Tag Archives: St Louis de Montfort

Frank Duff and the Legion of Mary

Frank DuffLikely only a few would recognize the name of Frank Duff (1889-1980). He was the founder of the Legion of Mary on this date in 1921 in Dublin. It was First Vespers of the Nativity of Mary 94 years ago.

Frank Duff’s cause for sainthood is being considered.

The Legion of Mary had a rather simple work to do: honor the Virgin Mary, promote sanctity, and evangelize the culture. Prayer was key –especially to the Trinity– and doing the hard work of spreading the faith by personally visiting people. They did as Saint Benedict would say, “listen with the ear of the heart.” Frank knew instinctively that the patient and diligent care for others on the level of prayer and listening to the concerns of the people would lead people to Christ.

The Legion of Mary has a meeting format that is similar to that of  other “successful” Communion and Liberation, Focolare, St. Vincent de Paul Society: a weekly meeting, prayer, spiritual talk, personal sharing by each member on the work done. Always focussed on the work of God. To be a member of the Legion you can’t just pray the rosary, you have to do the work of sharing the faith with others. The spirituality is apostolic and contemplative following the guidance of Saint Louis de Montfort.

The Legion of Mary has fallen into disuse in this area but there are eager souls willing to carry the torch. Perhaps in disuse BUT NOT irrelevant. When I worked at a parish in NYC we started a Legion of Mary group and I think it prospers. My friend Ken in NYC is faithful to charism of the Servant of God Frank Duff & the Legion, he assures me that it will do good work in the years to come. May the Holy Virgin Mother of God richly bless the Legion and lead us all together to God.

Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort

Montfort detail.tifThe Church gives us an inspired, perhaps even truly brilliant preacher, as a model of grace. Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort was ordained a priest in 1700; proficient in the thinking of the Church Fathers on the Virgin Mary, Montfort’s mission was to preach on Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, in a period of time of great theological error in France. He’s famous for preaching on the Rosary and he created a series of meditations that led to a Consecration to the Blessed Mother. His preaching of Mary was really a work of preaching on the Paschal Mystery. The collect for the Mass tells us that Louis-Marie ‘walked the way of salvation and the love of Christ” by “meditating on the mysteries [God’s] love” which led to “the building up of [God’s] Church.”

Montfort was a Third Order Dominican and held a papally given title Missionary Apostolic. He was also a founder of three congregations, one of men and two of women. For some time now there’s been movement to have Louis-Marie to named a Doctor of the Church.
We are more aware of Montfort through John Paul’s adoption of one of Montfort’s phrases, Totus Tuus (totally yours).

Consider living according to the virtues of Mary, Mother of God

OL Tenderness.jpg…true devotion to our Lady is holy, that is, it leads
us to avoid sin and to imitate the virtues of Mary. Her ten principal virtues
are: deep humility, lively faith, blind obedience, unceasing prayer, constant
self-denial, surpassing purity, ardent love, heroic patience, angelic kindness,
and heavenly wisdom.

Saint Louis-Mary de Montfort, True Devotion to the
Blessed Mother

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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