Feast of Christ the King
This feast celebrated on the last Sunday before Advent, was instituted universally by Pope Pius XI in 1925 with his encyclical Quas Primas where he stated, “manifold evils in the world were due to the fact that the majority of men had thrust Jesus Christ and his holy law out of their lives; that these had no place either in private affairs or in politics: and … that as long as individuals and states refused to submit to the rule of our Savior, there would be no really hopeful prospect of a lasting peace among nations.”
Just as the Feast of Corpus Christi was instituted when devotion to the Eucharist was at a low point, the Feast of Christ the King was instituted during a time when respect for Christ and the Church was diminishing, secularism was on the rise, dictators ruled Russia, Spain and Italy and Hitler published his manifesto Mein Kampf that would soon seduce the rest of Europe.
Today, these dictators may have vanished, but others have taken their place and the world’s problems seem to have only worsened. The Feast of Christ the King reminds us that the only sure way to peace is to build our lives on the secure and solid foundation of Our Lord Jesus Christ King of Kings and ask him to reign over our hearts, minds and deeds.
“The Kingdom of Christ is not of this world, but it brings to fulfillment all the good that, thank God, exists in man and in history. If we put love for our neighbor into practice in accordance with the Gospel message, we make room for God's dominion and his Kingdom is actualized among us. If, instead, each one thinks only of his or her own interests, the world can only go to ruin.” (Pope Benedict XVI, November 23, 2008, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King)
Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King
Iesu dulcissime, Redemptor
Iesu dulcissime, Redemptor
Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before you. We are yours, and yours we wish to be; but to be more surely united with you, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to your Most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known you; many, too, despising your precepts, have rejected you. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to your Sacred Heart. Be King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken you, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned you; grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger. Be King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and the unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd. Grant, O Lord, to your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give tranquility of order to all nations; make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor for ever. Amen.