Legion of Mary groups renew promises

The Annual Acies of the Manasota Curia of the Legion of Mary took place March 26 at Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Lakewood Ranch.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated the Mass for the gathered members which represented 10 different Legion of Mary praesidiums from across the region.

Bishop Dewane praised the Legion of Mary for its commitment to carrying the message of the Blessed Virgin Mary to others. That message includes giving oneself over to the Lord by doing what He asks without question and without fail.

Annually, during the Acies ceremony, the members reconsecrate themselves to Mary by renewing their Legionary Promise, so that they may better work in union with the Blessed Virgin as they do their Legionary battle against the evils of this world.

In this consecration the members open their hearts to Mary, so that Our Lady may guide them and bless them through the year. This ceremony is held as close as possible to the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord (March 25). Following the Mass, the Acies included a luncheon and followed by the recitation of the rosary.

Janine Marrone, who serves as President of the Manasota Curia and a member of the praesidium at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Venice, said the gathering is a great boost of energy and vitality for the Legion of Mary.

“This is great to see so many of us together,” Marrone said. “That is particularly true this year, with (approximately) 90 members able to attend; this the largest Curia gathering in three years, or before the pandemic began. We are going strong.”

Jeannine Byrnes, of Our Lady of the Angels Parish, said the annual Acies rededicates each member of the Legion of Mary to Our Lady, providing the strength and guidance to continue forward with their work.

The Legion of Mary is a worldwide organization of lay Catholics focusing on Marian spirituality and apostolic works. It is the largest apostolic organization of lay people in the Catholic Church, with millions of members in nearly every country of the world.

It has been active in the United States since 1931, has been approved by the last six popes (including St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II), and was endorsed by the Second Vatican Council. The main purpose of the Legion of Mary is to give glory to God through the sanctification of its members.

Members become instruments of the Holy Spirit through a balanced program of prayer and service. Works include door-to-door evangelization, parishioner visitation, prison ministry, visitation of the sick or aged, crowd contact, religious education, visiting the newly baptized, Pilgrim Virgin Statue rotations, and meeting the other spiritual needs of the parish community. Legionaries are under the guidance of a spiritual director who is appointed by the Pastor. The Legion is, in essence, an extension of the heart and hands of the Pastor.

Members meet once a week for prayer, planning and discussion in a family setting. Then they do two hours of work each week in pairs and under the guidance of their spiritual director.

A main apostolate of the Legion is activities directed towards Catholics and non-Catholics, encouraging them in their faith or inviting them to become Catholic. This is usually done by encouraging them in prayer, attending Mass and learning more about the Catholic Faith.

For a list of Parish praesidia (chapters) in the Diocese of Venice, visit: