The Legion of Christ was born in January of 1941
in México. In 1946, the first Legionaries arrived in Spain
and in 1950 they established a formation center in Rome.
In the 1960s they established themselves in Ireland and the
United States. In the 1980s the congregation reached several more
countries in South America and Central Europe. The Legion recently
began pastoral projects in Eastern Europe and Philippines.
On January 3rd, 1941, a
twenty-year-old seminarian and 13 minor seminarians founded the Legion of Christ
in the donated basement of a house in Mexico City.
Five years later (1946), the founder, now a priest, crossed
the Atlantic with 32 young students to open their first
center in Spain. In 1950, the present day General Directorate of
the Legion of Christ was built in Rome, and the
more advanced seminarians - including novices, philosophers, and theologians -
moved there so they could live and continue their priestly formation
near the Holy Father. Meanwhile, in Mexico and Spain there
remained two apostolic schools (minor seminaries) full of young men
aspiring to the priesthood.
ushered in the first major apostolic projects: the Cumbres Institute (a
school) in Mexico City, the opening of a new center in
Spain, the novitiate in Salamanca, and the construction of Our
Lady of Guadalupe parish in Rome.
In the 1960s, while the Church was being renewed by
Pope John XXIII with the opening of a great ecumenical
council (Vatican II), the Legion of Christ opened two novitiates,
one in Ireland and another in the United States. It
also opened several schools and the first Universidad Anáhuac (Anahuac
University) At the same time, the Regnum Christi Movement began
and quickly took root in several cities throughout the seventies. This
decade also saw the establishment of another important international organization,
this one for the youth: ECYD (Education, Culture and Youth
The eighties took the Legion
and Regnum Christi into Central Europe, South America, and Australia.
Throughout the nineties, significant steps were taken in Europe, in
various apostolic projects, in the Regnum Christi sections, and in
the area of vocations - a growth and consolidation that
has continued to the present day. Now we find Legionaries
and Regnum Christi members from an increasing variety of nationalities,
from China to Germany, from Brazil to Canada, and from
the Philippines to New Zealand.
Since the year 2000
In the past decade, the mission has brought the
Legion to the Middle East and Asia. In 2004, Pope John
Paul II entrusted the Legion of Christ with the direction
and management of the Pontifical Institute of Notre Dame
in Jerusalem. In 2006, the first centers for Legionaries were
founded in Seoul (South Korea) and Manila (Philippines), and in
2008, the Legion opened its first houses in Hungary and