On November 24, the Feast of Christ the King, the Christendom College community together renewed their annual Act of Consecration to the Heart of Jesus; made a solemn Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; and consecrated themselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The Feast of Christ the King is the College’s patronal feast day, and according to College President Timothy T. O’Donnell, “we make this dedication and consecration each year on our feast day to show our allegiance to Christ the King and His most Blessed Mother.”
The Act of Consecration and dedication to the Sacred Heart was written and promulgated by Pope Leo XIII on May 25, 1899, in the encyclical Annum Sacrum (Holy Year). In fact, according to Pope Leo, the encyclical and the consecration constituted “the greatest act of [his] pontificate.”
In the Pope’s encyclical he had a famous passage which was quoted by both Pius XI and Pius XII in their own encyclicals on the Sacred Heart. Leo XIII connected Constantine’s vision on the eve of his decisive victory at the Milvan Bridge in October of 312, with the symbol of the Heart of Jesus. In his words:
“When the Church, in the days immediately succeeding her institution, was oppressed beneath the yoke of the Caesars, a young Emperor saw in the heavens a cross, which became at once the happy omen and cause of the glorious victory that soon followed. And now today, behold another blessed and heavenly token is offered to our sight–the most Sacred Heart of Jesus, with a cross rising from it and shining forth with dazzling splendor amidst flames of love. In that Sacred Heart all our hopes should be placed, and from it the salvation of all is to be confidently besought.”
What Pope Leo XIII began was brought to completion by Pope Pius XI twenty-five years later when in the encyclical Quas Primas of December 11, 1925, Pius established the feast of Christ the King and made it a feast of consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Pius XI decreed that a revision of Pope Leo’s Act of Consecration be used on the feast of Christ the King.
Additionally, Pius XI brought before the Catholic world, in his encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor of May 9, 1928, that other essential act of the spirituality of the Sacred Heart, namely, reparation.