Our name and the icon

Redemptoris Mater

(Mother of the Redeemer)

The first Seminary run under the auspices of the Neocatechumenal Way was established in Rome in 1987 and coincided with the encyclical of Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater promulgated on March 25, 1987 to celebrate the bimillennial anniversary of the birth of the Virgin Mary. This year was made a Marian Year, since Mary was reckoned to have been aged 13 at the time of her annunciation. John Paul II taught that Mary was the first disciple because of her assent to the angel’s message.

From this came the birth of Christ and also the birth of the mystical body of Christ, the Church. She can rightly be called the Mother of the Redeemer and also the Mother of the Church. Her assumption into heaven prefigured the glorification of all who are saved. Thus Mary provides a “profile” of what the Church is, of how the people of God should live and of what the destiny of the disciples will be. Pope John Paul II suggested that this “Marian profile” is what the Church is, and that this is more fundamental than the “Petrine profile”. Without being divided from it, the “Marian Church” – the Church of disciples – preceded and made possible the “Petrine Church”, the Church of Office and authority. Discipleship came before authority in the Church, and sanctity came before power.

Also if Mary is “Mother of the Church” she is the common Mother of all Christians (ecumenical dimension) and wants the unity of all God’s family. She also “precedes” us all in witness of faith in the one Lord. If she is our Mother, all Christians should entrust themselves to Mary “in a filial manner”. If the Marian profile of the Church as disciples precedes the “Petrine profile” of office, then there is a fundamental baptismal equality of discipleship in the Church – between women and men, as well as between laity and clergy – this precedes any distinctions of functions or ministries.

Our Lady of the Way


This Icon was painted by Kiko Arguello, Initiator of the Neocatechumenal Way with Carmen Hernandez in 1973 in Madrid after he received the inspiration to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world and to lead those who accepted this news to an Initiation to Adult Christian Faith. How could he do this? Not without the power of the Holy Spirit and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Thus the inscription inside the Icon, written in Spanish is:

Hay que hacer comunidades Cristianas como La Sagrada Familia de Nazaret, que vivan en humildad sencillez y alabanza; el otro es Cristo

“We have to make Christian Communities like the Holy Family of Nazareth, that live in humility, simplicity and praise; (and where) the other (person) is Christ.”