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Handbook update: You may print this article and insert in your Legion Handbook.

SAINT RAPHAEL- ARCHANGEL (added from Concilium, Feb 2022)

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 12:14-18): ‘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

The ALLOCUTIO - is a way of furthering our understanding / study about the Legion Of Mary.

The following is recommended by the Legion’s Concilium: To keep a personal, centenary, handbook-study journal, using the questions below and writing your answers into your Journal.

1. What points stood out for you in this Chapter/section & allocutio?
2. What concrete steps might you take to apply these points to your own life as a legionary?
3. Is there any point needing further clarification or more in-depth study?

Chapter 10: THE LEGION APOSTOLATE

3. An apostolic laity essential, (handbook pg. 61)

Fr. Bob's Allocutio 26 July 2021

Every Sunday or solemnity of the Church, we Catholics proclaim at mass what is called the Nicene Creed, which was promulgated by the Church at its Council of Nicaea in the year 325. In this creed, we proclaim that we believe that the Church is one, holy, Catholic and apostolic: one under the Vicar of Christ, the Pope, who, in turn, is in communion with the bishops of the Church; holy because it is a source of holiness, seen, especially, in its saints, who are officially recognized or not, and catholic [literally universal] because it has been destined by its founder, our Lord Jesus Christ, to be world-wide. But what does the fourth and final definitive mark of the Church mean: viz., that the Church is apostolic?


To be apostolic means that the Church, in all times since its founding by our Lord Jesus Christ, has had, and continues to have, an essential identity with its beginnings; particularly in its doctrine and sacraments. And, to be part of the Church’s apostolate, as all members of Mary’s Legion emphatically are called to be, is to witness to this truth and the saving life to which this truth points: a vocation which each and every baptized member of the Church is given: viz., to be an apostle (literally, an envoy to others) of the Church’s life and doctrine.

The eleven* disciples went to Galilee [at the time of the Lord’s Ascension], to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them…. Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt. 28:16,18-20)


Lay members of the Church, through their Baptism, are sent to participate in the Church’s lay apostolate with a respectful, but not a wooden, acceptance of the Church’s teaching authority (the Church’s magisterium): viz., that of the pope, the bishops who are in communion with the Holy Father, and their clergy; as well as a full, prayerful participation in Church’s life of prayer; especially, through its sacraments which the Church’s ministers administer.


All the strivings and expedients of lay apostolate must have in view its great end not only to pass on the doctrine of the Church, but to bring the life of the Church to others: that divinely-appointed nourishment which we all, sinners, need; especially, the sick, the suffering and the abandoned.


The first principle of any and every legionary action as a lay apostle will be to remain fully connected to the Church, which, in the practical level, will mean to bring the priest to the people. This, of course, will not always be possible in person, but, certainly, everywhere in influence and in understanding. The effective union, therefore, of the legionary and the clergy -- to whom the legionary owes respectful but not wooden obedience-- is the essential idea of the Legion’s apostolate. Lay, therefore, it is always in inseparable union with the priests and the rest of the clergy: under their captaincy and with absolute identity of interests. In sum, the legionary will ardently seek to supplement the priest’s --and especially their pastor’s-- efforts, widening their place in the lives of people, so that men, women and children, shall receive not just them, but Him, through Her, who sent them.


Fr Bob Weisenbaugh 07/26/2021

Allocutio Archive -

Chapter 10: THE LEGION APOSTOLATE

2. An apostolic laity essential, (handbook pg. 59-60)

It has been erroneously said that the role of the lay person in the Church is simply to pray and to obey. Certainly, to pray in a way that is appropriate in regard to one’s other responsibilities, and, certainly, to obey, with a good conscience, in a way that is respectful of clerical leadership. Not, however, to pray and to obey alone. Our Lord has redeemed all of our individual and collective humanity, including our power to initiate good works in accord with our desires: to see the Church flourish; to achieve the purpose that Christ with his mother is continually giving to the Church: the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

“Go, therefore,” Jesus affirmed, “And make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt. 28:19-20)


Our Handbook further notes: Whenever these qualities of apostleship [that is, an intense interest, carried into action, for the welfare and the work of the Church; indeed, actually feeling that one is participating in its achievement] are not sedulously cultivated, it is certain that the next generation will have a serious problem to face from this lack of all real interest in the Church, and of all sense of responsibility to achieve its divinely-given purpose.


In sum, St. John Henry Newman, the great 19th century English cardinal, well stated: In all times, the laity [for better or worse] has been the measure of the Catholic spirit.

The distinguished Mgr. Alfred O’Rahilly adds: There is a danger that we lay folk [Ops! Mgr. was not among “we lay folk”.] may identify the Church with the clergy and religious, to whom God has certainly given what we too exclusively call a vocation. We are unconsciously tempted to regard the rest of us as an anonymous crowd who have a chance of being saved if we perform the prescribed minimum. We forget that our Lord calls his own sheep by name (“The gatekeeper opens the gate for the shepherd, and the sheep hear the shepherd’s voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” Jn. 10:3).

Each of us has a vocation; is called individually by the Lord to give him his or her love and service, to do a particular work which others may indeed surpass, but cannot replace. No one, but I, can give my heart to God or do my work. It is precisely this personal sense of religion which the Legion fosters. A member [that is, a truly active member of the Legion] is not satisfied to be merely passive or perfunctory. He or she has something to be and to do for God. Religion is no longer a side issue, it has become the inspiration of one’s life; however commonplace it may seem to others. This conviction of personal vocation inevitably creates in the legionary an apostolic spirit: the desire to carry on Christ’s work, to be another Christ, to serve him in the least of his brothers and sisters.


Fr Bob Weisenbaugh 07/19/2021

Allocutio Archive -

Chapter 10: THE LEGION APOSTOLATE

1. Its dignity, (handbook pg. 59)

Go to any Legion meeting –i.e., one that is truly functioning in accord with the Legion’s spirit-- and it will soon become obvious that the Legion, under Mary’s Spirit-empowered and maternal care, fully assumes the apostolic mission given by our Jesus Christ to his Church: “The eleven disciples (from 12, since Judas Iscariot had already died) went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then, Jesus approached and said to them, ‘All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age’” (Mt. 28:16-21).

The Legion, which is a lay organization approved by the Church, is a vital part of the Church’s apostolic mission. And it is called, with the rest of the Mystical Body as the above quotation from St. Mathew’s Gospel firmly establishes, “to make disciples of all nations.”

