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Long Live Christ the King!

23 Nov

Bl. Miguel Pro at his martyrdom

This past Sunday we began the last week of the liturgical year with the Solemnity of Christ the King. Pope Pius XI initiated this feast day in 1925, at a time of growing secularism, which led to a loss of respect for the Christ’s sovereignty in our lives and in our world. I think the same concern applies to contemporary debates regarding the role of faith in political life, as the U.S. Bishops beef up their defense of our religious liberty.

I especially like this quote from Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Quas Primas, which introduced the new feast:

“Nations will be reminded by the annual celebration of this feast [of Christ the King] that not only private individuals but also rulers and princes are bound to give public honor and obedience to Christ. It will call to their minds the thought of the last judgment, wherein Christ, who has been cast out of public life, despised, neglected, and ignored, will most severely avenge these insults; for his kingly dignity demands that the State should take account of the commandments of God and of Christian principles, both in making laws and in administering justice, and also in providing for the young a sound moral education.”

As one of today’s saints–Bl. Miguel Pro–said at the moment of his remarkable martyrdom, “Viva Cristo Rey!”  Long live Christ the King!