The Junior Praesidium of The Legion of Mary
Training Children in the Way of Jesus
Mother and Child

THE JUNIOR LEGION

Junior Legionaries
Junior Legionaries of San Francisco
" ...It should be regarded as a necessary part of each senior praesidium to conduct a junior praesidium." (Handbook 14:22) ... Due to the value of the junior Legion to young people, every effort should be made to overcome the obstacles which lie in the way. The following words, taken from the Papal Exhortation, "Christifideles Laici", which are quoted in chapter 36:1 of the handbook, should be an incentive to senior praesidium in this regard: "....young people are and ought to be encouraged to be active on behalf of the Church as leading characters in evangelisation and participants in the renewal of society:'
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Below: Queen of Angels Junior Praesidium of Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage Junior Praesidium Members
 
Statue of Mary

The Junior Praesidium, in the Handbook

...The Legion is able to make vivid the whole circle of Catholic Doctrine and to turn it into motive-power for every Christian purpose. But also there is an immediate outpouring of this power. It fills schooltime, playtime, home, and every other time, with holy, practical idealism. It gives its members a new vision of things, which is equivalent to making the world different for them - a new outlook:-
(a) On the Church, once they have realised that they are its soldiers, with a definite place in its warfare, and with responsibility for its extension.
(b) On the everyday round and task. As a tiny point of light illuminates a room, so the little Legion task gives a new meaning to the whole course of the week. What the members learn and practise in the praesidium they will live in their ordinary life.
(c) On their neighbour, in whom they have been taught to see and serve Christ.
(d) On their home, which they have learned to surround with the atmosphere of Nazareth.
(e) On helping at home (or in the school if the praesidium be an internal one) in the spirit of the Legion, that is of Mary at Nazareth; seeking for work instead of trying to escape it; choosing the most unpleasant tasks; putting one's heart into the doing of the least things; being always sweetness and thoughtfulness itself; working always for Jesus and preserving the sense of his presence.
(f) On school, for they will have absorbed to some extent the legionary ideals, and will as a consequence see school, teachers, books, rules and study in a different light. Accordingly, they will get things from school which others would not get. So that, even if the Legion did represent time taken from study (which is the common objection), the net effect would be incomparable gain.
(g) On "duty" and "discipline." These two all-important things, which are so odious to the young because so misunderstood by them, will be made comprehensible and beautiful when linked with those other two words: "Mary" and "Legion."
(h) On prayer, when they realise that it is not a mere custom-imposed task but a source of power, the support of their work, and their valuable contribution to the Legion treasury and thence to the Church.

Perhaps it is not too much to claim that in the proper working of a praesidium on the foregoing lines lies one of the greatest possible educative influences which could be brought to bear on the young. It will develop in them every quality which is proper to the christian character, and will serve as a mould out of which will come in number holy and reliant young people, a joy to their parents and superiors, and a mainstay to the Church.

 
Two Junior Legionaries
Senior & Junior Legionaries
Above: Queen of Angels Junior Praesidium of Anchorage, Alaska
 
Junior Legionaries
Junior & Senior Legionaries in the Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth Junior Praesidium, in San Francisco
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