That means often we take “symbolic action,” stepping out in faith. When there is no human hope, we begin by a small symbolic action. There are many stories in the Legion of the success of symbolic action against all odds.

The Joyful Mysteries

The Annunciation

The Annunciation

Spiritual fruit: Humility

Through her humble submission to God’s will at the Annunciation, the Blessed Mother was granted the most exalted role of any creature in salvation history. God willed to save humanity through the cooperation of a young girl — it was only after Mary said “Yes” to the Angel Gabriel that Jesus was conceived in her womb by the Holy Spirit. Through this act of humility, Mary accepted the Incarnation on mankind’s behalf and became the Mother of God.

In meditating on the Annunciation, we recognize the power that God can bestow on our actions when we act in humble submission to Him. Through Mary’s simple “Yes,” Jesus was born fully God and fully man in order to take away our sins and adopt us as sons of God. And, because of that same “Yes,” Jesus gave us his mother Mary as our own mother as well.

As members of the Legion of Mary, we always seek to imitate Mary’s “Yes” to God and to likewise do His will by the Holy Spirit. Like Mary, we strive to live a balanced life of prayer and action. By seeking to imitate Mary, we hope to embody the humility that allowed her to do the greatest things for the glory of God.

The Visitation

The Visitation

Spiritual fruit: Love of Neighbor

Imagine the depth of love necessary to convince you to walk fifty miles through the dangerous countryside, alone, to assist an elderly family member who had miraculously found herself with child. Now imagine doing so when you are, yourself, a young woman bearing a child in your own womb.

Mary’s cousin, St. Elizabeth, was very old and had believed herself barren until she conceived St. John the Baptist. When she learned of this, Mary went out in haste both to assist her cousin with her physical needs and to share the presence of Jesus the Lord with her and the son she bore in her womb. Through this double visitation, St. John the Baptist was cleansed of his sin; later, St. John would himself prepare the way for Jesus.

As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to imitate Mary by sharing the presence of Jesus with others. We visit the elderly in nursing homes, pray the Rosary with others, arrange Days of Evangelization, and participate in Home Enthronements of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Visiting from home to home, face to face, we bring the love of Jesus to those in our parishes and in our communities.

The Nativity

The Nativity

Spiritual fruit: Detachment

Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem was the first time God became visible to mankind. The shepherds and the wise men, representative of all mankind, were led to adore Him by a host of angels and by the sign of a star. Herod, believing Jesus to be an earthly king, sought to kill him.

And yet, the child adored by the shepherds and the wise men was born not as a prince in a palace but as a peasant in a stable. Through his humble beginnings, our Lord teaches us the value of detachment from the things of this world for the sake of heavenly things.

As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to advance the Kingdom of God and to build an army for the Lord. In doing so, we have no interest in making an earthly kingdom or army to impose its will on others. Rather, we promote a heavenly kingdom and army commanded by a heavenly King and Queen who willingly chose detachment while on Earth for our sake. All mankind is meant to adore Jesus not out of fear but out of love.

The Presentation

The Presentation

Spiritual fruit: Obedience

In the Judaism of Jesus’ day, the fortieth day of a firstborn male child’s life served as an act of reintegration into society for both the child and his mother. Under the law of Moses, a firstborn child, much like the firstfruits of one’s crops and one’s herds, was considered to be holy to the Lord and would be presented before the Lord at the Temple in Jerusalem for either consecration or redemption. At the same time, his mother would present herself at the Temple for purification, as the act of giving birth would have rendered her ritually unclean.

Neither of these rituals were, strictly speaking, necessary for either Jesus or Mary. Jesus remained consecrated to the Father throughout his life; in fact, the Gospel of Luke does not make it clear that the price for his redemption was even paid. Mary, likewise, did not require purification, as she was free from sin from the moment of her conception.

And yet, unnecessary as they may have been, both Jesus and Mary submitted to the requirements of the law out of obedience. Jesus was presented to the Father as a sign of his consecration, and Mary offered two doves as a sacrifice for an impurity she never bore.

As members of the Legion, we seek to live out the sort of obedience to God demonstrated by Jesus and Mary at the Presentation. We work to help others accept with obedience the sacrifices they are called to make and to obey God’s call to offer our own sacrifices, regardless of how “unnecessary” they may seem, in union with the Cross of Christ.

