The Legion of Mary is a parish-based organization of lay people with a plan of action
to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the truths of our Catholic faith. Organized
in 1921 in Ireland, it is now found all over the world with over two million active
members and 20 million auxiliary members. The last six popes approved the Legion
and the Second Vatican Council endorsed it.
With reliance on the Holy Spirit and with
Mary as their example, Legionaires grow as
disciples ever faithful to Jesus and ever
wanting to reveal Him.
Founded by Frank Duff on September 7,
1921 in Dublin. His idea was to help Catho-
lic laypeople fulfill their baptismal promises
and be able to live their dedication to the
Church in an organized structure supported
by fraternity and prayer.
The Legion of Mary soon spread from
Ireland to other countries and continents.
At first, the Legion often met with mistrust
due to its dedication to lay apostolate which
was unusual for the time. Only after Pope Pius XI expressed praise for the Legion in
1931, could such mistrust be quelled.
Most prominent for spreading the Legion was the Irish legionary Venerable Edel Mary
Quinn for her activities in Africa during the 1930s and 40s. Her dedication to the
mission of the Legion even in the face of her ill health due to tuberculosis brought
her great admiration in and outside of the Legion. A canonization process is
currently under way for Venerable Edel Quinn and a beatification for Frank Duff.