The Legion of Mary

This year, 2021, marks the 100th founding anniversary of the Legion of Mary. In spite of the many crises we are facing, it is still a time of celebrating and of thanksgiving. It is important to remind ourselves of the legacy left to us by those Legionnaires who established the Legion where we are, to be grateful to the many priests and religious, our Spiritual Directors, who have supported the Legion through the years. Above all, we mark this celebration by thanking God and our Blessed Mother for the millions of graces they have showered upon us since the foundation of the Legion of Mary.

To honor this occasion, the Legion of Mary of Santuario del Sto. Cristo Parish would like to share briefly what the Legion of Mary is all about and some historical events that led to this grand centennial.

What it is:

Originating in Dublin, Ireland, the Legion of Mary is a Marian Catholic apostolic organization of lay people with more than a million active members in almost every country in the world. It was founded by   the Servant of God, Frank Duff, on September 7, 1921. It aims to lead the world, through the aid of Mary, to a greater knowledge and faith in Jesus Christ so people can benefit from the love and mercy of God and to increase the faith and holiness of its own members through prayer and service to the Lord. As legionaries love to say, “To Jesus through Mary.”

In The Philippines:

In 1940, nineteen years after the Legion of Mary was founded in Myra House, Dublin, the first Praesidium (the basic unit of the Legion) in the Philippines was established at Hospicio de San Jose in Manila by Fr. Manuel de Gracia CM in collaboration with Joaquina Lucas and Pacita Santos. During the next four decades the Holy Spirit and Our Lady seem to have been at work in a wondrous way. The Legion in the Philippines not only grew at an incredible rate in active and auxiliary membership but supplied Envoys such as Joaquina Lucas, to South America, Portugal, Japan, Korea; and Pacita Santos to Spain, promoting the Legion of Mary.

Here in our parish, the Legion of Mary was established on December 18, 1942 by the first parish priest, Spanish Dominican Fr. Peregrin dela Fuente, OP. He was said to be the most accessible and accommodating priest when it came to the Legion. He formed the first senior preasidium and named it Mater Afflicta with Carmen Romualdez as president. It was affiliated with Assumpta Curia. The first junior presidium was named Aurora Rutilans. Mater Afflicta was eventually split and the new Praesidium was called Ara Coeli. Soon another Praesidium Virgo Potens, a Spanish speaking group, was formed and was affiliated on October 22, 1944. Praesidium Virgo Clemens was formed on February 11, 1945.

Assumpta Curia was later known as Rizal Curia. Today it is called Tota Pulchra Maria Curia with the neighboring parishes under its jurisdiction: St. John the Baptist, Mary the Queen, and Santuario de San Jose in Greenhills. 

Presently active in our parish are 7 senior praesidia: Praes. Ara Coeli, Praes. Virgo Potens, Praes. Virgo Clemens, Praes. Ina ng Sto. Cristo, Praes. Virgo Fidelis, Praes. Mater Dolorosa, Praes. Immaculata.

There is one junior praesidium: Praes. Regina Apostolorum.


Membership is open to practicing Catholics over the age of 18 who aim to develop their spirituality through prayer and works of charity. For younger persons, a junior membership is available.

There are active members and auxiliary (praying) members. Active members are required to attend a weekly meeting and perform legionary work usually done with other members while Auxiliary members are only asked to pray the rosary and legion prayers each day for the success of all Legionnaires work throughout the world.

New members are always welcome! It is a great way of meeting fellow parishioners and forging new friendships and, best of all, being of service to the Church! Whether you are young or not so young, single, married, or retired, and would like to draw closer to Jesus and His Mother Mary, you are most welcome to give it a try. Perhaps our Lady is calling you for this ministry.


Antiphon. Who is she that comes forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in battle array?

(Make the Sign of the Cross)

v. My soul glorifies the Lord.*

R. My spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour.

v. He looks on His servant in her lowliness;* henceforth all ages will call me blessed.

R. The Almighty works marvels for me.* Holy His name!

v. His mercy is from age to age,* on those who fear Him.

R. He puts forth His arm in strength* and scatters the proud-hearted.

v. He casts the mighty from their thrones* and raises the lowly.

R. He fills the starving with good things,* sends the rich away empty.

v. He protects Israel His servant,* remembering His mercy,

R. The mercy promised to our fathers,* to Abraham and his sons for ever.

v. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

R. As it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Antiphon. Who is she that comes forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in battle array?

v. O Mary, conceived without sin.

R. Pray for us who have recourse to you.

Let us pray.

O Lord Jesus Christ, our mediator with the Father, Who has been pleased to appoint the Most Blessed Virgin, Your mother, to be our mother also, and our mediatrix with You, mercifully grant that whoever comes to You seeking Your favours may rejoice to receive all of them through her. Amen.

Written By: Sis. Menchie Magno