Perseverance Through Faith

by Fr W Aedan McGrath, Xlibris, 216pp, £21.99

The Legion of Mary was founded by Frank Duff in Dublin on September 7, 1921, and spread throughout the world during the 20th century. Duff died on November 7, 1980 and his Cause for canonisation is proceeding.

Fr Aedan McGrath, an Irish missionary priest, was the person largely responsible for spreading the Legion through China in the late 1940s and early 1950s, before the communists unleashed an all-out attack on the Marian society, accusing it of wanting to overthrow communist rule.

Fr McGrath was imprisoned in harsh conditions in a number of prisons for more than two-and-a-half years – including long periods in solitary confinement – before finally being expelled from China.

Right from the start of his imprisonment, though, he had a strong sense that he was being protected by the Blessed Virgin, although prison life was harsh. He slept on thin mats on concrete floors, having little food to eat, and being forbidden to talk to other prisoners.

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