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Regnum Christi

Regnum Christi
FormationJanuary 3, 1959; 65 years ago (1959-01-03)
TypeCatholic Roman Catholic Federation
HeadquartersRome, Italy

Regnum Christi, officially the Regnum Christi Federation (Latin: Regnum Christi Foederationis) is an international Catholic Federation. It is made up of lay Catholics, as well as the religious congregation of the Legionaries of Christ (seminarians and priests), and the Societies of Apostolic Life of the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi, and the Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi.[1] The statutes of the Regnum Christi Federation were approved by the Holy See on May 31, 2019, after an extensive investigation and discernment on the part of the Holy See who led Regnum Christi and all of its federated institutions through a deep reformation and renewal process that began in 2009. Regnum Christi is dedicated to promoting the Catholic faith and evangelization. Their motto is "Thy Kingdom Come."

It was founded by Marcial Maciel, who led it until 2005. In 2006, Maciel was investigated by the Holy See and suspended from his ministry, initially over breaches of celibacy, and following public revelations later confirmed as sustained, over sexual abuse of minors.[2] Maciel died in 2008, aged 87. After Maciel's death, and following more revelations, Pope Benedict XVI ordered an apostolic visitation of the Legion of Christ 2009. At the conclusion of that visitation, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis was delegated to conduct a visitation of Regnum Christi. This investigation and reform of the Legionaries of Christ led to a reevaluation of the statutes of Regnum Christi that were written in 2004, and a deep reflection on the nature of Regnum Christi as a whole. Members from all states in life participated in that reflection, as individuals and in groups, under the guidance of officials from the Holy See. A greater, fuller, and more nuanced vision of Regnum Christi emerged in that process, culminating in the 2019 statutes.


The spirituality of Regnum Christi is Christ-centered, springing from a personal experience of Christ's love and overflowing in an ongoing and ever-deepening relationship with him. It is presented in number 12 of the statutes: "Our spirituality is centered above all on Jesus Christ and born from experiencing his love. We seek to respond to our Friend and Lord with a personal, real, passionate and faithful love. Through the action of the Holy Spirit, we are sons and daughters in the Son who becomes the center, standard and model of our life. We learn to encounter him in the Gospel, the Eucharist, the cross and our neighbor."[3]

Activities of its members

Regnum Christi members live their mission through their Christian witness and through apostolic work. Number 8 of the Statutes of the Regnum Christi Federation explains this as "To fulfill our mission, we seek to make present the mystery of Christ who goes out to people, reveals the love of his heart to them, gathers them together and forms them as apostles and Christian leaders, sends them out and accompanies them as they collaborate in the evangelization of people and of society."[3] Their mission is carried out through various programs, apostolates, and institutions, including youth work, schools , Mission Youth Missions, retreats, and other works in parishes or dioceses.[citation needed][4]

As of 2023, there were just over 20,000 members in more than 30 countries.[5]

The 5 Elements of Life in Regnum Christi

Regnum Christi members of all vocations live their Christian faith actively, with enthusiasm and love. It’s a call that helps members live their baptismal commitments and fulfill the mission of being salt & light in the world.

All Regnum Christi members develop this way of life in their team life, spiritual life, apostolate, formation, and personal accompaniment.

Team Life

Modeled on the first Christian communities, Regnum Christi members gather as communities of apostles to pray, to evangelize, and to support and encourage each other in the living of their Christian vocation. Team life provides a nucleus of spiritual friendship, a community that is there to share the gifts and challenges of daily life with each other, and a group of like-minded apostles who work together to bring the light of the Gospel to those around them.

Spiritual Life

The core of a Regnum Christi member’s life is to know Christ’s love, love him deeply in return, and share that love with others. All members share a common mission and spirituality, which each one lives according to their identity and specific vocation.


The mission of a Regnum Christi member covers all aspects of life. It begins with the foundation of building their own relationship with God, living their God-given vocation and state in life as their personal path to holiness, and then impacting the world around them through a life lived in union with God that reaches out to others in evangelization, service, and apostolate.


Integral formation is formation in the spiritual, human, intellectual, and apostolic areas of our lives. It allows us to form a strong and rich Catholic worldview, develop our capacity to go deeper in our relationship with Christ and to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you for the reason for your hope” (1 Peter 3:15).

Personal Accompaniment

Regnum Christi sees personal accompaniment as essential in following Christ. Members seek to accompany each other as Christ accompanied people in the Gospel, person-to-person, discerning and following the path of holiness together. Personal accompaniment can be natural and spontaneous, as in friendships, or more formal and intentional, as in Spiritual Direction.

