Thursday, September 20, 2019, Pope Francis received Kiko Arguello, Founder of the Neo-Catechumenal Way, in the Vatican.
Pope Francis wrote personally to Kiko Arguello on the occasion of the celebration of his birthday in Madrid on January 9, 2019.
“Dear Brother, I don’t want this day to pass without sending you some lines of closeness and fraternal thanksgiving for your 80 years. Thank you to God who chose you and thank you for your fidelity. May the Lord render to you all the good you do the Church,” reads the message reported by “Vatican News” in Italian.
“I’m close to you; I pray and I accompany you. Happy Birthday. I hope that the members of the Way will make you a cake with 80 candles. And, please, don’t forget to pray for me. May Jesus bless you and may the Holy Virgin protect you. Your brother, who loves you and admires you, Francis,” adds the Pope.
On January 8, during the Mass at Saint Martha’s, the Pontiff hailed the “apostolic zeal” of Kiko Arguello, who thanked him in a message, expressing “his affection and proximity, assuring him his prayers for his Petrine ministry.”
On September 8, 2018, Pope Francis surprised Kiko Arguello, calling him on the telephone to express his greetings to the participants in a meeting organized at Porto San Giorgio, Italy. “Always look toward the Lord! Forward!’ said the Holy Father, after Kiko Arguello expressed to him the affection and support of the Neo-Catechumenal Way.
On May 5, 2018, the Pontiff met with thousands of members of the Neo-Catechumenal Way, gathered in Rome for the 50th anniversary of the Movement’s presence in the Eternal City.
The Pope had already received the Founder in the Vatican on September 4, 2017. On the same day, a letter of encouragement of the Pope to this Community was made public.
Every year Pope Francis receives families belonging to the Neo-Catechumenal Way that he sends on mission to the whole world. In 2016, he exhorted them to “protect” their charism, in face of the risk of being closed-in on themselves or of believing themselves “better than others.”
Kiko Arguello’s symphonic opera — who is, however, a painter by formation –entitled “The Suffering of the Innocents” was performed at the Vatican, in the framework of the Jubilee of Mercy, and on the occasion of the liturgical feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, on October 7, 2016, in Paul VI Hall.
The Neo-Catechcumenal Way, founded in the ‘60s by Kiko Arguello and Carmen Hernandez, now deceased, is an Ecclesial Movement present today in 134 countries of five Continents, with some 20,000 Communities and Seminaries. It’s an “itinerary of Christian formation” born in the underprivileged suburbs of Madrid, Spain.