Vatican Council II in its Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People, Apostolicam Actuositaten (3) confirms in regard to the laity ‘s participation in the Church’s apostolic mission: “From the fact of their union with Christ, the head [of the Mystical Body], flows the laymen’s right and duty to be an apostle. Inserted, as they are, in the Mystical Body by Baptism and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation, it is by the Lord himself that they are assigned to the apostolate. If they are consecrated a kingly priesthood and a holy nation (cf., 1 Pet 2:4-10), it is in order that they may, in all their actions, offer spiritual sacrifices and bear witness to Christ all the world over. Charity, which is . . . the soul of the whole apostolate, is given to them and nourished in them by the sacraments, the Eucharist above all.”

In addition, Vatican Council II, in its Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium (33), states: “Upon all the laity rests the noble duty of working to extend the divine plan of salvation to all men of each epoch and in every land. Consequently, may every opportunity be given them so that, according to their abilities and the needs of the times, they may zealously participate in the saving work of the Church.”

Pope Francis in his apostolic exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, Evangelii Gaudium (9-10) adds to this theme of the laity’s active participation in the apostolic mission of the Church: “Goodness always tends to spread. Every authentic experience of truth and goodness seeks by its very nature to grow within us. [And this is eminently true in regard to accepting and living the Good News proclaimed by our Lord, Jesus Christ.].

In addition, any person who has experienced this profound liberation also becomes more sensitive to the needs of others. In short, goodness takes root, develops and expands; so that If we wish to lead a dignified and fulfilling life, we will have to reach out to others and seek their good. In this regard, several sayings of Saint Paul will not surprise us: “The love of Christ urges us on” (2 Cor 5:14); “Woe to me if I do not proclaim the Gospel” (1 Cor 9:16).

The Gospel, therefore, offers us the chance to live life on a higher plane, and with no less intensity then on a lower plane: “Life,” stated the 5th General Conference of the Latin American and Caribbean Bishops (360) “grows by being given away, and it weakens in isolation and comfort. Indeed, those who enjoy life most are those who leave security on the shore and become excited by the mission of communicating life to others.” When the Church summons Christians to take up the task of evangelization, therefore, she is simply pointing to the source of authentic personal fulfilment. For “here we discover a profound law of reality: that life is attained and matures in the measure that it is offered up in order to give life to others. This is certainly what mission means.” (Ibid.)

“Consequently,” adds Pope St. Paul VI, in his Apostolic Exhortation, Announcing the Gospel, Evangelii Nuntiandi (80), “an evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral! Let us recover and deepen our enthusiasm, that ‘delightful and comforting joy of evangelizing, even when it is in tears that we must sow… And may the world of our time, which is searching, sometimes with anguish, sometimes with hope, be enabled to receive the good news not from evangelizers who are dejected, discouraged, impatient or anxious, but from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with fervor, who have first received the joy of Christ.”


Fr Bob Weisenbaugh 07/12/2021

Bro. Jake Gonzales, president of Our Lady Montserrat Presidium, consoles Fr. Bill Sneck in the hospital.

Allocutio Archive -

Chapter 9: The Legionary and the Mystical Body of Christ

3. Suffering in the Mystical Body: Part 1

There is no one who does not bear, throughout his or her life, a weight of woe. Or, as the “Hail Holy Queen” prayer of the Tessera states: we are living in a “valley of tears.”

Almost all of us rebel against this fact of life, seeking to cast it from ourselves. Or, if this proves impossible, we simply allow it to oppress us. This latter strategy, however, if affirmed again and again, negates the redemption Christ has won for us; shuts out the risen Christ’s leading us to new life. Actually, the living of the redeemed life Jesus Christ has won for us requires our assuming the suffering involved, which, while seeming to thwart the living of a full life, will prove to be a necessary element in achieving life in its completeness and glory.

God, therefore, has graciously granted us the saving privilege of believing in Jesus Christ, but God also requires that we suffer with his Son to share in the new life that he, Christ, has won for us: “to you has been granted, for the sake of Christ, not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him (Phil. 1:29), and “… if we have died with him, we shall also live with him; if we persevere, we shall also reign with him” (2Tim 2:11-12).

The word “death”, here, from the above quotation from the Second Letter of St. Paul to Timothy, points to our taking on, willingly, the suffering needed to be assumed to achieve new life in Christ. We do this with Christ, who took on the suffering of a Roman cross to free us from sin and bring us salvation. In its fullest sense, therefore, the word “death” in the above quotation from St. Paul’s Second letter to Timothy finds its expression in Christ’s taking on the suffering of a cross, all dripping with blood, through which he, Christ, completed the work of our redemption.

At the foot of this cross stood a figure, so desolate that it seemed impossible for her to continue to live. That woman, of course, was the mother alike of the Redeemer and of the redeemed. It was first from her veins that blood was drawn which now lies, scattered, cheaply about, but which has ransomed the world. That Precious Blood will henceforth flow through the Mystical Body, forcing life, so to speak, into every crevice of it.... That precious stream brings to our souls the likeness of Christ; but it is the Christ complete: not merely the Christ of Bethlehem and Tabor —i.e., the Christ of joy and glory--, but also the Christ of pain and sacrifice, the Christ of Calvary.

Finally, I offer here to a third quotation from Scripture which, I believe, resumes the basic thought of this allocutio:

[I]f we have grown into union with him [Christ] through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection…. If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. As to his death, he died to sin once and for all; as to his life, he lives for God. Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as [being] dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus (Rms. 6: 5-11).


Fr Bob Weisenbaugh June 15, 2021

Allocutio Archive -

Chapter 9: The Legionary and the Mystical Body of Christ

2. Mary and the Mystical Body: Part 1

Fr. Bob's Allocutio 07 June 2021

The various offices which Mary fulfilled to nourish, tend and love the actual body of her Divine Son, are still her offices in regard to each member of the Mystical Body: the least as well as the most honorable So that, as a result, when “the members may have the same care for one another” (1 Cor 12:25), they do not act independently of Mary; even when, through thoughtlessness or ignorance, they fail to recognize her presence. They but join their efforts to Mary’s efforts. It is already her work, and she has been exquisitely busied on it from the time of the Annunciation to this very day. Hence, it is that legionaries do not really bring Mary to help them in their service of the other members of the Mystical Body. She it is who summons them to assist her. As it is her special and proper work, no one is able to take part in it save by her gracious permission. Let those who attempt to serve their neighbor, and who yet narrow down the place and privileges of Mary, give a thought to the logical consequence of the doctrine of the Mystical Body, which places Mary’s care for it as primary.


