Latin Terms Used by the Legion of Mary  

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Latin Terms:

  1. Acies
  2. Allocutio
  3. Auxiliary
  4. Catena
  5. Comitium
  6. Concilium
  7. Curia
  8. Incolae Mariae
  9. Peregrinatio Pro Christo
  10. Praesidium
  11. Praetorians
  12. Regia
  13. Senatus
  14. Tessera
  15. Vexillum



Acies is a Church function which is held annually about the Feast of the Annunciation for the members to renew their consecration to Mary.

Bearing in mind the importance of devotion to Mary in the Legion system, each year there shall be a consecration of legionaries to Our Lady. The consecration - which shall comprise both an individual and a collective consecration - will take place on the 25 March or on a day close thereto, and will be known as the Acies. This Latin word, meaning as it does an army ranged in battle array, is appropriate to a ceremony in which the legionaries as a body assemble to renew their fealty to Mary, Queen of the Legion, and from her to receive strength and blessing for yet another year's battle with the forces of evil. Moreover, the word is in effective contrast with praesidium, which contemplates the Legion, no longer drawn up in united array, but split up into its various sections, each engaged in its own particular sphere of duty.

The Acies is the great central annual function of the Legion, so that it is necessary to stress the importance of attendance on the part of every member. The essential idea of the Legion, upon which all else is built, is that of working in union with and in dependence on Mary, its Queen. The Acies is the solemn expression of that union and dependence, the renewal-individual and collective-of the legionary declaration of fealty. Hence it is manifest that any legionaries who can attend, and yet fail to do so, have little or none of the spirit of the Legion in them. The membership of such persons is not an asset to the Legion



An allocutio is a Short address by the Spiritual Director or the president, given at each Legion Meeting.



An Auxiliary member is someone who supports the Legion work by the daily recitation of the rosary and the Legion prayers.



The Catena is aprayer to be recited daily by all active and Auxilliary members, consisting of the Magnificat with antiphon, versicle and the prayer from the Feast of Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces.



A Comitium is a Curia which is supervising one or more other Curiae.



Concilium is the central international council of the Legion of Mary in Dublin, Ireland.



A Curia is a body governing several Praesidia in a city, town or district. The officers of all the Praesidia meet once a month to discuss common problems; also the Curia supervises and controls its affiliated Praesidia which it has to visit periodically, if possible twice a year.  The government and work of the Legion are outlined in the Legion Handbook, Chapter 28.



A praesidium is a parochial or other branches of the Legion of Mary. It has five officers: spiritual director, president, vice president, secretary, treasurer. For the setting up of a Praesidium, the permission of the Bishop and parish priest is necessary

The unit of the Legion of Mary is called a praesidium. This Latin word was used to designate a detachment of the Roman Legion performing special duty, that is, a section of a military line, a fortified post, a garrison. The term praesidium is, therefore, appropriately applied to the branch of the Legion of Mary. Each praesidium is named after a title of Our Blessed Lady, for example, Our Lady of Mercy, or from one of her privileges, for example, The Immaculate Conception, or from an event in her life, for example, The Visitation.



Praetorians are a higher grade of active membership where in addition to the usual duties (weekly meeting and solid apostolic work) the members undertake the recitation of all the prayers comprised in the Tessera of the Legion; daily Mass and daily Holy Communion; and the daily recitation of some form of Office approved by the Church.



A Regia is a council designated by the Concilium to exercise authority over the Legion of Mary in a large region.



A Senatus is a council designated by the Concilium to exercise authority over the Legion of Mary in a country or in a large area of a country.



The Tessera is the prayer card of the Legion of Mary.

A leaflet called the Tessera, containing the Prayers of the Legion and bearing a reproduction of the Legion Picture, shall be issued to every member, active and auxiliary. In Latin, Tessera had the particular meaning of a tally or token which was divided among friends in order that they or their descendants might always recognise each other. As a military expression, it signified the square tablet upon which the watchword was written and circulated through the Roman Legion.

The Legion of Mary applies the word Tessera to the leaflet containing its prayers and picture. Here, too, are contained the ideas of (a) universal circulation in the Legion; (b) the setting out of the true watchword of the Legion - its prayers; and (c) a token of unity and fraternity between all legionaries, wherever found. Incidentally this same idea of universality applies to the dozen other Latin terms used to designate features of the system. These so aid intercommunication as to be quite indispensable. The objection that they constitute a foreign element in the Legion is inadmissible. They have so taken root as now to be legionary words. It would do grave injustice to the Legion to strip it of such useful and distinctive plumage.



The Vexillum is the standard of the Legion of Mary, an adaptation of the standard of the ancient Roman Legion. The eagle is replaced by the Dove, the emblem of the Holy Ghost, the portrait of the emperor or consul by the Miraculous Medal.

The Vexillum Legionis is an adaptation of the standard of the Roman Legion. The eagle which surmounted the standard is replaced by the Dove, the emblem of the Holy Spirit. Beneath the Dove a cross-bar bears the inscription "Legio Mariae" (Legion of Mary). Intermediate between cross-bar and staff (and joined to the former by a rose and a lily) is an oval frame bearing a representation of the Immaculate Conception (the Miraculous Medal). The staff is set in a globe which, for use on a table, stands on a square base. The whole design conveys the idea that the world is to be conquered by the Holy Spirit acting through Mary and her children.

A representation of the vexillum should appear on the official notepaper of the Legion. A model of the vexillum should stand on the table at meetings about six inches (15 cm.) in advance of, and about six inches (15 cm.) to the right of the statue. The A large model (as shown in photograph) will be required for processional purposes and for use at the Acies. It should be about 6½ feet (2 m.) high, of which about 2 feet (60 cm.) would represent the length of staff below the globe.

"That beautiful standard of the Legion of Mary." (Pope Pius XI)

Peregrinatio Pro Christo 

Peregrinatio Pro Christo means adventuring or traveling for Christ and of short duration, usually no more than two weeks.  Peregrinatio is primarily evangelisation for the vast majority of the time spent in a particular place.

Incolae Mariae

Incolae Mariae means a sojourn for Mary and is of longer duration - anything from 3 months to 1 to year but could be longer.  Incolae is a longer time experience with a good piece of the Incolae's time working to earn money to live while there (secretary to a Bishop, teaching in a school, teaching a language etc.)  It would only be in their spare time that they would do Legion work.