The Legion of Mary is a world-wide organization of Mary's Apostolate, inspired by the Holy Spirit, in which Lay Catholic men, women and youth, sanctify themselves through prayer and Apostolic work in union with Our Lady under the guidance of a priest.The Legion of Mary was first organized in Dublin, on September 7th, 1921. In the first decade of its existence, it consolidated itself in Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland. In the second, the Legion spread rapidly through the United States, Canada, India, Australia, and Africa. The third decade saw it span the length and breath of Europe.
Finally, the vast Spanish-speaking countries caught its contagious missionary zeal, so that the Legion now exists in all continents. Today, the Legion is organized in nearly all the dioceses throughout the world. The Handbook, the official guide in the hands of every active Legionary, is printed in some thirty languages, and its prayers are recited in over sixty countries. It is estimated there are nearly 4 million active and 12 million praying members (Auxiliaries) throughout the world today.
Every active member in the Legion of Mary is addressed as Brother (Br.), Sister (Sr.).
PURPOSE OF LEGION OF MARY
The Purpose of the Legion of Mary is to make its members better Catholics, to mobilize the Catholic laity, and to raise the spiritual level of the entire community through direct contact with and interest in every member and potential member of the Mystical Body of Christ. The Sanctification of its members is achieved through prayer and work. Each weekly meeting offers to members the recitation of the Holy Rosary, followed by a spiritual reading, a short talk by the Spiritual Director, a discussion of doctrine and devotion, and an evaluation of the work program of the week; at the meeting each member is assigned two hours Apostolic work for the week, to be reported on at the following meeting. The Apostolic work is only a means to help the individual member achieve sanctification. The Legion is needed in every parish, as in every parish there are parishioners who want to better Catholics. Experience has shown that in every parish there are a nucleus of people called to be sanctified in this unique way.
WHAT WE DO: SPECIFIC TYPES OF WORK DONE BY LEGION OF MARY
The Legion system is adapted to various kinds of Apostolic work, and is always subject to the discretion of the Spiritual director. Following Pope Paul VI's exhortation on evangelization, and also the United States bishops' pastoral letter, the Legion of Mary has established a priority for its Apostolic works as: 1) Conversion, 2) Conservation, and 3) Consolation.
a) In this Apostolate, door-to-door is especially recommended; a parish census might be the reason for such calls, with Legionaries asking for example, any baptized Catholics at the address. If not, an invitation can be offered to attend the parish at time, telling them of information classes, or offering a prayer card such as 'My Daily Prayer' and asking them to join in praying for peace and unity.
b) An effort to contact the non-Catholic partners in mixed marriages., inviting them to join special information classes (offering to accompany them if they wish).
c) Legionaries might instruct in the home, or as requested by the pastor.
a) A program of door-to-door variation might uncover lax and fallen-away Catholics, children not receiving Religious instruction, babies not baptized, shut-ins not receiving the Sacraments. Legionaries would not only make the original contacts but follow-up on such calls as long as necessary, sometimes for years.
b) Visitation to homes of Catholics could be made to promote a program of more Mass attendance and reception of the Sacraments, achieve participation in various activities of the parish, of Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Apostleship of Prayer, Rosary Crusade, auxiliary membership in the Legion of Mary.
c) New parishioner can be welcomed, provided with parish bulletin, the census taken if the persons have not registered, or offered a resume of parish activities.
d) Converts might be encouraged in the practice of their faith.
e) The visitation of all homes by Legionaries would give them a chance to answer questions, listen to complaints, try to reconcile grievances.
a) Visit the sick and aged in hospitals, nursing homes or their own homes.
b) Visit jails and other penal institutions.
c) Make condolence calls/visits in case of death (these might be extended to non-Catholic families as well).
The Legion also does specialized work with the derelict classes, 'crowd contact' in busy city areas, "street people" Apostolate, and some forms of pro-life work (without demonstrations or posters/placards, but praying in peace).
Does the Legion of Mary give material relief?
