Legion of Mary: 170 countries, millions of members but…

Today, let’s look at another example of a well-known international Catholic association, the Legion of Mary, founded in Ireland in 1921 by Frank Duff.


It describes its objective as follows:

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 in Mary’s and the Church’s work.

And here is a description of its work:

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. Every legionary is required to carry out a weekly apostolic work in the spirit of faith and in union with Mary.

The Legion says it has members in “about 170 countries” and “several million members,” which makes it the biggest Catholic international Catholic association we’ve looked at so far.

Extremely impressive in what it achieves quietly and almost entirely through voluntary effort.

Indeed, perhaps that’s part of the problem? Lay participation in the coming Synod seems particularly skewed towards those who are directly employed by the Church itself or major Church organisations.

Once again, let’s hope that at least some Synod participants have direct experience of the Legion. Nevertheless, I’m afraid I don’t understand how an organisation like the Legion can be overlooked for representation in its own right at the Synod on Synodality.

Stefan Gigacz