Hymn: Te saeculorum Principem
from Vespers for the Feast of Christ the King (Background Music)

Thee, Christ, we hail the nations' King;
Confess Thy right Thy realm to find
Within the hearts of all mankind.
The hate-swayed mob cries, pride-enticed,
They will not have Thy kingdom, Christ;

But we exultant round Thy throne
Thy reign o'er all creation own,
O Christ, our Prince, that bringest peace,
Let every rebel impulse cease,
And gather into Thy one fold
The wanderers whom Thy love doth hold,

For this Thine arms wide-stretched in plea
Hung bleeding on the atoning Tree;
For this the spear's revealing dart
Laid bare Thy love-enflamed Heart.
For this Thou dost Thy glory hide,
Outpouring from Thy pierced side

The riches of Thy love divine
Beneath the veils of bread and wine.
May realms and they that rule them vie
With solemn rites to raise thee high:
May laws and arts Thy servants be,
All life be sanctified for Thee.

Their kingly gear and royal state
Kings to their King shall consecrate;
Subjects their all before Thee lay
In service of Thy gentle sway,
Jesu, to Thee, beneath whose sway
All earth shall bow, all praise we pay;

With Father and with Spirit be
All glory Thine eternally. Amen


From the Encyclical Letter of Pope Pius XI
Quas Primas; December 11, 1925

Since the Holy Year has provided more than one opportunity to enhance the glory of the kingdom of Christ, we deem it to be in the highest degree in keeping with our Apostolic office to accede to the prayers of many Cardinals, Bishops, and faithful, made known to us both individually and collectively, by closing this very Year with the insertion into the ecclesiastical liturgy of a special feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King. It has long been a common custom to give to Christ the metaphorical title of King, because of the high degree of perfection whereby He excels and surpasses all created beings. For as it is the case, that He is said to reign "in the souls of men" not so much by reason of the keenness of His intellect and the extent of His knowledge, as that He Himself is the Truth; so it is from Him that truth must be drawn, and obediently received by all mankind. He reigns, likewise, "in the wills of men," since not only does the integrity and the obedience of the human will accord exactly and precisely with the holiness of the divine will in Him, but also by His grace and inspiration, He substitutes this for our free will, whereby we may be enkindled to every noblest deed. In a word, Christ is acknowledged as the "King of Hearts," on account of His "charity which surpasseth understanding," and of His mercy and kindness, which draw unto Him the souls of men. Never has it happened that anyone has been loved as much at any time as Christ Jesus is loved by so many different races, never will it happen in time to come that anyone shall be so loved. But, if we ponder this matter more deeply, we cannot but see, that the title and the power of a King is rightly claimed for Christ as man, in the strict and proper sense of the word. For, only in so far as He is man, can He be said to have received "the power and the glory and the kingdom" from the Father, seeing that the Word of God, which is of the same substance as the Father, cannot fail to have all things in common with the Father, and therefore has in itself the highest and most absolute dominion over all things created.

And the source from which this power and dignity of our Lord is established, Cyril of Alexandria fittingly indicates: "He possesses dominion, if I may use the word, over all creatures, a dominion not seized by violence, nor usurped from anyone, but His by essence and by nature." It is evident thas His dominion is gloriously manifested in that marvelous union, which is called hypo-static. From this it follows, not only that Christ is to be adored as God by Angels and by men, but that Angels and men are obedient and subject to His dominion as Man. Indeed, that even by the doctrine of the hypostatic union alone, Christ possesses power over all created things. And now, that we may explain in a few words the import and the nature of His headship, it is hardly necessary to say that it consists in a threefold power. If this power were lacking, the headship could scarcely be discerned. The testimonies deduced from and announced by the sacred Scriptures concerning the universal dominion of our Redeemer make that very thing more than clear enough. And it is an article of the Catholic faith, that Christ Jesus was given to mankind especially as a Redeemer for those who put their faith in Him, but at the same time as a lawgiver for those who obey Him. And not only do the gospels relate that He established laws, but they exhibit Him in the act of establishing laws: Truly, whosoever shall keep these commandments, are said by the divine Master, in other passages and in other words, to intend to demonstrate their love for Him, and to intend to remain in His love. Jesus himself announces the judiciary power assigned to him by the Father, when accused by the Jews of having broken the Sabbath day of rest by the miraculous cure of a sick man: "For neither doth the Father judge any man, but hath given all judgment to the Son." And therein it is included (because the case is inseparable from the judgment) that by His law He may confer rewards and punishments upon men still living. But, moreover, that power, which is called executive power, is to be attributed to Christ, seeing that it is necessary that all men obey His rule. Indeed, it is made clear to the refractory by the imposition of penalties, which no man can escape.

