Legion Of Mary

St Mary Help Of Christians Parish ~ Our Lady Of the Immaculate Conception Praesidium

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Officers of the Praesidium

President--------Elizabeth Thomas  Telephone # 648-1872    bigchic44@aol.com

V.President --- Mike DiSilvestro   Telephone # 648-3844   disilves@bellsouth.net

Secretary ------Therese McCreesh   Telephone # 644-9044

Treasurer ------Ron Tugya    Telephone # 642-9344    rtugya@bellsouth.net

Curia Contact --Sharon Crocker    Telephone # 356-3042   Cell # 309-2480

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What is the Legion Of Mary

Founded in Dublin, Ireland in 1921 the Legion Of Mary is now a world-wide organization of Catholic men and women who place themselves under the banner of Mary, Queen of the Legion. 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.

Subject to the approval of the international Concilium, and to the restrictions specified in the official handbook of the Legion, 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 the Ordinary.

The Legion setting follows the Roman Army whose members were called Legionaries. The local/parish unit of the Legion is the Praesidium. A set of Praesidia form the Curia and so on. The international headquarters, Concilium, governs this worldwide organization from Dublin, Ireland. The Commander of this Army is Mother Mary herself who wishes to see all her children closer to her Son. Her Legionaries bring the Good News to all they meet.

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The Works of the Legion

The Legion sees as its priority the spiritual and social welfare of each individual. Our members participate in the life of the parish through visitation of the sick in hospitals and through collaboration in every apostolic and missionary undertaking sponsored by the parish.

During hospital visits Legionaries are concerned with the physical and spiritual needs of the patients, pray with them and provide Church approved religious material such as prayer cards, rosaries, etc. Those members who have been separately deputized as Extra-Ordinary Eucharistic Ministers can also provide Communion to the sick patients. Being an Extra-Ordinary Eucharistic Minister is not a prerequisite to joining the legion.

Every legionary is required to carry out a weekly apostolic work in the spirit of faith and in union with Mary, and in the daily recitation of the Catena (the Magnificat, prayers of the Legion).

"For all states of the laity the perfect example of spiritual and apostolic life is the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Apostles, who while leading the life common to all here on earth, one filled with family concerns and labours, was always intimately united with her Son and in an entirely unique way cooperated in the work of the Saviour. ...All should devoutly venerate her and commend their life and apostolate to her maternal care".

(Vatican II: Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity)

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Membership Categories

Membership in the Legion is open to all Catholic men and women who lead edifying lives and are animated by the Legion spirit or at least desire to foster that spirit in themselves and are willing to fulfill the required duties. Active members must be at least eighteen years old. However, a junior praesidium can be organized for those between ten and eighteen, with duties befitting their abilities, and under the direction of a senior Legionary.

Auxiliary membership in the Legion of Mary is open to priests, religious and laity who are unable to assume the duties of active membership. Auxiliary members do not undertake the active apostolate of weekly meetings and weekly assignments. As the praying wing of the Legion, Auxiliaries recite daily specific Legion prayers, including the Rosary.

Membership in the Legion of Mary also offers opportunities for those seeking to advance their spiritual interior life. The spiritual formation of legionaries at the praesidium level greatly helps in the development of their holiness.

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Weekly Meetings

Active members are required to meet weekly with our Spiritual Director to pray, to report on, and receive our weekly work assignments. We meet each Wednesday in the St. Mary's school library. Our meetings start at 6:15pm and last for no more than 1 1/2 hours. All matters discussed at our meetings or in connection with the work that are of a confidential nature must be maintained confidential and may not be divulged outside the Legion.

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Annual Acies

Annually, and as close as possible to March 25, the feast of the Annunciation, active and auxiliary Legionaries assemble in a sacred and solemn religious ceremony, called the Acies, to renew individually and collectively their consecration to the Blessed Virgin. This assembly recalls Mary's complete dedication to the Holy Spirit during that momentous visit of the Archangel Gabriel when the fate of mankind hung in the balance and awaited Mary's free acceptance. This impressive rite reminds every Legionary of his duty of surrendering to continue her mission of crushing the serpent's head. Our event is usually held in Columbia, SC.

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Pope John Paul II Address to Italian Legionaries, October 30, 1982 "Yours is an eminently Marian spirituality, not only because the Legion glories in carrying Mary's name as its unfurled banner, but above all because it bases its methods of spirituality and apostolate on the dynamic principle of union with Mary, on the truth of the intimate participation of the Virgin Mary in the plan of salvation. In other words, you intend to render your service to every person who is the image of Christ, with the spirit and the solicitude of Mary.

Each year the Legion of Mary sponsors the "MAY PROCESSION" which is a Parish event to honor and to express our reverence for the dignity of Mary, the Mother of God and Our Lord Jesus Christ. For more details, click on ==>"MAY PROCESSION."

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The material presented on this page is the responsibility of Mr. Mike DiSilvestro. Any errors and/or suggested additions or deletions should be reported to him either by telephone at (803) 648-3844 or by e-mail (click on Page Editor's E-mail below).