Likely 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.