The Queenship of Mary

The liturgical theme of the Memorial of the Queenship of Mary is that, “by honoring Mary our Queen, we honor Christ the King and obtain eternal life in the heavenly kingdom”.  Originally celebrated on May 31st, the Memorial was moved to August 22nd so that the Solemnity of the Assumption could have a natural prolongation, with its festive celebration being Mary’s Queenship and crowning one week later. 

The Queenship of Mary is a vast study unto itself, from tradition dating back to the 4th century, to the teaching of Pope Pius XII, to the teachings Post-Vatican II, to current liturgical/theological/pastoral understandings and to the wonderful recent studies showing how the Queenship of Mary was foreshadowed in the Old Testament by the role of Queen-Mother (the Gebirah).

One of the many and varied aspects of Mary’s Queenship that I read about in the Dictionary of Mary is that it is a Queenship of love and service:  “Mary’s Queenship is one of love and service not pomp and power….On earth Mary was always humble, the servant of the Lord.  She devoted herself totally to her Son and His work.  With Him and under Him she served the Mystery of the Redemption.  Assumed into heaven, she continues to manifest this love and service as a minister of piety by interceding with God for us so that all her children may attain salvation.”

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy; hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope!  To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.  To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.  Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us.  And after this our exile, show unto us the blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus, O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.


13 Responses

  1. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

  2. I was thinking of the same prayer as C.

  3. I just came back to see who said “Amen” (hi, O) and realized I hadn’t watched the (sweet) video. The guy with the fiddle looks just like my father, if one can picture my da with hair, but there are old photos which prove him handsome, once. It is unlikely that he ever fiddled a prayer for the Lord or His Mum, but it’s not impossible: my mother used to pray for him long before I ever offered a plea, perhaps woman to Woman.

  4. Amen, amen. It’s a lovely post, Gabrielle, and the line in Hail Holy Queen that touches many hearts is ‘this valley of tears’, an acknowledgement of our taking up the Cross and following her Son, just as His Mother did. But then we remember too she is our sweetness and our hope, our most gracious advocate.

  5. Canada and Ireland have both hosted great veneration of the Mother of God (and her earthly spouse) over the centuries, so there’s one difference between my country and both yours.. and I don’t know I don’t know how much of a difference there is between a subject of royalty speaking of Mary’s Queenship, and an American doing so, but I think that at best, non-royalty countries have a misunderstanding of a heavenly Queenship. It may well be that Americans turn off at the first word of “royalty.” Jesus, when He is still invoked here, is invoked as Saviour, not as King. Caesar is our nation’s king–or so it seems, most unfortunately. Anyway, I just want to say that the difference Mary makes to us and in us and on us can perhaps solely be as “Mother.”

    I think it is not so for other titles, but as Patroness of the Americas, she is reflected as Mother — Our Lady of Guadalupe — specifically, as Mother-to-be. That little black ribbon around her (as seen on the tilma given to Juan Diego) denotes Pregnancy to Juan’s people. On one hand, it is fairly ridiculous to say that America reverences mothers.. we’ve seen what we haven’t done with abortion.. but on the other, who can’t love their mothers? Very few. So, this is how Mary must be presented in America: Mother of all Peoples. Now, how are we to do that? 🙂 How to do that, so that we actually embrace it?

  6. “Mary’s Queenship is one of love and service not pomp and power….’
    I think this image of Mary is attractive in the sense that she can be welcomed as one we willingly invite to rule our hearts, to reign over us and protect us – a Queen who loves and cares for her ‘subjects’ and is untiring in her efforts to win our hearts for the sake of her Son.

  7. I hear you, Ann, but that view doesn’t even float serenely on our Pastoral council waters. Our country is founded initially –in voice, action, blood and text– upon anti-sovereign rule. You can see who serves as our only model for royalty that loves and serves humbly –isn’t pomp and power: Princess Di (and maybe one or both of her boys one day). In that role, a lot of people here still look to (whomever is) the First Lady. (I know–that’s spooky enough to make one sleep with the lights on! No viciousness intended, but even the pro-life Prez’ women have been pro-abortion.)

