Solemnity of Christ the King, November 24

Christ the King. This week we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King.  It is one of the newest feasts for the universal Church, established by Pope Pius XI in 1925.  Its meaning for us as those who do not life in a monarchy can be enhanced if we go back at look at the circumstances under which Pope Pius XI created the feast.   

In 1925 the world had just ended seven years earlier the First World War.  It was a war unlike any that had been seen before.  There were days on the front lines of battle that saw over 100,000 casualties.  In the aftermath of the war, monarchies in Austria, Germany, Russia, and Turkey who had ruled for centuries were all ended.  It was a world that had forgotten God.  It was is this context that Pius XI wrote.   

Reading the encyclical establishing the Feast of Christ the King, the Pope could just as easily be talking to our own era.  I thought it might be useful to encourage you to read the document yourself.  There is an exegesis of the title of King as applied to the Messiah from the Old and New Testaments.  It also sets out the vision of the Pope if Catholic really lived out the sovereignty of Christ in all the aspects of their lives.  Therefore, below are the references for the encyclical of Pius XI establishing the Feast of Christ the King, as well as a document from the Congregation of Faith.  This second document, The Lord Jesus, takes up the same themes of Pope Pius and examines them in the light of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council. 

By going a little more deeply into the origins of this feast and its theology, I hope that it can become a deeper celebration for you and your families. 

MSGR Keeney