The Legion of Mary
The Legion of Mary is an Association of the Catholic Laity. Membership is open to men and women, married or single. The object of the Legion is the assistance of the Bishops and Priests in their apostolic work of saving and sanctifying souls. It does not concern itself with the giving of material aid.
This membership consists of those who meet each week for one hour for prayer and discussion. They, along with at least one other Legion member, also spend a couple of hours weekly doing an apostolic work, which is always geared to the capabilities of the individual
This membership consists of those who are unable or unwilling to assume the duties of active membership, but who undertake to give the Legion the assistance of their prayers. Auxiliary membership is subdivided into two degrees: For Priests and Religious; and for the Laity.
FOR THE LAITY
The obligations of this membership consist in the daily recitation of the prayers comprised in the Legion Tessera, which is given to each Auxiliary in token of membership. These prayers are: The Invocation and Prayer of the Holy Spirit: five decades of the Rosary and the Invocations that follow: the Catena of the Legion (that is the Magnificat with antiphon, versicle and responsory. together with the prayer from the Mass of Our Lady Mediatrix of all Graces): and the prayers described in the Tessera as “Concluding Prayers.”
All the above prayers are to be offered daily by the Auxiliaries for the intentions of Our Blessed Lady. If, however, a person whose daily Rosary is already offered for particular intentions, desires to become an Auxiliary, the recitation of another Rosary is not necessary. Lay-auxiliaries may also make the Formula of Offering prescribed for Adjutorians, and given above. By doing so the value of their Auxiliary service will be greatly enhanced.
There is no entrance fee for membership of the Legion of Mary, but a small offering may be made for the cost of the Tessera (Prayer Card). All that is required for Auxiliary membership is goodwill and the sincere intention of saying the prescribed prayers. Each local branch (Praesidium) of the Legion keeps a list of the Auxiliary members obtained through that branch. The names of intending Auxiliary members are placed on a provisional list until three months probation has been served. Then when the Praesidium is satisfied that the obligations of membership have been faithfully discharged, the names of the candidates are placed on the Auxiliary Roll.
SOME FACTS ABOUT THE LEGION
The Legion was founded in 1921, in Dublin Ireland. Today there are over 800 Praesidia (branches) of the Legion in the City of Dublin alone.
In 1928 the Legion began to spread rapidly. In that year it was established in Scotland, where there are now 150 Praesidia. In 1929 a start was made in London. There are over 1,000 Praesidia in England now. In 1931 it reached India and spread with astonishing rapidity. In the same year it appeared in the U.S.A. where it is now established in almost every diocese; and in Canada it has extended into some fifty Dioceses. It is also widely organized in the West Indies and is active in Central and South America. In 1932 the first Praesidium was formed in Australia. The Legion is now operating in every State of the Commonwealth. In 1934 the Legion found its way to Africa. Here its success has been beyond even the most sanguine expectations. Two Apostolic Delegates have recommended it to the Bishops of Africa. In 1936 it reached China, rapidly extended to 90 Dioceses and received the highest commendation of the Internuncio and of the Hierarchy of China.
Over 1,000 Bishops have welcomed the Legion to their respective Dioceses — a number which increases monthly. The Legion is also established in the following countries: New Zealand, Ceylon, West Indies, Philippines, Central America, Egypt, Burma, Belgian Congo, Japan, Denmark France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy Switzerland, Mexico, South America, Algeria, Spain, Portugal, Austria, A.E. Sudan, Indonesia, Israel, Lebanon.
The basis of the Legion System is the weekly meeting of the Praesidium (local branch). The purpose of the Praesidium meeting is twofold, spiritual formation and apostolate. The active members come into the Praesidium to pray, to plan and to act. Whatever success attends their efforts is rightly attributed to the powerful intercession of her whom Legionaries serve as their Queen and Commander.
The Central Council of the Legion of Mary is named the Concilium and is located in Dublin, Ireland.
Further information regarding member- ship may be procured from your local Praesidium (branch): Immaculate Conception Praesidium at St. Casimir Church.