The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

Spiritual fruit: Perseverance

When Jesus was twelve years old, the Holy Family once again visited the Temple in Jerusalem. Even at such a young age, Jesus could not pass up an opportunity to be about his Father’s business, and he discussed God with the priests and learned men in the Temple even as his family began to make their way out of the city.

Imagine the fear that must have gripped the hearts of Mary and Joseph as they realized that their only son had gone missing! In spite of their desperate search, it took three long days before they finally found Him in the Temple — an early mirror to the three day period between His death and resurrection years later.

As members of the Legion, we seek to demonstrate the sort of perseverance that Mary and Joseph demonstrated in their tireless search for their Son. And, like Mary and Joseph, our search must always lead us to the Temple, the earthly image of heaven and the sign of Christ’s body, the Church. We must never tire of calling those around us into the Church, little by little, and from the Church further on towards holiness and heaven.

Visiting Statues

The Legion of Mary seeks not only to educate people on the knowledge and importance of prayer but also to bring them closer to the love of God and our Mother Mary. For this reason, the Legion promotes the visit of traveling statues in family homes and businesses.

Every Catholic family is blessed to be part of the extended family of Mother Mary and God the Father. Through the daily recitation of the Rosary, we grow closer to Jesus and come to know love and serve Mary our Mother with filial and intense love.

Given the power of the Rosary on its own, one might wonder, “Why do I need a statue?” It’s important to remember that statues are neither trivial nor sentimental. They serve as a reminder that Mary is interested in us in our own particular time, in our own particular place, and in our own particular family. They symbolically stand guard, as Mary does, without rest.

Just as the Legion of Mary offers its explicit obedience to Mary by performing the active works assigned at its weekly meetings, praying the Rosary (or other relevant prayer) before a statue of our Blessed Mother is a means of saying explicitly, “Mary, you are my Mother. Help me.” Openly proclaiming Mary frees us from fear and strengthens our faith, preserving us from the weakness that often results from believing in God only in a general way. Our faith, after all, must always be expressed personally… and who better to express it to than our Mother, in whom we put our hope, whom we love, and in whom we put all our faith and trust.

Do not hide your faith. Trust in Mary to bring you closer to God, and contact us for a visit from a Traveling Statue.

Supporting the Unborn and their Mothers

It can be easy to underestimate the value of silent prayer, especially when that prayer is said while standing quietly outside an abortion mill.

For one thing, as Jesus taught us when he went off on his own to pray to the Father, we can evangelize simply through our example. The presence of silent witnesses to the dignity and value of each and every human life can speak volumes.

For another, our presence offers us the opportunity for further evangelization, should our silent witness draw the attention of those suffering mothers who felt compelled to seek such an extreme solution. We can offer Miraculous Medals, Rosaries, and even a phone number to contact us if they feel the desire to talk. By doing this, we can show that we will be there for them when they need us.

Another of the works of the Legion is Pro Life Lectures. See “Right-to-life lectures: Legionaries may give lectures in support of the pro-life cause at schools, workshops, etc.” in Our Approved Activities. The Legion also helps to organize spiritual pro life activities. For example, to recruit for, and conduct Parish Holy Hours of reparation. See Maria Legionis article on Pro Life.

Giving out Rosaries and Miraculous Medals

Where should you give out Rosaries and Miraculous Medals? Anywhere. 

When should you do it? Anytime. 

Give out Rosaries and Miraculous Medals to everyone you come in contact with. Reaching out to our brothers and sisters with small actions can sometimes be even more effective than a major initiative.  When we encourage them to use these two sacred items with devotion and faith, they will draw closer to Jesus and Mary… and bring us closer to Jesus and Mary in the process.


Miraculous Medals are available from St. Paul Evangelization for an incredibly low price. Members only pay $0.15 a piece for Rosaries and silver coated medals. (Chains for the medals are also available for $0.15 a piece.)

Even if you aren’t a member, you can purchase 100 Miraculous Medals from St. Paul Evangelization for $0.20 each. Alternatively, you can speak to a St. Paul member within the Legion to receive the lowest price and free shipping.

