Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus Imperat

Christus vincit, regnat,  imperat.

Christus vincit, regnat, imperat.

Christus vincit, regnat, imperat: ab omni malo plemem suam defendat. (Christ conquers, He reigns, He commands; may He defend His people from all evil.)

Pope Sixtus V had these words engraved on the obelisk which stands in the centre of Saint Peter’s Square at Rome. These magnificent words are in the present tense, and not in the past, to indicate that Christ’s triumph is always actual, and that it is brought about in the Eucharist and by the Eucharist.

Meditation by St. Peter Julian Eymard: The Real Presence:

“CHRISTUS vincit. Christ conquers.

Our Lord has fought; He has won control of the field of battle, on which He has planted His flag and pitched His tent: the Sacred Host and the Eucharistic tabernacle. He conquered the Jew and his temple, and He has a tabernacle on Calvary where all the nations come to adore Him beneath the sacramental Species. He conquered paganism and has chosen Rome, the city of the Caesars, for His capital.

He conquered the false wisdom of the sages; the divine Eucharist rose on the world and shed its: rays over the whole earth, darkness withdrew like the shades of night at the coming of day. The idols have been knocked down and the sacrifices abolished. Jesus Eucharistic is a conqueror Who never halts but ever marches onward; He wants to subject the universe to His gentle sway.

Every time He takes possession of a country, He pitches therein His Eucharistic royal tent. The erection of a tabernacle is His official occupation of a country. In our own day He still goes out to uncivilised nations; and wherever the Eucharist is brought, the people are converted to Christianity. That is the secret of the triumph of our Catholic missionaries and of the failure of the Protestant preachers. In the latter case, man is battling alone, in the former, Jesus is battling, and He is sure to triumph.

CHRISTUS regnat. Christ reigns.

Jesus does not rule over earthly territories but over souls, and He does so through the Eucharist. A king must rule through his laws and through the love of his subjects for Him. The Eucharist is the law of the Christian: a law of charity and of love, which was promulgated in the Cenacle in the admirable discourse after the Supper: “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

This law is revealed in Communion; the eyes of the Christian are opened in Holy Communion as were those of the disciples of Emmaus, and he under­stands the fullness of the law. The “breaking of bread” is what made the first Christians so brave in the face of persecution and so faithful in practicing the law of Jesus Christ.

Christ’s law is one, holy, universal, and eternal. . It will never change or be impaired in any way; Jesus Christ Himself, its divine Author, is defend­ing it. He engraves it on our hearts through His love; the Legislator Himself promulgates His divine law to each of our souls. His is a law of love. How many kings rule by love? Jesus is about the only one Whose yoke is not imposed by force; His rule is gentleness itself. His true subjects are devoted to Him in life and death; they would rather die than be disloyal to Him.

CHRISTUS imperat. Christ commands.

No king has command over the whole universe; there are other kings equal to him in power. But God the Father has said to Jesus Christ: “I will give Thee all the nations for Thy inheritance.” And our Lord told His lieutenants when He sent them; throughout the world: “All power is given to Me in heaven and in earth. Go and teach ye all nations, teaching them to keep all that I have commanded you.”

He issued His commands from the Cenacle. The Eucharistic tabernacle, which is a prolongation or replica of the Cenacle, is the headquarters of the King of kings. All those who fight the good fight receive their orders from there. In the presence of Jesus Eucharistic all men are subjects, all must obey, from the Pope, the Vicar of Jesus Christ, down to the least of the faithful.

CHRISTUS ab omni malo plebem suam defendat.

May Christ defend His people from all evil.

The Eucharist is the divine lightning-rod that wards off the thunderbolts of divine justice. As a tender and devoted mother presses her child to her bosom, puts her arms around it, and shields it with her body to save it from the wrath of an angry father, so Jesus multiplies His presence everywhere, covers the world and envelops it with His merciful presence. Divine Justice does not know then where to strike; it dares not.

And what a protection against the devil! The blood of Jesus which purples our lips makes us a terror to Satan; we are sprinkled with the blood of the true Lamb, and the exterminating angel will not enter. The Eucharist protects the sinner until time for repentance is given him. Ah! Were it not for the Eucharist, for this per­petual Calvary, how often would not the wrath of God have come down upon us!

And how unhappy are the nations that no longer possess the Eucharist! What darkness! What a confusion in the minds! What a chill in the hearts! Satan alone rules supreme, and with him all the evil passions. As for us, the Eucharist delivers us from all evil. Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Chris us imperat; ab omni malo plebem suam defendat!”

