NOVENA TO CHRIST KING
in preparation for the Liturgical Feast
of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Written by Prince Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha, Archbishop of Krakow
With the Followers of Christ
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
It was fitting that we should have such a high priest: holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, higher than the heavens.
The priest always and in an unchangeable way, finds the source of his identity in Christ the Priest. It is not the world which determines his status, as though it depended on changing needs or ideas about social roles. The priest is marked with the seal of the Priesthood of Christ, in order to share in His function as the one Mediator and Redeemer.
So, because of this fundamental bond, there opens before the priest the immense field of the service of souls, for their salvation in Christ and in the Church. This service must be completely inspired by love of souls in imitation of Christ, who gives His life for them. It is God’s wish that all people should be saved and that none of the little ones should be lost. “The priest must always be ready to respond to the needs of souls,” said the Curé of Ars. “He is not for Himself, He is for you.”
The priest is for the laity: he animates them and supports them in the exercise of the common-priesthood of the baptised — so well illustrated by the Second Vatican Council — which consists in their making their fives a spiritual offering, in witnessing to the Christian spirit in the family, in taking charge of the temporal sphere and sharing in the evangelisation of their brethren. But the service of the priest belongs to another order.
He is ordained to act in the name of Christ the Head, to bring people into the new life made accessible by Christ, to dispense to them the mysteries . . . St Pope John Paul II, Letter to priests for Holy Thursday in 1986, 10
Prayer: God, King of heaven and earth! Jesus Christ hath established the sacred priesthood to enable spiritual sacrifice, for the greater honour and glory of Your Name and for the Redemption of all believers. We come to You with great reverence and humility and, learning to love like Jesus, Our Lord and King, we commend to You, O Lord, all those whom He loved until the end. O Christ, we implore You to behold Your chosen ones today in Your mercy. It is them who guide souls to Salvation; may You show Your love to them and grant them the light of the Holy Spirit. Fortify them by Your power,
support them through the fidelity of their congregations and protect them from all evil. You who lives and reigns world without end. Amen
Prayer to Jesus Christ King of the Universe
by Adam Stefan Cardinal Sapieha (1927)
O Jesus, Lord of our hearts and immortal King of centuries, we hereby solemnly swear to You to stand faithfully by Your throne and by You. We swear never to blemish Your standard with unbelief, sectarianism or any other apostasy. We vow to You to persevere in the holy Catholic faith until we die.
May our posterity engrave it on our tombstones that we were never embarrassed because of our faith in You, Jesus the King and Your Gospel. May You reign in our hearts through grace. May You reign in our families through family virtues. May You reign in our schools through genuine Catholic upbringing.
May You reign in our society through justice and concord. May You reign everywhere, always and forever. May Your standard be a guide for us all, may Your Kingdom extend to every corner of the earth! Amen
Let us pray: Almighty God, the powerful King of all creation, we humbly beseech You to send the hosts of angels for our protection so that we may serve You with devotion, with no hindrance and in peace. We beseech You through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen