Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today the Universal Catholic Church celebrates liturgically, the Feast of the Annunciation. Some hearts have been celebrating for three days now! I, for one, with other[ Legion of Mary]("http://www.legionofmary.ie/") Members, celebrated the Acies Mass for our region on Saturday, Mar. 24. Those of us here at CAF who made the Preparation of 33 Days for Consecration to Jesus through Mary on March 25, prayed St. Louis Marie de Montfort's Act of Consecration yesterday. Today, Mar. 26, the date to which the Feast is transferred for this year, priests all over the world will be offering Mass for this Feast Day. Today's Mass Readings [HERE]("http://www.catholicemporium.com/daily-catholic-mass-readings/?p=3325") can help us ponder anew the great mystery of God's Love, coming to us through Mary in the Incarnation of Jesus.
I celebrated the Liturgy of this Feast on Saturday, but I know that many more will be celebrating today and we can all rejoice with heaven and earth over the wonder of God’s Great Love for us in giving us Jesus through Mary. One Legion of Mary Group I know is celebrating their Acies today, and I suspect others all over the world will be doing the same. I promised I would write more about that experience in a separate thread and so I will post here an excerpt from the Legion of Mary Handbook which explains it well:
...Bearing in mind the importance of devotion to Mary in the Legion system, each year there shall be a consecration of legionaries to Our Lady. The consecration - which shall comprise both an individual and a collective consecration - will take place on the 25 March or on a day close thereto, and will be known as the Acies. This Latin word, meaning as it does an army ranged in battle array, is appropriate to a ceremony in which the legionaries as a body assemble to renew their fealty to Mary, Queen of the Legion, and from her to receive strength and blessing for yet another year's battle with the forces of evil. Moreover, the word is in effective contrast with praesidium, which contemplates the Legion, no longer drawn up in united array, but split up into its various sections, each engaged in its own particular sphere of duty.
The Acies is the great central annual function of the Legion, so that it is necessary to stress the importance of attendance on the part of every member. The essential idea of the Legion, upon which all else is built, is that of working in union with and in dependence on Mary, its Queen. The Acies is the solemn expression of that union and dependence, the renewal-individual and collective-of the legionary declaration of fealty.
At our Mass, last Saturday, I was especially moved by three who came: one in a wheel chair, and two in walkers, one of whom breathing oxygen via tubes from a portable oxygen tank. What loving fortitude, to be there, no matter the cost! I prayed for all of you, dear brothers and sisters, and continue to keep you and all those in most need of God's Mercy in prayer. Please let us prayerfully and gratefully continue, to celebrate today God's Great Love and Humility in His Incarnation and in our Beautiful Mother through whom He came to us, and invites us to return to Him.