The Sorrowful Mysteries

Jesus Prays in the Garden

The Agony in the Garden

Spiritual Fruit: God’s Will Be Done

It can often be tempting to assume, when one hears a story of an individual who has performed an act of heroic virtue, that the individual in question was somehow immune to the fear and human weakness that makes such actions so rare. Perhaps some people are simply different — and if that is the case, perhaps we might not even be capable of the same sort of heroism.

Meditating on Jesus’ Agony in the Garden can serve as a powerful corrective to this kind of thinking. Our Lord himself — fully human yet fully divine — suffered from the same sorts of fear and human weakness that we face even before He was subjected to any physical mistreatment. Jesus’ agony was so great, in fact, that he sweat drops of blood.

And yet, in spite of that unimaginable agony, in spite of His desperate desire for the cup of suffering to pass from Him, Jesus’ ultimate prayer was one of submission to His Father’s will — “Thy will be done.”

As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to imitate Jesus in offering this prayer, no matter how difficult it may be. We understand that the works we undertake can sometimes be difficult and discouraging, but we continue to persevere knowing that what truly matters is that God’s will be done in our lives and the lives of those around us.

Jesus Is Scourged at the Pillar

The Scourging at the Pillar

Spiritual Fruit: Purity

The connection between purity and the vicious Roman scourging endured by Our Lord might not seem immediately obvious. One may, perhaps, consider that corrective lashes have sometimes been used to punish sins of impurity… and yet, a Roman scourging had a very different purpose.

The scourge used on Jesus was an instrument of torture, not of correction. It consisted of heavy metal pieces on the end of leather thongs, wickedly designed to tear flesh and break bone. How could such cruelty — committed against an innocent, no less! — possibly be necessary to satisfy for sins of the flesh?

As members of the Legion of Mary, we understand that it is still the innocent who suffer most from sins of impurity. Through our pro-life ministry, we seek to create a world in which the flesh of the innocent is no longer torn by those seeking to satisfy the desires of their own flesh without consequence.

Jesus is Crowned with Thorns

The Crowning with Thorns

Spiritual Fruit: Reign of Christ in Our Hearts

Jesus’ crowning with thorns was one of the great ironies of His life. The Roman soldiers who wove the crown intended it as a painful mockery of a pretender to an earthly throne, and yet it became a symbol of the self-sacrificial kingship of God.

Even today, the world often responds to the love of God with mockery. The image of Jesus crowned with thorns reminds us, however, that Jesus remains King even in the midst of humiliation.

As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to promote the reign of Christ in the hearts of the faithful through Sacred Heart enthronements. The image of the Sacred Heart bears a special relationship to the crowning with thorns, as it reflects the sacrificial kingship of Jesus through the presence of the crown of thorns itself. By enthroning it in our houses, we remind ourselves that Jesus truly is the king of our own hearts, regardless of the mockery of the world.

Jesus Carries His Cross

The Carrying of the Cross

Spiritual Fruit: Patient Bearing of Trials

Even before His Passion, Jesus taught His disciples that they needed to take up their crosses and follow him. The burdens we are tasked with bearing on a daily basis often seem like heavy crosses to bear. Meditation on Jesus’ carrying of His own Cross, however, can help to put the weight of our daily crosses in perspective.

Already weak from beatings and from a scourging, Jesus was forced to carry a heavy wooden cross through the streets of Jerusalem to Golgotha. The weight of this cross, in fact, was so overwhelming that it caused Him to fall three times and eventually grew too heavy for him to bear alone. Even the Son of God sought help from Simon of Cyrene in carrying His Cross.

As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to be Simon of Cyrene to those who are struggling to carry crosses of their own. We bring Jesus to those who are suffering through prayers in hopes that His love and the hope of Eternal Life will lighten their burdens. Every time we visit the residents of a nursing home or bring supplies to those who are homebound, we enter into the trials of others to help them bear those trials more patiently.

Jesus Dies on the Cross

The Crucifixion

Spiritual Fruit: Pardoning of Injuries

It is hard to imagine any crime less deserving of forgiveness than the Crucifixion of Jesus. Not only was Jesus truly innocent of the crime for which He was executed, the method of His execution was almost unimaginably cruel. His hands and His feet were pierced with thick iron nails, and he was suspended above the ground so His entire weight would need to be supported by them. Even breathing would have been excruciating, as He would have to drag His back across splintered wood to lift Himself into a position where breathing would be possible.

