May 31: Queenship of Mary
Mary is Queen by grace, divine relationship, right of conquest, and singular election. Coming as a crowning event in the beautiful month of May, the Queenship of Mary, we welcome this feast with spiritual affection and experience a sense of deep interior peace as we gather in her presence to rededicate ourselves to our loving Mother and Queen. The Introit of the Mass for the day tells us: “Let us all rejoice in the Lord as we celebrate the feast in honor of our Queen, the Blessed Virgin Mary, upon whom the Angels rejoice and praise the Son of God.”
The Queenship of Mary is not an empty title or an honorary distinction showing forth her excellence of virtue, of grandeur, sanctity or glory. Mary is truly a Queen as can be seen in the Gospel of the Mass; the Angel Gabriel greeted Mary with the most startling words ever addressed to a child of Adam: “Hail thou who art full of grace: the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.” Then he continues, “Do not be afraid; thou hast found favor in the sight of God. And thou shalt bear a son and call Him Jesus. He shall be great and men will know Him for the Son of God, the Most High; the Lord will give Him the throne of his father David, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob eternally; His kingdom shall never end.” Here is the foundation for our belief in the Queenship of Mary – her Divine Motherhood; she conceived a King.
Mary is “Queen by grace” because she was conceived immaculate, preserved from the slightest taint of sin while her soul was literally inundated with divine grace. “Hail, thou art full of grace.”
She is “Queen by divine relationship” for she is related in the first degree of consanguinity in the direct line to Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. A Queen Mother is one whose son later becomes king. Mary’s Child, however at the moment of His birth, was already a King, the King of the world. Spiritual writers point out for our consolation that Mary’s maternal relationship to Jesus was more exclusive than the other mothers, since He had no human father.
Our Lady is Queen also “by right of conquest;” Our Lord by His Passion and Death recaptured the human race from the slavery of Satan, conquering all as a King. Calvary was the scene of this conquest. Mary at the foot of the Cross shared intimately with Him in His Sacrifice and the fruits of the Redemption.
At first it may be somewhat difficult to picture Mary as a Queen, since we think in terms of royalty of the world; yet when we think of the souls who preceded us in the household of the Faith, and glance at Christian art, as it sings of her Queenship, it is not a problem at all.
Majestically, Christ said to Pilate, “My Kingdom is not of this world,” so, too, Our Lady acknowledges herself in humility as a Queen whom all generations call blessed; but she, too, would add, “my kingdom is not of this world.” In the Litany of Our Lady, we address her as Queen of Angels, Patriarchs, Prophets, Martyrs, Confessors, Virgins; of Peace, of the Most Holy Rosary; conceived without original sin; and, Queen assumed into Heaven. Christian art represents her crowned with a diadem holding a scepter, seated on a throne.
The purpose of this feast, Queenship of Mary, is to stir up renewed love and devotion to her; to gather before her throne in heaven, and humbly offer her our homage, unreserved, totally, prayerfully and with the simplicity of abandonment that characterizes a devoted child – “Reign over hearts and minds of men that they seek what is true; over their wills, to follow solely the good; over their hearts to love nothing but what you love…that man may seek and know the truth and follow what is good, Oh Queen!”
*from The Woman in Orbit, roman-catholic-saints.com, Marian Calendar
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