The Legion's Origin

In Dublin on 7th September, 1921, fifteen people met to work out together how best to serve God in the form of a Lay Apostolate. After invoking the aid of the Holy Spirit and reciting the Rosary, they decided to visit in pairs the Dublin Union Hospital, where there were many poor, friendless, aged patients, In addition, they decided to hold a meeting each week.

Thus, the Legion was born, with its characteristic features: prayer in common, very definite apostolic work and a weekly meeting.

From this humble beginning, though not worked out at its beginning, but animated by great trust in the Holy Spirit and Mary's power in the work of evangelisation, this form of apostolate has spread throughout the world.

The Legion now operates in more than 1900 dioceses, and it has been estimated that there are now more than three million active legionaries and possibly eight million auxiliary members throughout the world. It counts numbers of martyrs among its members, especially in China and Africa.

The Role and Spirit of the Legion

The Legion of Mary is an international Catholic lay movement, which aims to collaborate in the Church's mission of evangelisation. Its members engage in the direct religious apostolate, especially towards those most remote from the Church's influence. In the spiritual formation of its members the Legion places much emphasis on the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ, on seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and on the performance of apostolic work in union with Mary.

Legionaries place themselves at the service of Mary, and wish to help her in her mission as "Mother of the Church."


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