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The Feast of Christ the King by Maria Von Trapp / Hallowtide

From Around the Year with the Trapp Family by Maria Von Trapp

There is one more feast of Our Lord which comes late in the year, on the last Sunday of October–the feast of Christ the King.

According to the Church calendar, this seems like a recent feast instituted only in 1925. But one glance at the Gospel of the day shows us that it actually goes back to the first Good Friday when Pilate said to Jesus, “Art Thou the King of the Jews?” and Jesus answered, “Thou sayest it.”

This carries us many hundreds of years back into the Old Testament, when God’s chosen people were living in a theocracy, ruled by judges, God speaking to them through the mouths of His prophets.

Then one day the Jewish people wanted “to be as the others”; they saw all the neighboring peoples ruled by kings, and so they went to their prophet Samuel and asked him: “Give us a king to judge us as all other nations have.”

Reluctantly Samuel told the Lord what the people demanded of him, and God pled with his unruly people. “Tell them,” He said, “what will befall them if I give them a king. He will take their sons and make them his soldiers. He will take their men to work his fields. He will take their daughters to be his cooks and bakers. He will take their best fields and vineyards and olive orchards. Moreover, he will take a tenth from all they grow and also from their flocks.”

But all His pleading availed Him little. The people stubbornly repeated, “Nay: but there shall be a king over us. We want to be like other nations and our king shall judge us and go out before us and fight our battles for us!”

Finally the Lord said to Samuel, “Hearken to their voice and make them a king.”

And then it happened as God had foretold it. The kings throughout the ages took their men and women, their young men and maidens, their best fields and meadows and a tenth of all they grew and of all their flocks, and many a time the people cried to the Lord to take away a bad king, but the Lord would not hearken any more.

As if now in our time God had opened His ear once more to the pleading of His people, he presents His Son to us as Christ the King, Whose Kingdom is not of this world, Who is above and beyond all human politics, but Who is eager to be our King so that we may be His people.

The forerunner of our modern feast of Christ the King is the age-old feast of the Epiphany, when the three Magi fall down prostrate and adore the King, bringing among their gifts gold to give Him.

On the feast of Christ the King, our table decoration might relate to the character of the day. Together with the little ones, the mother could make a golden crown either of cardboard or of gold foil, as centerpiece of the table.

“Have courage, women and Catholic girls, under the banner of Christ King and under the patronage of the Queen of Mothers, work for the restoration of home, family and society.”  ~Pope Pius XII
For most people, Halloween is just a fun (or sinister) secular holiday that stands on its own. But it actually used to be an important part of a short liturgical season focused on death, Allhallowtide… Read more here.

Poland does not celebrate Halloween, but Poland sets its cemeteries ‘on fire’ and – believe me – those cemeteries are the most beautiful places to be at the beginning of November.
1st November- All Saints’ Day and 2nd November – All Souls’ Day are days when almost everyone visits graves of their family members. The gravestones are decorated with colorful chrysanthemums in full bloom (in Poland those flowers are associated with this particular occasion) and millions of grave candles (zniczy), which symbolize the presence of God and reminds of the prayer that has been said in a moment of reflexion for those who passed before us.
This Christian celebration of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day roots in a belief that there is a powerful spiritual bond between those in heaven and the living.
Those days are national holidays in Poland. This special time of the year creates a very melancholic atmosphere full of spiritual contemplation about those who are not with us in this world anymore.
If you are planning a trip anywhere in Poland at the beginning of November – make sure to have a look at how beautiful and full of light are Polish cemeteries.

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A book of your favorite litanies….

Chosen by God for the incomparable vocation of spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and foster father of Our Lord Jesus Christ; St. Joseph received magnificent divine graces and favors not granted even to the Old Testament Patriarchs. Known as the most humble of men; St. Joseph received from Almighty God the authority to command both Our Lady and the Son of God Himself; and in Heaven he continues to have great intercessory power with God.
The Divine Favors Granted to St. Joseph shows how this greatest of the Patriarchs is the patron of all Christians and how wonderfully he answers prayers; plus; it gives many of the ways of honoring him and many prayers to request his intercession. One of the finest books on St. Joseph; it will surely inspire the reader with a profound devotion to this great “Patron of the Universal Church.” Impr. 176 pgs;

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