But, nevertheless, a kingdom of this nature, in a certain special manner, is both a spiritual one, and also pertains to spiritual things, as these words, which we have quoted above from the Bible, most distinctly indicate, and moreover as Christ the Lord confirms them by reason of His own actions. Inasmuch as, on more than one occasion, when the Jews, yea, when even the Apostles themselves, erroneously imagined that it was imminent that the Messias would set the people at liberty and would restore the Kingdom of Israel, He Himself both dispelled and destroyed the fond hope. Disclaiming the title of King from an encompassing multitude of admirers, He refused both the name and the honor by fleeing from them and by lying hid. In the presence of the Roman governor, He declared that His kingdom was "not of this world." It is such a kingdom, indeed, as is represented in the gospels, into which men prepare to enter by doing penance, but they cannot enter except by faith and by baptism, which, although it is an external rite, nevertheless denotes and produces an interior regeneration. It is opposed in a very special manner to the kingdom of Satan and to the powers of darkness. It demands from its followers not only that, with their souls detached from riches and from worldly affairs, they display mildness of character, and hunger and thirst after justice, but that they deny themselves, and take up their cross. But since Christ as Redeemer has both purchased the Church with His own blood, and as Priest offered His very self as a sacrifice for sin, and so offers Himself in perpetuity, is it not evident to all, that His kingly office assumes and participates in the nature of both one and the other office? On the other hand, one errs in a most unseemly manner, if one takes away from Christ as man all authority over any kind of civil affairs whatever, since He obtains from the Father such a highly absolute jurisdiction over created things, that all things are placed under His power. Therefore, by our apostolic authority, we appoint the feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King, annually, on the last Lord's day in the month of October, that is to say, on the Sunday which immediately precedes the feast of All Saints, to be observed everywhere in the world. Likewise we enjoin, that the dedication of the human race to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be annually renewed upon that selfsame day.


Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate in Thy presence. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but to be more surely united to Thee, behold, each one of us this day freely dedicates himself to Thy Most Sacred Heart. Many, indeed, have never known Thee; many, too, despising Thy precepts have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart. Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal sons who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house, lest they perish of wretchedness and hunger. Be Thou King of those whom heresy holds in error or discord keeps aloof; call them back to the harbor of truth and the unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one fold and one Shepherd.

Be Thou King of all those who even now sit in the shadow of idolatry or Islam, and refuse not Thou to bring them into the light of Thy kingdom. Look, finally. with eyes of pity upon the children of that race, which was for so long a time Thy chosen people: and let Thy Blood, which was once invoked upon them in vengeance, now descend upon them also in a cleansing flood of redemption and eternal life. Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; unto all nations give an ordered tranquillity; bring it to pass that from pole to pole the earth may resound with one cry: Praise to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to It be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

(Indulgence: 5 years, each time)


Hymn: Vexilla Christus

Now Christ unfurls, in triumph high,
His glorious banner to the sky:
Ye suppliant nations, kneel and praise
The King of kings with joyful lays.

He hath not won His kingdom here
By devastation, force, or fear;
But on the Cross uplifted high
By love alone draws all men nigh.

Now trebly blessed is the land
Obedient unto Christ's command,
Which urges laws that prove the worth
Of heavenly edicts here on earth!

No armed rebellion kindles there,
Peace strenthens union everywhere,
And concord smiles; upon all sides,
The civil order safe abides.

There married faith is kept secure;
There ripening youth is ever pure;
And modest households fourish, fair
With sweet and homely virtures, there.

Pour down that longed for light of Thine
Upon us all, dear King divine;
And let the conquered world adore
In shining peace forevermore.

All glory, Lord, to Thee, whose sway
The world's dominion doth obey;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen


To Christ the King

O Christ Jesus, I acknowledge Thee to be the king of the universe; all that hath been made is created for Thee. Exercise over me all Thy sovereign rights. I hereby renew the promises of my baptism, renouncing Satan and all his works and pomps, and I engage myself to lead henceforth a truly Christian life. And in an especial manner do I undertake to bring about the triumph of the rights of God and Thy Church, so far as in me lies. Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer Thee my poor actions to obtain the acknowledgment by every heart of Thy sacred kingly power. In such wise may the kingdom of Thy peace be firmly established throughout all the earth. Amen.


Prayer of Necessity
(Taken from the Raccolta 1910)

Jesus Christ, the King of Glory, hath come in peace.
God was made man.
The Word was made flesh.
Christ was born of Mary the Virgin.
Christ went through the midst of them in peace.
Christ was crucified.
Christ died.
Christ was buried.
Christ rose from the dead.
Christ ascended into heaven.
Christ is victorious
Christ reigns.
Christ is Lord of all.
May Christ defend us from all evil.
Jesus is with us.

(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father etc.)

Eternal Father, by the Blood of Jesus have mercy; sign us with the Blood of the Immaculate Lamb Jesus Christ, as Thou didst sign the people of Israel, in order to deliver them from death: and do thou, Mary, Mother of Mercy, pray to God and appease Him for us, and obtain for us the grace we ask. (Glory be to the Father ect.)

Eternal Father, by the Blood of Jesus have mercy; save us from the shipwreck of the world, as Thou didst save Noe from the universal deluge: and do thou, Mary, Ark of salvation, pray to God and appease Him for us, and obtain for us the grace we ask. (Glory be to the Father ect.)

Eternal Father, by the Blood of Jesus have mercy; deliver us from the plagues which we have deserved for our sins, as Thou didst deliver Lot from the flames of Sodom. And do thou, Mary, our Advocate, pray to God and appease Him for us, and obtain for us the grace we ask. (Glory be to the Father ect.)

Eternal Father, by the Blood of Jesus have mercy; comfort us under our present necessities and troubles, as Thou didst comfort Job, Anna and Tobias in their afflictions. And do thou, Mary, Comforter of the afflicted, pray to God and appease Him for us, and obtain for us the grace we ask. (Glory be to the Father ect.)

Eternal Father, by the Blood of Jesus have mercy; Thou who wouldst not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live, grant us through thy mercy time for penance; that, filled with contrition and penance for our sins, which are the cause of all our evils, we may live in the holy faith, hope, charity and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. And do thou, Mary, Refuge of sinners, pray to God and appease Him for us, and obtain for us the grace we ask. (Glory be to the Father ect.)

Precious Blood of Jesus, our Love, cry unto the Divine Father for mercy, pardon, grace and peace for us, for N., and for all the world. (Glory be to the Father ect.)

Mary, our Mother and our Hope, pray to God for us, for N., and for all, and obtain for us the grace we ask. (Glory be to the Father ect.)

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Blood of Jesus Christ in discharge of all my debt of sin, for the wants of Holy Church, and for the conversion of sinners. (Glory be to the Father ect.)

Mary Immaculate, Mother of God, pray to Jesus for us, for N., and for all. Jesus, Mary, mercy ! St Michael Archangel, St Joseph, SS. Peter and Paul, protectors of all the faithful in the Church of God, and all ye Angels and Saints of Paradise, men and women, pray to God, and by your intercession obtain grace and mercy for me, for N., and for all. Amen.

(Indulgence 100 days)


Antiphon: The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power and divinity and wisdom and strength and honor: to Him be glory and empire for ever and ever.

V. He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.
R. All kings shall adore Him, all nations shall serve Him.

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ the King, hear us.
Christ the King, graciously hear us.

