Saturday, May 8, 2010

Legio Mariae Quod Societas Iesu

On September 7th, 1921 Frank Duff founded the Legion of Mary. This is a lay apostolic organization at the service of the Church, under ecclesiastical guidance. Its twofold purpose is the spiritual development of its members and advancing the reign of Christ through Our Lady. The Legion, which is to be found in almost every country in the world, has nearly 3 million active members and many more auxiliary (praying) members. In 1965 Pope Paul VI invited Frank Duff to attend the Second Vatican Council as a Lay Observer, an honour by which the Pope recognized and affirmed his enormous work for the lay apostolate. On November 7th 1980 Frank Duff died and is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin. In July 1996 the Cause of his canonisation was introduced by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Desmond Connell.

The Spirituality of Frank Duff

All of this went hand in hand with a rapid growth in Frank’s own spirituality. Having joined the SVP in 1913, the following Lent of 1914, Frank decided to go to Mass every day but was not satisfied to stop at Easter Sunday and continued his daily attendance at Mass thereafter. In fact, Finola Kennedy tells us in her book that Frank attended two Masses daily from 1914 onwards to the day he died in 1980. Frank attended his first enclosed retreat in 1913 with the SVP and was deeply moved by it. He subsequently organized two retreats every year (according to Fr. Bradshaw, pp.27, 28). And made his annual retreat in Mount Mellary every year for 48 years until he was unable to make the journey. Frank himself writing to Pope Paul VI in 1964 was able to say that from 1914 he never failed to miss his daily rosary . Also in 1914 Frank joined the pioneers. He hated the idea of wearing a public religious emblem and balked at the idea at first, but, realising that this was just his pride he returned to take the pledge and never looked back. He always wore his pin and recited the pioneer prayer. Spiritual reading was an important part of his every day life as has already been mentioned but he coupled this with regular confession and spiritual direction. From 1915 to 1922, Fr. Robert Bradshaw tells us that Frank used to spend 4 hours every day in prayer. He used to make a lunch-time holy hour while at work, and all this time he was under the direction of a Jesuit priest by the name of Fr. Michael Browne

Link (here) to the full piece at Legion of Saints 

Frank Duff says that every priest should have his own mystical body. It could be 6, 12, 100 souls. He forms them and sends them out in His name. Link (here)

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