“Today is the feast of Christ the King and we are feasting today too,” Fr. Marc Vernoy began his sermon. “Because when it is the feast of the King, it is the feast of all his subjects as well.”
Following the High Mass, Father and hundreds of the faithful of St. Thomas More chapel in Sanford, FL made a procession with the Blessed Sacrament through the neighborhood on a beautiful Sunday morning.
Afterwards the parishioners celebrated their fifth and largest international festival on the chapel grounds. About 15 countries were presented at the various booths, which showcased many lively activities. Guests also come from the Sanford community and from neighboring parishes. Some attendees even drove from as far as an hour away or flew in from out of state.
During the day a series of parishioners took the stage to sing, play instruments, and dance. There was the customary festival hay ride, a silent auction, and many delicious dishes and drinks from the numerous countries. The most popular entertainment was a demonstration by a world-champion horse archer, who astonished and delighted the audience by shooting stationary and moving targets and performing trick shots at a gallop.
“I believe we all participate in the Kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ because He is in us,” Fr. Vernoy said.
He is above us also, and that is why we have this international festival – just showing that our Lord Jesus Christ is respecting His own creation according to all that He did, with all these nationalities, all these races, all these people coming from all around the world, but all united under His Kingship, His Faith, Hope and Charity. And we benefit with all these beautiful things: food, culture, music, shows. This is the best way to celebrate him. What we have here today is Catholic – it is joyful, and it is simple.
The feast of Christ the King is traditionally celebrated on the final Sunday in October. It was promulgated by Pope Pius XI on December 11th, 1925 in the encyclical Quas primas, in which the Holy Father wrote, “The empire of our Redeemer embraces all men…His empire includes not only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging to the Church, have been led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by schism, but also all those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ….all men, whether collectively or individually, are under the dominion of Christ. In him is the salvation of the individual, in him is the salvation of society…For a nation is happy when its citizens are happy. What else is a nation but a number of men living in concord?” Catholics and all men are reminded that we owe our primary allegiance to our Lord Jesus Christ, and not to any temporal power.
St. Thomas More Church & Priory
550 Riverview Avenue
Sanford, FL 32771