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Why do we celebrate the Queenship of Mary?

Catholics celebrate the Queenship of Mary because her Divine Son is King. Pope Pius XII, having declared the dogma of the Assumption, that “the Immaculate Mother of God . . . was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory,” then established the feast of her Queenship. He set the date for the octave (8th day) after the Solemnity of the Assumption, that is, August 22nd each year.

In his encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam, the Pope proclaimed,

We are instituting a feast so that all may recognize more clearly and venerate more devoutly the merciful and maternal sway of the Mother of God. We are convinced that this feast will help to preserve, strengthen and prolong that peace among nations which daily is almost destroyed by recurring crises. Is she not a rainbow in the clouds reaching towards God, the pledge of a covenant of peace?


Is Mary the “Queen of Heaven”?

If Christ were not King, Mary would not be Queen, as all her prerogatives and titles depend upon her being the Mother of the Son of God made Man for our salvation. Christ succeeded on earth to the throne of King David. However, unlike David, Christ’s kingdom is not an earthly one, but a spiritual and eternal kingdom of truth, righteousness, and peace (Jn 16:36-37, Heb 7:2, Rev 19:6). In that Kingdom Mary sits as Queen, as queen mothers (gebirah) did in ancient Israel before her (1 Kings 2: 13-21). Their office often determined who would be king, how the kingdom would be ruled, and how the kingly favors would be given (cf. Jer. 13:18). Mary’s queenly and maternal reign is in the spiritual realm, however. Her raiment is charity and virtue surpassing all other creatures, and her favors are the graces of her Divine Son to be given to her spiritual children in accordance with His will. In his 1954 encyclical on Mary’s Queenship, Ad Caeli Reginam, Pope Pius XII wrote, From the earliest ages of the Catholic church a Christian people, whether in time of triumph or more especially in time of crisis, has addressed prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven. And never has that hope wavered which they placed in the Mother of the Divine King, Jesus Christ; nor has that faith ever failed by which we are taught that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, reigns with a mother's solicitude over the entire world, just as she is crowned in heavenly blessedness with the glory of a Queen.

Is the Queen of Heaven in Scripture?

In Revelation 12, Mary is described as both Queen and Mother, representing both herself, as Mother of the Redeemer, and the Church, in her continuing battle against the Evil One. Rev. 12:1-6 And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery. And another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which to be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. Rev. 13-17 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had borne the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with the flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river which the dragon had poured from his mouth. Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus.

“And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars…” - Revelation 12:1

When did Mary become Queen of Heaven?

Mary became Queen at the time she was assumed into Heaven. It was then that she received the full reward prepared for her, being made perfect by the glorification not only of her soul, but also of her body. This was fitting for she who gave the Redeemer his bodily nature, and it anticipates the perfection of the general resurrection for all who do God’s will in this life.

Does God have a Queen or a Wife?

The Church’s language assumes certain revealed truths about the nature of God and the nature of the Incarnation. Mary is the Mother of God because she is the mother of a Person who is God. In a similar sense, she is God’s Queen, because she is the Queen Mother of God, Jesus Christ. Does this mean that God has a wife? No, that would reduce the relationship to the carnal. Rather, the relationship is a profound spiritual union, that of charity. The Apostle John in Rev. 21, like the author of Canticle of Canticles, and the mystics writing about union with God, use marriage imagery to describe what is an otherwise indescribable spiritual communion.

Who is the Queen of Angels?

Mary, as Queen of Heaven, is the Queen of the Angels, as she is Queen of all categories of the good and the holy. Thus, the Litany of Loreto adds to Queen of the Angels, Queen of Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, Virgins, All Saints, Families and Peace.

What happened at the Coronation of Mary?

While the Church is clear that Mary is Queen, the details of her coronation has been left to artists down through the centuries. They have used royal imagery known to peoples throughout history and used in Scripture itself to describe what are ultimately spiritual mysteries.

What are the 12 stars around Mary’s head?

In Revelation chapter 12, the “woman clothed with the sun” has a crown of twelve stars. Catholic scholars have understood that this referred to both the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles. These, in turn, represent the people of both the Old and the New Covenant, of whom Mary is their Queen. She is Queen of Israel as Mother of Israel’s King, and Queen of the Church, as Mother of the King who is Savior, and thereby of all the redeemed. Pope Benedict XVI said, … upon the head of the woman clothed with the sun there is "a crown of twelve stars." This sign symbolizes the 12 tribes of Israel and means that the Virgin Mary is at the centre of the People of God, of the entire communion of saints. And thus this image of the crown of 12 stars ushers us into the second great interpretation of the heavenly portent of the "woman clothed with the sun": as well as representing Our Lady, this sign personifies the Church, the Christian community of all time. She is with child, in the sense that she is carrying Christ in her womb and must give birth to him in the world. This is the travail of the pilgrim Church on earth which, amidst the consolations of God and the persecution of the world, must bring Jesus to men and women. In no way does the Hail Mary suggest that we should worship Mary or that she can do anything without God’s permission or aid. The fact that we ask for her prayers means that Mary needs to ask God to help us. She is not a goddess to be worshipped; she is a mother to be loved.