The Servant of God
Frank Duff
1889 – 1980
Prayer for the Beatification of the Servant of God
Frank Duff
God our Father, You inspired your servant Frank Duff with a profound insight
into the mystery of your Church, the Body of Christ, and of the place of Mary
the Mother of Jesus in this mystery.
In his immense desire to share this insight with others and in filial dependence
on Mary he formed her Legion to be a sign of her maternal love for the world
and a means of enlisting all her children in the Church’s evangelizing work.
We thank you Father, for the graces conferred on him and for the benefits
accruing to the Church from his courageous and shining faith.
With confidence we beg you that through his intercession you grant the petition
we lay before you……
We ask too that if it be in accordance with your will, the holiness of his life
may be acknowledged by the Church for the glory of your name, through
Christ Our Lord, Amen.
Born June 7, First Friday 1889
Died November 7, First Friday 1980
Cause for beatification proposed by
Archbishop of Dublin and declared
Servant of God, 1996
Susan Letitia (Letty) Freehill
c. 12th Nov. 1863 - 27th Feb.1950
John Duff
1861 - 23rd Dec. 1918 Retired
at 42 due to attack of Typhoid.
Married 5th Nov. 1888
Susan Duff & family.
From left to right
John as a baby,
Eva Lucy and Frank
c.July 1895.
Frank attended Blackrock
College from 1899 – 1907
and excelled at Sport and in
his academic studies.
Frank at left – the oldest of
seven children.
Isabel Maud
May 1891 - 10th June 1949
Eva Lucy & Letitia Anne
b.30th June 1893 – Letitia d.18th Mar. 1894
John Edwin
27 Jan. 1895 - 20th Aug. 1949
Sarah Geraldine
5th Sept. 1897 – 22nd July 1975
Alice Mary
28th Aug. 1902 - 22nd Feb. 1951
Letita died in her infancy.
Eva Lucy, shown 2nd from right was soon
to be called home to God at the tender age
of 13, 21st May 1907.
Details of Duff family on the
grave headstone
Frank Duff c. 1912
Tenement Dwellers – Chancery Lane
“He used to walk up and down Whitefriar Street in front of these houses and he’d be proselytising [i.e. picketing] and
just saying the rosary all the time. Mr Duff tried to take the girls from these houses [i.e. persuade the girls and enable
them to leave] and he’d walk up and down all day praying and saying the rosary. But he never interfered with them.
Frank was a very, very nice young man – he’ll be beatified, sometime.” May Hanaphy, Dublin Tenement Life, p.219
Tenement Dwellings, Church Street
Frank Duff c. 1915.
Tenement Living Conditions
Frank Duff c. 1916.
Photo taken on Station Island, Lough Derg. Frank Duff, second from right, standing behind his
sister. His mother/Mrs James Connolly is fifth from right, 2nd row, wearing dark hat. 1916.
Frank at Lough Derg,
Pettigo, Co. Donegal. His
first trip there was in 1915.
He went on pilgrimage
here every year for 49
years. He said it was more
difficult every year! He had
to give up at 74 years of
age due to a serious illness.
c. 1920’s.
A street in the Monto area.
Frank Duff with Frs. Creedon
and Toher, two of the early
Legion spiritual supporters
and campaigners
The Legion of Mary is a
Parish Based Organisation.
The Laity have a vital role in
supporting the vocation of
every priest, especially the
priests of the local parish.
This is the Church.
This is the original 1921 altar of the
Legion of Mary. It was around this
altar that Frank Duff and all the ladies
as well as Fr Togher knelt down to
pray to our Lady to guide them in
serving her in a better way. Out of
this gathering developed the
worldwide Legion of Mary we have
Stained Glass reproduction in Church in Lima, Peru.
Tony Macri in his barber shop with
a wood burning Legion
representation, Harrisburg,
Stained Glass reproduction at the
Legion Center, formerly St. Mary’s
Catholic Church, Fort Walton
Beach, Florida.
Stained Glass reproduction
Church in Hungary
Frank said to Mary
Rowe at the Regina
Coeli hostel one day
that if he ever got
married he would lose
his religion because he
would be so intensely
wrapped up in his
Frank Duff in 1936 with Mary Everett, Vice-President of the Senatus of India.
The first Legion Praesidium in India was started by Mrs Muriel Mackenzie
Smith and met in the Little Flower Convent, Teynampet, Madras, on the 2nd of
February 1931 (Maria Legionis 9th of 1964)
With Edel aboard ship, Tilbury, London. 1936
Frank Duff with Hilda Firtel,
Dublin Airport. Envoy to Germany
Fr. Creedon, Veronica O’ Brien (Envoy to France), Frank Duff & Fr. Toher. c.1942
89 Photographs of Envoys on wall of Concilium Front Office
‘The Rogues Gallery’
His bicycle was his chief mode of
Frank’s driving career was very short.