As no one can even attempt the service of his neighbor other than in the company of Mary, similarly no one can discharge this duty worthily except by entering to some degree into the intentions of Mary. It follows, therefore, that the more close the union with Mary, the more perfectly is fulfilled the divine precept of loving God and serving one’s neighbor. (1 Jn 4:19-21)

Above, it was cited from the handbook’s Section 2 of Chapter 9 that the members of Christ’s Mystical Body do not act independently of Mary; even when, through thoughtlessness or ignorance, they fail to recognize her presence. They but join their efforts to Mary’s efforts.

If Mary’s various offices by which she served her Son during his life on earth are still her offices in regard to each member of his Mystical Body,

what place, then, does Christ and his saving, merciful grace have in this care, for the handbook sounds as if the saving care of us sinners is, in effect, totally in Mary’s hands.


I believe we are dealing here with an abbreviation of what truly happens. Yes, Mary is the mother of the members of the Mystical Body. This is an office that Christ gave to her through John, the apostle, from his cross. To realize this office, however, Mary continually needs to intercede –communicate with-- her Son. She is completely beholden to him and to our Father in Heaven to be, effectively, our mother. It is they, the Father and the Son, who send the Holy Spirit into the world and our hearts. Mary simply confirms this sending; gives it a mother’s touch.

The handbook actually goes beyond Mary’s Son’s commission of her from his cross to be our --the members of his Mystical Body—mother; stating that: she [Mary] has been exquisitely busied on being the mother of the members of her Son’s Mystical Body from the time of the Annunciation to each new day.


Certainly, when the Archangel Gabriel declared to Mary at her annunciation that he [her Son] would be great and would be called Son of the Most High, and, also, that the Lord God would give him the throne of David, and that he, being the long expected descendent of David, would rule over the house of Jacob forever, with his kingdom having no end (cf., Lk. 1:30-32), she knew, in some beginning fashion, that this Son was to be born as her people’s long sought messiah; their ultimate saving blessing. And part of her mission was not only to mother this Son, but to help [mother!] others receive his blessing. He, in no way, was to be God’s gift only to her.


Indeed, we can see this earlier mothering of the members of her Son’s Mystical Body in the accompanying painting of the disciples and Mary praying and waiting for the coming of the promised Holy Spirit. She is leading these early Christians to the life that can come only from her Son.


June 7, 2021 Fr Bob Weisenbaugh

Allocutio Archive -

Chapter 9: The Legionary and the Mystical Body of Christ

1. Legionary service is based on this doctrine: Part 2

Fr. Bob's Allocutio 24 May 2021

The activity of the Mystical Body or the Church is the activity of Christ Himself. This is a rather bold statement, to say the least, in face of the scandal and sin now and in the past of the Church’s history. Yet, there are signs, again and again, of this reality: such as the perduring care of the Mother of God for this body of men, women and children.

The faithful are incorporated into the Mystical Body which is the Church through Baptism, and, then, are given the grace to live, to suffer with, to die in, and, finally through Christ’s resurrection, to rise again, but not just as they were, but gloriously.

Baptism sanctifies the Mystical Body only because it establishes, between Christ and the member, that vital connection by which the sanctity of the Head, Christ, flows into his members, the Church. The other sacraments, and above all the Divine Eucharist, exist for the purpose of intensifying the union between the members and the Head of the Mystical Body. In addition, that union is deepened or, even possibly, lost either by acts of faith and charity or by the failure to realize such acts.

Baptism, therefore, appears to be the one and only door which Christ offers to become living member of his Mystical Body, and, thereby, come, after this life lived in fidelity to Christ, to join him in his risen glory. But what happens to those persons who never were baptized?

Since the early centuries of the Church’s existence, the Church has taught that there is no salvation outside the Church which, again, is his Mystical Body. Some, even today, take this teaching fully in its literal sense. The full teaching of the Church, however, through the centuries, but sometimes quite muted, has been that this literal interpretation is inappropriately restrictive: Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know [or truly understand through faith] the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will, as they know it through the dictates of their conscience: those too may achieve eternal salvation (Catechism of the Catholic Church #847).

Yet, Christ most certainly wants as many as possible to be baptized and recognize themselves as faithful members of his Church or Mystical Body: As He said to his first disciples, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned (Mk. 16:15-1i6).

But are those persons who “seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try, in their actions, to do his will, as they know it through the dictates of their conscience” members, in real sense, of Christ’s Mystical Body? Yes and no: “Yes”, in that they enjoy the grace that comes from Christ, the Head of the Mystical Body, but “no” insofar as they cannot fully name the source of the grace that enables them to act as a member of the Mystical Body of Christ. This loss is certainly a loss which invites distraction from the true nature of their lives. While the baptized are explicitly challenged, again and again, by the very fact of their baptism to live the vocation they have been given: viz., to live as an active member the Mystical Body which is Christ’s Church. Of course, this reality can be, somehow, not allowed effective awareness, or even, rejected.

Finally, we return to the mother of the Mystical Body: She (Mary) is the mother of both its Head and its members. We, members of the Mystical body, therefore, with equal reality, are her children as she is of Christ. The sole purpose of Mary’s existence is to conceive and bring forth the whole Christ, which is the Mystical Body; with all its members, perfectly and fitly joined together (Eph 4:15-16). And, these members, in turn, one with its Head, our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Mary accomplishes this miracle for the achievement of our salvation in co-operation with and by the power of, the Holy Spirit, who is the life and soul of the Mystical Body. It is in her bosom and subject to her maternal care that the soul grows up in Christ and comes to the age of His fullness: You are one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (Eph 4:13-15).
05/24/21 Fr Bob Weisenbaugh

Allocutio Archive -

Chapter 9: The Legionary and the Mystical Body of Christ

1. Legionary service is based on this doctrine: Part 1

From its start, both the natural and the supernatural character of a legionary’s service has been stressed. On the natural level, a legionary’s service is to be a brimful of kindness to those whom he or she reaches out; the motive, however, for this connection with others is never only the purely human motives of receiving gratitude, cooperation or the return of affection, but is also, on the supernatural level, to see and serve the Person of our Lord, Jesus Christ, in the person(s) to whom the legionary reaches out. In short, legionaries from the very beginning of the Legion have sought to live in communion with Jesus’: “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers [or sisters] of mine, you did for me” (Mt. 25:40).


This reaching out in service to others includes not only those outside the legion, but each and every member of the Legion itself with special attention to the Legion’s officers who, always, are crucially important for the proper functioning of the Legion.

Of course, all service, of the Lord, Jesus Christ in the members of his Mystical Body must be done with Mary as she seeks to work through each legionary to serve the members of her Son in Mystical Body.

St. Paul, before his conversion, was first challenged with the reality of the of the Lord’s Mystical Body when, with the authority of the high priests in Jerusalem, he sought to put the early Christians in the city of Damascus in chains. On his way to Damascus to execute this mandate, “a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him (Paul). Paul (then named Saul) fell to the ground and heard a voice saying: ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me’” (Acts 9:4-5)?

From this exceedingly surprising experience, St. Paul developed his teaching on the reality of the Mystical Body of Christ with Christ as its head, and its remaining members, from neck to toe, the other baptized members of the Church. Each part or member of this body has its own special purpose or work to accomplish. In the eyes of the world, some parts will be considered attractive or noble and some less; but in the eyes of the Head all important for the proper functioning of the entire Body: all are dependent, one upon the other, and the same divine life animates them all. All are put to loss by the failure of any one, and all profit by the excellence of any one.

In his letter to the Ephesians (Eph. 1:22-23), St. Paul taught: “[H]e [God, the Father] put all things beneath his [Christ’s] feet and gave him, as head over all things, to the church, which is his body, the fullness [to be fully realized at the Lord’s final coming] of the one [Christ] who fills all things in every way.

In another place in the same letter, St. Paul also asserted: “The one who descended is also the one who ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things. And he gave some [members of his Mystical Body] as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to [the growth of] mature manhood, [and] to the extent of the full stature of Christ” (Eph. 4:10-13).

In Baptism, we are attached to Christ’s Mystical Body by the most intimate ties imaginable, which enable us [by the gift of faith] to be the very members of his body. Yes, in regard to ordinary sight, it remains true that we can see indications of the existence of this body only with the eyes of faith, but, nevertheless, this body is truly alive and legionaries are called and enabled to be living members of it (cf., Eph. 5:30).

There are sacred obligations of love and of service between the members and the head of the Mystical Body and between the members themselves: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love…. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you (Jn. 15: 9-10, 12).


Next week in Part Two, we will consider an important question which, at least for me, remains: Can non-baptized persons be also considered members of Christ’s Mystical Body? 05/17/21 Fr Bob Weisenbaugh

Allocutio Archive - The Eucharist our treasure

Fr. Bob's Allocutio Shared on 10 May 2021

The Eucharist our treasure

Frank Duff’s final day on earth, November 7, 1980, reveals his priorities in life. Having attended his regular morning mass, he then went to a second mass for the funeral of Joan Cronin, a former Legion envoy. His friend and cycling companion, Fr. Herman Nolan, celebrated the funeral mass and gave him Holy Communion.

Following the mass, Duff told Fr. Nolan that he felt unwell. Someone accompanied him home to take a rest. He died in bed that very afternoon. When Nellie Jessop, from the Regina Coeli Hostel, came to check how he was, she found him dead, but it was clear that he had just died for his body was still warm. Also, of note, was that his eyes were directed towards the old-style picture of the Sacred Heart which hung on the wall just opposite the foot of his bed. (adapted from Finola Kennedy’s Frank Duff: A Life Story, p. 237)

Here, we certainly have a glimpse of what mattered most to Frank Duff: his great devotion to Christ in his Sacred Heart and in his Eucharist, as well as Frank Duff’s profound fidelity to Mary’s Legion.

The handbook of the Legion teaches us that the Eucharist, being the center and major source of a believing Christian’s divine grace, is the very keystone of the legionary scheme: a scheme founded on the conviction that the most ardent activity will accomplish nothing of value, if it is forgotten that the scheme’s main object is to establish the reign of the Eucharist in all hearts. For it is the risen and glorious Christ’s preferred means to communicate himself to souls. As Jesus himself affirmed: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (Jn 6:51-52)

The Eucharist, to say the least, is an infinite good, for in this sacrament Jesus himself is as much present as he was in his home at Nazareth or in the Upper Room of the Last Supper. The Holy Eucharist is no mere symbol of Jesus, nor is it.an instrument of his power, but is Jesus Christ himself substantially present.

The eucharistic Christ is meant to be consumed as heavenly bread by the believing Christian. It seeks to nourish and, especially, through the Precious Blood to inebriate the believing Christian with the loving force of the Holy Spirit, which, in turn, enables the believing Christian to be one with Christ and one with the other members of Christ’s Mystical Body.

Mary is the mother of this Mystical Body, nourished and inspirited by the eucharistic Christ. As once she anxiously attended to the wants of her Christ-child, so now she yearns to nourish her Son’s body and enable the Spirit to flourish in his Mystical Body. How her heart must be anguished at seeing that her Son, in his Mystical Body, hungry — even starving — as well as listless by reason that few of its members are nourished and inspired, as they should be nourished and inspired, with the Bread Divine and his Precious Blood. (Note well, only at certain occasions can the Precious Blood be administered both safely and reasonably. It is also to be noted that Christ is fully present in both the Eucharistic Bread and the Precious Blood; only the immediately sensed effects are different.

May all legionaries, who aim to be associated with Mary in her maternal care for her Son’s Mystical Body, share in her maternal anguish for the well-being of this body. Every avenue, therefore, of legionary action must be availed to awaken knowledge and love of the Blessed Sacrament and to dissipate the sin and indifference which keeps so many from receiving it with living faith. In this way, legionaries can benefit the entire Mystical Body to advance in wisdom and growth and grace with its Head, our Lord, Jesus Christ. (Lk 2:52) 05/10/21 Fr Bob Weisenbaugh

Allocutio Archive - The Legionary and the Eucharist

Fr. Bob's Allocutio Shared on 5 May 2021

Ch. 8 The Legionary and the Eucharist

Fr. Bob's Allocutio Shared on 5 May 2021

3. The Liturgy of the Eucharist in union with Mary


A loving attention to the presence of Mary ought to form part of every Eucharist (mass) in which a baptized Christian and, of course, legionary participates. Why?

Mary’s Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, did not formally begin his work for our redemption without the consent of his Mother, Mary, for she freely sent her Son to John, the Baptist, and his baptism in the River Jordan.

Also, throughout Jesus’ public life to his passion and death, he was strengthened by Mary’s continual support. St. Pope Pius X wrote: “From this union of sufferings and of will between Mary and Christ, she merited to become, most worthily, the restorer of the lost world and the dispenser of all the graces which Jesus purchased by his death and by his blood.”

