When Br. Benedict Mary Geist, OSB started his work to reestablish the Legion at Benedictine College in the spring of 2015, he did not know what to expect. He had hopes that the Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Praesidium would have enough members to fill the officer positions and that they would have begun a small work such as Pilgrim Virgin visits. This was a far cry from what actually happened. Within the first few meetings, the praesidium gained six dedicated active members, who eagerly began to explore the various opportunities for works that could be done around campus. The following are some of the works that we have done, are currently doing or are seriously looking into doing in the near future:
Pilgrim Virgin Visits
One of the first works the Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Praesidium took up was organizing Pilgrim Virgin Visits around campus in order to promote devotion to Mary. Our praesidium originally started with two statues of Our Lady of Fatima, but has expanded to having six statues of Our Lady, which the legionaries take door-to-door around the residence halls on campus. The residents are asked if they would like to host Our Lady for about a 24-hour period, during which time they are encouraged to say the Rosary and other prayers before her and invite their roommates and other students to do the same.
Door-to-Door Ministry and “Dorm Storms”
A long-term goal of our praesidium is to eventually start evangelizing door-to-door in the greater Atchison community. As this turned out to be a larger project to tackle in a short semester than what was initially expected, it was decided that the legionaries would instead start at a smaller level by working on evangelizing around campus.
The members were advised to first come up with a message that we wanted those we met to walk away with. The decision was made that we would work to spread the message of Divine Mercy, which was deemed both necessary in regards to the world today and opportune, as we were in possession of a large number of holy cards printed with the Divine Mercy image and Chaplet.
After a couple of weeks of preparing, the legionaries went on their first “dorm storm” – which is a fancy term for saying they went to the residence halls and knocked on doors. During the dorm storm they handed out holy cards and gave a brief summary of St. Faustina’s life and the message of Divine Mercy given to her by Christ. With the positive reception of the first dorm storm, this mission has continued with two or three legionaries going out on their free time to residence halls not yet visited and spreading the message of Christ’s Divine Mercy.
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy
I remind you, My daughter, that as often as you hear the clock strike the third hour, immerse yourself completely in My mercy, adoring and glorifying it; invoke its omnipotence for the whole world, and particularly for poor sinners; for at that moment mercy was opened wide for every soul. In this hour you can obtain everything for yourself and for others for the asking; it was the hour of grace for the whole world – mercy triumphed over justice (Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul: The Diary of Sister M. Faustina Kowalska, 1572).
For about one semester, to go along with the message that our praesidium is spreading through the dorm storms, we also encouraged students to join us in prayerfully singing the Divine Mercy Chaplet on Fridays at the 3:00 hour in one of the chapels on campus.
Other Works Being Considered
- Establishing a Junior Praesidium at the local Catholic boarding school, Maur Hill Mount Academy and another Senior Praesidium at the local parish, St. Benedict’s.
- Door-to Door Ministry in the greater Atchison area