History of Legion Mary

Legion of Mary was started by Servant of God Frank Duff. On 7th September 1921 at 8pm, the very first meeting of Legion of Mary was held and it was attended by Frank Duff, Fr. Michael Toher and 15 ladies.

Legion of Mary mainly operated in Dublin Diocese, Ireland due to the mistrust developed because of its then-unusual dedication to lay apostolate until 1931 when Pope Pius XI praised the movement.

Different “envoys” volunteered to extend the Legion of Mary to different Countries/Continents.

Legion in Uganda

East and South Africa were not left out. A sickly lady (now Venerable) Edel Quinn volunteered to extend Legion of Mary to Africa. Her first country was Kenya before setting foot in Uganda on 22nd July 1938.

The first Legion of Mary meeting in Uganda took place on 24th September 1938 at Holy Ghost Normal School which is now Sancta Maria Primary Teachers College in the present Lugazi Diocese. Mother Kevin suggested first work as visitation of St. Francis Hospital.

Officers of the first Praesidium (Our Lady of mercy, Nkokonjeru PTC) were:

  • Yoanina Namakula, President
  • Rose Namatovu, Vice President
  • Virizini Namagembe, Secretary
  • Maria Namudu, Treasurer

Thanks to the guidance and Counsel of the Little Sisters of St. Francis (Congregation of nuns) led by Rev. Sr. Mary Kevin Kearny, OSF, CBE better known as Mother Kevin.

Growth of the Legion

From the first Praesidium of Legion of Mary, Our Lady of Mercy, many others were formed later on. What started as a Praesidium grew to the Curia and then Comitium. On 20th May 1962, Senatus was granted to Uganda and the inauguration took place.

The first officers of Senatus of Uganda were:

  • Rev. Fr. Tarcisio Agostoni, Spiritual Director
  • Raphael Owor, President
  • Thomas Fernandes, Vice President
  • Gilbert Alberquerque, Secretary
  • Gracias Juanita, 1st Assistant Secretary
  • Leonard Komakech, 2nd Assistant Secretary
  • Eulalia Mukasa, Treasurer

It is from that Senatus that many other councils have grown and Legion of Mary now exists in all the 19 Dioceses, in Schools and Institutions of higher learning, Major Seminaries, Prisons etc.

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