The Not So Ancient Festival of Christ the King

How ancient does something have to be to be a tradition? Christ the King Sunday is one of my favorite festivals of the Christian year. Its vision of Christ’s reign, both now and in the age to come, can bring me to tears. How strange it was to find that it is not an ancient observance.

Pope Pius XI instituted the feast of Christ the King in 1925, at least in part to thumb his nose at Mussolini, who assumed dictatorial powers that year. The pope wanted to remind Christians that Christ is king over all the kings of this world. The Christian’s first allegiance is to God and his kingdom, not to any ruler or nation on earth. The kings of the earth, are in fact, subject to Christ.

And now, as Paul Harvey would say, you know the rest of the story.