Society of Mary


The Society of Mary is dedicated to the Glory of God and the Holy Incarnation of Christ under the invocation of Our Lady, Help of Christians.

Mary, Mother of the Lord Jesus is by far the most popular and beloved of all the saints. Churches throughout the world honor her with chapels, altars and shrines. The Book of Common Prayer honors her with four special feastdays, to which is added several others in many places. It is fitting that there be within the Anglican Communion, a society which honors the Blessed Virgin Mary, and bears witness to the mystery of Christ's Holy Incarnation.

The Scriptures tell us that Mary is full of grace, and was chosen of God. "Be it unto me according to thy Word," was Mary's joyous response to God's plan of redemption. Her obedience initiated the process of our salvation. In her, "the Word became flesh." She has a unique and special relationship with Jesus, and was close to him during his ministry, and the first miracle was performed at her instigation. On the Cross, Jesus gave her to his disciple John, "behold, your mother," and thus to all mankind. And on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon her and the apostles. She is indeed "Mother of the Church." Her word to us is, "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it!"

The Society of Mary was formed in 1931 by the union of its parent societies, the Confraternity of Our Lady (founded in 1880) and the League of Our Lady (founded in 1902). It has members allover the world and is not confined to Anglicans alone. In 1962 a group of American priests, knowing of two Wards functioning in the Episcopal Church and affiliated with the parent body, received permission from the General Council in England to set up a regional organization in the United States.

Where there are sufficient members (10-12) in one place or area they combine to form a Ward with a priest approved by Council as Superior and an elected Secretary. They can then organize regular services, meetings and other activities. Five or more members may form a Cell and organize joint prayer and fellowship. Petitions for Cell or Ward status should be submitted to the Corresponding Secretary ( ).

The Society publishes its magazine AVE (American Edition) two times each year.

The Society is not affiliated with any single Shrine or Marian institution, and is the only organization endeavoring to promote equally all the different aspects of devotion to Mary.

Festivals of Our Lady

Purification of Saint Mary the Virgin2 February
Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary25 March
Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary31 May
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary15 August
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary8 September
Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary8 December

Objects and Rules of Membership

To love and honor Mary

To spread devotion to her in reparation for past neglect and misunderstanding, and in the cause of Christian unity.

To take Mary as a model in purity, personal relationships and family life.

Members of the Society keep a simple Rule of Life, which involves:
  • The keeping of Catholic Precepts and use of the Sacraments.
  • The regular use of some recommended prayers and devotions to Mary, and a commitment to service, where possible, in the name of the Society.

Click here for the membership form.