|Pius PP. XII|
The first pope that the founder met was Pius XII,
at a private audience in Rome. He was the first
pope who confirmed and blessed the idea of the Legion
of Christ. When he commented on the Legion’s apostolic charism,
the Pope insisted on the thorough formation of Catholic leaders,
especially for Latin America.
This audience occurred on Wednesday, June
12th, 1946. The Holy Father would receive the founder on
several occasions afterwards, as he traveled to Rome from time
to time seeking to expedite the process for the definitive
approval of the congregation and its constitutions.
Finally, the moment
arrived when the first group of Legionaries was presented to
the Pope. The Legionaries had opened their house in Rome
in October 1950, and Pope Pius XII granted them an audience
in December. On that occasion, the students of the apostolic
school in Ontaneda, Spain also happened to be in Rome
for the close of the Holy Year that Christmas.
since then, the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi members
present in Rome make it a point to attend the
first general audience of the year to show their filial
support to the Holy Father.