The first groups of Lay Members of Regnum Christi began in 1968, through the invitation, formation and direction of the priestly congregation, the Legionaries of Christ, who were founded in 1941. These men and women shared one charism, one spirit and one mission, lived out in their state of life. Aware of their baptismal vocation to holiness and apostolate, they felt called to be Christian leaders and form others at the service of Jesus Christ, the Church and society.
New forms of consecration arose in the heart of Regnum Christi where lay men and women offered their lives to God to follow Christ freely and totally by embracing the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience. Thus the first three women responded to this call, consecrating their lives to God within Regnum Christi. They began their formation in Ireland and were joined by another two women during that year. Over time, we grew and now have around 500 Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi in 50 communities around the world.
Today Regnum Christi is comprised of four vocations: Legionaries of Christ, Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi, Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi and the Lay Members of Regnum Christi and diocesan seminarians, deacons, priests, and religious priests in the Legionaries of Christ, each living according to his or her vocation, as members of one body (see 1 Cor 12:12-29), collaborating in a common mission.
When the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi were established in 1969, they were established under the governance of the Legionaries of Christ. In 2012, the Pontifical Delegate, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, granted autonomy of government and internal life to the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi and the Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi.
In 2013, the Holy See approved the statutes of both the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi and the Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi. Pope Francis, on November 20, in an audience with the Cardinal Prefect and the Bishop Secretary of the CIVCSVA, approved the canonical establishment. On November 27, 2018, the Solemnity of Christ the King, in Rome, Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, O.F.M., secretary of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CIVCSVA), presented the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi and the Lay Consecrated Men of Regnum Christi with decrees to canonically establish them as societies of apostolic life of pontifical right. Canonical recognition is an expression that these vocations in Regnum Christi are a gift that contribute to the mission of the Church as a path of holiness and of encounter between God and people.