THE INCEPTION AND GROWTH OF LEGION OF MARY IN MANGALORE DIOCESE.
The exact year of origin of Legion of Mary in Mangalore is not known. But, it is believed to be much earlier than the year 1945. All credit goes to Rev. Fr. R.D. Sequeira, the parish priest of Puttur, who found the Legion under the banner ‘Mater de Deus’. Immediately the Legion was started in Milagres church followed by Bendur parish. In order to oversee the smooth functioning and co-ordination of Legion, a special committee (Curia) was formed. Rev. Fr. Avelin Silva was the director and Sr. Evon Carlson as its president.
It was due to zealous stewardship of Fr. Avelin Silva, the Legion witnessed a tremendous growth and expansion. In order to accommodate the growing number of membership, the Legion was bifurcated. Thereafter, a Legion was formed for the junior girls.
The junior Legion of Mary was located at Nazareth convent, Balmatta, keeping in mind the proximity of the Legion members. It was run by senior Legion member. Soon there was need to form another intermediatory Legion for the students of St. Agnes college as well as for the youth
In the year of 1950 on the day of proclamation of Assumption of Mary into heaven, junior Legion of Mary was established for the boys named as “Assumption of Mary Legion”.
As the years passed by, the existing inter mediatory presidium was moved to St. Agnes college premises for the benefit and convenience of the Legion members and even today these are functioning as ever.
For the sake of those members who were unable to attend and to take part in the meetings, another youth presidium was opened and the Legion meeting was held on Sundays. The members were consisting of employed men and women. So, there were three senior Legions and two junior Legion in the Bendur parish.
Some of the junior presidium members have attained the priesthood. Two of them have joined the Carmelite Order and are based in Rome and Mysore. One of them has joined the Jesuit Order in north India. Two of them are working as missionaries in Lucknow diocese. One is a priest in Bellary and the other was parish priest of Bejai, Mangalore. The rest of them are offering their selfless service in the Lord’s vineyard far and wide. The progress and growth of Legion of Mary depends on the co-operation and co-ordination of its legionaries.
There has been immense team work done for the welfare of the people, in accordance with Legion’s rules and regulations, prayer meetings and sacrifices and of course with the co- operation and assistance of the parish priest of our parish.
The book stall was opened in order to propagate and spread the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ. Legion members have rendered their selfless services to remotest part of the society. They have conducted few adult education classes for the SC and ST. They have also render their valuable services and assistance for the aged, poor and the sick and help them in their spiritual needs. The visits were arranged to Government hospitals without any discrimination against religion or cast. They have consoled the patients, who were in Dire straits. Shelter is arranged for the aged and abandoned on the road side. Special visits were conducted to the maternal wards and children’s wards in orphanages. The entire census of parish was undertaken and the poor and needy were identified and helped.
The Legion is open for all men, women, boys and girls. Mother Mary is our mother and we are her children. Mother Mary is our guide and example, to love and help our needy brothers and sisters. It’s possible to obey and practice if we are involved in the Legion’s work. Anyone is most welcome to join the Legion, provided; he or she has some time to spare. There has been abundance of shower of graces and blessings through the intercession of Mother Mary. As we pray with gratitude from our hearts, it’s our firm belief that Mother Mary will take care of all of us and grant us health and strength to work for our brothers and sisters who are in need.
Hail! Queen of the Legions.
Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you
Blessed are you among women
Blessed is the fruit of your womb, JESUS.
Holy Mary mother of God,
Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.