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"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." Matthew 18:20


The Vexillum

Laura DeMaria

Below is adapted from the allocutio I will give this evening during our Legion of Mary meeting.


In Ch. 27, Frank Duff gives us a very brief overview of the appearance and placement of the Vexillum Legionis. The vexillum, as we will call it for short, is emblematic of the standard which a Roman army would have carried. In appearance, it is representative of several Legion symbols: at the top is the dove of the Holy Spirit; below that, the image of Mary as she appears on the miraculous medal; and underneath that, the world. It is, as Duff notes, a visual reminder that the world will be conquered by the Holy Spirit, acting through Mary and her children.

There is a note in this chapter regarding St. Louis Marie de Montfort’s views on the inextricability of the Holy Spirit and Mary, and that as a result, Legionaries are always seeking a more thorough knowledge of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. I have never heard the phrase “doctrine of the Holy Spirit,” so naturally, I googled it, and here is what I found from EWTN:

·         The Holy Spirit comes with seven gifts (we know these as wisdom, understanding, council, knowledge, fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord)

·         On Pentecost the Holy Spirit came down visibly on the Apostles. He gave them the power to speak in strange tongues to the crowds that came to Jerusalem for that Feast. He also transformed them, from selfish and timid men into giants of courage and faith

This must be what is meant by a “doctrine” of the Holy Spirit, then – that, being part of the Trinity that is God, the Holy Spirit is manifest in these gifts, or graces, in our lives. This is the same Holy Spirit which comes to us now, particularly upon receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation.  Legionaries, being close to Mary’s heart and wanting to grow in these graces, are always seeking their increase in our lives. It is not enough to pray for them, but one must put them into practice, too.

Can you think of times when the Holy Spirit has worked in your life? Perhaps a job that came through right when you needed it, or a chance encounter with someone who knew a good doctor, or an appointment opening up when you needed it. I think if we really look for these instances, we will see them everywhere in our lives. Being attuned to the Holy Spirit will enable you to see these instances of His intercession.

Similarly, of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, you can probably see where yours lay. You couldn’t hide it even if you wanted to – God calls us in specific ways, for His purpose.

The Holy Spirit works through Mary, and through us, to “renew the face of the earth.” As we perform our work as Legionaries, it is good to remember that we can call on the Holy Spirit to guide our work: to give us the right words, to place us in the right place at the right time, to truly use us for His will. And at the end, we give thanks to the Holy Spirit for leading us by His light.