To be closer to God, draw closer to Mary
In the month of January, as we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, we may reflect on the often misunderstood attachment Catholics have to this young Jewish woman, the most influential woman in history, and on St. Louis Marie de Montfort, the man who, after Jesus himself, can be said to have done more than any other to encourage towards her such ardor.
No less than eight recent popes, including the beloved John Paul II, as well as the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council, have declared the dedication of St. Louis de Montfort to the Blessed Virgin Mary to be the pinnacle of devotion to the Mother of Jesus and the surest way to win souls to Him.
Of Montfort’s book, True Devotion to Mary, Pope John Paul II said, “The reading of this book was a decisive turning-point in my life. I say ‘turning-point’ but in fact it was a long inner journey…This ‘perfect devotion’ is indispensable to anyone who means to give himself without reserve to Christ and to the work of redemption […] It is from Montfort that I have taken my motto: ‘Totus tuus’ (‘I am all thine’).”
Also speaking of Montfort and his writings, Pope Paul VI said, “We are convinced without any doubt that devotion to Our Lady is essentially joined with devotion to Christ, that it assures a firmness of conviction to faith in Him and in His Church, a vital adherence to Him and to His Church which, without devotion to Mary, would be impoverished and compromised.”
The documents of Vatican II also addressed the role of Mary and firmly asserted the necessity of our “filial love toward our mother and to the imitation of her virtues.”
“The maternal duty of Mary toward men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power […] the practices and exercises of devotion to her recommended by the Church in the course of the centuries (are to) be treasured…” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, LUMEN GENTIUM 60, 67 11/21/64).
Legion: as steadfast as Mary in devotion, service
Fifty two weeks of the year, almost always on a Friday morning (unless it happens to be Christmas Day when they’ll choose another morning) the Legion of Mary in our parish meets for prayer, a spiritual reading, and meditation, discussion or teaching on the reading.
The members then report on their apostolic work during the past week—visiting the sick or inmates in our local prisons—and commit to the work they will take up in the week ahead.
As regular as clockwork, as quietly and almost as unnoticed, this “army of souls”, founded on the teachings of St. Louis de Montfort and guided by the Blessed Virgin Mary, brings the love of her Son, Jesus, to the forgotten, the lonely, the unloved.
“3½ hours a week has changed our lives forever”
“My wife and I were looking for something more out of our life. We had health, a nice home and fun with good friends. We went to church every Sunday. But something was missing. The trouble was, we had Christ but never shared Him with people in need: alcoholics, forgotten children, confused teenagers, the lonely, the elderly.
Who could teach us how to share Christ? The answer was inescapable. Mary could! She gave Him to us. We learned that Mary has an Army of Souls highly trained to give her Son to the world, an army called “The Legion of Mary.”
Cohorts of disciplined Christians by the hundreds, young and old, married and single, the Legion members have one goal in mind: To share Christ with others!
‘I was sick, and you visited me, in prison and you came to me, despairing and you gave me hope, lonely and you comforted me, in sin and you rescued me.’ (From Matthew 25)
Mary’s Legion was the answer and all it takes is love and 3½ hours a week.”
Would you like to know more about the LOM? Visitors are welcome at the meetings in Bader Hall on Friday mornings at 9:30 am or you can call the parish office and leave a message for Pauline Sarabia.
(Testimonial reprinted here from the Legion of Mary of the Vancouver Archdiocese website, legionofmarybc.ca.)
The Legion of Mary was founded in Dublin, Ireland on 7 September 1921. It is a lay catholic organisation whose members are giving service to the Church on a voluntary basis in almost every country.
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.
The unit of the Legion of Mary is called a praesidium, which holds a weekly meeting, where prayer is intermingled with reports and discussion. Persons who wish to join the Legion must apply for membership in a Praesidium.
The Legion sees as its priority the spiritual and social welfare of each individual. 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.
St. Luke’s Legion of Mary Praesidium
St. Luke’s Legion of Mary Praesidium, meets weekly on Fridays from 9 am – 11 am. If you are interested in joining them please call the office for more information.