Audience for the Legionaries of Christ

Source: FSSPX News


On November 29, John Paul II gave an audience to around 4,000 members of the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the priestly ordination of its founder, the Mexican religious, Marcial Maciel Dellogado, who was also present.

 It was in 1941, at the age of 21, that Marcial Maciel Dellogado founded this congregation in Mexico. Ordained priest in 1944, he went to Rome in 1946 to meet with Pius XII who would bless his new congregation.

 In 1949, Regnum Christi, the lay branch of the Community was created. It gathered together several thousand laymen, as well as diocesan priests. A year later, Fr. Maciel founded, in Rome, the center for the formation of the Legion of Christ. It was in 1965 that Paul VI gave official recognition to this new community.

 Today the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ has more than 600 priests and 2,800 semiarians, present in 18 countries of Europe and America. Since 1992, the congregation has enjoyed NGO (non-governmental organization) status at the UN. Its members work mainly in education, social action with the underprivileged, in the missions, pastoral action with young people, the family, methods of social communication and catechesis.

The congregation is particularly influential in the university field, with a network of 12 universities, mainly in Latin America. In Europe, the main one is in  Madrid. In the new academic year 2005, the Legionaries will open the European University of Rome. It will take in their present university, Regina Apostolorum, opened in 1993, which has 3,200 students.