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Vatican II: Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity: 

The perfect example of this type of spiritual and apostolic life is the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Apostles, who while leading the life common to all here on earth, one filled with family concerns and labors, was always intimately united with her Son and in an entirely unique way cooperated in the work of the Savior. Having now been assumed into heaven, with her maternal charity she cares for these brothers of her Son who are still on their earthly pilgrimage and remain involved in dangers and difficulties until they are led into the happy fatherland. All should devoutly venerate her and commend their life and apostolate to her maternal care.

The Legion of Mary is the largest apostolic organization of lay people in the Catholic Church, with well over 3 million active members in almost every country of the world. It has been active in the United States since 1931 and was endorsed by the Second Vatican Council. The main purpose of the Legion of Mary is to give glory to God through the sanctification of its members.

The Legion of Mary has two kinds of membership: active and auxiliary.

Active members of the Legion of Mary become instruments of the Holy Spirit through a balanced program of prayer and service. Legion members meet once a week for prayer, planning and discussion in a family setting. Then they do two hours of work each week in pairs and under the guidance of their spiritual director. Some works include door-to-door evangelization, parishioner visitation, prison ministry, teaching CCD, and meeting the other spiritual needs of the parish community. Legionaries are under the guidance of a spiritual director named by the pastor. The Legion of Mary is, in essence, an extension of the heart and hands of the pastor.

 Any practicing Catholic who is willing to help in the lay apostolate may become a member. Attendance at a weekly meeting is essential, for it is here that the work is organized and prayer for that work is done. Senior legionaries must be 18 years and over. There are groups for ‘Juniors’ under this age. Each member is required to say a short prayer each day called the Catena and is encouraged to say the Rosary each day also. Active members of the Legion of Mary are required to undertake some apostolic work set at the meeting.

Auxiliary or praying members are the praying wing of the Legion of Mary army, and by their prayers support active legionaries in much the same way that an airforce would support an army.   This membership is open to priests, religious and the laity. It consists of those who are unable or unwilling to assume the duties of active membership, but who associate themselves with the Legion of Mary by undertaking a service of prayer in its name.

There are no age limits in the case of auxiliary membership. This service need not be offered directly on behalf of the Legion of Mary. It will suffice to offer it in honour of Our Blessed Lady. Therefore it is conceivable that the Legion might receive nothing from it, nor does the Legion desire to receive anything which would do more good elsewhere. But as this service is a legionary one, it is probable that it will incline the Queen of the Legion to have regard for the needs of the Legion of Mary.

However, it is strongly recommended that this and all other legionary service be offered to Our Lady as an unreserved gift to be administered according to her intentions. This would lift it to a higher level of generosity and thus greatly enhance its worth. This purpose would be kept in view by saying daily some formula of offering such as the following: "Mary Immaculate, Mediatrix of all Graces, I place at your disposal such portion of my prayers, works and sufferings as is permitted to me."

For more information on auxiliary membership in the Legion of Mary, click here.