The Legion of Mary

The Legion of Mary was started in 1921 in Dublin by a Catholic Layman called Frank Duff. The object of the Legion of Mary is the glory of God through the holiness of its members.


Today, active and auxiliary (praying) members make up a total of over 10 million members worldwide, making it the largest apostolic organization of lay people in the Catholic Church.

Membership is highest in South Korea, Philippines, Brazil, Argentina and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which each have between 250,000 and 500,000 members.


Membership is open to those who belong to the Catholic Church and believe in its teaching. Its stated mission is for active members to serve God under the banner of Mary by the corporal and spiritual works of Mercy, as mentioned in Chapter 33 of the Legion of Mary Handbook. The main apostolate of the Legion is activities directed towards Catholics and non-Catholics encouraging them in their faith or inviting them to become Catholic. This is usually done by encouraging them in prayer, attending Mass and learning more about the Catholic faith. The members of the Legion are engaged primarily in the performance of spiritual works of mercy, rather than works of material aid.

Peregrinatio Pro Christo (PPC)

A Legion PPC always takes the following form:-


A team of Legionaries (8-14 people as a guide) come into the parish for a week. They come Saturday to Saturday and usually stay at people's homes within the parish (for this service of bed & breakfast the Legionary pays their host £100.)  The team attend the Saturday/Sunday Masses, greeting people and distributing Miraculous Medals. From Sunday through to Friday the day is centred on the parish where the legionaries gather each day for a Legion meeting, attend Mass  (if there is one) and then set out in pairs to visit every home in the parish. The local school can also be visited and children each given a Miraculous Medal. Legionaries visit door-to-door, inviting non-Catholics to consider the Catholic Church and inviting non-practicing Catholics to return to the sacraments. They leave literature and church bulletins, especially at locations where no one is home.


The approach to people is to be given gently and humbly, with Legionaries very much, 'cap in hand'; it goes without saying that the Legionary isn't there to criticise or judge. A great number of discussions take place and many barriers are broken down.


Home to home visitation usually takes place between 10.30am-1pm, 2.30pm-5pm, 6.30pm-8.30pm. In terms of logistics broadly speaking the team would require a parish room in which to have their meeting and write up their notes etc. For lunch, if the parish could recommend a good café in the local area legionaries will make use of this. Tea usually takes the form of tea & sandwiches  - some parishes provide these, but again as long as shopping facilities are nearby, Legionaries can provide their own. The other major part of the week is the celebratory Mass (usually takes places on the Friday evening) to which all who are met are invited.


A PPC mission trip can be a great benefit and transformation to the Legionary who makes the trip and can have a profound effect on the people visited. Each PPC really does bring great benefits to the parish e.g. the RCIA attendance goes up, (e.g. in 2023 in Middlesbrough over 50 people expressed an interest), a number of lapsed Catholics return to the Church, increase in participation of the sacraments, an increase in people wishing to deepen their faith and to take a more active role in supporting their parish and its priest etc. Sometimes there is even enough interest to start up a legion in that parish.


Additional information about the Legion of Mary can be found on wikipedia at the following address.