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Legion of Mary

Legion of Mary

The Legion of Mary is a lay catholic organization whose members give service to the Church on a voluntary basis in almost every country. The object of the Legion of Mary is the glory of God through the holiness of its members developed by prayer and active cooperation in Mary’s and the Church’s work. The Legion sees as its priority the spiritual and social welfare of each individual. The members participate in the life of the parish through visitation of families, the sick, both in their homes and in hospitals and through collaboration in every apostolic and missionary undertaking sponsored by the parish.

Biographical Information

Founder: Frank Duff

Foundation: Founded in Dublin, Ireland, in 1921 by a group of 15 people under the direction of Frank Duff.

Ecclesial Recognition: Papal Blessing first made by Pius IX on September 16, 1933. Later Popes have offered similar blessings. Recognized as an International Association of the Faithful.

Membership: Membership is worldwide in almost every country.

Membership: approximately 3 million active and 10 million auxiliary members
- both male and female
- lay with religious as spiritual directors and auxiliaries


Lay/Religious: both, but predominantly lay

Individual/Community: Individual members are organized in an hierarchical structure based on the Ancient Roman Army; active members meet weekly in a local group called the praesidium, a curia is composed of several praesidia and a comitium, regia and senatus are a grouping of curiae; the entire Legion is overseen by the Concilium.

Commitment/Vows: Active members make a promise to serve Mary and follow the Legion discipline as described in the Handbook. Auxiliary members commit to daily prayer.

Purpose and Activities

Overall Purpose: The object of the Legion of Mary is the glory of God through the holiness of its members developed by prayer and active co-operation, under ecclesiastical guidance, in Mary's and the Church's work of crushing the head of the serpent and advancing the reign of Christ through prayer and apostolic work of evangelization; e.g., visits to the elderly, sick, needy and inmates; religious and catechetical instruction.

Apostolic commitments: Active members attend a weekly meeting, perform two hours of assigned apostolic work each week and recite the Catena prayer daily; auxiliary members recite five decades of the Rosary and the Legion Tessera prayers daily.

Marian Characteristics

Major Inspirations: Faith in the joint action of Mary and the Holy Spirit; True Devotion to Mary according to St. Louis Marie de Montfort

General Marian Characteristics: Imitation of Mary's virtues and servanthood.

Spiritual\Devotional Exercises: Legion prayers recited daily; Consecration to Mary; recitation of Rosary; annual retreat; some members also commity to daily Mass, daily communion and the daily recitation of the Divine Office.

Pastoral/Apostolic Endeavors: To make Mary present to persons and the world through the apostolic endeavors of members.


Directory of International Associations of the Faithful, Pontifical Council for the Laity, available at:

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