Monday, August 22, 2011

Mary is Queen!

"Today He transports from her earthly dwelling, as Queen of the human race, His ever-Virgin Mother, from whose womb He, the living God, took on human form."

St. Andrew of Crete

At the Annunciation, the Archangel Gabriel was the first to herald Mary's royal office as Queen when he announced that her Son “...will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of this kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:33)

Pope Benedict XVI beautiful explains that “The Virgin Mary was associated in a very special way with Christ’s kingship. God asked her, a humble young woman of Nazareth, to become Mother of the Messiah and Mary responded to this request with her whole self, joining her unconditional ‘yes’ to that of her Son, Jesus, and making herself obedient with him even in his sacrifice. This is why God exalted her above every other creature and Christ crowned her Queen of Heaven and earth.” (Angelus Message – Nov. 2006)

Theologians of the Church have called Mary the Queen of all creatures, the Queen of the world, and the Ruler of all. In reference to Mary's Queenship, St. Germanus wrote eloquently of the Virgin Mary, "Be enthroned, Lady, for it is fitting that you should sit in an exalted place since you are a Queen and glorious above all kings." St. John Damascene exclaimed,  "When she became Mother of the Creator, she truly became Queen of every creature." In the book The Glories of Mary, St. Alphonsus Ligouri writes, "Because the virgin Mary was raised to such a lofty dignity as to be the mother of the King of kings, it is deservedly and by every right that the Church has honored her with the title of 'Queen'."

The fifth glorious mystery of the rosary is devoted to the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. After Mary's Assumption, she was solemnly crowned by her Divine Son and received by the heavenly court as Queen. This divine mystery of the ruling power of Mary, has been called the mystical crown of the heavenly Queen.

Pope Pius XII established the feast of the Queenship of Mary during the close of the 1954 Marian Year. In the Pope's encyclical letter, AD CAELI REGINAM, Pius XII instituted the feast of the Queenship to be celebrated throughout the world on May 31st. (In 1969 it was transferred to August 22nd to coincide with the feast of the Assumption.) The Pope stated that the purpose of this Feast was “... that all may recognize more clearly and venerate more devoutly the merciful and maternal sway of the Mother of God.” (Ad Caeli Reginam 51)
The Holy Father assuredly hoped that this feast would help bring about peace among nations through the intercession of the Queen of Heaven. “Is she not a rainbow in the clouds reaching towards God, the pledge of a covenant of peace?[Cf. Gen. IX, 13.] "Look upon the rainbow, and bless Him that made it; surely it is beautiful in its brightness. It encompasses the heaven about with the circle of its glory, the hands of the Most High have displayed it."[Eccl. XLIII, 12-13] Whoever, therefore, reverences the Queen of heaven and earth - and let no one consider himself exempt from this tribute of a grateful and loving soul - let him invoke the most effective of Queens, the Mediatrix of peace; let him respect and preserve peace, which is not wickedness unpunished nor freedom without restraint, but a well-ordered harmony under the rule of the will of God; to its safeguarding and growth the gentle urgings and commands of the Virgin Mary impel us. “ (Ad Caeli Reginam 51)

On this beautiful feast we are encouraged to recognize Mary's Queenship by enthroning her in our homes, consecrating ourselves to her, and asking her to reign in our hearts.

Let all, therefore, try to approach with greater trust the throne of grace and mercy of our Queen and Mother, and beg for strength in adversity, light in darkness, consolation in sorrow; above all let them strive to free themselves from the slavery of sin and offer an unceasing homage, filled with filial loyalty, to their Queenly Mother.” (Ad Caeli Reginam 48)

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