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Wednesday, 07 September 2022 17:29

Centenary Year in Review - Fr Justin Ford

fatimapilgrim 250Dear Legionaries,

Today, 7th September 2022, the Centenary Year of the Legion of Mary draws to a close, here and around the world - 101 years from the first Legion meeting in Dublin led by Frank Duff on 7th September 1921. We once again give thanks to God, and to Mary, our Blessed Mother and Queen, for all the graces of that first century of the Legion; and we especially give thanks for the joy and blessings of our centenary celebrations.

Here in Melbourne I was very pleased to celebrate the live streamed Centenary Mass on 7th September 2021 at my parish church of St Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Ascot Vale (location of the first Legion meeting in Australia and Oceania in 1932). We were then delighted to welcome Archbishop Peter Comensoli to celebrate the Annual Legion Mass here at St Mary's on 6th November. In February this year we had our Summer School - the Centenary Congress - at Magnificat House, with the theme, 'A Centenary of Love and Devotion'. Fr Joe Caddy, Vicar General of the Archdiocese, gave a beautiful and challenging keynote address and was principal celebrant at the Summer School Mass. In our own Councils we have had our joyful local celebrations, especially by making pilgrimage to a church or shrine of Our Lady, thereby gaining the Centenary Indulgence granted by the Holy See.

So as we step forth tomorrow beyond the special celebrations and ahead into our new century, we again ask our beloved Mother to intercede with her Son, gaining a new outpouring of graces upon her Legion:

Heavenly Father, we praise you and bless you:
our celebrations of the joyful centenary of Mary’s Legion are drawing to their close,
but now open into a future of continuing hope and grace.
Under the loving rule and guidance of their Mother and Queen, and in the grace of the Holy Spirit,
legionaries have come to Jesus through Mary and have led countless souls on that same shining way.
Grant that in our own time, we her Legion may be renewed on this path of holiness and evangelisation,
for the salvation of the world, to the praise of your glory. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Mary Immaculate, our Queen, our Mother,
intercede with your divine Son for your Legion,
that it may be strong in faithfulness and abundant in fruitfulness,
as we move forward in trustful hope.

Fr Justin Ford
Spiritual Director
Melbourne Senatus