In addition, at each Eucharist, Mary stands at the altar; no less than she stood by the Cross. Therefore, she must also merit our attention to her there, and not just as we can recall her presence to him during his life, death, and the early days of his resurrection.

Surely Mary, now in glory --body and soul-- with her Son, now also shares in his timelessness, and, therefore, continues to offer her own obedient suffering at the Cross to the Father with him and for us. This timelessness is the reason that the sacrifice of the Cross, symbolically but really actualized in the mass, is really present to us in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

We recall, for this reality of the Lord’s, and now Mary’s, timelessness, the teaching of the author of the Letter to the Hebrews: He [Jesus], because he remains forever, has a priesthood that does not pass away. Therefore, he is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them. . . . He has no need, as did the high priests, to offer sacrifice day after day, first for his own sins and then for those of the people; he did that once for all when he offered himself (Heb. 7:24, 27).

Including Mary, therefore, and, in some way, the presence and the intercession for us of all the angels and saints in glory with our sacrifices and prayers at mass, is a truer expression of what the mass actually enables to happen.

The handbook takes us even further in considering those who, might actually be present at each mass: viz., the soldiers who put Jesus to death on the Cross, and not present as malefactors, but as believers in the divinity of Jesus. Scripture acknowledges this act of faith only on the part of the leader of this contingent of Roman legionaries, the centurion, but the handbook goes a step further and suggests that the centurion’s soldiers or legionaries are to be included:

These fierce, rude converts were the fruits, swift and unexpected, of Mary’s prayers. They were strange children that the mother of men first received on Calvary; yet they must have ever made the name of legionary dear to her. So, who can doubt that when her own legionaries — united to her intention, part of her co-operation — come to the daily Mass, she will gather them to her, and give to them the “lynx-eyes” of faith and her own overflowing heart, so that they will enter most intimately (and with surpassing profit) into that continuation of the sublime sacrifice of Calvary.

When we, today’s legionaries, see the Son of God lifted up on the Cross, as did the Roman legionaries of old at the foot of his Cross, we also should unite ourselves to him; in order to be but a single victim for the Father, for the Mass is our sacrifice as well as his, Christ’s sacrifice.

Legionaries should, then, receive Christ’s adorable Body; for this partaking, with the priest, in his immolated but now gloriously risen flesh is essential, if the fullness of the fruit of the Divine Sacrifice is to be gathered.

And when they (today’s legionaries) come away (from the mass), Mary will be with her legionaries, giving them a share and part in her administration of graces, so that on each and all of those they meet and work for are lavished with the infinite treasures of redemption. 05/03/21 Fr Bob Weisenbaugh


Allocutio Archive - on the Liturgy of the Word

Shared on 4/26/2021

Allocutio on the Liturgy of the Word

Shared by Barbara M. Omstead 26 April 2021


 Almighty God is present in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in several ways. First and foremost, Jesus Christ is truly present in the Holy Eucharist. Jesus is also present through the priest in persona Christi. God is present in the people of the church, collectively as the Body of Christ, as well as in each and every individual. God speaks to His people in the Liturgy of the Word; that is, in reading of the Word — Sacred Scripture — and in the Homily. Let us take a closer look at the Liturgy of the Word.

The Word became Flesh, and dwelt among us.“ In order for this to happen, the glorious Archangel Gabriel was sent with a long-awaited message to a young maiden named Mary. This young Israelite had been raised with the promise that God would send his Son to be born of a virgin in order to redeem mankind. She knew this by studying Sacred Scripture. She did not know that she would be that virgin. She did not understand how such a thing would be possible, but she believed. “Let it be done unto me according to Thy word.”

With her fiat, her “yes” to God, Jesus Christ humbled Himself, and for 9 months she carried Him as a baby in her womb. He then resided with Mary and Joseph until his adult ministry began. Holy Scripture is the Word. The Father speaks the Word. We know from Col. 1: 15, “The Son is the image of the invisible God.” Jesus Christ is the Word Made Flesh. The Blessed Virgin Mary is our conduit to Jesus Christ.

During the Liturgy of the Word, how often do we ignore the spoken Word and allow our minds to drift to things of this earth? How many of us could actually recall the topic of the last Homily that was delivered in our presence? Do we listen attentively and allow Almighty God to speak to us? Satan prowls through the pews seeking souls to devour. He crowds our minds with mundane thoughts, senseless worries, and all manner of distractions. Left to our own devices, we would be no match for the master of evil.

Thanks be to God, we are not alone! Let us look to our Blessed Mother. How did she respond? We know from the Gospels that she listened attentively when Simeon spoke of her little baby’s future, as well as his prophecy about the sword that was to pierce her own soul. Mary “...pondered these things in her heart.” It would behoove us to follow her great example. Let us listen attentively as God speaks to us through the Liturgy of the Word, and let us ponder what He reveals in our own hearts.

As we do so, we allow Almighty God to personally introduce us to His Blessed Mother. Scripture begins and ends with her battling Satan, and her story is interwoven throughout our salvation history. Beginning in Gen. 3:15, God says to the serpent about the woman—the same name Jesus uses for His Mother, indicating that she is our new Eve, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed. He will crush your head, and you will bruise his heel.” It is Mary whose seed, Jesus Christ, is bruised by the serpent through His crucifixion and death, yet who crushes the serpent’s skull in His resurrection and triumph over death.

Mary is also present at the end of Holy Scripture. In Rev. 12:1, she is the “woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” After giving birth to Jesus, she is taken up to safety, after which the dragon—Satan—is finally, definitively cast into the abyss.

Between these two scriptural bookends, our Lady emerges humble yet triumphant. There are many women in the old testament who serve as types, or pre-figures, for the Blessed Virgin Mary—far too many for me to cover in this reflection. However, I would like to briefly look at Bathsheba in her role as queen mother, and the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as Queen of Heaven and Earth. Bathsheba’s son Solomon did indeed heed her counsel, demonstrating the regard to which the position “queen mother” was held in Israel. She held an active and engaged role, and was focused on the success of the kingdom. We read in 1 Kings 2: 19-20, When Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him, the king stood up to meet her, bowed down to her and sat down on his throne. He had a throne brought for the king’s mother, and she sat down at his right hand.

“I have one small request to make of you,” she said. “Do not refuse me.”

The king replied, “Make it, my mother; I will not refuse you.”

