Kiko Argüello

Kiko Argüello

Kiko Argüello

Francisco José Gómez Argüello Wirtz, is born in León on January 9, 1939. He studied Fine Arts at the San Fernando Academy in Madrid and in1959, he received the Extraordinary National Painting Prize. After a deep existential crisis, there is a serious conversion that leads him to dedicate his life to Jesus Christ and the Catholic church.

In 1960, together with the sculptor Coomontes and the glassmaker Muñoz de Pablos, he founded the research and development group of Sacred Art “Guild 62”. He makes exhibitions in Madrid (National Library), and in 1960 he represents Spain, appointed by the Ministry of Culture, at the Universal Exhibition of Sacred Art in Royan (France). In Holland, he exhibits some of his works (“Nouvelles images” gallery).

Convinced that Christ is present in the suffering of the innocent and last of the earth, he goes to live among the poor, going to a shack in Palomeras Altas in 1964, to the outskirts of Madrid. There he meets Carmen Hernández and both, driven by the environment of the poor, they discovered a way to preach, a kerigmatic-catechetical synthesis, which resulted in the formation of a small Christian community. This community, in which the love of the crucified Christ became visible, it then became a “seed” that, thanks to the then archbishop of Madrid, Mons. Casimiro Morcillo was planted in the parishes of Madrid, and later in Rome and in other nations.

After his conversion, he put his art at the service of the Church. Specifically, he does so through painting, music, architecture and sculpture; these last two serve to promote a “new aesthetic” that leads men to faith.

As a painter, he has done important works throughout the world. In Spain, especially Madrid – highlights the mystical crown of the cathedral– or Murcia. In Italy he has recently painted a large mural in the Redemptoris Mater of Rome. There are his works in Roman parishes, as Canadian Martyrs, and in cities like Piacenza and Perugia. Another example is the great mural about the Last Judgment in the Domus Galilea (Israel), a center located on the Mount of Beatitudes and which, by express desire of John Paul II, also serves to build bridges with the Jewish people.

As an architect he has developed a new model of parish and seminary based on the new aesthetic and in which there are also stained glass windows created by him. There are examples in Spain, Italy, Nicaragua, United States, Finland, Dominican Republic, and some Asian and African countries. In this regard, the Domus Galilea stands out especially.

During these years, Kiko Argüello has developed for the Neocatechumenal Way a musical facet. Since he went to the shanty towns of Palomeras Altas with a bible and a guitar, he composed more than 300 songs which are compiled in the collection called “RESUCITÓ, songs for the neocatechumenal communites”. Many are presently sung in numerous parished around the world and others have been sung on many occasions in the presence of various Popes. For them, Kiko has devised musical accompaniments using a great number of instruments.

In 2010, Argüello forms the Symphony Orchestra of Neocatechumenal Way and composes the work “The Suffering of innocent ”, which describes through music the pain of the Virgin at the foot of the cross. After being performed in Israel before various authorities, 200 bishops, and the Hebrews, they were deeply impressed, and they recognized that they felt understood and loved by the Church in the face of the pain of the Shoah (the Holocaust). From then on, it serves as a bridge of dialogue between the Jewish people and the Catholic Church. From its composition, it has been performed in places like the Vatican – on an occasion before Benedict XVI–, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Madrid, Paris, Tokyo, New York, Chicago, Boston, Düsseldorf or Auschwitz, among others.

Kiko Argüello is also the author of two books: in 2012 published “The Kerigma: in the shantytown with the poor” and in 2016 “Annotations. 1988-2014 ”.