No, the Legion limits its Apostolate to Spiritual works, but will refer material needs as they are encountered to other organizations like St. Vincent de Paul Society or similar relief agencies, which do take care of giving material aid (including used clothing) is not intended to prevent good works being done. It is just that the Legion is assigned a different field of duty. Works of personal service to those visited are encouraged.
Who is eligible for membership?
The Legion of Mary is open to all Catholic men and women over eighteen years of age who have the good will to want to serve God in the capacity of helpers to the priest, and who will conform to the Legion system. This is great witness to Love of the Holy Spirit.
Does the Legion also have a youth membership?
Yes. The Legion trains groups of young Legionaries, generally from eight to twelve years of age for Juniors and thirteen to eighteen yeas of age for Intermediates. These young Legionaries are the hope and joy of the Legion. They follow the Legion system, and in their way, do marvelous Apostolic works. Some of the works of the Junior and Intermediate Legionaries are the following:
a) Team up with adult Legionaries in their work where appropriate.
b) Evangelizing their peers by encouraging Mass attendance and parish participation among the youth.
c) Urging public school children to attend Religious instruction.
d) Preparing mentally -challenged and handicapped children for the Sacraments.
e) Assisting children who are slow in school.
f) Baby-sitting for parish nurseries during Mass.
What type of person makes the best member?
Membership in the Legion does not require specific skills or advanced spirituality. The Legion can take an ordinary Catholic with the willingness to give the required time to follow the Legion system, (i.e. faithful attendance of meetings and fulfilling assigned Apostolic works, daily praying the Holy Rosary, and Magnificat), and develop him/her through the Spirituality of the meeting and the experiences of the Apostolate itself into an Excellent Lay Apostolate. This development is the Work of the Holy Spirit, Who gives to those who give themselves to Him. In this regard, it is interesting to note that reception into the Legion of Mary involves commitment to the Holy Spirit (not to Mary, not to Jesus).
How could I go about starting a Legion group in my parish?
Convinced that the Legion will be an asset to your parish, you should first contact the Archdiocesan Director of the Legion of Mary or officers of the governing council, i.e Regional Senatus, or Comitium, or Curia. They will discuss with you the most practical and effective ways of recruiting members for your parish group. They will also send to you well-trained Legionaries who will teach your group the Legion system, and stay with them until they are ready to function on their own. From that point on, the local governing council will continue to keep contact with your group via the monthly council meetings.
All councils of Legion of Mary carry out several of the works described, as well as start new councils in parishes
The Legion of Mary is here to help you learn more about Jesus, love and serve Him with great devotion through Our Mother Mary.
( Northeastern Chapter of Legion of Mary of America )
Boston Regional Senatus
The Legion of Mary is a lay Catholic association whose members are giving service to the Church, on a voluntary basis, all over the world. It was founded in Myra House, Francis Street, Dublin, Ireland, on 7 September, 1921 by Frank Duff. At present, it has about 4 million active members in over 160 countries. The official handbook of the Legion has been published in at least 50 languages.
ORGANIZATION OF LEGION OF MARY BOSTON REGIONAL SENATUS
Boston Regional Senatus
75 Union Park Street
Boston, MA 02118
WHAT IS THE LEGION OF MARY BOSTON REGIONAL SENATUS?
Boston Regional Senatus is a Regional Governing Council located in Boston, MA, supervising 13 Praesidia, 11 Curiae and 3 Comitia, situated in New England comprised of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine and Vermont. The Praesidium is the basic unit of the Legion of Mary. The Curia is a supervisory Council of a group of Praesidia. The Comitium is a supervisory Council for several Curiae and Praesidia. All attached Praesidia report to Boston Regional Senatus monthly, and the Curiae and Comitia each reports every six months. Boston Regional Senatus has a total of 1,392 Active Members (Actives) and 3,3630 Auxiliary Members.
