Patrons of the Legion
A very important dimension in the Legion of Mary apostolic system is its devotion and dependence not only to the Blessed Virgin Mary, but to its Patrons. To them, the Legion seeks their intercessions, miraculous powers, guidance and protection. In them, the Legionary also seeks a role model in living a virtuous and sanctified life. Every Legion saint, including that of the angels, has been included in our prayers for a particular reason and cause. Let's therefore call upon them and seek their help.
Saint Joseph - Among all the saints of the Catholic Church, Saint Joseph ranks the highest in the Court of Heaven (next to Mary of course), as he was chosen by God to be the father of His Son, Jesus and to be the husband of Mary, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. Among all men and women, no one else had the grace to be in the presence of the Divine and the Immaculate woman, and be their head. You might say that the Son of God allowed Himself to be subjected in obedience to this great man of faith, Saint Joseph. Devotion to Saint Joseph is indeed a great privilege to grow in holiness and virtue. Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist - He is the beloved disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the Legion, Saint John the Evangelist is the model of our devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Known too as John the Apostle and one of the four Gospel writers, the importance of Saint John to the Legion is that he was the one to whom Our Lord, dying on the Cross, bequeathed His beloved Mother. From that very instant, the world and the whole Church was entrusted to her, and Saint John became her first child along with all men and women who became her children as well under her motherly care and protection.
Saint Louis Marie de Montfort - To the Legion of Mary, Saint Louis Marie de Montfort's Treatise on True Devotion to Mary is considered to be the core basis of its Marian spirituality. The Legion's goal, the salvation of souls can be achieved by leading all to Christ through the hands and intercession of Mary. The spirituality of the Legion of Mary is Mary herself in which Saint Louis de Montfort is quick to point that it is indeed the surest and easiest way to Christ. Speaking of his book, True Devotion to Mary, Saint Louis Marie de Montfort said: "I clearly foresee the raging beasts will come in fury to tear in pieces with their diabolical teeth and him whose the Holy Spirit ha used to write it, or at least to bury it into darkness and silence of a coffer, that it might not appear. They will even attack and persecute those who read it and put it into practice." (From True Devotion to Mary).
Saint Michael Archangel - He is, as Saint Augustine stated, the most zealous, in the Heavenly Court, in honoring Mary and causing her to be honored. Defender of the Church against evil and protector of the faithful from evil, Saint Michael is also the patron of the Chosen People. And thus, with Saint Michael, the Legion strives to restore in them the faith in Christ. According to scriptures, Saint Michael four responsibilities are as follows: 1) to combat Satan; 2) to escort the faithful to heaven; 3) to be the champion of all Christians and the Church itself and 4) to call men from life on Earth to their heavenly judgment.
Saint Gabriel Archangel - He is the Angel of the Annunciation and in whom the message of God's Redemptive Plan was revealed in order to communicate it to Mary. He serves as a messenger of God. He is mentioned in both the Old and the New Testament, and while Saint Michael was considered patron of the Jewish people, it is believed, though unfounded, that Saint Gabriel communicated their religion to them. Saint Gabriel is mentioned in the Old and the New Testament - in the Old Testament he appears to the prophet Daniel and explains, interprets his dreams to him. In the New Testament, described as an "angel of the Lord" appears to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist and tells him: "Fear not, Zacharias for thy prayer is heard, and they wife Elizabeth shall bear a son, and thou shall call him John. And thou shall have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice at his birth." (Luke 1:13).
Saint Raphael Archangel* - Saint Raphael is known as the angel of healing not least spiritual healing. The Hebrew name Rafa’el means “God heals”. He is also known as the patron saint of travelers, the blind, happy meetings and Christian marriage.
