First Love Crucified retreat at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia.
History plays an important role in Christian culture. “Just as memory anchors each person’s individual story, history plays the same role for cultures, nations and communities of faith. History is our shared memory. … A community dies when its memory fails,” — Archbishop Chaput
Love Crucified began in 2006 with the Lord’s call to Lourdes Pinto in Medugorje: “Will you be My victim soul?” She gives her fiat and the Lord begins to form her as a victim soul, specifically as a Mother of the Cross: a woman united as one with Mary, the Mother of Sorrows at the foot of the Cross. She lives this call in her ordinary hidden life as a wife and mother. Lourdes had been prepared for her call through the writing s of Blessed Conchita Cabrera de Armida since 2004. Fr. Jordi Rivero, her spiritual director, encouraged her to pursue this call and also enters a deeper understanding of his vocation of priest and victim.
In 2007 the Lord tells Lourdes: Bring to Me the Mothers of the Cross from the four corners of the world. She begins to teach women how to live their sufferings united to the love of Jesus Crucified as a source of God’s power for their families, Church and world.
For many years Fr. Jordi had the call to community as a way of life for all states of life. His understanding of community life, united with the charism in Lourdes’ heart, becomes the foundation for Love Crucified. The first community cenacle (gathering) took place on March 11 of 2008, with the name “Friends of the Cross”, inspired by St. Louis Mary de Montfort’s passionate love for the Cross and the Blessed Mother. Maria Hickein was among the founding members.
In July, 2008, Love Crucified goes on its first pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico. It was there that Lourdes received the mission for the Missionaries of the Cross (the men of the community). Mothers of the Cross and Missionaries of the Cross are consecrated to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Fr. Jordi & Lourdes Pinto prostrated before the Tilma at the Basilica.
The first Love Crucified retreat was in February of 2009 at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, Conyers, Georgia. The first covenant of the community is written and taken by the first members. Our Lady Rosa Mystica was given to us as patroness in relation to the call to raise up a holy priesthood. Pope Benedict XVI declares the year of the priesthood to begin in October, 2009. This becomes a confirmation to the call from Our Lord to raise a holy priesthood through the hidden martyrdom of the heart. We pilgrimaged to Ars, home of St. John Vianney, patron of all priests, then to Notre Dame du Laus Sanctuary in France where we received the vocation to be the Lord’s living chalices in the Chapel of the Most Precious Blood. From here came the inspiration for the community’s cross which were made in June of 2010.
Chapel of the Most Precious Blood
In 2011 the bishop gives Fr. Jordi permission to serve full time in
the mission of Love Crucified. In December the Hickein family moved to a rural area near Covington, Georgia, which soon became the center of the Community and site of its retreats. In 2012 the Pinto family buys the house next to the Hickein's for Fr. Jordi to live and for priests to experience our charism in the school of the Sacred Heart. The Lord calls this house "Padre Pio's Refuge for Priests in the Sacred Heart of Jesus."
Chapel at P. Pio's Refuge in the Sacred Heart of Jesus
In 2012, Msgr. Ronald Sciera enters the Missionaries of the Cross. In January of 2013, Daniel Blanchette comes to Padre Pio’s Refuge and discovers his vocation as a Missionary of the Cross. He is now a permanent resident involved in the core of the community.
In April of 2013, we gave our first retreat outside of USA. It was in Rome, to the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christ consecrated —men and women.
Fr. Jordi and Lourdes had a private audience with Cardinal Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. He exhorted them to persevere in the vocation of Love Crucified.
Love Crucified's first mission in Rome.
In the same year, on May 31, Feast of the Visitation, the first house of the community, Our Lady of Grace, is purchased next to the Refuge. It becomes the site of Love Crucified retreats in USA. On June 13, Msgr. Ronald Sciera was invited to concelebrate a daily Mass with Pope Francis at Santa Marta Chapel in the Vatican. After the Mass, Pope Francis blessed the Love Crucified mission and cross.
Pope Francis blessing the Love Crucified Cross.
Our Lady of Grace Retreat House
In 2013, after several visits of Fr. Jordi giving priest retreats in Bogota, Love Crucified is founded in Colombia. The first Love Crucified retreat in Colombia was given in June of 2014. On June 7 of 2016, the Community’s formation book, The Simple Path to Union with God, was published. A Spanish edition followed.
Establishment of Love Crucified in Bogota with Adriana and Juan Miguel.
The community now (2019) has members in USA, Colombia, Mexico, Spain, England and Switzerland. The Simple Path to Union with God has transformed the lives of many.