Legion of Mary  |  Legion of Mary Handbook


The end of the campaigning has come and a legionary lies nobly dead. Now at last he is confirmed in legionary service. Through all eternity he will be a legionary, for the Legion has shaped that eternity for him. It has been the fibre and the mould of his spiritual life. Moreover, the might of the united petition, uttered daily and earnestly by active members and auxiliaries alike, that the Legion should reassemble without the loss of any one, has helped him through the dangers and the difficulties of the long way. What a joyful thought for all legionaries - on his account and on their own! But for the moment, there is sorrow at the loss of friend and comrade, and there is need of prayer so that the deliverance of the departed soldier from the realm of Purgatory may be speedily accomplished.
The praesidium should without delay have a Mass offered for the soul of each one of its active members who may die; and each member of that praesidium should specially recite all the legion prayers, inclusive of the rosary, at least once for the same intention. But these duties do not extend to the deceased relatives of members. As many legionaries as possible, and not those of the particular praesidium alone, should attend the Mass and accompany the remains to burial.
It is recommended that the rosary and other legion prayers should be recited while the interment is actually taking place. This could be done immediately after the official prayers of the Church. This practice, besides being of much benefit to the deceased, will be found to be a source of deep consolation to the sorrowing relatives, to the legionaries themselves, and to all the friends present.
It is trusted that the same prayers will have been said more than once beside the remains during the period of laying out. Nor should the duty of remembrance be deemed then to cease.
In the month of November each year, each praesidium shall have a Mass celebrated for the souls of the legionary dead, not of that praesidium alone but of all the world. In this, as on all other occasions where prayer is offered for departed legionaries, all grades of membership are comprised.

"Purgatory forms part of the realm of Mary. There, too, are her children, who in a passing spell of pain await their birth to the glory which will never pass.

St. Vincent Ferrer, St. Bernardine of Sienna, Louis de Blois, as well as others, explicitly proclaim Mary to be Queen of Purgatory; and St. Louis-Marie de Montfort urges us to think and act in accordance with that belief. He wishes us to place in Mary's hands the value of our prayers and satisfactions. He promises us that, in return for this offering, those souls which are dear to us will be more abundantly relieved than if we were to apply our prayers to them directly." (Lhoumeau: La Vie Spirituelle a l'Ecole de St. Louis-Marie de Montfort)