Annual Acies Celebration Renews Devotion to Mary
April 11, 2024
BELVIDERE—About 60 members of the Legion of Mary gathered the morning of March 23 for the annual Acies celebration at St. James Church, here. They began the event with a rosary procession through the church that followed the Vexillum Legionis, an adaptation of the historical standard of the Roman Legion, carried by member Tom Armburst.
The eagle that surmounted the Roman standard is replaced by the dove, the emblem of the Holy Spirit. Beneath the dove a crossbar bears the inscription "Legio Mariae" (Legion of Mary). Additional adaptations of the Legion of Mary vexillum include an oval frame bearing a representation of the Immaculate Conception (the Miraculous Medal), and the staff is set in a globe. The whole design conveys the idea that the world is to be conquered by the Holy Spirit acting through Mary and her children.
Following the rosary, members came forward to touch the vexillum as they renewed their consecration to Mary with the prayer by St. Louis de Montfort.
Mass, celebrated by Father Steven Sabo, the curia’s spiritual director, followed the prayers of consecration.
A luncheon concluded the event.
This international organization of devotion to the Blessed Mother includes active members who meet and perform acts of service weekly, pray a rosary and other designated prayers daily. Auxiliary members — the “spiritual arm” according to Dee Sternhagen, president of the Rockford Diocese Legion of Mary Curia — pray the daily prayers. There currently are seven praesidia (local groups) belonging to the Legion in the diocesan curia. Two are located in Belvidere, and others are in McHenry, Rockford, Wonder Lake, Woodstock, and Platteville, Wis.
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