By Arnold Neliba
NAIROBI, MAY 16, 2023 (CISA)–As delegates of the Legion of Mary congregated in Nairobi to mark the 79th anniversary of Venerable Edel Quinn, Bishop George Muthaka challenged members of the association to emulate the life of the venerable by seeking to do the will of God despite obstacles that come their way.
The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Garissa in his homily during the anniversary celebrations held at St Mary’s School, Msongari grounds, on May 13, underscored that for the love of God, Venerable Edel Quinn travelled to Kenya in 1936 to champion the founding of the Legion of Mary.
“The venerable Edel Quinn had the love for God and to do his will, had a love for Jesus Christ, Love for Blessed Virgin Mary and finally he had a love for our neighbours. That is the challenge we as Legionaries have, it is not just devotion to Blessed Virgin Mary, not just about praying the Rosary. Our devotion has to translate to the action of loving our neighbour,” he stressed.
Likening to the conduct of the legionaries to his years of formation at the Queen of Apostles Seminary, Bishop Muthaka recalled how the legionaries would visit prisons, and homes for the aged in line with the aspirations of Frank Duff, the founder of the association.
“As legionaries, we need to extend our apostolates to other people, especially the needy and the sick, and all this should start in the families who have left the church and our friends,” said the prelate.
The Irish-born, Edel Mary Quin, from Kanturk, Co. Cork in Ireland despite her illness travelled to Kenya in 1936 under instructions to oversee the establishment of the Legion of Mary in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Mauritius. She died on May 12, 1944, and was buried at St Austin’s Mission Cemetery,Kenya.
During the 2023 anniversary celebrations that coincided with the 106th anniversary of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima, Portugal, Bishop Muthaka rallied the congregants to be like Mary and seek the will of God in their lives.
“The Fatima message was repentance, all of us here are sinners and we therefore need to repent; that is the call for today,” he said reminding the faithful to be humble, noting that “In all the apparitions of Mary, she did not appear to the Bishops, Priests, Presidents, or the wealthy; she appeared to little children. This shows that we need to be humble because the greatest sin is that of pride.”
“We honour Mary because God Himself honoured her in the beginning by appointing her as His own mother, safeguarding her from original sin,” he said while challenging the legionaries to embrace the consistency of Mary in their apostolate.