Different Types of Membership

Among the members of Regnum Christi, there are lay members, both single and married, priests and brothers who are members of the religious congregation of the Legionaries of Christ, and lay consecrated men and women who each have their own pontifically recognized society for apostolic life.

Lay Members

The lay members of Regnum Christi embrace a vocation from God to live their baptismal commitments in the midst of today’s world, according to the charism of Regnum Christi, in a dynamic relationship of love with Jesus Christ. Their mission is to make the Kingdom of Christ present in today’s world so that all people have the chance to encounter Christ and experience his love. Lay Regnum Christi members make Christ’s kingdom present in the world and transform daily realities with the light of the Gospel, especially in their family, professional, and social lives. The Rule of Life for lay members of Regnum Christi was approved by the Holy See in 2019.[6]

Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi

The Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi are a Society of Apostolic Life and part of the Regnum Christi Federation that is made up of lay women who dedicate their lives fully to Christ through the evangelical vows of poverty, chastity and obedience lived within international communities. They live consecrated life in the Church within the lay state, being "in the world but not of the world". Their mission is to make present the mystery of Christ who goes out to people, reveals his love to them, gathers them together and forms them as apostles and Christian leaders, sending them out to evangelize people and society. They collaborate with Regnum Christi and the Church, accompanying thousands through formation of seminarians, lay leaders, teachers, students, young people and parents; preaching, offering spiritual direction, and leading courses, pilgrimages, missions and retreats in over 15 countries around the world.

The Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi was founded on 8 December 1969 in Mexico when three women, Margarita Estrada, Guadalupe Magaña, and Graciela Magaña, made private vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.[7] For a long time the government of the Consecrated Women was under the Legionaries of Christ. However, after an apostolic visitation, Cardinal Velasio de Paolis decided that they would be better served by their own internal government. On 17 May 2012, Gloria Rodriguez was named the new leader after consulting the members.[8] On November 25, 2018, they were approved by the Holy See, who established the Consecrated Women and the Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi as Societies of Apostolic Life. [citation needed]

The Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi share their spirituality with the rest of Regnum Christi but live it out in their own particular way.[9]

Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi

The Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi are part of the Regnum Christi Federation made up of lay men who dedicate themselves full-time to apostolate. They live consecrated life in the Church within the lay state. They live and spread the good news of being apostles in the social and professional world.

They were formed on April 13, 1975 by Marcial Maciel with Álvaro Corcuera (who later became the general director of the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi) as one of the founding members. For a long time the government of the consecrated men was under the Legionaries of Christ. However, after an apostolic visitation, Card. Velasio de Paolis decided that they would be better served by their own internal government. On May 17, 2012 Jorge Lopez was named the new leader after consulting the members. The same decree named Matthew Reinhart the director of North America and Europe.

The consecrated men share their spirituality with the rest of Regnum Christi but live it out in their own particular way.

Legionaries of Christ

The Legionaries of Christ are a Catholic religious congregation made up of priests and brothers (seminarians). They are part of the Regnum Christi Federation. The mission of the Legionaries of Christ is to form apostles, Christian leaders at the service of the Church. Driven by the desire of Jesus’ heart to set the world ablaze, the religious priests of the Legionaries of Christ support each other and work in communion with other Regnum Christi members in their mission to form apostles, people who let the love of Christ the King transform their hearts, their families and their world.


ECYD is the Regnum Christi Charism lived by adolescents. ECYD is an acronym for Encounters, Convictions, Your Decisions. Members make a pledge of friendship with Christ and with each other, to transform the world for Christ. It is a way of learning how to live in a Christian community: ECYD teammates live communion in Christ, and guided by him, journey together towards heaven. Through prayer, an adolescent discovers God’s presence in their heart, hears him and dialogues with him, seeks to know his will and receives strength to follow it. Through apostolate, adolescents are invited to give of themselves generously, to go out and meet the most needy and distanced from God. Being an apostle is more than an attitude; it is the way of living as a Christian in the world. In ECYD, formation is understood as a path of encounters which bring adolescents to know, accept and master themselves; to discover in Christ the full meaning of their lives, and to develop their leadership as apostles. Accompaniment is personal attention offered on both an individual and group level in the varied circumstances of the adolescents’ lives. ECYD mentors guide and walk alongside the adolescents in their search for happiness and the fullness of their calling.[10]


The first draft of the statutes for Regnum Christi was written and promulgated in 1959. On November 25, 2004 a revised set of statutes was approved.[11] These statutes define the goals, spirituality, and structure of Regnum Christi. In a November 21, 2011 letter, Cardinal Velasio de Paolis asked the consecrated in Regnum Christi to edit their core set of norms, and took force away from a more extensive set of norms. He set up a small commission to revise them.[12][13] This process led to the founding of the Societies of Apostolic Life of the Consecrated Women and Lay Consecrated Men, each with their own autonomous governance. The approved configuration of the Regnum Christi Federation in 2019 included the Legionaries of Christ as members of Regnum Christi for the first time.

The Regnum Christi Federation is governed collegially at the general and territorial levels by a college made up of members of the Legionaries of Christ, the Consecrated Women, Lay Consecrated Men, and lay members.

Sexual abuse scandal

The Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi have received criticism both from members within the Catholic Church and without.[14][15][16][17]

On May 1, 2010 the Vatican issued a statement condemning Maciel as "immoral" and acknowledging that Maciel had committed "true crimes".[18] Pope Benedict also said he would appoint a delegate to reform the Legionaries’ charism, spirituality and constitutions. Pope Francis proceeded to revolutionize the Legion of Christ. Under the guidance of Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, the congregation announced the order's complete restructuring at its Extraordinary General Chapter in Rome in January 2014.[19]

In the early 2000s, 77 former students the Regnum Christi run high school in Wakefield, RI made a plea to the Vatican to close the school citing psychological anguish, rigid schedules, manipulation, emotional abuse, and isolation from families as they were forced to live like nuns.[20] The women have made their experiences public on a blog titled "49 Weeks a Year" as this was the amount of time they would be expected to spend at the boarding school, spending only 3 weeks with their families.[citation needed]

A Vatican led investigation into the history of the Legionaries of Life and Regnum Christi that spanned 10 years from 2009-2019 led to sweeping reforms and a firm commitment to renewal and the eradication of sexual abuse in the organization.[21] Codes of conduct are established for Legionaries of Christ, Consecrated Men and Women, and for lay members who have contact with minors through Regnum Christi. Procedures for prevention and immediate action are also in place so that any and all allegations are received, dealt with, and reported to the proper authorities. These policies and procedures are subject to the standards of accreditation of Praesidium, a specialized external third-party institution, ensuring the most demanding criteria in the creation of safe environments is met.


  1. ^ "PRINCIPLES OF THE CHARISM OF THE REGNUM CHRISTI MOVEMENT" (PDF). Regnum Christi. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  2. ^ Povoledo, Elisabetta (May 11, 2012). "Vatican Inquiry Reflects Wider Focus on Legion of Christ". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
  3. ^ a b Regnum Christi (May 31, 2019). "Statutes of the Regnum Christi Federation" (PDF). Retrieved October 18, 2023.
  4. ^ Regnum Christi (2023-10-18). "The Mission of Regnum Christi".
  5. ^ Regnum Christi (May 2023). "Meet RC". Regnum Christi. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Forty Years of Consecration to Christ". Regnum Christi. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  8. ^ "New leadership for Regnum Christi". Salt + Light Blog. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  9. ^ "What is Consecrated Life in Regnum Christi?". Regnum Christi. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  10. ^ "Discover ECYD". Regnum Christi.
  11. ^ "Catholic News Service". Archived from the original on December 1, 2004. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  12. ^ "English Translation of Card. de Paolis's Letter" (PDF). Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  13. ^ "Rules for Legion-linked group invalid". Retrieved 18 November 2017.[dead link]
  14. ^ Abolition of Legionaries should be 'on the table', National Catholic Reporter.
  15. ^ Nelly Ramírez Mota Velasco, El reino de Marcial Maciel, Editorial Planeta, Mexico City, 2011, ISBN 978-607-07-0624-0.
  16. ^ The Cost of Father Maciel, First Thing.
  17. ^ Money paved way for Maciel's influence in the Vatican Archived 2011-10-21 at the Wayback Machine, How Fr. Maciel built his empire, National Catholic Reporter.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2012-01-13.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Francis revolutionizes the Legion of Christ". Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  20. ^ "Spiritual and Psychological Abuse at Legionaries of Christ Girls' Residential High School". 27 November 2014.
  21. ^ Legionaries of Christ (2023-10-18). "Commitment".

Regnum Christi Sites

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Regnum Christi
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