Likewise, the Blessed Virgin Mary holds a role which is active and engaged in bringing the followers of her Son, Jesus Christ into the Kingdom of Heaven. You can be sure that He will not refuse the requests of His dear Mother!

Finally, I would like to point out that we profess in our Creed to believe in the Communion of Saints. Within the Communion of Saints, no one is closer to Jesus Christ than his own dear Mother. While Jesus is our mediator with our Father in heaven, Mary is our mediatrix with her beloved Son. Let us run like children to our dear Heavenly Mother in all of our joys and sorrows, placing everything into her hands for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

And here is our great secret. We already know—numerous times over—what our Blessed Mother has asked of us. Pray the Rosary daily! Pick up our spiritual swords as we, her legion, engage in this battle against Satan. We already know the outcome of this war for all eternity. We choose to be on the right side, the winning side, Mary’s side.

In the Service of Mary,

Barbara M. Omstead

26 April 2021

Special thanks to my beloved husband, Dave Omstead, my Uncle Deacon Roger Polt and my Aunt Sr. Cecilia Polt, OSB. Their reviews and critiques took my rough mutterings and polished this Allocutio into the final product.

Allocutio Archive -

Ch. 8 The Legionary and the Eucharist. Holy Mass
Shared on 04/19/2021

Fr. Bob's Allocutio
Ch. 8 The Legionary and the Eucharist. Holy Mass
Shared on 04/19/2021


The holiness of each legionary is of fundamental importance. For the Legion’s holiness is its primary means to achieve a successful apostolate. Holiness means that the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, is effectively present to us through the Holy Spirit. Only in the measure that a legionary possesses this grace, which enables him or her to live in a truly human and redeemed way, can he or she be a channel of holiness to others. This truth is fully affirmed when a candidate makes their legionary promise, for in the profession of this promise, the candidate asks, through Mary, to be filled with the grace that can come only from the Holy Spirit, so that he or she, then, can be used as an instrument of the Spirit’s power to renew the face of the earth in fashion of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

This grace which comes to the legionary from the Holy Spirit through the intercession of Mary has its further source in the life, suffering and death of our Lord, Jesus Christ and his obedience, in this, to the Father. Then, his glorious glorification through his Resurrection from the dead and his Ascension into glory.

By means of the Holy Eucharist (Holy Mass), Christ’s passage from death to eternal glory is not only remembered, but is also enabled to be fully present in the present; yet only mystically to the eyes of faith. The Mass, therefore, is not a mere symbolic representation of the past, but places, really and actually, present in our midst that supreme action which our Lord consummated on Calvary, and which redeemed the world. The Cross and the Eucharist, therefore, are but one and the selfsame living and continuing sacrifice. Time and space from God’s side, it would seem, do not apply; only for us do they apply in our limited, without faith, human understanding. Therefore, the offerings and sacrifices of those who fully and actively participate in the Holy Eucharist are meant to be joined in Holy Mass to Christ’s still continuing offerings and sacrifices to the Father. Effectively, therefore, the legionary, in regard to his or her own life, in each Mass pronounces with Jesus his final words from the Cross: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”

All legionaries are urged to join their fellow parishioners in their parish church for Mass; even daily, if possible and reasonable, considering their other obligations and well-ordered duties.

Recently, our ordinary, Bishop Alfred Schlert, realizing that by the Lord’s mercy the COVID pandemic will eventually wind down and terminate and that formerly practicing Catholics may have lost their strong desire to join in the Sunday and even daily mass, has instituted for our Diocese of Allentown, the Year of the Real Presence in the Diocese of Allentown. Here are two pertinent paragraphs from the Bishop’s letter:

Ever since our founding, the Diocese of Allentown, her clergy, religious men and women, and the lay faithful, have been blessed by the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Our faith in and reception of this “Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar” have been the nourishment for all of our apostolic works and endeavors of bringing the Light of Christ to each other and to our community.

The Holy Eucharist is the anchor of parish and diocesan life and serves as a constant source of nourishment. It has seen us through many challenges, both from within and outside our Church. Every age of the Church faces challenges, and now is our time to confront and heal them through the grace of the Holy Eucharist. The power of the Most Blessed Sacrament is our armor against the “snares of the devil” who “prowls about the world seeking the ruin of souls.”

Our bishop, here, uses the word “nourishment” twice. Surely, there is nourishment in an ocular adoration of the “Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.” But, more fundamentally, he is speaking of the actual eating of the bread become the Body of Christ and the wine become the Blood of Christ, and this in a community gathered for the Eucharist.

We believe that, through our Baptism, we Catholics have been joined to Christ, and have become his adopted brothers and sisters as well as members of his Mystical Body. Christ, then, wants, again and again, to feed this body with himself that we might effectively mature and act in and with him (Cf. Jn. 6:53-58)

04/19/21

Allocutio Archive -
Chapter 7 of the handbook: The Legionary and the Holy Trinity
Shared on 04/05/2021 and 04/12/2021

An interpretation of the entire Chapter 7 of the handbook.
Shared on 04/05/2021 and 04/12/2021

Ch. 7 (Part 1) The Legionary and the Holy Trinity

a. The prominence of the Holy Spirit in the Legion system:

The praying of the Tessera at the start of each Legion meeting, surprisingly, does not begin with an acknowledgment of the presence of Mary, but with that of the Holy Spirit. Of course, Mary’s presence is soon recognized in this opening prayer of the Tessera with the praying of the rosary.

b. in the vexillum:

The Holy Spirit is given the principal position at the very top of the Legion’s standard or, more properly, vexillum. (Note the representation of the vexillum to the right in the painting of the Tessera, or, more prominently, in the second photo that immediately follows page 108 of the handbook.) The vexillum is modeled from the standard of the Roman Legion. The eagle, at the very top of the Roman Legion standard, in the vexillum is replaced by a dove, which represents the Holy Spirit: It happened … that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he [Jesus] saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased’” (Mk. 1:9-11).

Mary, in the vexillum, is placed below the dove. Both the head of the dove and that of Mary in the vexillum are surrounded by a red colored halo, revealing that there is an intimate connection between Mary and the Holy Spirit: viz., that Mary fully depends upon the Holy Spirit and that she is the channel for the Spirit’s grace to the world, to the Legion and to the Church.

c. in the Tessera:

In the Tessera painting, the dove flies both on top of the painting’s representation of the vexillum [on the right side of the painting] and over the central column of the painting. The dove, however, over the central column of the painting does not have a halo; instead its whole body is outlined in the halo’s red color.