And yet, in His last moments, Jesus used what little breath He had to pray, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” There is even a tradition in which the Roman soldier who pierced Jesus’ heart to confirm His death was healed by the blood which flowed from Jesus’ side.

As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to offer the forgiveness of God to those around us, both through general evangelization and through the work we do with those who are considering abortion and may have previously procured an abortion. We also seek to live the forgiveness of God in our own lives and in our relationships with our fellow Legionaries.

The Glorious Mysteries

The Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead

The Resurrection

Spiritual Fruit: Faith

It is difficult to conceive of an event that could more effectively shatter one’s faith than the unjust and brutal murder of the Messiah, the very Son of God. What better demonstration could there be that death is inescapable and the cruelty of man reigns supreme?

But the Resurrection changed everything. By rising from the dead, Jesus conquered death through death itself, transforming it from the universal enemy of humanity into a passage through which we may follow Him to obtain eternal life. Through even our smallest thoughts and actions, we can die with Jesus so that we might likewise rise with Him.

And if, through Jesus, we can conquer even that most ancient foe of humanity, we certainly ought to have faith that God will support us when we are faced with far smaller obstacles. As Jesus himself said, “With God, all things are possible.”

As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to imitate the faith of Mary which, as our Legion handbook explains, “has in her alone been found in its utmost extent and never equalled.” In this spirit, the Legion, in accordance with the Imitation of Christ, “complains not of impossibility, because it conceives that it may and can do all things.’’

The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven

The Ascension

Spiritual Fruit: Christian Hope

Even in our ordinary human experience, there is a deep connection between hope and those moments when we are called to bid a loved one farewell. We hope that they will have a safe trip, we hope that they will be successful in their endeavors, and we hope that we will see them again.

The Christian hope evoked by Jesus’ ascension from Mt. Olivet, while in many ways similar, is a rather different thing. We do not need to hope on Jesus’ behalf, because His disappearance into a cloud – the standard symbol of God’s glory – makes it clear that He is already sitting at the right hand of the Father. Rather, we hope for ourselves, knowing that we have such a well-disposed King who has not left us orphans.

As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek always to act according to this uniquely Christian hope. We recognize that the benevolent will of God will be done even when things seem most hopeless, as “The world belongs to him who loves it most.”

The Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost on Mary and the Apostles

The Descent of the Holy Spirit

Spiritual Fruit: Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The presence of the Blessed Mother at the moment when the Holy Spirit first descends upon the Church points towards a connection between the Blessed Mother and the Holy Spirit which is not always appreciated.

In the Legion handbook, it is explained that, “Mary has been so taken up into the Holy Spirit, made one with him, animated by him, that he is as her very soul. She is no mere instrument or channel of his activity; she is an intelligent, conscious co-operator with him to such degree that when she acts, it is also he who acts; and that if her intervention be not accepted, neither is his.”

As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to recognize the ways in which the gifts of the Holy Spirit – wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord – bore fruit in the life of the Blessed Mother and imitate her openness to the Spirit Who bestowed on her those gifts. Like Mary, we seek to devote ourselves completely to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to work through us, even when we may not understand what He is doing.

The Assumption of Mary

The Assumption

Spiritual Fruit: Desire for Heaven

The Assumption of Mary is one of the most misunderstood dogmas of the Catholic faith. And yet, when properly understood, its implications are vital for the promotion of a well-informed desire for Heaven.

Mary’s Assumption is, above all, a foretaste of the general resurrection – a foretaste of what we are ultimately intended to be. By existing, body and soul, in Heaven, the Blessed Mother bears witness to the value of the body. The reward for Mary’s sinless life was not freedom from the body but freedom from bodily corruption.

As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to evoke a desire for Heaven in all those we meet. We provide evangelization for those who have not yet received the Faith and offer spiritual support to those who wish to deepen their relationship with God. In doing so, we strive never to forget that the desire for Heaven is a desire that concerns the whole human person, body and soul, not a desire to be as angels.

