Wednesday, November 7, 2012

forget the election - remember Frank Duff!

(note the cool pioneer pin in his lapel!)
No doubt history will remember today as the one when Barack Obama was re-elected president of the USA. But a tip of the biretta to E F pastoremeritus for reminding us today is important for another reason - the 32nd anniversary of the death of Frank Duff, founder of the Legion of Mary

Frank's legacy continues to dominate the landscape of rural Ireland. There is hardly a small town, I think, that does not have a Legion of Mary hall. The halls seem little different to what one might expect of a local parish hall - which many of them essentially serve as - except they always seem to be painted white with a blue trim ... and of course, have a niche with a statue of our Lady on an outside wall situated so as to be easily seen from the roadside. 

Frank's contribution to the life of the Church was so note-worthy that he was invited as a lay-observer to the Second Vatican Council ... a remarkable achievement for an Irish Civil servant from a modest family background. Frank died in 1980 and in 1996 the then Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Cardinal Desmond Connell, introduced his cause for canonisation. 

Frank, I believe, is still short of the required accredited miracles needed for the Church to recognise him as a saint. So perhaps you will ask for his intercessions if a particular need arises? Not forgetting, of course, to make contact with the authorities if your prayers should be answered! The prayer for his beatification, from the Legion of Mary website is as follows:

God our Father, You inspired your servant Frank Duff with a profound insight into the mystery of Your Church, the Body of Christ, and of the place of Mary the Mother of Jesus in this mystery. In his immense desire to share this insight with others and in filial dependence on Mary he formed her Legion to be a sign of her maternal love for the world and a means of enlisting all her children in the Church's evangelising work.

We thank you Father for the graces conferred on him and for the benefits accruing to the Church from his courageous and shining faith. With confidence we beg You that through his intercession you grant the petition we lay before You . ............... We ask too that if it be in accordance with Your will, the holiness of his life may be acknowledged by the Church for the glory of your Name, through Christ Our Lord,

My own father, Jerry, suffers from fairly advanced Alzheimer's. If you don't have any particular cause to ask Frank's intercessions for, perhaps you'd consider asking his prayers for my father? Let me know if you do. I'll let you know if a miracle occurs.

Every blessing.


  1. Dear Father - this picture is not of Frank Duff - it's Alfie Lambe:) one of the first Legionaries - see Frank Duff's talk on Alfie:

  2. Thanks epsilon - colour me stupid ... I googled images & that one came up ... it looked familiar & I thought it must be a young Frank ... I'll change it; but I hope I can find one from when he was younger ...