Who didst receive crowns and tribute from the Magi,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord. *

Who rulest by love the Holy Family of Nazareth, *
Who, as King, served Thy people in the example of filial obedience, *
Who drawest to Thy realm the fishermen to be fishers of men, *
Whose Kingdom is not of the spirit of this world, *
Who art King not of the Jews alone but of all creation, *
Who wast mocked in false purple by the little rulers, *
Who wast crowned with piercing thorns, *
Who wast nailed to Thy throne on Golgotha, *
Who didst ransom Thy people by the royal Sacrifice of Calvary, *
Who didst purchase Thy Kingdom with the Blood of the Atonement, *
Who in Thy Resurrection wert the First-born from the dead, *
Who in Thy glorified body art risen triumphant, *
Who art throned and crowned at the right hand of Thy Father, *
In Whom are all created things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, *
Beneath Whom are all thrones and dominations, *
Beneath Whom are all principalities and powers, *
By Whom all things consist, *
To Whom all the nations of the earth are subject, *
Through Whom all things are reconciled unto Thy Father, *
V. His power shall be an everlasting power,
R. And His Kingdom a kingdom that shall not be destroyed.

That the peoples of this world may know themselves subject to Thee,
We beseech Thee, hear us. **

That they may put off their vainglory, **
That they may dispel the evils laicism has brought upon society, **
That they may hearken to Thy fiat, **
That they may bow their heads before Thee, **
That they may know Thy reign is eternal, **
That they may submit to Thy just and gentle rule, **
That they may recognize Thy Vicar on earth, **
That they may freely accept his rule for Thy sake, **
That they may know that Thy Church, being Thee Thyself, cannot die as nations die, **
That the Gentiles may be restored to mercy, **
That to Christ the King all things may be restored, **
That in the Prince of Peace true peace may by all be found, **

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Spare us, O Christ our King.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Hear us, O Christ our King.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Have mercy on us.

V. His power shall be an everlasting power, which shall not be taken away:
R. And His Kingdom that shall not decay. Alleluia.

Let us pray:

O Almighty, everlasting God, Who in Thy beloved Son, King of the whole world, hast willed to restore all things anew: grant in Thy mercy that all the families of nations, rent asunder by the wound of sin, may be subjected to His most gentle rule. Who with Thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.


Homily of St. Agustine on Christ the King

What a stupendous thing it was for the King of the ages to become King of men! For Christ did not become King of Israel to exact tribute, to equip armies with swords, not subdue visible foes. He became King of Israel that He might rule over men's souls, counsel them about eternity, that He might lead to the kingdom of heaven those who would believe in Him, hope in Him, and love Him. Accordingly it was not to increase His power--it was condescension on His part that made Him, the Son of God, co-equal with the Father, the Word by Whom all things were made--wish to become King of Israel. It was an indication of His mercy; it did not augment his power. He Who on earth was called King of the Jews, in heaven is called Lord of the Angels. But is Christ King of the Jews only, and not King of the Gentiles, too. When in prophecy He said, "But I have established my kingdom upon Sion, My holy mountain. I will make known the decree of the Lord," He added immediately so that the mention of Mount Sion might not lead men to believe He had been anointed King of the Jews solely: The Lord has said to me: Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of me and I will give thee the Gentiles for Thy inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Thy possessions.

Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My followers would have fought that I might not be delivered to the Jews. But as it is, My kingdom is not from here. This is what the good Master wished us to know. First we had to learn how vain was the notion of his kingdom should be hostile either to the Romans or to the Jews. When the Roman governor asked Jesus Art thou king of the Jews, the Lord could have answered: My kingdom is not of this world. But Christ asked in his turn, "Dost thou say this of thyself, or have others told thee of me?" because he wished to show from Pilate's answer that He, Jesus, had been charged with this as a crime before Pilate by the Jews. Thus he laid bare to us the thoughts of men which He knew and which were vain. After the reply of Pilate Jesus replied to them, to both Jews and Gentiles, more fittingly and more opportunely, My kingdom is not of this world.

(Roman Breviary)

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