Prayer at the Heart of the Legion Devotion to God and Mary

Frank Duff in deep prayer and meditation before the Blessed Sacrament

At the heart of the Legion of Mary is its prayer and devotional system. Every baptized Christian is called to a life of service in Christ, and thus, the Legion of Mary calls upon its members to enter into and in the practice of a prayerful and sacramental life. Imitating the saints, the Legion exhorts its members to pray with fervor and constancy. It is through prayer, particularly, those of its auxiliary members,  that the spirit of apostleship would grow upon. Frank Duff, the founder of the Legion,  exemplified this commitment to a a prayer life. He prayed the Breviary or Liturgy of the Hours daily,  prayed the Holy Rosary,  attended the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and spent hours in the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The devotional aspect of the Legion is reflected in its prayers. 

The Legion Prayers

The Magnificat or the Canticle of Mary (Luke 1:46-55) is the beautiful response of Our Lady to her cousin Elizabeth upon her visitation, is the only obligatory prayer asked of all active members of the Legion of Mary. It is also called, the Catena (chain) Legionis - to symbolize the importance of our unity as members united in prayers under the guidance of the Blessed Virgin Mary. For the Auxiliary members of the Legion, all the prayers contained in the Tessera, a prayer leaflet to signify this unity and fraternity of Legion members (Handbook p. 148), must be recited daily. Active members, though not obliged are encouraged as well to recite the Tessera prayers that would include the Holy Rosary.  

 Opening Prayers

In the name of the Father, The Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of your love.

V.  Send forth your Spirit, O Lord, and they shall be created.
R.  And you shall renew the face of the earth.

Let Us Pray
God Our Father, pour out the gifts of your Holy Spirit on the world. You sent the Spirit on your Church to begin the teaching of the Gospel: now let the Spirit continue to work in the world through the hearts of all who believe, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
V.   You, O Lord, will open my lips
R.   And my tongue shall announce your praise.
.   Incline unto my aid, O God.
.   O Lord, make haste to help me.
.   Glory be to the Father, etc.
R.   As it was in the beginning, etc.

Then Follows five decades of the Rosary, with the "Hail, Holy Queen".

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, Hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To you, we cry poor banished children of Eve, to you we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, O most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy towards us and after this, our exile, show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
V.   Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R.   That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. O God, whose only-begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal salvation; grant we beseech you, that meditating upon these mysteries in the most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain, and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord, Amen.

  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
V.  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
V.  St. Joseph, pray for us.
V.  St. John the Evangelist, pray for us.
V.  St. Louis-Marie de Montfort, pray for us.

In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the
Holy Spirit, Amen.

The Catena Legionis

Antiphon. Who is she that comes forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in battle array?

My soul glorifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour. 

He looks on his servant in her lowliness; henceforth all ages will call me blessed.

The Almighty works marvels for me. Holy is his name!
His mercy is from age to age, on those who fear him.

He puts forth his arm in strength and scatters the
proud-hearted. He casts the mighty from their thrones and raises the lowly.

He fills the starving with good things, sends the rich away empty.

He protects Israel, his servant, remembering his mercy, the mercy promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his sons forever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.

Antiphon. Who is she that comes forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in battle array?

V.   O Mary, conceived without sin
R.   Pray for us who have recourse to you.

Let Us Pray
O Lord Jesus Christ, our mediator with the Father, you have been pleased to appoint the most Blessed Virgin, your mother, to be our mother also, and our mediatrix with you, mercifully grant that whoever comes to you, seeking your favours may rejoice to receive all of them through her.

Concluding Prayers

In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.

We fly to your patronage, O Holy Mother of God;
despise not our prayers in our necessities,
but ever deliver us from all dangers, O glorious
and Blessed Virgin.

V.   Mary Immaculate, Mediatrix of all Graces
       (or, Invocation appropriate to Praesidium)
R.   Pray for us.


V.   St. Michael, St. Gabriel and Saint Raphael 
R.   Pray for us.

.   All you heavenly Powers, Mary’s Legions of Angels
R.   Pray for us.

   St. John the Baptist
R.   Pray for us.

    Saints Peter and Paul.
R.    Pray for us.

Confer, O Lord, on us, who serve beneath the Standard of Mary, that fullness of faith in you, and trust in her, to which it is given to conquer the world. Grant us a lively faith, animated by charity, which will enable us to perform all our actions from the motive of pure love of you, and ever to see you and serve you in our neighbor; a faith, firm and immovable as a rock, through which we shall rest tranquil and steadfast amid the crosses, toils and disappointments of life; a courageous faith which will inspire us to undertake and carry out without hesitation great things for your glory and for the salvation of souls; a faith which will be our Legion’s Pillar of Fire - to lead us forth united - to kindle everywhere the fires of divine love - to enlighten those who are in darkness and the shadow of death - to inflame those who are lukewarm - to bring life to those who are dead in sin; and which will guide our own feet in the way of peace; so that - the battle of life over, our Legion may reassemble, without the loss of anyone, in the kingdom of your love and glory.

May the souls of our departed Legionaries, and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.

In the Name of the Father , Son, and Holy Spirit

(Permissu Ordinarii Dioc. Dublinen, die 9 Mar, 1994)