Immediately below the dove, at the head of the central column, is an image of Mary with her head prominently surrounded by a red halo, suggesting that she, with the Spirit’s power and with the help her soldiers pictured at either side of her feet, is able to contain the evil snake below her feet and put the snake’s soldiers in chaos, which are pictured at the very bottom of the painting.

d. in the color of the Legion:

It might be expected that the official color chosen to represent the Legion would be the traditional blue assigned to Mary, but, because the Holy Spirit is traditionally assigned the color red and because the Holy Spirit --as we have seen above-- comes before Mary in the Legion’s system, the Legion’s has chosen the color red and not blue as its official color. Beyond the three red halos in the painting --Unfortunately, I have not been able to discern Mary’s red halo even in the Tessera painting’s reproduction in the large-print edition. Nevertheless, it can be easily seen in the aforementioned photo of the vexillum in the second page beyond page 108 in the handbook.-- the choice of red as the Legion’s color is emphasized in the painting with the flames that surround Mary’s body from her head to her toes, which, in turn, suggest that Mary is that pillar of fire that led the Israelites through the desert to the Promised Land and who, now, leads the Legion through this life to eternal life: The LORD preceded them [the Israelites through the desert] in the daytime by means of a column of cloud to show them the way, and at night by means of a column of fire to give them light. Thus, they could travel both day and night. Neither the column of cloud by day nor the column of fire by night ever left its place in front of the people (Exod. 13:21-22).

e. in the Legion’s promise:

The Legion’s promise also, surprisingly, gives primary importance to the Spirit over Mary as it begins: Most Holy Spirit, I, desiring to be enrolled this day as a legionary of Mary …. do ask of you to come upon me and fill me with yourself; so that my poor acts may be sustained by your power, and become an instrument of your mighty purposes (cf., handbook pg. 90).

f. in sum:

Is not all this primacy, given above, of the Spirit over Mary fitting? Most certainly! We, for example, remember: Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?’ And the angel said to her in reply, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the child to be born will be called holy; the Son of God’” (Lk. 1:34-35).

Here, in this Scriptural passage, all Three Divine Persons are clearly specified: first, the Holy Spirit, to whom the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity is directly attributed; second, the Most High, the Father of him who is to be born; third, that Child himself who “will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High” (Lk 1:32). In this way, we are prepared to move on to a discussion of the three Divine Persons role in the Legion’s system in the next part of this chapter.

04/05/21

Ch. 7 (Part 2) The Legionary and the Holy Trinity

The contemplation of Mary’s different relations to each of the three Divine Persons helps toward distinguishing each of these three Divine Persons:

1. Mary is the mother of the Son become human. Her motherhood, however, of her Son has a closeness, a permanency, and a quality inconceivably surpassing that of any normal, human, mother-son relationship, that she has become much more than a mother-helpmate. For having become so much like him her conception, birthing, and raising of him that she has become for us a sure model of Him in our quest to know and love him.


2. The Holy Spirit has so united Mary to himself as to make her, of all creatures, next in dignity to himself. She is so animated by him and made one with him that the Spirit has become Mary’s very soul.

Mary, however, is no mere instrument or channel of the Spirit’s activity. Rather, she is an intelligent, conscious cooperator with the Spirit in this world, and, to such a degree, that when she acts the Holy Spirit acts. Indeed, if her intervention with her Son is not accepted, neither is the Spirit’s along the same line.

The Holy Spirit is Love, Beauty, Power, Wisdom, Purity and all else that is of God. Therefore, since the Spirit descends to this earth in his plentitude, and particularly to Mary, every need can be met; including those needs created by the most grievous problems so that the reality of this world can be brought into conformity with the Divine Will and Plan.

Besides the legionary’s affirming the intimate union of Mary with the Holy Spirit, it is appropriate to appreciate the Holy Spirit himself as a distinct Divine Person with a distinct mission in regard to the human race: an appreciation which will not be maintained except by a reasonably frequent turning of the mind and heart to him: e.g., by including a glance toward to the Spirit in all aspects of our devotion to Mary, and, especially, in our praying the mysteries of our Lady’s rosary.


3. Mary, in her relation the Father is often known as the Father’s daughter. According to St. John Henry Newman, the outstanding 19th century English theologian, the title of daughter of the Father for Mary serves to designate her as “the first of all creatures, the most acceptable child of God, and the nearest and dearest to him.”

In addition, Mary’s title as daughter of the Father points to her preeminent resemblance to the Father, which, in turn, has fitted her, perfectly, to pour out into the world that saving light which comes from this loving father.

But, above all, the Father has communicated to Mary his fruitfulness, in so far as a mere creature is capable of receiving this fruitfulness, in order that he might give her power to produce his Son– and, of course, raise and accompany him as a caring and loving mother—; also, power to engender all the members of his Son’s Mystical Body” (St. Louis-Marie de Montfort).

It is the requirement of God that what he gives us humans must be reflected in appreciation and cooperation. Therefore, our life-giving union with the Father must be made a subject of our thoughts. It is particularly suggested for this mindfulness that we, in our praying of the Lord’s Prayer, should take account of that intention of the Father. Therefore, when the Lord’s Prayer is recited with the right advertence and in the spirit of the Church, it will accomplish, perfectly, this intention of giving glory to the Eternal Father and of acknowledging his ever-flowing gift to us through Mary.

04/12/21

Allocutio Archive - St. Joseph

First shared on 09/14/2020 Published on Maria Legionis magazine, Feb 2021

Fr. Bob's Allocutio
First shared on 09/14/2020 Published on Maria Legionis magazine, Feb 2021


Ch. 24 The Patrons of the Legion

1. St. Joseph

“Is he not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?” (Mt 13:55)

“When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her husband [i.e., her betrothed or engaged], since he was a righteous man yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife [i.e., your espoused] into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus [ which means ‘God saves’], because he will save his people from their sins…. When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home [This ritual, in those days, was the act which confirmed that Mary and Joseph were married]” (Mt 1:18-21; 24).

It was Joseph who accompanied Mary to Bethlehem for the birth of her child. It was Joseph who led the child and the child’s Mother in their escape from Herod’s slaughter of the innocents. It was Joseph who accompanied Mary to the Temple for the child’s presentation to the Lord, and, later, when the boy was twelve and wanted to stay in the Temple, it was Joseph who supported Mary in her reprimand of her son: “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety” (L. 2:48). Otherwise, we can make many educated guesses of other incidents in the life of the child, the adolescent and, possibly even, the adult Jesus in which Joseph had a crucial role.

