Legion Of Mary - Our Lady of Perpetual Succour

The Legion of Mary - Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Praesidium comprises of a group of legionaries who have been visiting homes and praying with the parishioners. Frequency of Meetings: Every Thursday at 7.00 pm in St Mark Room.

KNOW FRANK DUFF, FOUNDER OF THE LEGION OF MARY

(pictured above)

WHAT INFLUENCED FRANK DUFF TO START THE LEGION OF MARY?

Frank Duff was born in Dublin, Ireland, on 7th June 1889. He entered the Civil Service at the age of 18 and had a distinguished career. Frank joined the SVP in 1914, aged 24 while still working in the civil service, so as to do something to help the underprivileged. He acquired a great sensitivity to the needs of the poor and underprivileged. He visited hospitals and homes. From his experiences, Frank learned in particular that many people are in dire need of spiritual uplift, more than of material help. Through much prayer and reflection, Frank came up with the idea of providing for the spiritual needs of such people.

THE BIRTHDAY OF THE LEGION

The Legion of Mary was born on 7th September 1921, which was the eve of the feast of our Lady’s birthday. The vision is stated as follows: “ The Legion system is built upon the principle of bringing spiritual good to every individual in the population.’ Devotion to our Lady is the hallmark of his Legion. 

FIRST LEGIONARY MEETING

The table around which they met bore a simple altar, of which the centre was a statue of the Immaculate Conception. The Immaculate Virgin is the centre of devotion at every Legion meeting. The same model is used at all Legion meetings ever since. It stood on a white cloth, and was flanked by two vases with flowers, and two candlesticks with lighted candles. The altar summarizes the devotional outlook of the Legion. They began with a prayer to the Holy Spirit and then prayed the Rosary. Then the first allocutio ever heard in the Legion was given by Fr. Michael Toher, a priest of the diocese.

The invocation that proclaims her Immaculate Conception ….. O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you, is said at all praesidium meetings, and is part of the prayers prescribed for daily recitation by all legionaries.

That first enrolment of legionaries of Mary took place at Myra House, Francis Street, Dublin, Ireland, at 8 p.m. on 7 September, 1921, the eve of the feast of Our Lady’s Nativity. United to her, they began the visitation of an immense infirmary, filled with the sick and sorrowful and broken ones, seeing her Beloved Son in each of them. They set about their simple work of service, and over the world that Legion is doing  those simple acts of the love of God in man.

HOW THE HANDBOOK WAS WRITTEN

The rules and practices of the Legion of Mary are contained in the handbook. The handbook was written in 1927. This was six years after the founding of the Legion, on 7th September 1921. In 1927 the Legion was about to start in Scotland. This was the first Legion foundation outside of Ireland.

THE LEGIONARY AND THE HOLY TRINITY

When the vexillum was designed some years later, a nonreligious emblem, that is, the Standard of the Roman Legion, had been taken and adapted to the purposes of the Marian Legion. The Dove entered in by mode of substitution for the Eagle; and Our Lady’s image was in substitution for the image of the Emperor or Consul. Yet the final result portrayed the Holy Spirit as using Mary as the channel to the world of his life-giving influences, and as having taken possession of the Legion.

Tessera pictureAnd later, when the Tessera picture was painted, it illustrated the same devotional position: the Holy Spirit broods the Legion. By his power the undying warfare accomplishes itself: the Virgin crushes the head of the serpent: her battalions advance to their foretold victory over the adverse forces.

The colour of the Legion is red. Legion symbolism required that Our Lady be shown as full of the Holy Spirit, and that this should be denoted by making her halo of his colour. The same note is struck in the Tessera picture, which depicts Our Lady as the biblical Pillar of Fire, all luminous and burning with the Holy Spirit.

The rosary form a prime devotion to the Holy Spirit by reason of its being the chief prayer to Our Lady.

THE STRUCTURE OF THE LEGION OF MARY

In choosing the name Legion of Mary Frank Duff was looking back to the Roman Legion, the army of the Roman empire, which was famous for its courage and its fighting spirit. The choice of the name was a call to legionaries to develop the same qualities. Because of this connection with the Roman Legion the Legion of Mary uses many of the names and titles that were used in the Roman army.

Concilium: this is the name of the top council, the governing body, of the Legion. Its headquarters is in Dublin, Ireland.

