Kiko Argüello, Carmen Hernández and Fr. Mario Pezzi, the initiators of the Neocatechumenal Way, were present during the Holy Father’s morning mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae on Saturday morning.
The Neocatechumenal Way, an itinerary of Christian formation, were among the communities, movements and lay associations present on Saturday’s vigil with the Holy Father. An estimated 15,000 members of the Way from Rome were present at the meeting held in St. Peter’s Square.
Argüello, who is also an accomplished painter, gave the Holy Father an icon of the Virgin Mary painted by the Spanish born artist. Also presented to Pope Francis were several photographs of the ‘Great Mission’ undertaken by the Neocatechumenal communities.
A Year of Faith initiative of the Neocatechumenal Way, the ‘Great Mission’ took place in over 10,000 public squares in 120 countries all over the world during the five Sundays of the Easter season. Members gave witness to Christ through songs, testimonies and catechesis as a way to spread the Gospel during the Year of Faith.
Pope Francis applauded the mission when it began in April. While addressing the faithful gathered for the Regina Caeli in St. Peter’s Square on April 8th, the Holy Father greeted the Neocatechumenal communities of Rome who took part in the mission and invited them to “bring the Good News to every sphere of life with sweetness and respect.”
“Go into the public places and proclaim Jesus Christ, our Savior,” the Holy Father said.
According to a statement released by the Neocatechumenal Way after the Mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Holy Father told the initiators: “After announcing the Gospel in the squares, prepare for a backlash from the devil against you.”
The communique also stated that the Holy Father informed the initiators of the Neocatechumenal Way that he will grant them a private audience soon.