With the memorial of the Queenship of Mary being celebrated by the Latin lung of the Catholic Church this Friday, I found it fitting to provide a blog post on Mary’s role as Queen Mother. Like the Assumption of Mary, Her role as Queen Mother, Advocate, and Mediatrix are themes I have written about before on this blog in the weekly series, “Mondays with Mary” over the past two and a half years.
This except on the Mary as the Queen of Mercy comes from the text, The Glories of Mary, written by St. Alphonsus Ligouri. This is the third week in a row I have drawn from this fantastic text written by the Doctor of the Church. As we prepare to celebrate the Queenship of Mary on Friday, I hope that you will enjoy this post and to use as part of your prayer this week –
“The Church honors the Virgin Mary with the glorious title of Queen because she has been elevated to the dignity of Mother of the King of kings. If the Son is King, says Saint Athanasius, His Mother must necessarily be considered Queen. From the moment that Mary consented to become the Mother of the Eternal Word, she merited the title of Queen of the World and of all creatures. If the flesh of Mary, says Saint Arnold, was the flesh of Jesus, how can the Mother be separated from the Son in His Kingdom? It thus follows that the Regal Glory must not only be considered as common to the Mother and the Son, but must even be the same.
Mary, then, is Queen, but let all learn for their consolation that she is a mild and merciful Queen, desiring the good of all sinners. Therefore, the Church salutes her in prayer and names her the Queen of Mercy. The very name of Queen signifies, as Albert the Great remarks, compassion and provision for the poor; differing in this from the title of empress, which signifies severity and rigor. The greatness of kings and queens consists in comforting the wretched so that, whereas tyrants have only their own advantage in view, kings should be concerned with the good of their subjects. Therefore, at the consecration of kings, their heads are anointed with oil, which is the symbol of mercy, to denote that in ruling they should always show kindness and good-will toward their subjects.
Kings, then, should principally occupy themselves with works of mercy, but they should not neglect the exercise of justice toward the guilty when it is required. But Mary is not a queen of justice, intent on the punishment of the guilty, but rather a Queen of Mercy, intent only on compassion and pardon for sinners. Accordingly, the Church calls her Queen of Mercy. “These two things which I heard: that power belongs to God, and yours, O Lord, is kindness” (Psalm 62:12-13). The Lord has divided the kingdom of God into two parts, Justice and Mercy. He has reserved the kingdom of justice for Himself, and He has granted the kingdom of mercy to Mary. Saint Thomas confirms this when he says that the holy Virgin, when she consented to be the Mother of the Redeemer, obtained half (1⁄2) of the kingdom of God by becoming Queen of Mercy, while Jesus remained King of Justice…
…Is there anyone who does not know the power of Mary’s prayers with God? Every prayer of hers is like a law that mercy shall be given to those for whom she intercedes. Saint Bernard asks why the Church names Mary, Queen of Mercy. It is because we believe that she obtains the mercy of God for all who seek it, so that not even the greatest sinner is lost if Mary protects him.
But some might think that Mary hesitates in pleading on behalf of some sinners, because she finds them so sinful. Should the majesty and sanctity of this great Queen alarm us? No, says Saint Gregory, in proportion to her greatness and holiness are her clemency and mercy toward sinners who wish to repent, and have recourse to her. Kings and queens inspire terror by the display of their majesty, and their subjects are afraid to go before them. But what fear, says Saint Bernard, can sinners have of going to this Queen of Mercy, since she never shows herself austere to those who seek her, but is always gentle and kind.”
Let us pray: O Mary, Queen of Mercy and our Advocating Mother, be our intercessor and lead us to your Son and Our Savior, Jesus Christ. As Mediatrix of All Graces, we ask you to shed upon the great and infinite mercy that Jesus gave to us on the cross perpetually. Mary, Queen of Mercy…Pray for us.