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Frank Duff
Servant of God
Founder, Legion of Mary
Born June 7, 1889(1889-06-07), Dublin, Ireland
Died November 7, 1980 (aged 91)
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church, esp. among members of the Legion of Mary
Feast n/a

Servant of God Frank Duff (June 7, 1889 - November 7, 1980) was a native of Dublin, Ireland, born as the eldest child of a wealthy family. He is best known for bringing attention to the role of the laity during the Second Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic Church, and for founding the Legion of Mary.[1]


Early life

Frank Duff attended Blackrock College. Duff joined the Roman Catholic organization for laity known as the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in 1913 and was greatly influenced by the spirit of the Society.

In 1916, aged 27, Duff published his first pamphlet entitled "Can we be Saints?" In it he expressed the conviction that all without exception are called to be saints, and that through Christian faith all persons have available the means necessary to attain such sainthood.

In 1917 he came to know the Treatise of St. Louis de Montfort on the True Devotion to Mary, a work brought to his attention the importance of Mary in the life of the laity. feast June 7

The Legion of Mary

On September 7, 1921 Frank Duff founded the Legion of Mary. This is a lay apostolic organisation at the service of the Roman Catholic Church, under ecclesiastical guidance. Its twofold purpose is the spiritual development of its members and advancing the reign of Christ through Mary.

The Legion operates throughout the world. Today between active and auxiliary (praying) members there are in excess of 10 million members worldwide.[2]

Later life

In 1965 Pope Paul VI invited Frank Duff to attend the Second Vatican Council as a Lay Observer, an honour by which the Pope recognised and affirmed his enormous work for the lay apostolate.

On November 7, 1980 Frank Duff died and was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.

In July 1996 the Cause of his canonisation was introduced by the Archbishop of Dublin, Desmond Connell.


  1. ^ The biography of Frank Duff, on the website of the Center for the Promotion of Legion of Mary Saints; retrieved March 18, 2007.
  2. ^ "Appendix 1. THE LEGION OF MARY" (PDF). The New Evangelisation: Priests and Laity - The Great Challenge of the New Millennium. Talks from the Conference on The New Evangelisation: Priests and Laity - The Great Challenge of the New Millennium. Concilium Legionis Mariae. 2008-12-05. pp. 101. Retrieved 2009-06-16.  

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