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Papal Letters and Messages

Legion of Mary
16th September, 1933

"We give a very special blessing to this beautiful and holy work - the Legion of Mary. Its name speaks for itself. The image of Mary Immaculate on its Standard portrays high and holy things.

The Blessed Virgin is mother of the Redeemer and of us all. She co-operates in our Redemption, for it was under the Cross that she became our mother. This year we are celebrating the centenary of that co-operation and of that universal maternity of Mary.
I pray for you that you may exercise still more earnestly that apostolate of prayer and work to which you have set your hands. So doing, God will make you, too, co-operators in the Redemption. This is the best of all ways in which to show your gratitude to the Redeemer."


Dal Vaticano,
July 22nd, 1953.

Dear Mr. Duff,
It is my honoured charge, at the august direction of the Holy Father, to convey a message of greetings and encouragement to the Legion of Mary, founded some thirty years ago on the fertile soil of Catholic Ireland.
His Holiness has followed with paternal interest over the years the progress of the Legion as it swelled the army of those devoted and stalwart clients of Mary who are combating the forces of evil in the world to-day; and he rejoices with you in now beholding the Legion's standard set up in the four corners of the globe.
It is thus most appropriate that the Legionaries of Mary should receive at this time a word of grateful appreciation for the good accomplished, and as well, of exhortation to persevere with increasing zeal in their generous cooperation given to the Church in her divinely committed mission to bring all men under the headship of Christ, Who is the Way, the Truth and the life.
The effectiveness of their contribution to this apostolate will be measured in great part by their sound spiritual formation which, under the prudent guidance of their spiritual directors, will conspicuously develop in them a truly apostolic spirit and cause all their activities to be characterised by a ready obedience to the directives of the Holy See and a loyal submission to the local Ordinaries, whose direction they will seek and faithfully carry out. Imbued with this supernatural character of the genuine lay apostle, they will go forward with holy courage and continue to be a powerful auxiliary to the Church in her spiritual warfare against the powers of darkness.
While invoking Mary's intercession on behalf of her Legionaries throughout the world, His Holiness would have me convey as a token of his special benevolence to you personally, to the Spiritual Directors, and to all the active and auxiliary members of the Legion, the Apostolic Benediction.
With sentiments of high esteem and religious devotion, I am,

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Mr. Francis Duff,
Concilium Legionis Mariae,
De Montfort House,
North Brunswick Street,
Dublin, Ireland


To the Officers and Members of the Legion of Mary throughout the World, as a token of Our paternal affection and as a pledge of ever more copious spiritual fruits upon their praiseworthy work, We impart from Our heart a special Apostolic Blessing.

From the Vatican, March 19th, 1960.

The Legion of Mary presents the true face of the Catholic Church.

To the Legionaries of France, July 13th, 1960.


Vatican City, January 6, 1965.

Dear Mr. Duff,
The letter which you recently addressed to the Sovereign Pontiff, inspired by devoted filial sentiments, brought Him pleasure and gratification. His Holiness desires to take this occasion to send His Message of praise and encouragement to the Legion of Mary, which, first born in the mystic climate of Catholic Ireland, has by now extended its beneficent action to every continent.
Such a Message the Holy Father considers to be amply deserved by your movement by reason of its pious aims and of the many activities it has so wisely produced and developed to the great advantage of the Catholic apostolate, thus proving itself to be an instrument of astonishing efficacy for the building up and spreading of God's Kingdom.
His Holiness still preserves vivid remembrances of the meetings had with you while He was in the service of this Secretariat of State. It was in particular from those conversations that He was able to derive a full conception of the spirit which animates your movement and constitutes the secret of its vitality. Indeed, the spirit of the Legion of Mary, while properly drawing fruitful nourishment from the strong interior life of its members, from their discipline, their dedication to the salvation of their neighbour, their unflinching loyalty to the Church, nevertheless is distinguished and characterized by an adamant confidence in the action of the Blessed Virgin. Recognizing in her the model, the guide, the joy and the support of all its members, the Legion of Mary, by its eloquent activities, helps us to understand how much the apostolate must draw its inspiration from Her, who gave Christ to the world, and was so closely associated to Him in the work of redemption.
His Holiness, therefore, is happy to rely on this spirit of the Legion, which has already trained in every part of the world great numbers of ardent apostles and heroic witnesses to Christ especially in those places where the Faith is attacked and persecuted.
In the conviction that the results already achieved will not decelerate but rather constantly increase the energies and the apostolic efforts of all the Legionaries, the Holy Father expresses to you and to all your collaborators His deep gratitude; and He exhorts you all to continue with the same love for the Church, ever in closest dependence from the Bishops in the works of the apostolate and in a spirit of active collaboration with all other Catholic associations.
Confiding the numerous ranks of your members to the maternal protection of Our Blessed Lady, the Sovereign Pontiff lovingly bestows upon you, upon each and every legionary, their directors and their activities, His special paternal Apostolic Blessing.
With the assurance of my cordial esteem and regard, I

Sincerely yours in Christ,

President of the Legion of Mary
Concilium Legionis Mariae
De Montfort House
North Brunswick Street