In Uganda, there are over 400,000 active members in over 3,500 Praesidia (groups). Active members meet weekly in their own Praesidium and perform a minimum of two hours of apostolic work in pairs each week. Junior members (under the age of 18) perform at least one hour of apostolic work.
Also, we have over 28,000 Auxiliary members who do not attend meetings but who support the work through their daily Legion of Mary prayers, which include the Rosary.
Some members take on Praetorian or Adjutorian membership, which involves, in addition to the regular obligations, daily Mass and Communion and the recitation of some form of Office approved by the Church.
Each Legion group, Praesidium, or Council (Curia, Comitium, Regia, or Senatus) has a Priest, deacon, or religious brother or sister as Spiritual Director, when available.
The Legionary work (Apostolate) that we do is under the supervision and with the permission of the Parish Priest. The includes but is not limited to the following:
- Visitation of homes, people at their places of work, and hospitals among others
- Instruction of faith
- Work for the most wretched and dejected of the population like the visitation of their haunts; and of lodging-houses, hostels, jails, etc.
- Crowd contact with direct face-to-face with people with the intent of gently inviting them to go one step higher in their spiritual life.
Why join the Legion of Mary?
Tidewater Curia attached to Arlington, Virginia Regia and Canberra and Goulburn Curia attached to Sydney Senatus in New South Wales, Australia wrote about the reasons why you should join Legion of Mary.
- Serve God. You will have a meeting with a set time once a week – strictly not longer than 1 1/2 hours, and a Legion work of 2 hours, once a week. A manageable amount of time, and a chance to make a difference in the world. You will also take part in fulfilling Jesus’ command “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19 RSVCE). The Church teaches us that all Catholics have the general obligation to “strive so that the divine message of salvation may be known and accepted by all people throughout the world.” (can. 225) The Legion of Mary makes it easy for us to fulfill this obligation of our faith through its works, done through, for, and with Our Lady to make her Son Jesus known and loved throughout the world. Our Lady uses the Legion of Mary to make its members holy, in order for them to take this holiness into the world and to truly be “the light of the world”, that shines before men, that they may give glory to our Father who is in heaven (c.f Matt 5:14).
- Joining the Legion of Mary Will Help You Face Judgment Day. What a great blessing it would be to hear Jesus say to us “Come, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, for when I was sick in the nursing home, you Legionaries visited Me. When I was in prison, you came to see Me. When I was hungry for the Truth, you brought Me back to the Church. When I was thirsty for love, you came and comforted Me.” The spiritual works of mercy – the Legion of Mary’s primary program of works, such as encouraging people to come back to the sacraments, helping to get children baptized, and making the Catholic Church known to others – will be even more important than the corporal works of mercy (feeding the hungry, clothing the naked) because the soul, unlike the body, is eternal and will last forever in either heaven or hell.
- Learn about your faith. Members of the Legion of Mary learn more about their faith and how to practice it. During the weekly Legion meeting, spiritual formation is found in the rosary, in the Legion prayers, in the spiritual reading and discussion, and in the talk by the spiritual director. Additional help comes from the wisdom and apostolic techniques learned from the reports which are presented and discussed.
- Find out your vocation. Are you thinking about becoming a priest, a nun, or entering married life? Joining the Legion of Mary is a great way to get a glimpse into each of these vocations. Meet married Catholics, priests, and religious. Learn about their lives.
- Join the Legion of Mary and Masses will be said for your soul. There are several hundred thousand Legion groups throughout the world who by rule will have a Mass said for all deceased Legionaries during the month of November. Imagine sitting in Purgatory and along comes November 1st, with these thousands of Masses, being said for you. If you are not out of there soon, it’s through no fault of the Legion of Mary!
- Overcome shyness. Are you afraid to approach people you’ve not met? Afraid to talk in public. Come into the Legion of Mary. Our meetings are family-styled gatherings in small groups. You’ll soon feel at ease speaking up with people you’ve not met.
- Succeed professionally. Much of what you learn in the Legion of Mary you can use for all parts of your life. You’ll find that what you learn at Legion Meetings will make you a more productive worker both for spiritual good and in your daily labor.
- Spend time with Mom. The closer we are to Mary, the closer we are to Jesus. Spend some time learning about your spiritual mother and praying with her.
- The Legion of Mary Keeps Its Members Young. This can be seen through the example of many of the Legion’s long-time members. Look around your area – many people in their 90s are active in the Legion. Frank Duff, the founder of the Legion, was still riding his bicycle at age 91. (In fact, he never drove a car after his first ride, when the engine exploded!) The Legion kept him young in spirit and in body. There are some little old ladies in Philadelphia who, in their nineties, are still doing their Legion work of going door to door. The Legion continues to keep them young.
- Join the Legion of Mary and make friends. Friends play a huge role in your life. The friends that you surround yourself with help build and shape you as a person as you do to them. The Legions’ main purpose is the holiness of the members. It improves the vertical relationship we have with God and our Blessed Mother and it also enriches the horizontal relationship of friends while working in the Legion. No wonder, a number of marriages have been reported in the Legion of Mary.
Are you ready to become a member?
Don’t worry about some of the terms being used. Just express your intention by finding out a Praesidium near you and attending their meeting. You will get to learn all these and more terms used in Legion of Mary.
In case you can’t locate a Praesidium, reach out to any member of the Legion of Mary or contact your Parish Priest.
In case any of the above options don’t work, contact us.