He appears in the Old Testament Book of Tobit, in which he disguises himself as a man named Azarias and accompanies Tobias on his journey to Media, aiding him along the way. During the course of the journey, the archangel’s protective influence is shown in various ways, including the binding of a demon in the desert of Upper Egypt. In chapter 3 (Tob 3:24-25) he is mentioned as follows: “This time the prayer of each of them (Tobit and Sarah) found favour before the glory of God, and Raphael was sent to bring remedy to them both.” Chapter 12 refers to his healing powers (Tob 12:1418): “ ‘I was sent to test your faith, and at the same time God sent me to heal you and your daughter-in-law Sarah. I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand ever ready to enter the presence of the glory of the Lord.’ They were both overwhelmed with awe; they fell on their faces in terror. But the angel said, ‘Do not be afraid; peace be with you. Bless God for ever. As far as I was concerned, when I was with you, my presence was not by any decision of mine, but by the will of God; it is he whom you must bless throughout your days, he that you must praise.’ ”
The Gospel of John (Jn 5:1-4) refers to the pool of Bethesda, where the multitude of the infirm lay awaiting the moving of the water, “... for at intervals the angel of the Lord came down into the pool, and the water was disturbed, and the first person to enter the water after this disturbance was cured of any ailment he suffered from.” Because of the healing role assigned to St. Raphael, this particular angel is associated with the archangel.
Saints Michael and Gabriel and Raphael share the same feast day on September 29th.
*(Saint Raphael as a Patron Saint of the Legion was recently added and approved by the Concilium in 2021. The above was taken from the official insert circulated by the Concilium. However, this does not appear yet in most versions of the Legion HB)
Heavenly Powers, Mary's Legion of Angels - in the profession of our Catholic faith, we assent to the truth of our belief in "all that is seen, and unseen" - and thus, the spiritual reality that is part of God's creation consists of the office of the angels. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (331) states that Jesus Christ is the center of the angelic world. Therefore, if Christ is the center or their King, it thus follows that the Blessed Mother, Mary is the Queen of Angels. The Legion of Mary, realizing the important role of the angels in the work of redemption (as Saint Thomas Aquinas stated "The angels work together for the benefit of us all") has made it clear that the word "Legion" should be linked with the angels and that the name of Mary "should be introduced" into the invocation. Thus, in our prayer we invoke, "All ye heavenly Powers, Mary's Legion of Angels." It is no wonder that our members in spite of the many heroic works subject to many physical and spiritual dangers, are ever so protected from harm! Our Guardian Angels pray for us!
Saint John the Baptist - The Legion Handbook states that the Legionary is a 'prototype' of Saint John the Baptist, in that the latter embodied the Legionary apostolate as a forerunner of Christ. Our work, just like that of Saint John the Baptist, is to announce and bring Christ to the all "the ends of the earth." More deeply than this, is that Our Lady nurtured Saint John the Baptist while he was in the womb of Elizabeth. "Moreover, he was formed for his work by Our Blessed Lady herself, as all Legionaries are supposed to be: Saint Ambrose declares that the main purpose of Our Lady's stay with Elizabeth was the forming and appointing of the little Great-Prophet. The moment of that formation is celebrated by the Catena, our central prayer, which is laid as a duty on every Legionary." (Handbook, p. 143).
Saint Peter - The inclusion of Saint Peter in the prayers of the Legion signifies the Legion's loyalty to Rome, where the central Magisterial or teaching office of the entire Church resides. Through the powerful intercession of Saint Peter, the first vicar of the Church, we are reminded to pray for all our Church authorities (the Pope, Bishops and all our priests) and that we are to remain cognizant of their roles in the salvation of souls. However, it is also important to remember that obedience to Church authorities should be tempered by the true doctrinal expression of the teachings of Christ from Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. Through Saint Peter, the Legion of Mary hopes to fulfill the Church's evangelizing mission.
Saint Paul - Known as the Apostle to the Gentile, Saint Paul lived and died to spread the teaching of Christ to the world. His life story, embodied in his writings, show the heroic character of this Saint of the Legion of Mary. He speaks the truth - with charity but with certain boldness that could not be shattered by 'human respect.' Saint Paul was said to be active missionary in the 40s and 50s of the 1st Century. He was known for his persecution of Christians but by God's grace and calling converted to Christianity when on his way to Damascus, to persecute more Christians, he heard God's voice and became blinded for three days. It was from this point in his life that Our Lord (through Ananias) gave him the gift of his eyesight once again. From that point on and after having met Saint Peter in Rome that Saint Paul began preach the Gospel of Christ unceasingly. The whole Church is forever indebted to this intelligent and holy man of God. The Legion's evangelizing spirit could only grow in its members if we imitate the spirit of this great saint and apostle.