Mary is Crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth

The Crowning of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth

Spiritual Fruit: Grace of Final Perseverance

Which Mystery could be more fitting for the Legion of Mary than the Crowning of Mary? After all, “In the Legion, Mary is Queen. She it is who summons her legionary hosts to their glorious warfare and commands them in the field, inspires them, and personally leads them on to victory.”

The victory which the Legion seeks, of course, is the victory of Final Perseverance – that, as we pray in our Tessera, “the battle of life over – our Legion may reassemble, without the loss of any one, in the kingdom of [God’s] love and glory.”

As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to call down the grace of Final Perseverance on all those we meet. Each of our actions – from the consolation of those who suffer to the conservation of the Faith in the faithful to the conversion of those whose faith is insufficient – are ultimately done in the hope that, at the moment of death, those whose lives we touch will persevere in their faith and receive eternal life.

The Luminous Mysteries

Jesus is Baptized in the Jordan

The Baptism in the Jordan

Spiritual Fruit: Openness to the Holy Spirit

The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River differed from every other baptism ever performed in one very important way – Jesus had no sin from which He needed to be cleansed. And yet, in spite of his sinlessness, He chose to submit to his cousin John the Baptist’s baptism of repentance.

While Jesus had no personal need of baptism, He understood that His baptism was necessary for the sake of humanity as a whole. Jesus’ baptism transformed baptism itself, and the descent of the Holy Spirit on Him during His baptism opened the way for the Holy Spirit to descend on those who enter into that baptism through their own.

As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to promote openness to the Holy Spirit in whatever small ways we can. Through our works of consolation, conservation, and conversion, we hope to make straight a path for the Holy Spirit to act in the lives of those we meet. It is only fitting, then, that St. John the Baptist is one of the patrons of the Legion.

Jesus Changes Water into Wine at the Wedding at Cana

The Wedding at Cana

Spiritual Fruit: To Jesus Through Mary

In the Mystery of the Wedding at Cana, we are given a great image of the powerful intercession of the Blessed Mother. It was she who called Jesus’ attention to the shortage of wine at the wedding, and she whose consent He sought in beginning His ministry when He asked, “What would you have Me do? My hour has not yet come.”

The Legion of Mary recognizes that God, in His infinite Wisdom, always chooses to act through Mary. The Promise we make when we become permanent legionaries reflects this – “I know that you, who have come to regenerate the world in Jesus Christ, have not willed to do so except through Mary; that without her we cannot know or love you; that it is by her, and to whom she pleases, when she pleases, and in the quantity and manner she pleases, that all your gifts and virtues and graces are administered.”

As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to consecrate ourselves to Mary so that, through this consecration, we might better consecrate ourselves to Jesus through his most Blessed Mother. In doing so, the Legion often has resource to a book entitled The Secret of Mary, written by one of the patrons of the Legion, St. Louis-Marie de Montfort.

Jesus PrOCLAIMS THE KINGDOM OF GOD

The Preaching of the Gospel

Spiritual Fruit: Christian Witness and Conversion

The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God is unique among the Mysteries of the Rosary insofar as it refers not to a single event in the life of Jesus or Mary, but to the ministry on which Jesus spent several years of His life and the Evangelists focused the majority of their Gospels.

Furthermore, to meditate on the Proclamation of the Kingdom of God is, in some sense, to meditate on the Gospel message itself. Every parable Jesus taught and every miracle He worked was designed to draw people closer to the Kingdom, and thus to eternal life. As Jesus Himself said, “I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” Sometimes, this involved meeting the physical needs of people, as when He fed the five thousand. Sometimes, He spoke more directly to the spiritual needs of a people who were “like sheep without a shepherd.”

The importance of the Proclamation of the Kingdom in Jesus’ life, furthermore, is reflected in the life of His Church. In fact, Pope Pius XI declared that “The Church has no other reason for its existence than to extend over the earth the Kingdom of Christ and so to render people sharers of his saving Redemption.

As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to continue the Proclamation of the Kingdom in the footsteps of Christ our King. Alongside consolation and conservation, conversion is one of the three “C”s that form the basis of Legion spirituality. By demonstrating and modeling for others our own enthusiasm for Catholicism, we seek to draw them closer to conversion and therefore into the Kingdom.

