The Legion of Mary
The Legion of Mary is organized as an ancient Roman Army, the base unit at the church parish level is called praesidium. The multi-parish level is known as the curia, commitium and regia are regional levels and senatus is the state or country level. The highest committee is the concilium, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, where the LOM was founded in 1921 by Frank Duff, who was invited by Pope Paul VI to be the only lay observer at the Second Vatican Council.
The objective of the LOM is to glorify God through the holiness of its members developed by prayer and active cooperation, under ecclesiastical guidance, in Mary’s and the church’s work of crushing the head of the serpent and advancing the reign of Christ” (page 11 of the LOM handbook). Many persons outside the Catholic Church benefit from this apostolate. The general and essential means by which the Legion of Mary is to effect its object is personal service acting under the influence of the Holy Spirit, having Divine Grace as its moving principle and support, and the glory of God and the salvation of souls as its final end and purpose. Evangelization, especially the seeking of conversions to the Church, should be a priority for the Legion. Through the visitation of homes and by other means, the Legion must, as a first principle, set out to establish a contact of some sort with every soul everywhere. Seeing and serving Christ in the sick and marginalized is another vital part of the legionary apostolate. While not engaging in the giving of material relief, legionaries will often find opportunities to do works of service for the needy.
With the approval and support of the Popes and a great many Bishops, Priests and Religious, as well as the prayers and efforts of legionaries, the Legion, by the grace of God, has grown into a worldwide organization with several million members. The LOM, which can be found today in over 168 countries, has in excess of 3 million active members and many more auxiliary or praying members.
In the Diocese of Baton Rouge, there are 5 praesidia serving 5 church parishes. One of the presaesidia anchored at St. Agnes meets on Tuesday mornings at 9am in the Meeting Room. There are two types of membership in the Legion of Mary: auxiliary and active. The auxiliary members say the daily Legion prayers and recite a rosary for the intention of the work of the active members. The active members also the prayers and recite a rosary daily, but they also must attend the meetings and do two hours of service work per week. The active members at St. Agnes do a variety of work to attain their service hours; included in this work are door to door visitations within the parish, visits to the hospitals, and nursing homes and working in the Missionaries of Charity Soup Kitchen. Any person interested in obtaining more information on the work of the Legion of Mary should call the parish office at 383-4127 and leave their contact info and a Legion Member will be in contact with you