The original Legion of Mary Altar used for the Legion's first meeting on September 7, 1921 (without the vexillum)
Legion of Mary Apostolic Works
The Legion of Mary's apostolic system consists in the weekly performance of missionary and evangelizing works. In a parish where the Legion of Mary is present, these works are carried out by the Praesidium for a single-minded purpose: to bring Christ to the world so that those who encounter him may be saved. The Apostolic works of the Legion of Mary are those assigned by the Praesidium according to the needs of the Church and of the parish community its serves. These would consist and but are not limited to the following:
- Visitation of Homes (Door to Door Visitation)
- Crowd Contact (such as Bookbarrow in a public square)
- Homebound Ministry (Communion to the shut-ins and elderly)
- Prison Ministry
- Organizing and conducting Catholic faith study groups (such as the Patricians Society or Bible Study Groups)
- Enthronement of the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart
- Promoting Family Prayer (such as the Family Holy Rosary)
- Youth Ministry (such as leading a youth group or a junior praesidium of the Legion of Mary)
- Promoting and Organizing Marian Devotions (such as 'True Devotion to Mary, Total Act of Consecration and Investiture of the Brown Scapular and Miraculous Medal
- Promoting Weekend Retreats, Parish Missions and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
- Teaching Catechism to Children and Young Adults (or Adults through the Parish's RCIA Program)
Bentley Place (Monto) - Early Works of Conversion
One of the earliest works of the Legion of Mary was towards the 'street girls' met by Frank Duff and members of the Legion of Mary at a notorious area in Dublin called Monto. Many young women were engaged in drugs and prostitution in order to make a living for themselves and their families. Frank Duff wanted to help these girls to leave this immoral trade and so he invited them to weekend retreat... but that was not enough for him. He knew that these girls would return to the streets once after the retreat was over, so he went a step further, he worked with Ireland's government officials to find a place where they could provide accommodation for these young women so that they would not have to return to the streets. This was the beginning of the Legion hostels - and amazingly through it came the expansion of the Legion of Mary throughout the world.
The Three C's of the Legion Apostolate
Conversion (aimed toward those who are outside of the Catholic Church and for our fellow Catholics who have left the Church for various reasons).
Conservation (aimed toward our Catholic brothers and sisters to strengthen their spiritual formation).
Consolation (aimed toward all men and women to bring them spiritual comfort through our presences particularly through the Holy Eucharist).