Jesus is Transfigured on Mount Tabor

The Transfiguration

Spiritual Fruit: Spiritual Courage

It may seem counter-intuitive to associate the glory of the Transfiguration with the degradation of the Cross, but the two Mysteries are in fact deeply connected. The Transfiguration took place shortly before Jesus was to enter Jerusalem, where He would soon face His Passion, and was specifically designed to fortify the faith of His three closest Apostles to prepare them for the scandal they were about to face. Even the witness of Moses and Elijah ultimately pointed to the Cross, as the representatives of the Law and the Prophets conversed with Jesus about His approaching death.

St. Peter was right, then, to say, “It is good for us to be here,” though he could not have understood why at the time. The dazzling brightness of the Transfiguration was not merely a display of Jesus’ power, but rather a message of hope to help the Apostles through extremely difficult times. And, to this very day, the most impressive displays of the glory of God often serve the same purpose of providing hope to a world that so desperately needs it.

As members of the Legion of Mary, we consider spiritual courage of utmost importance. The Legion is modeled on the organization of an army largely because, as the Handbook states, “legionaries hope to render themselves worthy of their great heavenly Queen by their loyalty, their virtues, and their courage.” The Legion is not simply interested in fostering courage within its own ranks, however. Through our works as legionaries, we seek to allow the glory of God to shine through and provide hope for all of those with whom we come in contact.

Jesus Institutes the Eucharist at the Last Supper

The Institution of the Eucharist

Spiritual Fruit: Love of Our Eucharistic Lord

The Last Supper is unique insofar as it is the only event in the life of Our Lord in which two sacraments were instituted at once.

The words Jesus used at the Last Supper – “Take and eat, this is my Body” and “This cup is the new covenant in my Blood, shed for you” – form the foundation of the liturgy of the Eucharist and constitute the first celebration of the sacrifice of the Mass. At the same time, Jesus instituted the sacrament of Holy Orders to ensure that His people down through the centuries would have priests to continue that celebration.

As members of the Legion of Mary, we seek to promote greater levels of participation in the Eucharist both among the people we meet and among ourselves. We assign legionaries to ensure that the sick and the homebound are able to receive the Eucharist, we work to draw the lapsed members of our parishes back to Mass and thus towards consistent reception of the Eucharist, and we recognize the great value present when legionaries go beyond the required weekly attendance at Mass and participate daily through promotion into the ranks of Praetorians and Adjutorians. Furthermore, we seek to support the sacrament of Holy Orders by offering our services as legionaries to the priests whose responsibility it is to consecrate the Eucharist for the people of our parishes.

The Holy Spirit and the Legion

from the Handbook

under construction

Supporting the Unborn and their Mothers

It can be easy to underestimate the value of silent prayer, especially when that prayer is said while standing quietly outside an abortion mill.

For one thing, as Jesus taught us when he went off on his own to pray to the Father, we can evangelize simply through our example. The presence of silent witnesses to the dignity and value of each and every human life can speak volumes.

For another, our presence offers us the opportunity for further evangelization, should our silent witness draw the attention of those suffering mothers who felt compelled to seek such an extreme solution. We can offer Miraculous Medals, Rosaries, and even a phone number to contact us if they feel the desire to talk. By doing this, we can show that we will be there for them when they need us.

Another of the works of the Legion is Pro Life Lectures. See “Right-to-life lectures: Legionaries may give lectures in support of the pro-life cause at schools, workshops, etc.” in Our Approved Activities. The Legion also helps to organize spiritual pro life activities. For example, to recruit for, and conduct Parish Holy Hours of reparation. See Maria Legionis article on Pro Life.

The Importance of the Meeting

Come and see

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 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.

International Public Associations of the Faithful

Altar

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.

If you would like to learn more on the unique role of the Legion, please click here:

The Hearts of Mary and Jesus

The Hearts of Jesus are perfectly pure. If we give Mary our Heart she gives us hers in return. This is not a physical exchange but a moral and spiritual exchange.

The Streets of Providence Revisited

November 23, 2019:  The Streets of Providence Revisited

Three members from the two Legion praesidia were back on the streets of Providence sharing the Good News.

