Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Legion Pilgrimage at Knock

His Eminence Sean Cardinal Brady spoke these gracious words to very large group of members of the Legion Pilgrimage at Knock this September. I have chosen the following to form an Allocutio to the Curia of Our Lady, Spouse of the Holy Spirit in the Dublin area:

It is a delight for me to be here in Knock in the company of the Legion of Mary, that great and dedicated army of Mary’s faithful and loving servants - you who serve the Church – the Body of Christ – the Son. What a joy to be here with you – you whose object is the glory of God and not the glory of self.

Today we are here to plead, through the intercession of Mary, for a special blessing on your visitation of families, and of the sick – especially of the lonely, the terminally ill and those in their last agony – both at home and in hospital. Long may your co-operation in every apostolic work and missionary undertaking, sponsored by the parish, continue to flourish and bear fruit and be blessed by the Lord. Long may the message of the Servants of God, Frank Duff, Edel Quinn and Alfie Lambe sustain you and implore you. May the day of their beatification soon draw near.

It was the genius of Frank Duff that he saw clearly that the Church is the Body of Christ. He talked about it all the time but he did not just talk – he translated his words into action! Frank Duff was ahead of his time. He opened the way for the Legion of Mary. He did so at a time when the role of the lay faithful still had to struggle for full recognition. Many would say that this is still the case – that lay people have still not been given their proper place in the Church.

His genius was to translate doctrine into action. “Christ – the Head depends on His followers” he would say. “If they do not lend themselves to Him his purposes are frustrated”. Frank Duff’s favourite papal statement was that of Paul VI who said: “What I like most about the Legion is that it empowers the little people to become apostles”. I would say it empowers not just the little people – but all the people who care to try.

The Legion of Mary has no other reason for existing but to help people to reach their final destiny – to help people into Heaven - or to use the older phraseology: the salvation of souls. They are called to have Mary’s maternity of souls: to work in the spirit of Mary, in communion with her.

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