Queenship of Mary

…the three Divine Persons placed on the august head of the most holy Virgin a crown of glory, which far exceeded any that ever has or ever shall be awarded to a creature. At the same instant a voice came from the throne, saying: “Our friend and Our chosen one among all other creatures, Our kingdom belongs to thee. Thou art the Sovereign, the Queen and the Mistress of the Seraphim, the Angels Our ministers, and of the entire creation. Guard then, command and reign happily over them. In Our supreme consistory we give thee empire, majesty and dominion, because although filled with grace above all creatures, thou hast humbled thyself in thy mind, and hast always placed thyself in the last place.

[Venerable Mary of Agreda, The Divine Life of the Most Holy Virgin]

Artwork: The Coronation of the Virgin, Ridolfo Ghirlandaio (1483-1561)

Memorial of the Queenship of Mary

Queenship of Mary

Sing, Sing, Ye Angel Bands

Sing, sing, ye Angel Bands,
All beautiful and bright;
For higher still and higher,
Thru fields of starry light,
Mary, your Queen, Ascends, Ascends,
Like the sweet moon at night.

Oh happy angels! look,
How beautiful she is!
See! Jesus bears her up,
Her hand is locked in His;
Oh, who can tell the height, the height,
Of that fair Mother’s bliss?

And shall I lose thee then,
Lose my sweet right to thee,
Ah no – the angels’ Queen
Man’s Mother still will be,
And thou upon thy throne
Wilt keep thy love for me.

On – through the countless stars
Proceeds the bright array,
And Love Divine comes forth
To light her on her way
Through the short gloom of night
Into celestial day.

Hark! hark! through highest heaven
What sounds of mystic mirth,
Mary by God proclaimed
Queen of Immaculate Birth,
And diademed with stars
The lowliest of the earth.

See, see, the Eternal Hands
Put on her radiant crown,
And the sweet Majesty
Of Mercy sitteth down
For ever and for ever
On her predestined throne.

[Rev. F.W. Faber] Traditional
Taken from the St. Basil’s Hymnal, 1953

Our Lady, Queen of Apostles

Queen of the Apostles

The Virgin Mary with the Apostles and Other Saints” (1423-4), Fra Angelico

Excerpt from: “The Divine Life of the Most Holy Virgin”, by Ven. Mary of Agreda, pgs. 220-221:

Holy Exercises in the Supper-Room Before Pentecost:

She [Mary] assembled them together twice a day in the Supper-room, and being commanded by St. John or St. Peter to speak, explained to them for one hour the mysteries of faith, as if she were conversing with them, rather than teaching them as their Mistress and Queen. She explained the mysteries of the Hypostatic Union and all those contained in the ineffable and divine Incarnation. After this she bade them entertain themselves for one hour longer on the counsels, promises and doctrines they had learned from their Divine Master; to consecrate another part of the day to the recital of the Pater Noster, with some psalms; and to employ the rest of the time in mental prayer. In the evening they took some slight nourishment of bread, fruits and fish; thus by prayer and fasting they prepared for the coming of the Holy Spirit. She incited them to mental prayer, teaching them its excellence and necessity, because the noblest occupation of the reasonable creature is to raise his mind above created things to meditate on the divine, and that nothing should be preferred to this holy exercise.

By these holy lessons, the Mother of Wisdom and the Mistress of Charity enlightened the minds and inflamed the hearts of the Apostles and disciples, filling them with fervor and disposing them to receive the precious gifts of the Paraclete…

Note: The feastday of Our Lady, Queen of Apostles, is a moveable feast, because it is connected with the dates of Easter and the Ascension, which are also moveable feasts. The feastday of Our Lady, Queen of Apostles, is celebrated on the Saturday after the Ascension, but this can lead to some confusion now. Officially, the Ascension occurred forty days after Easter Sunday, so it always falls on a Thursday, therefore the Saturday immediately afterwards we would celebrate this feastday of Our Lady; but with more and more areas celebrating the Ascension on the Sunday before Pentecost, the description of this feastday as being “the Saturday after the Ascension” might lead many to believe (as it did I) that it fell on the eve of Pentecost. In Canada and most of the United States the Ascension is celebrated on the Sunday before Pentecost; there are only six ecclesiastical provinces in the U.S. that continue to celebrate the Ascension on Thursday. So all this to say, perhaps the easiest way for us to remember this feastday of Our Lady is to say it is forty-two days after Easter Sunday!!!

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.

The August Month of Mary

“August” – definition:  Marked by majestic dignity or grandeur.

How very appropriate then, that the whole month of August is devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and that within this month we will also celebrate two great feastdays, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary as well as the Queenship of Mary.

A prayer dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

Mary, temple of God,
your Heart is the masterpiece of the Holy Trinity.
The Eternal Father unfolded His omnipotence
in order to form in you
a Heart full of sweetness and obedience to your Creator.
The Divine Son gave you a mother’s Heart,
in which He wished to dwell
as in a sanctuary.
The Holy Spirit gave you
the Heart of a bride,
all burning with a love pure and ardent.

Your Heart is truly a mirror of all the virtues,
a vivid image and faithful copy
of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Keep me always in the love of your Heart,
that I may love you more
and be led to love Jesus
with my whole heart.

[From:  Favorite Prayers to Our Lady, collected by Anthony M. Buono, pg. 153]