Srs. Marissa from St. Vincent DePaul’s Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and Srs. Eileen and Sr. Diane from St. Eugene’s Our Lady Queen of the Clergy met at St. Mary’s on Broadway at 10 AM.  The weather was much colder than their first mission two weeks earlier but they set out with high hopes and light hearts.

Using the same approach that served them well before, they gently engaged the people they met, established a connection and through a simple and friendly conversation were able to touch 15 souls who were open to prayer and offered their intentions.  There were, of course, those who were not interested and a couple of people who were, in a word, hostile.

They first met Kenneth who asked that they pray for Maya, his sister, that she would be ok …..

Margy, a lady on the corner who appreciated what they were doing but had no intentions and did not take a rosary …  but they prayed for her….  

Annette, an individual who appeared to be disoriented, possibly on drugs, and    bobbing in and out of the street.  They were able to bring her to the sidewalk and start a conversation .  She asked that they pray for her sister Sarah and they said a prayer on the corner.  Sr. Marissa gave her a church bulletin from St. Mary’s and told her that she could go there to get in from the cold and find a safe and quiet place.

They had a quick exchange with a young man walking his dog.  Friendly and outgoing, he asked that they pray for him, his dog “Stu” and his boyfriend CJ.

Sr. Diane found an older woman in distress searching through her bag outside of a coffee shop. She said she had lost her keys. They offered her assistance as well as a rosary and medal but she accepted nothing.  She was pleasant but not interested.

Dogs are evidently a draw to human beings and Sr. Diane spied a trio of young women talking to a dog that was sitting on a chair on a sidewalk outside of the bistro that his owner was in.  Sr. Diane struck up a conversation with Katie, Liz and Tara and discovered they were not “sure” about religion but welcomed the offer for prayers and asked that they pray for all people who suffer from addiction.

Sr. Marissa then met up with the first negative encounter of the day.  She said hello to a white haired gentleman who was getting out of his car.  She identified herself as being from the Legion of Mary and that they were out talking to the people and offering prayers.   His response, quite gruffly, was “well, good for you …. go for it … !” and he pivoted and walked away.  Sr. Diane, of course, called after him … “We’ll pray for you too sir !”

A bit further down the street they encountered two young women … one intently looking at her phone.  They approached and engaged and learned that their coworker’s mother had just passed away and they were grateful for the offer of prayers.  Sr. Eileen added the coworker William’s name and his mother to the book of intentions.

A young family then approached…. A man, woman and beautiful little girl who was interested in a passing pooch ….   They struck up a conversation with the mother Lakshmi, who asked that they pray for their daughter Asha.  Husband Michael also thanked them for the prayers.

The second bump in the evangelistic road came when Sr. Diane called out to a woman who was leaning against the wall of a convenience store.  As they approached this woman, the woman told them …  “No, stop right there… I don’t go for that proselytizing … don’t come rolling up on me like that …your presence will show people Jesus, not conversation …..”   They explained that they were not Jehovah’s witnesses but rather members of the Legion of Mary who were offering prayers and Good News.  They respected the woman and walked away.  She followed close behind them and after a couple of minutes she apologized to them and was about to say more but her phone rang and that was the end of it.

A very bright spot of the day was Carlos, from Nicaragua.  He was most happy to receive the rosary and Miraculous Medal and asked that they pray for everybody … and his family. They are a prayerful family and he would like to go to church but he works six days a week and Sunday is his only day off.  Sr. Marissa then gave him the bulletin from St. Mary’s and pointed out her spire down the block.  He smiled and said he would go.

Thomas then came down the walk and they engaged him.  He too prayed frequently and appreciated the rosary and medal.   (Both he and Carlos offered to give the Srs. money, but of course it was refused.)

Last but not least,  they encountered Jose, a 15 year old who was glued to his smartphone for most of the conversation.  They were able to discover that he lives with his mother. Both his mother and grandmother pray on a regular basis.  Sr. Marissa offered  him two rosaries and medals.  It was tough to get his head out of the phone (he was looking for Pokemon) but he finally accepted them and said they would be happy to get them. Intentions were noted for Lisell , his mom, and Carmen, his grandmother.

