Friday, April 29, 2016

50 Quick Facts about Legion Maria

1.         They worship the same God worshipped by Israelites and Christians, owning all the traditions and acts written in the Bible as their own and as have been performed by their God.
2.         They believe Jesus Christ has come back again on earth as Simeo Ondeto, using the names of Jesus and Ondeto interchangeably in their worship and church services.
3.         They believe Simeo Ondeto is the son of God, the second Christ, the Glory of God, who has come down with his saints and angels to establish the era of entry into the presence of God.
4.         They believe they are the New Christianity, the Latter Israel, a people God has made his own by sending his son to them and giving them a new covenant, the covenant of Glory made real at John Baru’s home.
5.         They adore Mary and the saints
6.         They adore a black woman called Mama Maria who is believed to be Virgin Mary incarnate.
7.         They have their own saints such as St. Timothy Atila, St. Silvester Okweto, St. Philip Odero, St. Silas of Imbo, St. Peter Otieno, and St. Carilus Mumbo.
8.         They read the Bible and use it in their church services, worship and preaching.
9.         Their headquarter is Got Kwer, also called Got Okwon’g or Got Calvary, in Suna, Migori County, Nyanza, Kenya.
10.       The head of the church is the pope. There have been three popes: Pope Atila Timothy (1963-1998), Chiaji Lawrende (1998-2004), and Rafael Adika (2004-to date).
11.       They celebrate the Holy Mass according to the Traditional Latin Rite, though currently some members of the clergy have incorporated Simeo’s life and teachings into their Mass, resulting in the Glory Mass.
12.       They wear long robes (cassocks) whenever they go to church and use robes as the primary vestments for worship.
13.       They use rosaries in their worship. The rosaries are made of beads of different colors depending on the particular use of a rosary.
14.       They use candles in their worship and light candles even when bulbs are on or in open daylight. Certain prayers require candles of specific colors i.e. red candles for exorcism.
15.       They do not wear shoes in the church because they believe in God being present in their midst, especially when Simeo Melkio was with them in the flesh.
16.       They use water during prayers, squirting it on the faithful as a sign of cleansing them of their sins, sending away evil or reminder of their baptism.
17.       They use incense in their services, using it during purification/cleansing rites.
18.       They have male priests called Fathers and female nuns called Mothers. The male priests serve in the altar of the Lord while the female nuns serve in the altar of Mary.
19.       Major orders in the church are deacon, priest and bishop. The pope is a title for a bishop heading the church and to whom all other bishops are subject and cardinals are bishops who elect the pope.
20.      They use Christian songs, books and prayers, especially those of the Roman Catholic Church. They have also copied many things from the Roman Catholic, including feast calendars and vestments for the clergy.
21.       They do Christian feasts alongside their own feasts.
22.       They fast just like Christians.
23.       They go for processions regularly, walking along the road as they pray for peace, rainfall, good harvest, health and wellness, prosperity, etc.
24.       They have a diverse membership from different tribes, races and countries, though majority of members are still from East African Countries.
25.       They believe strongly in the Holy Spirit and have Simeo Ondeto, Mary and the saints speak to them by directly possessing members of their congregations.
26.       They have altars in their homes and churches.
27.       Their altars must have the images of Simeo Ondeto and Mama Maria, though the images of Jesus and the saints may also be placed in their altars.
28.       They erect crosses in their homes and churches, especially near or at the gates.
29.       They fly flags of Simeo Ondeto, Mama Maria and different saints in their homes and churches.
30.      They build shrines of different saints in their churches i.e. the healing shrine of St. Catherine of Siena, the exorcism shrine of St. Michael, the checking shrine of Joseph etc.
31.       They occasionally perform animal sacrifices in which they slaughter sheep and eat. The meat from the sacrifices are not offered to any deity but eaten by those who attend the sacrificial feasts.
32.       They pay tithes, offer money for sustaining their priests, and pay offerings for running and developing their churches.
33.       They predominantly kneel down when worshipping God, though they may occasionally stand or sit down during services.
34.       They only have one chair in the church which may be used only by the priest celebrant, bishop or senior clergy. The faithful can only kneel, sit or stand on mats, carpets or cushions during church services as they are not allowed to use chairs inside the church.
35.       They support charity and have regular contributions and offerings for the upkeep of orphans, widows and the vulnerable.
36.       They go to hospital when sick and use pharmaceutical drugs to relieve their illnesses.
37.       They abstain from magic and teach against consulting magicians, palm readers, diviners, seers etc.
38.       They take their children to school and have no anti-education doctrines.
39.       They vote and can stand to be elected.
40.      They are vocal about human rights, justice, equity, constitutionalism and multiparty democracy, even praying for the attainment of such things in their countries.
41.       They embrace fashion, particularly fashionable robes and vestments. However, they majorly favor single colored fabrics or minimally-colored fabrics.
42.       They bury their dead and believe in life after death.
43.       They offer prayers to God to help the dead attain eternal life.
44.       They are friendly to all churches and religions, abstaining from teaching or preaching against any religious movement.
45.       They abstain from certain foods and substances, particularly being strict against smoking, alcoholism and drug abuse.
46.       They only accept moderate body makeup and prefer members to remain as natural as possible.
47.       They do not dance during praise and worship and prefer songs and activities that touch the heart rather than shake the body.
48.       They practice monogamy, but accept people who are polygamous before joining the faith. Those who marry more than one wife after joining the faith are forbidden from holding leadership positions.
49.       They save their money in the banks, take loans and engage in financial transactions just like other people.
50.      Their core philosophy is “work and prayer” meaning people must not only serve God but must also engage in labor and hardwork to be are successful in this life.