Newly ordained American priest, Canon Luke Zignego, returned to the Shrine of Christ the King (where he began his priestly formation) to offer a First Mass of Thanksgiving at the feet of the Holy Infant King on the anniversary of His Divine Ordination — the Feast of the Annunciation.

In the presence of family, friends and faithful, Canon Zignego reminded us in his sermon that the feast of the Annunciation commemorates the single most important day in history: the day God became man.  This day is the day of the Incarnation.  If we are the “Religion of the Incarnation”, then this is the day of our religion. This day, the Eternal Word was made flesh in the virginal womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  This day, the bridge between heaven and earth was rebuilt for us to cross.  This day, our Lord Jesus Christ was ordained the Eternal and Sovereign Priest to save us from our sins. 

Accompanied by the heavenly melodies of sacred polyphony and Gregorian chant, the Mass was offered for all the intentions of this month’s Novena to the Divine Infant King, the trademark devotion of the Institute in the United States.  Per our custom, Holy Mass was followed by the solemn conclusion to the Infant King Novena, the traditional blessing of children and the veneration of the relic of the Crèche.  The ceremonies then concluded with the first priestly blessings of Canon Zignego to the nearly one hundred men, women and children in assistance in the quaint St. Joseph’s Crypt Chapel, located in the priory next to the National Shrine of Christ the King now under construction.

All present then joined Canon Matthew Talarico, Provincial Superior of the Institute in the United States, in congratulating Canon Zignego and celebrating with his family the joy of His ordination.  One of the local faithful made a beautiful cake appropriately decorated with the Institute family’s coat of arms and the words, “Sacerdos in aeternum” – a priest forever. 

We thank God for your vocation, Canon Zignego, and we thank you for the innumerable graces you have offered us by your First Mass here at our US Headquarters.  May the Holy Infant Jesus reward you for all you do for His greater glory, and may He bless us all because of how much you have honored Him.