Srs. Marissa, Diane and Eileen then turned back toward St. Mary’s to pray the rosary for the intentions of all they had met.  The church, however, was locked up and so they prayed in Sr. Eileen’s car. They were out of the wind, safe, and had much to be thankful for.   It was a good day for the Legion in Rhode Island.

*In the Legion we call each other Br. or Sr., but we are lay people.

Street Evangelization News

November 2, 2019:

Evangelization on Broadway 

NOVEMBER 23, 2019: 

The Streets of Providence Revisited

December 21, 2019:

Back on the Streets, Broadway to Atwells


What is evangelization? If we want to have the answer we have to go to the words of Jesus, “go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation…” to everybody possible that will be open to receive the message of salvation.

There are few ways we can do evangelization:

• Visitation of the homes of the people. The visitations of the homes has been traditionally the preferred work of the Legion.

• Visitation of Hospitals, Including psychiatric Hospitals. The visitation of a hospital for the poor was the first work the Legion ever undertook and for a while it did not other.

• Streets Evangelization, where you talk to people invite them to pray offer them a rosary a miraculous medal and encourage them to come to the closest church.

• But the most important evangelization is person to person wherever we are.

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Prayer and Action for Jesus by over 14 million Catholic men and women. 


How to Run Our Meetings and the Spiritual Reasons Why

Notes from the Workshop on Legion meetings:

In this workshop, we spoke about several parts of the meeting. First, special care in preparing the altar was discussed. The beauty of the Altar, the flowers, and how the altar connect to the seating layout are all important. In order to run a meeting we need first of all the presence of our Lady and an Altar for her.

Then we discussed how we say the rosary in the Legion. The president or spiritual director begins one decade and everyone responds.  Then the rest of the members begin the next decade all together, and so forth.  No additional prayers are said, for example “O my Jesus…”, so that the rosary in the Legion meeting is said the same around the world. 

After that comes the Spiritual Reading. The Spiritual Reading is taken only from the Handbook even though other writings are holy and beautiful. 

Then, after several other details, come the reports. The reports must be said out loud and made interesting for everyone to hear. The work should not be handed in on paper. Only assigned works with a partner should be mentioned here. Each partner should give their perspective on the work. Individual or unassigned work should be mentioned under Other Business.  

Next, the Allocutio should also be interesting and spoken simply from the heart, touching on the Handbook Reading. This is a time to focus on the spirit of the Legion of Mary, not many other spiritualities and activities. 

Later, under other business, many topics can be discussed including reports from the central Curia or Comitium each month, recruitment, the number of medals and rosaries and pieces of literature given out, and also upcoming events should be mentioned. Questions and answers followed the workshop. Special care was taken to speak about correction of legionaries first in private, and only rarely. We should always find the gold in others before throwing out any dirt.

These are just some of the details from the workshop on the meeting. 

A few more Notes:

In order to run a meeting we need first of all the presence of our Lady and an Altar for her, with a vexillum two candles two vases with fresh flowers, the altar should have a altar cloth with the Logo, “Legio Mariae” in latin, in order to be the same throughout the world. We invoke the presence of Mary and the Holy Spirit. We kneel, 

We should  always  be on time for the meeting and attend every week, although we can be excused when necessary.

• The work should be “substantial “ that is , the legionary should spend a couple of hours a week at it, going out in pairs.

• The work is but prayer in another form, and the rules of prayer must be applied to it.

• The Legionary is a soldier, and duty should not be a less virile thing to the legionary than it is to the soldiers of earthly causes.

• The legionary work is to be done in closest union with Mary.

  If we do so we’ll never fail as a legionaries!

Carta para los Lectores de Habla Ispana

Estimados Amigos,

Por medio de esta carta queremos pedirles una disculpa por la tardanza al cumplimiento de la traducción de algunas cosas en la página web; si tienes alguna pregunta siéntate cómodo y llámanos a este número de teléfono (516) 808-8342 a Marissa.

Quieres saber más respeto a la Legión de Maria, estás interesado en la Legión no sabes cómo obtener información llámame aquí estamos para ayudarte y darte una mano a las manos de María nuestra Madre.

Que Dios los bendiga,

Marissa K., legionaria