Senatus: this term describes a council with authority over a large area, such as a whole country.

Curia: a curia exercises authority at roughly parish level.

Comitium: a comitium oversees a number of curia. Its authority is roughly at diocesan level.

Praesidium: (plural praesidia). A praesidium is the basic unit of the legion.

THE DEATH OF FRANK DUFF, 7 NOVEMBER 1980

Twelve years after founding the Legion, i.e. in 1933, Frank retired from civil service at the age of 44, to devote himself full time to the Legion of Mary. In 1965 Frank Duff was invited by Pope Paul VI to attend the second Vatican council, in recognition of his work for the lay apostolate. An outstanding feature of Frank Duff, the founder of the Legion, was his great insight into the role that lay people should play in the apostolic work of the church. As legionaries, we are privileged to share Frank Duff’s insights.

Frank Duff died on 7th November 1980 at the age of 91. On 16th July 1996 the cause for his canonisation was introduced by the Archbishop of Dublin. A petition was signed as the first step in the process of studying the holiness of his life. He founded the Legion of Mary with the aim of getting lay Christians to carry the gospel of Christ to the world around them.

THE LIGHT OF CHRIST

When the Legion Promise was composed, it was consistent that it should be directed to the Holy Spirit and not to the Queen of the Legion. Again that vital note is struck: it is always the Holy Spirit who regenerates the world  —  even to the bestowing of the smallest individual grace; and his agency is always Mary.

When we made the legionary promise we prayed to the holy spirit to give us power, so that we, “ could bring Christ to the world and to the souls who need him.”  Legionaries pray to the holy spirit for this commitment in the opening words of the legionary promise :- “most holy spirit, … I ask you to come upon me, so that I can become an instrument of your mighty purpose.” At every praesidium meeting we ask the holy spirit to keep this commitment alive and strong in us :-“Confer, O Lord, on us … a faith which will kindle everywhere the fires of divine love, to enlighten those who are in darkness and in the shadow of death.”

As a legionary, you intend to render your service to every person, who is the image of Christ, with the spirit and the solicitude of Mary.

The Legion of Mary is at the disposal of the bishop of the diocese and the parish priest for any and every form of social service and Catholic action which these authorities may deem suitable to the legionaries and useful for the welfare of the Church. Legionaries will never engage in any of these services whatsoever in a parish without the sanction of the parish priest or of the Ordinary.

LAY ORGANISATIONS

This was a lay organisation. Except for a priest as spiritual director all other members were lay people. Even though they are not priests, the same grace, he says, is given to legionaries, because they are working as representatives of the priests. The life of a legionary must be one of union with the Holy Spirit and union with Mary. In other words legionaries must always be people of prayer. The life of a legionary must be one of caring for others.

The Legion of Mary is an association of Catholics who, … under the powerful leadership of Mary Immaculate, mediatrix of all graces … have formed themselves into a Legion for service in the warfare which is perpetually waged by the church against the world and its evil powers.These are the opening words of the handbook, the official guidebook of the Legion of Mary. All legionaries are aware that the Legion of Mary is not just a prayer movement. It is a movement that combines prayer with an active apostolate in the church.

The spirit of the Legion of Mary is that of Mary herself.

The Legion apostolate operates through Mary.

The aims of the Legion of Mary is to bring God and religion to every soul; Mary is the heart of the Legion.

Legionaries work for Mary quite irrespectively of the simplicity or the difficulty of the task; and in every employment the legionary must give the best that is in him, be it little or be it great. The legionary must give to the utmost of his capacity. She anxiously appeals to them, in her Son’s own words, for a service “with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” (Mk 12:30) The legionary must only look to Mary to supplement, to purify, to perfect, to enable weak human effort to achieve what is impossible to it.

In all those whom they served they were to see the Person of Jesus Christ himself. What they did to those others — even the weakest and lowest — they were to remember that they did it to Our Lord himself, according to his own words: “Truly, I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Mt 25:40)

Legionaries do not really bring Mary to help them in their service of the other members of the Mystical Body. It is She who summons them to assist her. As it is her special and proper work, no one is able to take part in it save by her gracious permission. The special function of legionaries in the Mystical Body is to guide, console, and enlighten others. Legionaries then, as they carry out their apostolate in union with Mary are called to be one with her in her vital role as the heart of the Mystical Body. Christ stands in need of him to bring light and hope to those in darkness, consolation to those who are afflicted, life to those who are dead in sin.

