The Legion of Mary

The Legion of Mary is the largest Catholic apostolic organization of lay people serving under the banner of Mary Immaculate, Mediatrix of all Graces, with over 3 million active members around the world in about 170 countries. It was founded by the Servant of God, Frank Duff on 7 September, 1921 in Dublin, Ireland, drawing inspiration from the True Devotion to Mary, as taught by St. Louis Marie de Montfort. The objective of the Legion of Mary is the glory of God through the holiness of its members developed by prayer and active co-operation in Mary’s and the Church’s work .of sanctification of the world. The Legion aims to bring Mary to the world as the infallible means of winning the world to Jesus Christ so that people can benefit from the love and mercy of God. Specifically, the Legion of Mary seeks to lead the people encountered in the legionary service, to a greater knowledge and faith in God and to increase the faith and holiness of its own members through prayer and service to the Lord.

The Legion of Mary in the Philippines

The Legion of Mary was brought to the Philippines in 1940. Despite the war, it spread rapidly through the establishment of basic units called the praesidia, throughout the archipelago. The first praesidium in the Philippines, called Praesidium Purification of Our lady, was set-up in Hospicio de San Jose in Manila and was headed by Sister Joaquina Lucas. Its Spiritual Director was Father Manuel de Gracia, CM, founder of the Legion of Mary in the Philippines.

Being one of the earliest organizations in IHMP, the Legion of Mary was established on March 20, 1970. The first praesidium was called the Immaculate Heart of Mary, composed of female members. From this praesidium, the Immaculado Corazon, a mixed men and women group was born later. In 2008, the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary praesidium was also formed from the original Immaculate Heart of Mary praesidium. Presently, these three praesidia are active in our parish.  

Legionary Membership

To be an active legionary, it is necessary to apply for membership in a praesidium, which holds a weekly meeting where prayer is intermingled with reports and discussion of works done. Members are required to do the following: 1) pray daily the Holy Rosary and the Tessera (prayers of the Legion of Mary), and 2) working in pairs, perform an apostolic task at least two hours per week in the spirit of faith and in union with Mary. After a successful period of probation, members are called to make the Legionary Promise directed to the Holy Spirit. This is officiated by the Spiritual Director. Realising the necessity for a strong support of prayer, the Legion has Auxiliary members, who associate themselves with the Legion by praying the rosary and the Tessera for the intentions of the Blessed Mother.

Works undertaken by the Legion of Mary

Members become instruments of the Holy Spirit through a balanced program of prayer and apostolic work. The Legion sees as its priority the spiritual and social welfare of each individual. Legionary works, done under the guidance of a spiritual director include Parishioner visitation, Prison (Molave Youth Center) ministry, Visitation of the sick or aged in their homes and in hospitals, Community Evangelization, Marriage validation cases and Propagation of the sacraments (Baptism and Confirmation), Leading the church rosary, Dissemination of Catholic literature and religious articles, Consoling the bereaved, Collaboration in every apostolic undertaking sponsored by the parish, Propagation and supervision of the Block Rosary in some barangays. The Legion is, in essence, an extension of the heart and hands of the pastor.