Although devotion to St. Joseph was not wanting throughout the history of the Church, it was not until the 1500s that a feast was established for him for the entire church. And, only in 1870 was Joseph named the Patron of the Universal Church. At present, there are two feasts in special honor of St. Joseph in the Church’s universal liturgical calendar: viz. St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary (March 19) and Joseph the Worker (May 1).

St. Joseph, as head of the Holy Family, fulfilled an altogether special part in the Holy Family’s well-being. The same — no more, no less — is true of him in regard to the Mystical Body of which Jesus is the head and Mary the mother. His role, here, in the existence and activity of the Church –i.e., Christ’s Mystical Body, and, therefore, also of the Legion-- must be actively recognized, for St. Joseph’s care is unfailing, vital, possessed of parental intimacy, and is second only in influence to the mothering of Mary, and is to be so appreciated by the Legion.

If St. Joseph’s love is to be potent in us, we must open ourselves fully to it by a behavior which reflects the intense devotion which he lavishes on us. Jesus and Mary were ever mindful of him and grateful to him for all he did for them. Similarly, legionaries must be attentive to him in a constant sort of way.

“To other saints our Lord has given power to help in one sort of need, but this glorious saint [St. Joseph], as I know by experience, helps us in every need. I cannot remember ever having asked him for anything which he did not obtain for me”
(St. Teresa of Avila).

Allocutio Archive - St. Louis Marie de Montfort and the Legion of Mary

April 2016 Concilium Meeting by Fr. Bede McGregor

St. Louis Marie de Montfort and the Legion of Mary

Allocutio at April 2016 Concilium Meeting by Fr. Bede McGregor Handbook Chapter 24 section 3


On the 28th of April 1916, exactly three hundred years ago, St. Louis Marie de Montfort died. He was to become and remain a seminal influence in the Universal Church and particularly in the Legion of Mary. In fact, it would be impossible to understand the heart of the Legion or the interior life of its founder Frank Duff without some basic knowledge of the teaching and inspiration of de Montfort. It would be a great grace for the Legion if it would use this year as an opportunity of going back to the teaching and guidance of de Montfort as contained in his writings and the Handbook of the Legion. There can be no doubt that wherever and whenever the Legion truly appropriates the teaching of de Montfort it will be reignited and flourish. Without his influence the Legion would lose a great deal of its special charism and inner dynamism.

In a talk to the Montfort Fathers in Bayshore, New York in 1958 Frank Duff said: ‘The Legion of Mary owes, you might say, everything to de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary.’ And in the Handbook he writes: ‘It can be safely asserted that no Saint has played a greater part in the development of the Legion than he.’ The Handbook is full of his spirit. The prayers re-echo his very words. He is really the tutor of the Legion: thus, invocation is due to him by the Legion almost as a matter of moral obligation.’ (Handbook Ch. 24 section 3). Cardinal Suenens writes: ‘It cannot be denied that the Handbook of the Legion of Mary is a striking follow up of the Treatise on the True Devotion. It takes up the same doctrine and carries it over into the field of effective and concrete action, within the reach of all persons of good will.’ Of course, there have been developments of the True Devotion, at least in its application to modern times over the last three hundred years and the genius of Frank Duff was to see and develop the True Devotion as a sublime doctrinal foundation for an innovative and practical theology of the lay apostolate that finds its way into the documents of the 11 Vatican Council.

There can be no doubt that the best-known gift of de Montfort to the Legion is his knowledge concerning Mary and the way of true devotion to her in the midst of so many false and inauthentic forms of devotion to her. Since the discovery of the book True Devotion to Mary every Pope has spoken favourably of it. Pope Pius 1X claimed it was the best and most acceptable form of devotion to Our Blessed Lady. Pope Pius X1 said: ‘I have known and practiced this Devotion from my childhood.’ Of course, there is the powerful witness of Pope St. John Paul, who has written so much and with such authority on the True Devotion and making it a central element in his own inner life and expressing it in his personal motto: ‘Totus Tuus’ I am totally yours Mary. I mention this very briefly so that legionaries can be completely reassured when from time to time they meet someone who suggests that the doctrinal basis of their devotion to Mary is a bit exaggerated and should be changed at least a little.

Obviously, I cannot give an adequate explanation of the True Devotion to Mary here but I strongly recommend that we read and constantly reread Chapter 6, section 5 of the Handbook. Now I just give one quotation from the Handbook I think sums up the essence of the True Devotion: ‘That Devotion requires the formal entry into a compact with Mary, whereby one gives to her one’s whole self, with all its thoughts and deeds and possessions, both spiritual and temporal, past, present, and future without the reservation of the smallest part or slightest little thing. In a word, the giver places himself/herself in a condition equivalent to that of a slave possessing nothing of his/her own, and wholly dependent on, and utterly at the disposal of Mary.’

It is important if we wish to truly understand the True Devotion to Mary that we do not isolate Mary from the mystery of the Trinity. We have often stressed that Marian Devotion must be absolutely Christocentric. It is most traditionally expressed in the principle: To Jesus through Mary. It is in Jesus that we are enabled to share in the very life of the Trinity. But today I would like to briefly relate to the True Devotion to Mary to True Devotion to the Holy Spirit. As we know, de Montfort refers to the Holy Spirit 74 times in the True Devotion and hardly ever thinks of Mary without some reference to the Holy Spirit. R. Luarentin, the well-known French Mariologist suggests that de Montfort sees Mary as entirely relative to the Holy Spirit. We are familiar with those lovely sentences in the True Devotion like: ‘When the Holy Spirit finds Mary in a soul he hastens there.’ (TD n. 36). Laurentin sums up the mutual attraction and harmony between Mary and the Holy Spirit in de Montfort as follows: ‘The Holy Spirit comes to where Mary is and Mary goes to where the Holy Spirit is. He leads to her and she leads to Him who brings everything about.’

But above all, de Montfort and the Legion see the essential relationship between the Holy Spirit and Mary in the mystery of the Incarnation. The Word becomes flesh through the power of the Holy Spirit and the total and humble cooperation of Mary. That principle remains true for all times and places, for every individual person and community: Jesus comes into our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit and the cooperation of Mary. That is the secret of the Legion apostolate and its spirituality. We owe St. Louis Marie de Montfort a great debt of gratitude for the gift of his teaching and life. So we pray: St. Louis Marie intercede for the Legion of Mary and all those among whom the Legion lives and works. Amen.