Founding of the Legion

Jim Daly
Handbook Page 5
March 1, 2018

The Legion of Mary was founded 98 years ago on September 7, 1921 in Dublin Ireland. A group of people had been doing work for the St. Vincent de Paul society. They also were meeting in Myra House owned by St. Vincent de Paul, to recruit for the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association. At their meetings they discussed St. Louis de Montfort's "True Devotion to Mary". They organized a special meeting dedicated to "True Devotion to Mary". After the meeting two women approached Frank Duff and asked if they could have a meeting to discuss possible works.

On the following Wednesday, September 7, 1921, at 8 pm, fifteen women met with Br. Duff and Fr. Toher in the usual meeting room in Myra House. Someone had set up a statue of Mary with flowers and candles much the same as we have at our meetings. They said the Tessera prayers and rosary as we do at our meetings.

In July of 1922 they approached 31 street girls living in a brothel. Twenty three responded and went on a retreat. After the retreat they lived at "Sancta Maria" a hostel run by the Legion. None of the 23 returned to prostitution. The Legion also ran hostels for men and mothers with children.

Today the Legion of Mary has over 3 million active members, in over 170 countries. It continues to grow.

Over 10,000 Legionaries have been martyred. Three Legionaries are in the process of becoming saints.

  • Venerable Edel Quinn,   Envoy to Africa
  • Servant of God Frank Duff,   Founder
  • Servant of God Alfie Lambe,   Envoy to South America