Legion of Mary  |  Legion of Mary Handbook


Most Holy Spirit, I, (name of candidate),
Desiring to be enrolled this day as a legionary of Mary,
Yet knowing that of myself I cannot render worthy service,
Do ask of you to come upon me and fill me with yourself,
So that my poor acts may be sustained by your power, and become an instrument of your mighty purposes.

But I know that you, who has come to regenerate the world in Jesus Christ,
Has not willed to do so except through Mary;
That without her we cannot know or love you;
That it is by her, and to whom she pleases, when she pleases, and in the quantity and manner she pleases,
That all your gifts and virtues and graces are administered;
And I realise that the secret of a perfect legionary service
Consists in a complete union with her who is so completely united to you.

So, taking in my hand the legionary Standard which seeks to set before our eyes these things,
I stand before you as her soldier and her child,
And I so declare my entire dependence on her.
She is the mother of my soul.
Her heart and mine are one,
And from that single heart she speaks again those words of old:
"Behold the handmaid of the Lord";
And once again you come by her to do great things.

Let your power overshadow me, and come into my soul with fire and love,
And make it one with Mary's love and Mary's will to save the world;
So that I may be pure in her who was made Immaculate by you;
So that Christ my Lord may likewise grow in me through you;
So that I with her, his Mother, may bring him to the world and to the souls who need him;
So that they and I, the battle won, may reign with her for ever in the glory of the Blessed Trinity.

Confident that you will so receive me - and use me - and turn my weakness into strength this day,
I take my place in the ranks of the Legion, and I venture to promise a faithful service.
I will submit fully to its discipline,
Which binds me to my comrades,
And shapes us to an army,
And keeps our line as on we march with Mary,
To work your will, to operate your miracles of grace,
Which will renew the face of the earth,
And establish your reign, Most Holy Spirit, over all.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

"It was pointed out that the Legionary Promise was addressed to the Holy Spirit, who received far too little devotion from the general body of Catholics, and for whom legionaries must needs have special love. Their work, which is the sanctification of themselves and of the other members of the Mystical Body of Christ, is dependent on the power and operation of the Holy Spirit, and hence calls for a very close union with him. Two things are essential to this: deliberate attention to him, and devotion to the Blessed Virgin with whom he works in inseparable union. Probably it was the lack of the latter, rather than lack of the former, which has led to the general absence of a true devotion to the Holy Spirit, in spite of the many books which have been written and the many sermons which are preached on the subject. Legionaries are already full of the love of their Queen and Mother. If they join it to a definite devotion to the Holy Spirit, they will enter most fully into the Divine plan, which has required the union of the Holy Spirit and Mary in the work of regenerating the world. As a consequence, their legionary efforts cannot fail to be attended by a great addition of force and success.

The first prayers ever said by legionaries were the invocation and prayer of the Holy Spirit, followed by the Rosary. The same prayers have opened each Legion meeting ever since; so that it is most appropriate to place under the same holy auspices the ceremony which opens the legionary membership itself. It returns to the idea of Pentecost, when the apostolic grace was conferred by the Holy Spirit through Mary. The legionary, seeking the Holy Spirit through Mary, will receive abundantly of his gifts, and among these gifts will be a truly enlightened love of Mary herself.

Moreover, the proposed form of promise would be in conformity with legionary devotion as pictured by the Standard, which shows the Dove presiding over the Legion and its work, through Mary, for souls." (Extract from the Minutes of the 88th Meeting of the Concilium Legionis)

[This quotation does not form part of the Legionary Promise]