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QUEEN OF HEAVEN AND EARTH

Father Francis's picture
Queenship of Our Lady

Pope Pius XII established this feast in 1954 but it has roots in Scripture. At the Annunciation the archangel Gabriel declared that Mary’s Son would receive the throne of David and rule forever. At the Visitation her cousin Elizabeth calls Mary “mother of my Lord.” As in all the mysteries of Mary’s life, she is closely associated with Jesus: her queenship is a share in His kingship. We can also recall that in the Old Testament the mother of the king has great influence in court.

In the fourth century St. Ephrem (June 9) called Mary “Lady” and “Queen” and later, Church fathers and doctors continued to use the title. Hymns from the 11th to 13th centuries address Mary as queen, “Hail, Holy Queen,” “Hail, Queen of Heaven” and “Queen of Heaven.” The Dominican rosary and the Franciscan crown as well as numerous invocations in Mary’s litany celebrate her queenship.

The feast is a logical follow-up to the Assumption and is now celebrated on the octave day of that feast. In his 1954 encyclical ‘To the Queen of Heaven’ Pius XII points out that Mary deserves the title because she is Mother of God, because she is closely associated as the New Eve with Jesus’ redemptive work, because of her preeminent perfection and because of her intercessory power.

As Saint Paul suggests in Romans 8:28–30, God has predestined human beings from all eternity to share the image of His Son. All the more was Mary predestined to be the mother of Jesus. As He was to be king of all creation she, in dependence on Jesus, was to be queen. All other titles to queenship derive from this eternal intention of God. As Jesus exercised His kingship on Earth by serving His Father and His fellow human beings, so did Mary exercise her queenship. As the glorified Jesus remains with us as our King till the end of time (Matthew 28:20), so does Mary, who was assumed into heaven and crowned queen of Heaven and Earth.

In the Vatican II document of the Constitution of the Church 69 we read, “Let the entire body of the faithful pour forth persevering prayer to the Mother of God and Mother of men and women. Let them implore that she who aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers may now, exalted as she is in heaven above all the saints and angels, intercede with her Son in the fellowship of all the saints. May she do so until all the peoples of the human family, whether they are honoured with the name of Christian or whether they still do not know their Saviour, are happily gathered together in peace and harmony into the one People of God, for the glory of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity.”

What Christ has done in Heaven and the Church has done on our behalf we should now do individually, that is, we should recognize Mary's Queenship, enthrone her in our homes, consecrate ourselves to her and, by this means, establish in our lives the reign of Mary Immaculate Queen of the Universe.

Saint Bernard, who had a tender love for our Blessed Lady and wrote the beautiful prayer the Memorare, also wrote this prayer, “In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart. And that you may more surely obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps. With her for guide, you shall never go astray; while invoking her, you shall never lose heart; so long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception; while she holds your hand, you cannot fall; under her protection you have nothing to fear; if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary; if she shows you favour, you shall reach the goal.”

In the Traditional Calendar August 22 is the Feast of The Immaculate Heart of Mary, and in the New Calendar it is called the Queenship of Mary. October 11 is the Feast of the Divine Maternity in both Calendars, with the Queenship of Mary in the Traditional.

On 11 October 1954 Pope Pius XII established the Feast of the Queenship of Mary to be celebrated throughout the world, and commanded that on that day each year the world should renew its consecration to her. Since then it has come to be celebrated on August 22. "The purpose of the Feast is that all may recognize more clearly and venerate more devoutly the merciful and motherly sovereignty of her who bore God in her womb"
(Ven. Pius XII, Ad. Coeli Reginam).

So today let us acknowledge our allegiance to our Blessed Lady, our Queen and Mother. Holy Spirit, Spouse of Mary, teach us to love her as our Queen and Mother. Thank you Mary for all you do for us.