THE LEGION IN THE PARISH

Through the Legion, lay people become accustomed to working in the parish in close union with their priests and participating in pastoral responsibilities.

To the priest the Legion gives the respect and obedience. A first principle of legionary action must be the bringing of the priest to the people, not always in person — for that may be impossible — but everywhere in influence and in understanding. This is the essential idea of the Legion apostolate, working in inseparable union with the priests, and under their captaincy, seek to supplement their efforts, and to widen their place in the lives of men, so that men, receiving them, shall receive him who sent them.

“Very truly, I tell you, whoever receives one whom I send receives me; and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.” (Jn 13:20)

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who abide in me, and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” (Jn 15:5)

THE WEEKLY MEETING OF THE PRAESIDIUM

The praesidium holds a weekly meeting, and a report received from each legionary of work done. This weekly meeting is the heart of the Legion.

The legionaries shall therefore regard attendance at their weekly praesidium meeting as their first and most sacred duty to the Legion.

The Legion imposes on each member, as an essential obligation, the weekly performance of some active work. The praesidium can approve of any active work as satisfying the member’s weekly obligation.

MEMBERSHIP

1. The Legion of Mary is open to all Catholics who:

(a) faithfully practise their religion;

(b) are prepared to fulfil each and every duty which active membership of the Legion involves.

2. Persons who wish to join the Legion must apply for membership in a praesidium.

3. Candidates under 18 years of age can only be received in Junior praesidia.

4. No one shall be admitted as a candidate for membership of the Legion of Mary until the President of the praesidium, to which admission is sought, is, after careful enquiry, satisfied that the person seeking admission fulfils the conditions required.

5. A satisfactory probation of at least three months is required before the candidate can be enrolled in the ranks of the legionaries, but from the first the candidate can participate fully in the works of the Legion.

6. A copy of the Tessera shall be given to every candidate.

7. Formal admission consists essentially in the Legionary Promise, and the entry of the name of the candidate on the membership roll of the praesidium.

The probation and the Promise are the gateway of the Legion.

8. For the purposes of the work of the Legion, but only for those purposes, members are addressed by the title of “Brother” or “Sister” as the case may be.

THE PRAESIDIUM

1. The unit of the Legion of Mary is called a praesidium.

2. Each praesidium is named  after a title of Our Blessed Lady, for example, Our Lady of Mercy, or from one of her privileges, for example, The Immaculate Conception, or from an event in her life, for example, The Visitation.

6. The praesidium shall hold a meeting every week. A vital purpose of the meeting is weekly prayer in common. A weekly meeting may entail self-sacrifice.

You are cordially invited to attend our meetings held every Thursday 

Praesidium:   Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
Time:            7.00pm
Venue:          St Mark’s Room

Recent Events

2016 LEGION OF MARY JOINT RECRUITMENT DRIVE & BOOK BARROW

Thank you to all who purchased books and registered to join the Legion of Mary during our recent recruitment drive & book barrow!
27 August 2016 Saturday; 4.00pm – 7.00pm
28 August 2016 Sunday; 8.00am – 2.00pm

To contact us for more info, visit either of our group pages:

Legion Talk (organized by Senatus)

Date: 18 June 2016 (Saturday)
Time: 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Venue: Agape Village, Level 1, Multipurpose Hall 1
Speaker: Fr James Yeo
Topic: Mercy – A Christian Calling 

Notes from Session:

  • We know God is mercy. But why should God be merciful to us?
  • There is a purpose in God’s mercy – to save us. 
  • We need to understand the purpose of God’s mercy for us in all the circumstances of our lives. Mercy is the Good News brought to us.
  • Is there a limit to God’s mercy? No, not before Judgement Day. God’s righteousness will take over.
  •  Heart of mercy  ↓   translates to Works of mercy (Corporal & Spiritual)
  • Compassion cannot be a sympathy from a distance.
  • Pope Francis talks about mercy as: presence, accompaniment, friendship.
  • We all need mercy because we are all imperfect.

4 Expressions of Mercy:

1.   Compassion
2.   Forgiveness
3.   Kindness
4.   Hospitality

The talk ended with Questions and answers,  Jubilee Year of Mercy Prayer, and Refreshments