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10 Responses to Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus Imperat

  1. Toadspittle says:

    Had to look up St. Peter Julian Eymard. (1811-68)
    Because…
    “He conquered the false wisdom of the sages; the divine Eucharist rose on the world and shed its: rays over the whole earth, darkness withdrew like the shades of night at the coming of day. The idols have been knocked down and the sacrifices abolished”
    …is simply not true, any more, (if it ever was) is it? Still plenty of idols and “false wisdom,” knocking about.
    And…
    “A king must rule through his laws and through the love of his subjects for Him. “
    Kings don’t rule anywhere, any more, do they? Monarchy is now at best tolerated as a sort of harmless joke, and source of absurd gossip.
    “No king has command over the whole universe; there are other kings equal to him in power.”
    Kings have no real power.
    The whole tenor of this piece is monarchistic and militaristic. Anachronistic.
    Perhaps that’s part of the Church’s problem with “image” these days?

  2. kathleen says:

    @ Toad

    It seems you have completely failed to comprehend what St. Peter Eymard is saying here.
    He is referring to the utterly amazing spread of Christianity in the aftermath of the Glorious Resurrection of Jesus. Against all odds, plus virulent persecution, the Church grew and grew, while continuing to bring the Real Presence of the Lord to its members (in the Holy Eucharist) to sustain and strengthen them. Those first witnesses let nothing deter them in following Our Lord Jesus Christ’s final command to the Apostles to “go and teach all nations” and win souls for Christ.
    There is no earthly explanation of how Christianity could have spread like that (through love, preaching and witness alone, i.e. not through the ‘sword’!) were it not for the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit that Our Blessed Lord had promised them.

    “Kings don’t rule anywhere, any more, do they?”

    Earthly kings may not, but Christ Our King – Lord of Lords, and King of all Creation – will reign forever and ever.
    Before the end of the world this will be seen over the whole Earth… though that will (probably) not come about for a very long time yet.

    Yet Christianity, undergoing such a hard time in western countries right now, is continuing to spread and grow in many other places, especially in Africa and Asia. It is reckoned that by 2030 China is prognosticated to be the largest Christian nation in the world!! Now, who would ever have thought that?!

  3. Toadspittle says:

    “It is reckoned that by 2030 China is prognosticated to be the largest Christian nation in the world!!”

    Well, that’s certainly the best bit of prognostication I’ve heard all day, Kathleen.
    Shame I won’t be around to savour the spectacle.

    What sort of Christian?
    Calvinist? Southern Baptist? Catholic? Quivering Brethren? Or possibly half-a-dozen of mixed – like Quality Street chockies?

    Perhaps they will reinstate The Emperor, too.

  4. Frere Rabit says:

    Heaven knows what they might do in China. Luckily, we know what they will do every year in Malaga. Just for you, Toad: here are the chaps from the Legion once again parading the Cristo de la Buena Muerte. Enjoy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94HFPRsl_N0

  5. Toadspittle says:

    Well, Spaniards might not know much about religion these days, but they do enjoy a good old ‘knees-up,” procession, and a bit of fun, do they not?
    Many thanks, Rabit.
    If Uncleissimo Francisco was still alive, he’d be goose-stepping with pride in his grave – it’s big enough, I gather.

    God knows what the Chinese are going to make of it all, though, as you indicate.
    Mind you, they are notoriously wily and inscrutable, so we’ll probably never know.
    Not ’til it’s too late, anyway.
    But the prospect of the little church of Santo Tomas, Moratinos – crammed to the rafters with beaming, radiant, yellow-faced worshippers – is a pleasing one, to be sure.

  6. kathleen says:

    Toad claims: “Well, Spaniards might not know much about religion these days…”

    Undeniably true Toad that there is an angry mob of FEMEN activists and ultra left-wing militants at work in Spain, doing their best to ‘bury’ religion. And Catholic religious instruction in schools (and homes?) has taken a turn for the worse in Spain too, as in much of the western world in the last approximately 50 years.
    But with the city of Granada coming to an almost standstill over Holy Week, with literally thousands taking part in the gruelling hours-long processions (and even more standing for hours to watch them pass by, singing salves and prayers), a multitudinous crowd participating in the outdoor Via Crucis in the small hours of Good Friday, and Churches packed to bursting for the celebration of the Easter Triduum… I might be tempted to question that statement of yours.
    (I was an eye-witness to all this!)

    Nice little video from Rabit. Surely preferable to an atheistic Communist parade, wouldn’t you say? 😉

  7. Toadspittle says:

    “Nice little video from Rabit. Surely preferable to an atheistic Communist parade, wouldn’t you say? ;-)”

    Vastly, incontestably, preferable, Kathleen.
    …And a great deal funnier as well. Which is the main thing, isn’t it?.

    (Big turn out for the pointy-heads in Sahagun, as well. Bars all packed. Hardly any Chinese, though. Odd, that.)

  8. Michael says:

    “The idols have been knocked down and the sacrifices abolished. Jesus Eucharistic is a conqueror Who never halts but ever marches onward; He wants to subject the universe to His gentle sway.”

    That is, quite genuinely, one of the most striking things I have ever read.

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