    I think whereas Mary as patroness of the Americas is Mother-to-be in Her very own icon, we will have to approach/embrace Her as our Mother-to-be. (I’ll be thinking on this.. I’m not looking for argument, it’s only that a realization about all this is hitting me.)

  8. Carol and Owen, I was just thinking how fitting it was for you to think of those lines, which are part of the Angelus – it becomes then in our hearts and minds like a Marian full circle, from the Annunciation to the Crowning. And Carol, re your Dad – “it’s not impossible” – certainly not, and I really believe that Mary will not forget even one loving glance towards her Son, nor Jesus towards His mother.

    Ann, thanks again for always sharing your uplifting thoughts. For some reason the line in Hail Holy Queen that has always caught me is “poor banished children of Eve”, which is rather forlorn, isn’t it, but then I think of Baptism and the gifts/fruits of the Holy Spirit, the Eucharist, grace…

    Carol, your point is a legitimate one, and one that is actually discussed in the “Dictionary of Mary” by the authors S. de Fiores and A. Buono. Ann’s response is certainly part of the explanation we need to hear (and hear more of), but there’s lots more, which I admit frankly that I was not the least bit familiar with, and perhaps it is the same with many Catholics (and the explanations would also be very helpful when talking with Protestants who desire to know more about why the Catholic Church believes what she believes about Mary’s Queenship, etc.)

    Maybe I could do a few posts about Mary’s Queenship to present some of the info that I, at least, was not aware of. Then in the Fall I’d like to return to Mary as Mediatrix of all Graces (which other than feastdays is where we left off before I got a tad busy at home), and then I’d like to go on to Mary’s other two titles in the Fifth Marian Dogma.

  9. Needless to say I’m not looking for an argument either. I think the first and most attractive image of Mary is that of Mother – no matter what our age and circumstance the natural appeal of that title endures.
    The next for me would be Mediatrix of all Graces, since Marian devotion is a grace in itself and proof if it were needed of Mary’s love for us as her individual children.
    Too many titles might confound and confuse those who are trying to found their devotion, but for those already in there, I’m sure there’s lots as you say Gabrielle, of interest. in the book.
    I love the titles in the Litany to the Blessed Virgin Mary, such as: – Mystical rose,
    Tower of David,
    Tower of ivory,
    House of gold,
    Ark of the covenant,
    Gate of Heaven,
    Morning star,
    Health of the sick,
    Refuge of sinners,
    Comforter of the afflicted,
    Help of Christians.

  10. Morning Star has always been one of my favourites, Ann; I have a holy card from when I was a little girl with a picture of Mary and the words Morning Star, and I used to stare at it for hours. I also love the “Mother” titles, especially Mother of Mercy. But back to the Queenship subject, I am just amazed at the amount of theology behind it, and that’s just one aspect of Mary! Before I started this blog I had absolutely no idea how vast the field of Mariology is. It’s not that I want to have more head knowledge per se, but I want to really know Mary. So I think I have my reading cut out for me for the rest of my life, but as I said to Our Lady the other night in prayer, I wouldn’t mind at all if she would just “infuse” me with what she wants me to understand, because there is no hope that I could ever retain all that I read.

  11. I know what you mean, Gabrielle. A lot of our knowledge may not necessarily come from books. Take the Irish as Carol mentioned – people with virtually no education long ago yet a deep love of Our Lady. There are many people who have mystical experiences of Mary – no other medium needed. And you can’t get more beautiful mother-to-child intimacy than that.

  12. 🙂

  13. One year later: I removed the link to the video, since the user had taken it down, and it wasn’t available for viewing/listening anymore. 😦 But I could sing, if there are any takers. 🙂

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