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Homily by Fr. Richard
at the Annual Acies Ceremony
How blessed we are to belong
to the Legion of Mary!
This morning, we are here to celebrate the Acies, which, according to the Handbook, is the great, central
and annual (only once per year) function of the Legion of Mary. It is based on the essential idea of the Legion: to
work and do all things in union with Mary and in dependence on Mary. This ceremony, incorporated into our
celebration of the Mass of the Annunciation this morning, is the solemn expression, the solemn commitment of each
one here to do things in union with and in dependence on, Mary. Our attendance at this Mass is so important that
the Handbook states that any legionary who can physically and mentally attend, but does not, is not an asset to the
Legion -- they do not have the spirit of the Legion.
"Acies" is a Latin word that comes down to us from the time of the Caesars. It means:
"an army ranged in battle array" and that is how we are here this morning, seated in the pews, one row after
another, in front of our leader - the Blessed Virgin Mary and, with her big gun, her major weapon
- the Rosary - in our hands.
A few minutes ago, you consecrated yourselves to the Blessed Virgin Mary. You said:
am all yours, my Queen and my Mother, and all that I have is yours." Now you belong totally to
Mary! At every moment, you must be just as she would have you be; at every moment, you must do just what she
would have you do. This does not take away from or diminish your love, your obedience, your faithfulness to Her
Son. Mary does all things for Her Son, thus, everything you do for Mary is going to be directed towards Her
Perhaps, you ask yourself, "How can I be just as Mary would have me be? How can I do just what she would
have me do? It is very easy! When you made your consecration to Her, with your hand on the Vexillum, you said, "1
am all yours, my Queen and my Mother, and all that 1 have is yours!" As you turned away, to return to your pew, you
were given one of these holy cards. A picture of Mary is on the front and on the back, is inscribed,
"HOW CAN WE IMITATE MARY?"
Beneath this heading, you read: “Be patient without envy, kind without offense,
Be without anger, pride or ambition.
Think ill of no one, and suffer and tolerate all
things calmly, peacefully, patiently and with
These were the words of the Blessed Virgin Mary to a nun - the Venerable Mother Maria de
Jesus of Agreda, back in the 1600s. Mary had revealed certain parts of her life to this nun who was trying to
imitate her. They appear in the classic volumes "The City of God" -- The Divine History and Life of the Virgin
Mother of God, translated from the original Spanish version by Fiscar Marison. Mary will help you. She
is the Mediatrix of All Graces!
Now, you must memorize these few lines. Run them through your mind several times a day.
Contrast your reactions to certain happenings in
your daily life to the way Mary wishes you to react. For example, let us suppose a friend of yours came
up to you, at lunch time, and told you that a supposed friend of yours had publicly revealed some of your
confidences to her. Your first reaction would be to get angry with this supposed friend and wonder how you could
get even with him or her. But
then, you run the few lines of this card through your mind and you come to "think ill of no one" and you begin
to change. It is not easy but, little by little, we can be as Mary wants us to be and do as Mary wants us to do.
Also, two things more are asked
of us as legionaries of Mary:
We must pray the Rosary every day. In the
Rosary, we learn much about
Her Son, and,
2) We must become enrolled in and always wear her Brown
Scapular. When Mary gave the Brown Scapular to St. Simon Stock in 1251, she told him, "Receive the Brown
Scapular, it's a pledge of salvation, a safeguard in danger. Whoever dies wearing the Brown Scapular, will never see the
eternal flames of Hell!" A pledge of salvation is a promise that you will be saved, a safeguard in danger, is
protection on the highways and in the malls. Whoever dies wearing the Brown Scapular will never see the eternal
flames of Hell.
The Brown Scapular will get you to Heaven!
How blessed we are to be in the
Legion of Mary!
Never, never, never leave the Legion
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