The spirituality of the Legion of Mary is based on a simple but powerful foundation — prayer and action performed for Jesus through Mary in accordance with the will of God the Father. Everything we do tries to lead to God and heaven. The Story of Jesus and His Mother can be found in the Mysteries of the Rosary. If you are starting from scratch, take a look at how Jesus saved us.
The main point is that we trying to follow the Holy Trinity and Mary. We acting out of belief, and we want to be directed by them. We are doing it to please the Holy Trinity and Mary. Through the teachings and guidance of the Church, we bring communion to others, we pray with them, we talk with them, all by faith and the Holy Spirit.
Above all, we act because through our creation and especially through our baptism, we are all one family under Mary our Mother and God our Father. Our goal is to Give Glory to God!
Part 1: Consecration to Mary
“I am all Yours, My Queen and My Mother, and all that I have is Yours.”– from the Legion of Mary’s Consecration to Mary
Each year, faithful Legionaries renew their baptismal vows by consecrating themselves to Mary with the above prayer. This prayer is a perfect reflection both of the spirituality of the Legion and of the nature of Consecration to Mary. What does it mean to “give or consecrate ourselves to Mary?”
By consecrating ourselves to Mary, we promise to do everything through Mary, with Mary, in Mary, and for Mary. As St. Louis de Montfort said, “We give ourselves entirely and as a slave to Mary, and to Jesus through Mary,” binding ourselves to Mary in the slavery of total love.
As Mary is our spiritual mother, she wants us to be holy, and we are better able to pursue holiness when we consecrate ourselves to her. For more please see Consecration to Mary, Summary of the Secret of Mary, the Spiritual Maternity of Mary, and Further Reading.
…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)
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.
Part 2: The three “C”s – Consolation, Conservation, and Conversion
Consolation, Conservation and Conversion are covered fully in the page on our Activities. They are also a large part of our Spirituality. The actions and prayers 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. These are otherwise known as the spiritual works of mercy.
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 of Assisi 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!)
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.
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 for us to pray for everyone and to tell everyone about Him.
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.
While prayer is an important part of the lives of each active Legion member, it is the sole duty of the Legion’s auxiliary members. Through the participation of auxiliary members, the work of the Legion is lifted on wings of prayer. Without the constant prayers of its auxiliaries, the Legion recognizes that its own efforts would be largely ineffective.
Part 3: The Holy Rosary
Another major element of Legion Spirituality is a dedication to the Holy Rosary.
If you are unfamiliar with the Rosary, please visit How to Pray the Rosary to learn the basic structure of the prayers and How Many Decades of the Rosary Should I Pray? to determine the amount of prayer that is right for you. The Rosary is simply a Summary of All Prayer.
If you have been praying the Rosary for longer and wish to grow deeper in this powerful devotion, please consider reading our meditations on the Rosary and its core prayer, the Hail Mary. These meditations may help you to understand better the role these prayers play in the spirituality of the Legion.
Part 4: Prayer AND work
The genius of Frank Duff was to combine the spirituality of St. Louis de Montfort with an active lay apostolate, fusing 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.
Mgr. Alfred O’Rahilly, as the result of a study of Legion activity, was moved to write as follows:
“I made a great discovery, or rather I found that the discovery had been made, that there is a latent heroism in seemingly ordinary men and women; unknown sources of energy had been tapped.”from the Handbook
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 works of mercy performed by active members. That unique combination is the Legion way of life. Of course, everything we say here is just the beginning of the spiritual life. There is so much more that the love of God has in store for us.
Part 5: Further reading
As one might expect, no single page could possibly hold everything there is to say with regards to the spirituality of the Legion of Mary. Further resources regarding the spirituality of the Legion and the motherhood of Mary can be found on Encouragement from the Saints and Further Reading.
Of course, this website is not meant to serve as the final word on spirituality or the Legion. As such, one might choose to do further reading into these topics. First of all, read The Handbook.
One of the most essential books with regards to the spirituality of Mary and her Legion is “The Secret of Mary.” This little book describes how one ought to live a life consecrated to Mary, seeking to do everything through Mary, with Mary, in Mary, and for Mary. St. Louis de Montfort said, “We give ourselves entirely and as a slave to Mary, and to Jesus through Mary,” binding ourselves to Mary in the slavery of total love. The slavery of love is not the slavery of violence. All this is clearly spelled out in his little book. To learn more about this fantastic resource, please visit the Summary of the Secret of Mary.
“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!
For a deeper understanding of St. Louis de Montfort’s spirituality and his understanding of why God chose Mary as our Mother, one might choose to read “Love of Eternal Wisdom” and St. Louis’ writings on Mary and the Cross. In some ways, St. Louis de Montfort’s spiritual works provide not just a spirituality, but a clear and easy summary of all spirituality.
There are several more interesting subtopics under this heading of “Overview of Legion Spirituality.” Check the menu for more…
It all comes down to Mary standing at the foot of the Cross
The love of Mary for us is clearest when she stands at the foot of the Cross. She is weeping, but not for herself. She is standing, when all the others ran away. She is handing her Son to the Father as a sacrifice for us. The best way to look at the Cross is through her eyes of faith, knowing that God would raise her Son again.
The love of Jesus is fully revealed at the Cross. His last words before it was finished, were to Mary,
“Woman, behold your son.”
Then He said to John, “Behold your mother.”
He literally gave us His love in his mother. She is central to the message of love, not off to the side. Through Mary and baptism, we become children of God. Please ponder that.