90th Anniversary of the Legion of Mary and a salute to Frank Duff, the century’s greatest Irishman.

This year is the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Legion of Mary, a lay apostolate whose members – “legionaries” – actively commit themselves to the spiritual welfare of their neighbours. It was begun in Dublin in 1921 by a group of like-minded friends but it was a civil servant, Frank Duff, who formed it into its distinctive apostolic endeavour, reports the Catholic Herald.

To commemorate the anniversary Dr Finola Kennedy, a lecturer at University College Dublin, has written a new biography of Duff.

Four decades after that auspicious Dublin meeting, Duff’s prophetic understanding of the role of the laity received rightful recognition when he was given a standing ovation from the assembled bishops at the fourth and final session of the Second Vatican Council in 1965.

Duff was attending as an auditor and Dr Kennedy writes that it was an unforgettable moment: “The thanks of the Universal Church to the pioneer of the lay apostolate.”

She was asked twice by Fr Bede McGregor OP, postulator of Duff’s Cause, before she agreed to embark on the biography. “My husband warned me not to touch it,” she laughs. “He said it would wear me out.”

Read the article

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