1. Living Temple of The Holy Spirit,St. Mary of the Annunciation, Cambridge, MA: 4 Actives
2. Maria Estrella de la Neuva Evangeizacion,St. Mary, Waltham, MA: 1 Spiritual Director, 11 Actives, 19 Auxiliaries.
3. Mary Queen and Mother,Basilica of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, Roxbury, MA: 1 Spiritual Director, 3 Actives, 1 Probationary, 5 Auxiliaries
4. Our Lady, Queen of Angels, Holy Family, Gloucester, MA: 1 Spiritual Director, 17 actives, 57 Auxiliaries.
5. Our Lady of China Mother of Mercy, St. James Church, Chinatown, MA: 1 Spiritual Director, 8 Actives, 39 auxiliaries.
6. Our Lady of Peace (Vietnamese), St. Ambrose Church, Dorchester, MA: 1 Spiritual Director, 5 Actives, 7 Auxiliaries.
7. Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Mary of Lourdes, Lincoln, ME: 1 Spiritual Director: 9 Actives, 48 Auxiliaries.
8. Lady of Guadalupe, St. John the Baptist, Castleton, VT: 3 Actives, 37 Auxiliaries.
9. Our Lady of Perpetual Help, St. Peter, Rutland, VT: 8 Actives,1 Probationary 41 Auxiliaries.
10. Our Lady of the Visitation (Vietnamese), St. Ambrose Church, Dorchester, MA: 4 Actives, 3 Auxiliaries.
11. Our Mother of Perpetual Help (Spanish-speaking), Basilica of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, Roxbury, MA: 1 Spiritual Director, 12 Actives, 24 Auxiliaries.
12. Sancta Maria, Cathedral of The Holy Cross, Boston, MA: 1 Spiritual Director, 3 Actives, 50 Auxiliaries
1. Bayview Curia, MA: 3 Praesidia 348 Actives, 17 Auxiliaries.
2. Merrimack Valley Curia, 9 Praesidia, 1 Spiritual Director, 68 Actives, 341 Auxiliaries.
3. Mystic Valley Curia, MA: 6 Praesidia (5 Adult, 1 Junior), 1 Spiritual Director: 41 Actives, 86 Auxiliaries
4. New Bedford Curia, MA: 4 Praesidia, 1 Spiritual Director,
28 Actives, 241 Auxiliaries.
5. Neponset Valley Curia, MA: 3 Praesidia, with 1 prison Praesidium, 8 Actives, 113 Auxiliaries.
6. Norwood Curia, MA: 3 Praesidia, 12 Actives, 65 Auxiliaries.
7.Our Lady of La Vang Vietnamese Curia, MA: 1 Spiritual Director, 8 Praesidia, 1 young Adult Praesidium, 142 Actives, 3 Praetorians, 176 Auxiliaries.
8.Our Lady of Mercy Korean Curia, MA: 8 Praesidia, 1 Spiritual Director, 64 Actives, 42 Auxiliaries.
9. Portuguese Curia of Our Lady of the Sacred Family, MA: 7 Praesidia, 121 Actives, 217 Auxiliaries.
10. Springfield Curia, MA: 1 Spiritual Director, 4 Praesidia, 46 Actives, 79 Auxiliaries
11. Worcester Curia, MA: 1 Spiritual Director, 2 Praesidia, 20 Actives, 53 Auxiliaries.
1.Hartford Comitim, CT: 3 Curiae, 10 Praesidia which includes 2 prison Praesidia, 1 Junior Praesidium), 1 Spiritual Director, 161 Actives (among whom 42 are Junior Actives), 775 Auxiliaries.
2.New Haven Comitium, CT: 2 curiae, 25 Praesidia, 1 Junior Praesidium, 1 Prison Praesidium, 1 Spiritual Director, 195 Actives among whom are 2 Junior Actives, 540 Auxiliaries.
3.Providence Comitium, RI: 1 Spiritual Director, 4 Curiae, 17 Praesidia, 313 Actives, 842 Auxiliaries.