There are many ways to see how the Legion of Mary fits in the Church. Frank Duff’s writings on the Mystical Body of Christ are essentially about the Church. Think about how the Church is like a building built with living stones and how each stone fits together with Jesus the Cornerstone.
Mary is the perfect image of the Church because she is living and alive, unlike a building. She has virtues and is sinless, a greater image than a body.
The Mass and the Liturgy bring together God, Mary, all the Saints and Angels in one eternal prayer and action. The Liturgy is the source and summit of Christian life.
These images are all starting points for prayer and thinking about how the Legion can play its part in the Church.
The love of the Holy Father the pope, successor of St. Peter as the holder of the keys of heaven are foremost in our prayer and work. The local bishop is our successor to the apostles. Where the bishop is, there is the church.
Much more could be said and pondered about all these truths, but we cannot fit it all here.
The praesidium is a “Presence” of Mary. The advice of this section [on the meeting] have in view the more perfect consolidation of the individuals into a body for comprehensive use in the official, pastoral apostolate of the Church. The relation between that communal apostolate and the individual apostolate might be likened to the relation between the liturgy and private prayer.
That apostolate is united to and sustained by the mothering of Mary “who gave to the world the Life that renews all things, and who was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role” (LG 56). She continues to fulfil that role through the ministry of those willing to help her. A praesidium places at her disposal a group of loving souls eager to help her in that office. It is certain that she will accept that aid. Therefore a praesidium may be imagined as a sort of local presence of Mary through which she will display her unique gifts and reproduce her motherhood. So it can be expected that a praesidium which is true to its ideals will bestow around itself life and renewal and healing and solutions. Places with problems should apply this spiritual principle.
“Bend your shoulders and carry her, and do not fret under her bonds. Come to her with all your soul, and keep her ways with all your might. Search out and seek, and she will become known to you; and when you get hold of her, do not let her go. For at last you will find the rest she gives, and she will be changed into joy for you. Then her fetters will become for you a strong defence, and her collar a glorious robe. Her yoke is a golden ornament, and her bonds a purple cord.” (Sir 6: 25-30)
“St. Peter, as prince of the apostles, is pre-eminently the patron for an apostolic organisation. He was the first Pope, but stands for all the illustrious line of Pontiffs, and for the present Holy Father. In invoking St. Peter, we express once again a Legion’s loyalty to Rome, the centre of our faith, the source of authority, discipline, unity.”(Decision of the Legion placing St. Peter’s name in the list of invocations.)
“If we wish to know in what manner the faithful soul is to be prepared for the coming of the divine Paraclete, let us go in thought to the Cenacle where the disciples have come together. There, according to the order of the Master, they are persevering in prayer as they await the Power from on high that is to come on them and clothe them as with armour for the warfare which lies before them. In that sacred abode of recollection and peace our reverential eye rests on Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the masterpiece of the Holy Spirit, the Church of the living God. From her by the action of the same Holy Spirit will issue, as from the womb of a mother, the Church Militant, which this new Eve represents and still contains within her.”(Guéranger: The Liturgical Year)
…So, whether the legionaries are dealing with the saint or the sinner, let them proceed, confident in the knowledge that they are not there in their own spiritual poverty but as the representatives of Mary’s Legion,
“united with their pastors and their bishops, with the Holy See and with Christ.”(UAD)
from the Handbook.