Junior Legionaries pose for a photo during their recent Acies meeting.

More than 100 youths from schools and parishes attended a special event recently

About 120 young members of the Legion of Mary gathered at the chapel of SJI International (SJII) to pledge their love and devotion to Mother Mary on March 26.

This annual event, known as the Acies, was organised by the Legion’s Junior Curia in Singapore.

The Junior Curia oversees all the Junior Praesidia units in Catholic schools and some parishes here where Legionaries are aged below 18.

Fr Joe Lopez Carpio celebrates Mass for the youths.

The Acies is the “great central annual function of the Legion, hence it is necessary to stress the importance of attendance on the part of every member”, says the Legion of Mary handbook.

The highlight of the ceremony was the consecration to Our Lady when members recited the following words with reverence: “I am all yours, my Queen, my Mother, and all that I have is yours.”

During the Mass, celebrated by Opus Dei priest, Fr Joe Lopez Carpio, students lined up in pairs to make their consecration to Mary.

Fifteen-year-old Marcella Tay from Our Lady of Graces praesidium (CHIJ Toa Payoh), has been a member of her school’s Legion of Mary for three and a half years.

She said, “I joined the Legion of Mary because I wanted to get closer to God, and wanted to pray more and meet new people.”

Lucas Tang, also 15 years old, from Queen of All Saints praesidium (SJII), joined the Legion of Mary for a different reason. He said, “I was inspired by my seniors to learn about God.”

Audrey Pranadi, 14, from the Mary Sanctuary of Divine Love praesidium (SJII), and who has been in the Legion for three months, said, “My grandmother inspired me to join and the benefit of it was learning to pray the Rosary which is a very powerful prayer.”

Even those who have left their secondary schools returned to attend the Acies.

Joshua Kim Kwan, Jerome Lim and Michael Yeow, all 17 and alumni of St Patrick’s School, agreed that after joining the Legion in their alma mater, they found a tremendous improvement in their prayer lives and found attending Mass more meaningful.

The praesidium to which they belonged, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, has been in existence since the 1980s.

Mr Christopher Ong, a teacher at SJII and an officer of the Junior Curia was one of its members 26 years ago.

“Being in the Legion of Mary as a teen helped to cultivate in me self-discipline in praying and in devotion to Our Lady,” he said.

He added that being part of the Legion “as a teenager was similar to having a seed being planted in me to do God’s work”.

By Andrea Michelle Lim

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