The origins

Sir, I will follow you wherever you go.

“Follow” is an important verb of the gospel. Jesus uses it to call the disciples (Mt 4,19); testifies to the behavior of the crowds fascinated by his teaching and his miraculous gestures (Mt 8,1); spontaneity of those who, without realizing it, are attracted to the personality of the Master. But Jesus is not one to seek consensus and notoriety. So he does not hesitate to answer: “Foxes have their burrows and birds of heaven their nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Lc 9.58). Following Christ requires clear ideas, courage, a desire for radicalism and fullness. The millennial history of the Church records legions of men and women of this temper. They are called saints, although not all are officially declared such.

Follow me was born for the same ideal. It is centered on Christ, because its members are convinced that Peter, the Apostle on whom Jesus built the Church, is right to say that “in no other there is salvation” (At 4:12).

More than forty years ago, exactly on 19 March 1965, the day of the birth of the Follow Me Group, the first members wanted to make this decision in a highly significant place. They went to the catacombs of San Callisto in Rome, in the heart of the earth, where the Christian martyrs were buried, who had been faithful to the end of the given word and with blood each had said to Christ: “I will follow you wherever you go”. Just as He on the Cross was faithful to the Father to save the world from sin and death, so they felt that, even at the cost of death, Christ was the Lord of their lives and from his love no one could separate them. That day Follow Me drew up his life plan with these words, calling martyrs as witnesses: “Jesus Christ alive is at the center of Follow Me. On his person of yesterday, of today and always, present among us, and on his word that can not pass, not on the maximums of the world, we intend to build the Group as on a rock”.

Since then, day after day, despite the fragility of human nature, each one undertakes to repeat: “Lord, I will follow you wherever you go.”


Card. Agostino Vallini
Member of Follow Me