Back Row: (?), Tom Cowley?, Noel Murphy, Alfie Lambe, Fr. Toher, Seamus Grace,
Frank Duff, John Boyne (with hat), Jack MacNamara, Jack Nagle
Outside Regina Coeli Hostel. c.1952
Front Row: Paddy Sanfey, Paddy Stenson, Tom Doyle, Sid Quinn, Anne Heade, Bert
Niall, Andy O’ Higgins (standing on right)
On one of his many summer outings to Mount Melleray.
Doris Hansard, Frank Duff, Frankie Morris and Brendan Crowley
Giving a talk on Edel Quinn at
the opening of the Edel Quinn
Hall, Kanturk, Co. Cork 1955
Having a word with the President of Ireland, Eamon de Valera at
the conferring of his Honorary Doctorate by the National
University of Ireland.
In 1956, Frank received The Marianist Award from Dayton
University, Ohio.
Frank Duff in 1957
Sally Sharkey, Peg McDonnell, John Nagle, Frank Duff and Maria Diepen, envoy to South
America. c. late 1950’s
Fr. Francis Jordan, former
indoor brother Morning
Star Hostel giving his first
blessing to Fr. Kelly and
Frank Duff.
Ordained 19th June 1960
The sprockets on tour!
Frank Duff, Eileen Sheehy (Boylan/Billane) - Africa, John
Gavin, Una Twomey - Bolivia and Eileen O’ Connor
Canon Philip O’ Boyle, Donegal
‘The Big Six’ – Frank Duff at the Garden Centenary Party
Reunion of Blackrock College Students on 10th July 1960, with
from left to Right – Dr. C Heerey CSSp., Archbishop of Onitsha,
Mgr. Alfred O’ Rahilly, Cardinal D’Alton, Primate of Ireland,
Eamonn de Valera, Uachtarán na hEireann and Dr. John Charles
McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin.
Throughout his life, Frank Duff
was a prodigious writer.
He authored around 200 published
articles, reproduced in collected
form in 5 books; His first work
Can We be Saints? is itself a
masterpiece; and, ranking among
the spiritual classics is, of course,
the Legion Handbook, to date
translated into at least 75
It is estimated that he wrote around
30,000 letters. There are around
2,000 handwritten scripts of his
Congress and Reunion addresses,
allocutios and talks, also on file.
Frank showing an African Legionary the original Legion Altar in Concilium
Bro. Duff meets Pope
Paul VI, after Vatican
Council II, December
Frank in jovial humour 1971.
John Murray, Brian McKeone, Archbishop John Charles McQuaid of Dublin,
Jimmy Cummins & Frank Duff – c. early 1970’s
Outside Regina Coeli
Hostel. Late 1970’s.
Still Holding on!
…to his ideals, apostolic
zeal and action.
With Archbishop Gaetano Alibrandi, Apostolic
Nuncio to Ireland. 1970’s
A cycling tour with Mary McAndrew in his later years
Frank at gate of his house in
Morning Star Avenue. c.1979.
Frank praying in the chapel of the Regina Coeli hostel for
homeless women. c. 1979.
The Spirituality of The Servant of God, Frank Duff
Frank prayed the entire Office of the
Church every day.
He attended one if not two Masses
Made an annual retreat in Mount
Melleray, a Cistercian Monastery and
an annual pilgrimage to Lough Derg.
The Spirituality of The Servant of God, Frank Duff
Can We be Saints? (1916)
True Devotion to Mary
The De Montfort Way (1937)
Legion Handbook
The Spirituality of The Servant of God, Frank Duff
If the sum of the experiences of those who teach and understand and practise
the True Devotion is of value, it seems unquestionable that it deepens the
interior life, sealing it with the special character of unselfishness and purity of
intention. There is a sense of guidance and protection: a joyful certainty that
now one’s life is being employed to the best advantage. There is a
supernatural outlook, a definite courage, a firmer faith, which make one a
mainstay of any enterprise. There is a tenderness and a wisdom which keep
strength in its proper place. There is, too, the protectress of them all, a sweet
humility. Graces come which one cannot but realise are out of common.
Frequently, there is a call to a great work, which is patently beyond one’s
merits and natural capacity. Yet with it come such helps as enable that
glorious but heavy burden to be borne without faltering. In a word, in
exchange for the splendid sacrifice which is made in the True Devotion by
selling oneself into the species of slavery, there is gained the hundredfold
which is promised to those who despoil themselves for the greater glory of
Legion Handbook, 1993 Edition, p.39.
Favours received through the intercession of The Servant of God,
Frank Duff
Serious cancer diagnosis and pending operation cancelled. - Ireland
Total lifting of depression - Netherlands
Medical exams passed - Italy
Severe continuous bleeding stopped - Ireland
Complete recovery from illness and return to faith - Nigeria
Entrance to University obtained in difficult circumstances - Vietnam
4 month old baby recovery from pneumonia - USA
Return of grand-daughter who had left with undesirable people - USA
Malignant oesophagus tumour - inoperable - complete recovery - Ireland
cf. Maria Legionis, No.2, 2002.

The Servant of God Alfie Lambe