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V. Rev. Fr. Héctor R.G. Pérez
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    Meetings and Events


            The Legion of Mary is an organization of  Catholic lay men and women  who,  under the auspices of Mary most holy,  Mother of  Our Lord and Savior,  Jesus Christ,  carry out  different spiritual and evangelization programs  both in and out of the parish confines.  The legion has its weekly meeting  at 9:30 AM  every Wednesday and  counts among its apostolic works:  CCD;  nursing home and shut-in visitations;  visitation of homes and new families of the Parish;  a book barrow  occasionally at one of the local flea markets or other venues of large crowds.  Its  goal  is the personal sanctification of its own members who  go to Jesus through Mary and the evangelization of everyone they encounter.  Other than the weekly meeting,  active members  carry out an apostolate for two hours  each week as assigned by the President of the Legion and Spiritual Director.  The are also auxiliary members who pray the Rosary and the prayers of the Legion,  called the Tessera,  each day,  for the spiritual support of all Legionaries throughout the world.  At present it is estimated that there are about seven million Legionaries in the world.  Blessed Pope John XXIII  called the Legion  "the true face of the Catholic Church."

            The Parish chapter of the Legion is called a "praesidium".  The Praesidium of St.  Stephen Parish is  called Our Lady of Victory referring to the victory  at Lepanto when a small Catholic fleet defeated a much larger  Turkish fleet in 1570.   (The original title of the Feast of the Holy Rosary on October 7th was Our Lady of Victory).   Our Lady of Victory Praesidium  was founded by the late Pastor of St. Stephen,    Fr. James J.  Gilligan in 1985.    The present Pastor of our Parish,  the Rev. Dr.,  Fr. Héctor R.G. Pérez,  who has been  in the Legion since he was  about 7 years old,  is the  Spiritual Director now as well as the Spiritual Director of the Pensacola Comitium -  which  includes Northwest Florida, all of Alabama,  and Mississippi. He conducts a yearly weekend  retreat at Sacred Heart Monastery of the Visitation Nuns,  usually in October or November.   Each year  sometime near the Solemnity of the Annuntiation,  the Legionaries  renew their promises to Jesus through Mary at a ceremony  called the "Acies."  It is a very impressive ceremony which includes  a procession,  the renewal  of promises before the Altar and  Solemn Vespers of the Annuntiation and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.  Afterwards  a great  feast is enjoyed by all.   Every practicing Catholic man or woman is invited to join the Legion of Mary  at St. Stephen Parish.