Legion of Mary  |  Legion of Mary Handbook


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.

"Travellers together in this miserable world, we are all so weak that we mutually require the supporting arm of our brother to prevent our fainting by the way. But in the order of salvation and grace, God especially requires that we be united together. Prayer is the bond which thus unites all hearts and voices, making them as one. Our strength lies in united prayer; this alone will render us invincible. Let us then hasten to unite our prayers, our efforts, our desires together, all of which being powerful of themselves, will by union prove irresistible." (Ramiére)