On Sunday, April 3rd, several Praesidia of the Legion of Mary hosted the legion’s annual Acies, a rite of Consecration to Our Lady.
Two events were held in Canada, one at the Church of the Transfiguration in Toronto, and the other one at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Winnipeg, after the Sunday morning Mass. The consecration rite and Mass were celebrated in both locations by parish priests Father Emanuel Herkel and Father Dominique Boulet, and were both followed by a reception. This yearly event gives a wonderful opportunity for the Auxiliary members to meet with the Active members, and get acquainted with their activities.
Spiritual Works of Mercy
The Legion of Mary is a Catholic lay organization whose members help the priest to minister to souls that may be out of reach to him, and to pray for the intentions of Mary. The spiritual foundation of the Legion of Mary is based on the writings of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort. Legionaries focus on the spiritual works of mercy. These include instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful, admonishing sinners, bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving offences willingly, comforting the afflicted and praying for the living and the dead.
An Army for the Holy Spirit
The Latin word “acies” means an army stretched out in formation, dressed for battle. Acies is the members’ annual opportunity to recommit themselves to the Holy Spirit and to Mary. The Acies is usually held every year on (or near) March 25th, the Feast of the Annunciation. But this year, as March 25th fell on Good Friday, the celebration of the Feast of the Annunciation was transferred untill after the Octave of Easter, to April 4th. That is why we had the Acies the day before, on Sunday April 3rd.
The Legion of Mary founder, Frank Duff, structured the Legion of Mary to match with the Roman Legion. It follows its spirit of good order and discipline that will bring forth victories against the enemies of God and of Our Lady.
“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?” This is what the Legion of Mary prays and what the angels said when Our Lady was Assumed into Heaven.