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The Marian Priestly Movement has managed to expand in a silent and extraordinary way.

In almost all the nations of Europe, America, Asia, Africa and Oceania, national leaders have now been established, responsible for collecting memberships and following the formation of the Cenacles. They are also entrusted with the task of appointing the various regional and diocesan managers, ensuring that everything is done with the greatest fidelity to the spirit of the Movement.


Given the autonomy left to the national centres, it is not easy to draw a precise picture of the numerical strength. This is not of great importance, since we are faced with "a spirit" which escapes external controls and is realized to the extent that every Priest who has joined it tries to live every day his consecration to Mary.


From the letters of registration received, the members would now be around four hundred Bishops and over one hundred thousand Priests of the diocesan clergy and of all religious Orders and Congregations. For lay people, since there is no real registration, we cannot give even an approximate figure, even if it is certainly in the order of millions.

It is also pleasant to note the existence of a large band of sympathetic priests; They have not yet joined the Movement, but they demonstrate their solidarity in various ways and on occasions. Their number is perhaps greater than that of the members. If they live the spirit of the Movement, even if they are not included in the lists, they are already doing what is essential in it.

Although, almost without realizing it, we have become a large group, it still happens that many Priests do not know their brothers, who live very close by and who belong to the Movement. This happens in the regions where the M.S.M. has just started, but also elsewhere. The reason for this is the poor organization it has and which will remain as one of its characteristics, and the sense of confidentiality, which leads to it not being easy to give lists and addresses to the first person who ask for it, since it is a spiritual choice, an above all internal commitment. However, we witness this marvelous fact everywhere: Our Lady takes care of it, through the Cenacles of prayer and brotherhood, to ensure that her Priests get to know each other, help each other, love each other as brothers and become a force of cohesion among everything the clergy.

Due to the consoling reality of the Communion of Saints, those Priests who have already preceded us in eternal life still feel like active members, and as close as ever. There are some Cardinals (the first of them to register was Giacomo Lercaro, then Archbishop of Bologna), many Bishops (we remember, among others, Monsignor Joao Venanciu Pereira, former Bishop of Leiria and Fatima, who enrolled in 1973 and died in 1985) and now more than five thousand priests, who have embellished their last years of intense apostolate or illness, welcoming and living the invitation of the Madonna in the Marian Priestly Movement. Among them it is good remember a Servant of God: Fr. Gabriele Allegra, well-known biblical scholar and translator of the Holy Scripture into Chinese, whose last effort was the translation into Chinese of the book: «To the Priests, beloved sons of the Madonna».

In its rapid and widespread diffusion, the M.S.M. he encountered fewer difficulties than he might have feared. Since his characteristic was loyalty to the Church and obedience to legitimate Superiors, where they - especially at the level of Bishops - showed themselves benevolent and encouraging, things proceeded with greater ease.

More patience in knowing how to wait must be used where authority has shown itself perplexed or indifferent. Above all in the leadership of "his" Movement, the vigilant and enlightening presence of the Madonna is felt: she comforts in difficulties and slows down enthusiasm; teaches us to courageously use the freedom of the children of God and, at the same time, prevents us from adopting attitudes in conflict or rebellion with our Superiors, which is in contradiction with the second of the basic points of the M.S.M.: love for Pope and the Hierarchy united to him.

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