The Gospel without miracles

Kiko Argüello, who has been painting icons in the tradition of the Eastern Church for almost five decades, does not seem to have ever included even one of Christ’s miracles in his work.  With the discovery of a trove of his secret catechisms in Italy, we now know why.

I recently posted a piece about the recent discovery in the 6th volume of Kiko’s secret catechism in which he teaches that prayers for healing, or indeed for the removal of any cross, are a “perversion of religion”.  If fact, in Kiko’s retelling of the healing of the epileptic boy in Matthew 17, Jesus calls the boy’s father an “idiot” for asking for healing for his son, and refers to him and men like him as adulterers and perverts.

The Christian understands perfectly and does not use religion so that God takes away the cross, as do the people with Christ. “Cure my son, who is epileptic,” and Jesus Christ says, “O perverse and adulterous generation, how long will I have to bear you?”  How?  God gave you an epileptic son and you call me because God my Father has done very evil things..

“But look,” Jesus Christ says, “look idiot [literally: “cretin”].  look at that other family you have close to you. The neighbor has no epileptic son, and is he happy? Is happy? She is not happy at all! He has other problems.”  And that: “And to me that I care about others.  I only have this problem: I can not bear to see my son that when he comes the disease is thrown into the fire.

Yes, I understand, I am an egoist. Do it for me, do it for me! I do not want to know anything anymore. “O perverse and adulterous generation!  And in fact he will do very few miracles, he did not come here to perform cures.  Healings do not serve anything. But there are people so perverse who think that the only thing that is valid in the world is to do these cures, the only valid thing. Page 118

According to Kiko, if you ask Jesus for healing, or help in a difficult situation, you are challenging God to give you a sign, like the Pharisees,

Here is the response, from a member of the Neocatechumenal Way upon being confronted with this teaching,  translated by Facebook from the original Italian:

Screenshot from 2017-05-23 21-19-1722

“All the Catholic saints say that whoever asks for healing has a weak faith.  Look how the saints loved suffering…” Miram Abelardo

Which saints, Miriam?

While many saints did encourage Christians to offer up unbidden suffering for their own sanctification and for the good of the souls in Purgatory, many of those same saints were also given the Holy Spirit’s gift of healing (see I Corinthians 12:8-11), and indeed, all of them were canonized by the Church after two or more confirmed healing miracles attributed to their intercession!

Moreover, our Lord taught us how to pray about the crosses we bear as he was about to bear his:

 “Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” Luke 22:42

The early Christian communities certainly prayed for healing too, as St. James tells us:

Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;  James 5:14 

While Kiko’s stated inspiration for his art is the sacred iconography of the Eastern Church, none of his art seems to include any of the miracles of the Gospels!  None, even though the miracles of the Gospels are well represented in liturgical art of the Eastern Church!

I checked everywhere for examples of Kiko’s work that would prove me wrong.  Here, here, here, and here, for example.  And here, here, and here.  

On the other hand, it was very easy to find examples of the miracles of Christ in Eastern icons.

Christ Healing the Many
Christ Healing the Many, Mark 1:34, 14th Century, Mt. Athos.


Christ healing the bleeding woman. Matthew 9:18-26, c. 1700, Museum of Russian Icons.



37 Miracles of Jesus are mentioned in the Gospels.  
# Miracle Matthew Mark Luke John
1 Jesus Turns Water into Wine 2:1-11
2 Jesus Heals an Official’s Son 4:43-54
3 Jesus Drives Out an Evil Spirit 1:21-27 4:31-36
4 Jesus Heals Peter’s Mother-in-Law 8:14-15 1:29-31 4:38-39
5 Jesus Heals Many Sick at Evening 8:16-17 1:32-34 4:40-41
6 First Miraculous Catch of Fish 5:1-11
7 Jesus Cleanses a Man With Leprosy 8:1-4 1:40-45 5:12-14
8 Jesus Heals a Centurion‘s Servant 8:5-13 7:1-10
9 Jesus Heals a Paralytic 9:1-8 2:1-12 5:17-26
10 Jesus Heals a Man’s Withered Hand 12:9-14 3:1-6 6:6-11
11 Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son in Nain 7:11-17
12 Jesus Calms a Storm 8:23-27 4:35-41 8:22-25
13 Jesus Casts Demons into a Herd of Pigs 8:28-33 5:1-20 8:26-39
14 Jesus Heals a Woman in the Crowd 9:20-22 5:25-34 8:42-48
15 Jesus Raises Jairus’ Daughter to Life 9:18,






16 Jesus Heals Two Blind Men 9:27-31
17 Jesus Heals a Man Unable to Speak 9:32-34
18 Jesus Heals an Invalid at Bethesda 5:1-15
19 Jesus Feeds 5,000 14:13-21 6:30-44 9:10-17 6:1-15
20 Jesus Walks on Water 14:22-33 6:45-52 6:16-21
21 Jesus Heals Many Sick in Gennesaret 14:34-36 6:53-56
22 Jesus Heals a Gentile Woman’s Demon-Possessed Daughter 15:21-28 7:24-30
23 Jesus Heals a Deaf and Dumb Man 7:31-37
24 Jesus Feeds 4,000 15:32-39 8:1-13
25 Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida 8:22-26
26 Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind 9:1-12
27 Jesus Heals a Boy with a Demon 17:14-20 9:14-29 9:37-43
28 Miraculous Temple Tax in a Fish’s Mouth 17:24-27
29 Jesus Heals a Blind, Mute Demoniac 12:22-23 11:14-23
30 Jesus Heals a Crippled Woman 13:10-17
31 Jesus Heals a Man With Dropsy on the Sabbath 14:1-6
32 Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers 17:11-19
33 Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead 11:1-45
34 Jesus Restores Sight to Bartimaeus 20:29-34 10:46-52 18:35-43
35 Jesus Withers the Fig Tree 21:18:22 11:12-14
36 Jesus Heals a Servant’s Severed Ear 22:50-51
37 Second Miraculous Catch of Fish 21:4-11


Page 118 of the 1982 edition of the sixth volume of Kiko’s secret catechism, “Traditio Symboli”: