“Mondays with Mary” – Prayer to Our Lady, Queen of the Angels

Since Friday was the Feast of the Archangels – Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, and today is the memorial of the Guardian Angels, I thought I would provide you with a prayer to Our Lady under her title, Queen of the Angels. However, before I do this, I want to provide you three quotes from the encyclical, Ineffabilis Deus, the document written by Pope Blessed Pius IX declaring the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception dogmatic. In the document, the Holy Father says the following in regards to Mary’s Queenship and relationship to the Angels –

“Far above all the angels and all the saints so wondrously did God endow her with the abundance of all heavenly gifts poured from the treasury of his divinity that this mother, ever absolutely free of all stain of sin, all fair and perfect, would possess that fullness of holy innocence and sanctity than which, under God, one cannot even imagine anything greater, and which, outside of God, no mind can succeed in comprehending fully.”

“It is the clear and unanimous opinion of the Fathers that the most glorious Virgin, for whom “he who is mighty has done great things,” was resplendent with such an abundance of heavenly gifts, with such a fullness of grace and with such innocence, that she is an unspeakable miracle of God — indeed, the crown of all miracles and truly the Mother of God; that she approaches as near to God himself as is possible for a created being; and that she is above all men and angels in glory.”

“Bearing toward us a truly motherly affection and having in her care the work of our salvation, she is solicitous about the whole human race. And since she has been appointed by God to be the Queen of heaven and earth, and is exalted above all the choirs of angels and saints, and even stands at the right hand of her only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, she presents our petitions in a most efficacious manner.”

Since Mary is the Queen Mother to Jesus Christ, who is the fulfillment of the Davidic Kingdom (see 1 Kings 2), and since she is the Queen of Heaven and Earth, Mary, although still a human being, has dominion and reign over all the angels. They willingly and obediently serve Christ and Her. In union with Jesus Christ, and St. Michael, she crushes the head of Satan and the evil he and his fallen angels, the demons, who try to bring destruction to human souls. The prayer below states this perfectly –

August Queen of Heaven, 
sovereign queen of Angels,
you who at the beginning
received from God
the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan,
we beseech you humbly,
send your holy legions so that,
on your orders and by your power,
they will track down demons,
fight them everywhere,
curb their audacity and plunge them into the abyss.
Who can be compared to God?
Oh good and tender Mother,
you will always be our love and our hope.

Oh divine Mother,
send the Holy Angels and Archangels to defend me
and to keep the cruel enemy far from me.

Holy Angels and Archangels defend us,
protect us. Amen.

 Our Lady, Queen of the Angels…Pray for Us

“Mondays with Mary” – Our Lady Queen of May

Since today is the 1st of May, I wanted to briefly explain to you why May is the month of Mary. During the month of May, we celebrate the Queen Jewel of all human creatures, the most beautiful and purest flower of all – the Blessed Virgin Mary.

On April 30, 1965, Blessed Paul VI promulgated a document titled, Menso Maio (the Month of May). The encyclical on the “Occasion of the First May” is written about the importance of the month of May and how Mary through her intercession and throne brings mercy to all of God’s people in a magnitude of great abundance (remember: the mercy comes from God as she intercedes for us). I would suggest reading 1 Kings 2:19-21 to see where the Tradition of Mary as Queen began. I have also written on this topic many times in the past. You can read those articles here.

As the Queen of May, Mary is also celebrated in her most magnificent role – Queen of the Universe. With Jesus, she rules from her Heavenly throne always seeking to bring all of humanity closer to her Son. Although many reject Christ, she still longs for them to be close to Him. As a good mother watches over her children, so too, does Mary as Our Queen Mother watch over us.

Queen of Heaven – Diego Velázquez

Even though Catholic devotion and admiration (not worship and adoration – that’s meant for God and God alone) is rooted in her love, mercy, and tenderness for us, it is truly Mary’s holiness and purity that unites us to her and assists us in having a deeper devotion to Jesus through Her. She seeks us the Immaculate Conception and the Perpetual Virgin to protect us from all sin and Satan, for she did not know either. She is the fairest of all of God’s creatures and seeks for us to know that sacrificial love that unfolds in her.

As we celebrate this month dedicated to her, let us appreciate the Immaculate Conception, who is our Mother. She who is “full of grace,” can intercede and aid us in our own impurities, which in turn will help us grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Our Lady Queen of May…Pray for Us

“Mondays with Mary” – The Regina Caeli

During the Easter Season, which runs from Holy Saturday to the Sunday following Pentecost (Trinity Sunday), the Regina Caeli is one of the four seasonal antiphons that should be chanted or recited to the Blessed Virgin Mary after night prayer, also known as vespers or compline, in the Liturgy of the Hours. It is also the prayer that should be chanted or recited in place of the Angelus during the same season.

The authorship of the Regina Caeli is not fully known, although there are a couple different traditions that surround the prayer. Some believe that Pope St. Gregory the Great had a part in the composition of the prayer. In the late 6th century, a great plague hit the city of Rome. In order to combat this epidemic, St. Gregory the Great asked that a procession of prayer be organized. Beginning at the church of Ara Coeli (now the Basilica of Santa Maria in Ara coeli), the Holy Father, along with his clergy, began the prayerful procession through the streets of Rome, which would conclude at St. Peter’s Basilica. As he walked the streets, he carried what is said to be the traditional icon that was written by St. Luke the Evangelist of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Virgin_salus_populi_romani - St. Luke Icon

As Gregory approached St. Peter’s, he and his clergy walked by the Castle of Hadrian. It was there he heard the most beautiful angelic voices singing. The amazed Pope replied, “Ora pro nobis Deum. Alleluia!” Instantly an angel appeared and quickly wiped out the drastic disease that plagued Rome. To bring honor to this supernatural event, Pope St. Gregory the Great changed Hadrian’s Castle to the Castel of Sant’Angelo (Castle of the Holy Angel). The words were also written on the roof of the Church of Ara Coeli.

Some claim the writing of the Regina Caeli is given to Pope Gregory V, who is said to have written the prayer in the late 10th century, however there isn’t much evidence to support this claim. The stronger of the two traditions most definitely is with Pope St. Gregory the Great, who is attributed to writing part of the prayer. The actual prayer itself is believed to have been composed between the ninth and twelfth centuries. According to Franciscan heritages, it was being recited in the late twelfth century and early thirteenth century. It was later added to a variety of chant manuscripts.

In the year 1742, Pope Benedict XIV professed that the Regina Caeli was to be prayed in place of the Angelus during the Easter Season when the bells were rung.

It’s a beautiful and simple request to the Blessed Virgin as our Queen who can intercede and pray for us. Because Jesus Christ has risen, she is a rejoicing with joy. The Season of Lent has concluded and it’s time to sing with Our Lady, pray with her, and know that we now have been given life over death through the Resurrection.

English:

Queen of Heave, rejoice, alleluia.The Son whom you merited to bear, alleluia, has risen as he said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia! For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia!

Latin:

Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia, quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia, resurrexit sicut dixi, alleluia, ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

Sources:

“Marian Antiphons.” Marian Antiphons. University of Dayton, n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2015.

“Regina Caeli.” Regina Caeli. Treasury of Latin Prayers, n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2015.

Pope St. John Paul II on the Queenship of Mary

Beatification Pic of JP IIEveryone that has ever really taken the time to listen or read Pope St. John Paul II will know that his love for the Blessed Mother began in his youth, after the passing of his own mother. He put his trust in her as Advocate and never looked back. Pope St. John Paul II is on the cusp of being canonized a saint. Here is the Polish saint speaking about the Queenship of Mary from 1997 –

“Popular devotion invokes Mary as Queen. The Council, after recalling the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin in “‘body and soul into heavenly glory’”, explains that she was “exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords (cf. Rv 19:16) and conqueror of sin and death” (Lumen Gentium, n. 59).

In fact, starting from the fifth century, almost in the same period in which the Council of Ephesus proclaims her “Mother of God”, the title of Queen begins to be attributed to her. With this further recognition of her sublime dignity, the Christian people want to place her above all creatures, exalting her role and importance in the life of every person and of the whole world.

But already a fragment of a homily, attributed to Origen, contains this comment on the words Elizabeth spoke at the Visitation “It is I who should have come to visit you, because you are blessed above all women, you are the Mother of my Lord, you are my Lady” (Fragment, PG 13, 1902 D). The text passes spontaneously from the expression “the Mother of my Lord” to the title, “my Lady”, anticipating what St John Damascene was later to say, attributing to Mary the title of “Sovereign”: “When she became Mother of the Creator, she truly became queen of all creatures” (De fide orthodoxa, 4, 14, PG 94, 1157)…In looking at the analogy between Christ’s Ascension and Mary’s Assumption, we can conclude that Mary, in dependence on Christ, is the Queen who possesses and exercises over the universe a sovereignty granted to her by her Son.

The title of Queen does not of course replace that of Mother: her queenship remains a corollary of her particular maternal mission and simply expresses the power conferred on her to carry out that mission.

Queen Mother

Citing Pius IX’s Bull Ineffabilis Deus, the Supreme Pontiff highlights this maternal dimension of the Blessed Virgin’s queenship: “Having a motherly affection for us and being concerned for our salvation, she extends her care to the whole human race. Appointed by the Lord as Queen of heaven and earth, raised above all the choirs of angels and the whole celestial hierarchy of saints, sitting at the right hand of her only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, she obtains with great certainty what she asks with her motherly prayers; she obtains what she seeks and it cannot be denied her” (cf. AAS 46 [1954] 636-637).

Therefore Christians look with trust to Mary Queen and this not only does not diminish but indeed exalts their filial abandonment to her, who is mother in the order of grace.

Indeed, the concern Mary Queen has for mankind can be fully effective precisely by virtue of her glorious state which derives from the Assumption. St Germanus I of Constantinople, highlights this very well. He holds that this state guarantees Mary’s intimate relationship with her Son and enables her to intercede in our favour. Addressing Mary he says: Christ wanted “to have, so to speak, the closeness of your lips and your heart; thus he assents to all the desires you express to him, when you suffer for your children, with his divine power he does all that you ask of him” (Hom. 1 PG 98, 348).

One can conclude that the Assumption favours Mary’s full communion not only with Christ, but with each one of us: she is beside us, because her glorious state enables her to follow us in our daily earthly journey. As we read again in St Germanus: “You dwell spiritually with us and the greatness of your vigilance over us makes your communion of life with us stand out” (Hom. 1, PG 98, 344).

Thus far from creating distance between her and us, Mary’s glorious state brings about a continuous and caring closeness. She knows everything that happens in our life and supports us with maternal love in life’s trials.

Taken up into heavenly glory, Mary dedicates herself totally to the work of salvation in order to communicate to every living person the happiness granted to her. She is a Queen who gives all that she possesses, participating above all in the life and love of Christ.”

“Mondays with Mary” – ‘To the Most Blessed Virgin Mary’ by Saint Thomas Aquinas

“Mondays with Mary” today is dedicated to the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. Their example of holiness and love for teaching children is a true profession of what is to be a Bride of Christ in today’s world. They are my favorite religious order and I miss teaching with them! As Dominicans, they have love for one of their own  – Saint Thomas Aquinas.

Being that today, January 28, is the feast day of the great theologian and Doctor of the Church, Saint Thomas thomas-aquinasAquinas, I have found a prayer written by him ‘To the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.’ Like many of the saints before him, and after him, Saint Thomas Aquinas had a great love for the Holy Mother of God. As you read and pray through this prayer below, you will notice some of the theological doctrines that the Church has always taught about the Blessed Mother.

St. Thomas asks for Our Lady’s assistance, intercession, and advocacy. These are terms that are associated with the 5th Marian doctrine – Co-Redemptrix: Spiritual Motherhood, Mediation, and Advocate. In this role, Our Blessed Mother’s position is to intercede for all the faithful as the Queen Mother just as the Old Testament king’s mothers, their queens, would intercede for the people. Also in this prayer, the Angelic Doctor uses the phrase – “O Queen of Heaven.” Even though the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven was not declared solemnly dogmatic until 1950, the Church always taught that Mary assumed body and soul into heaven after her earthly life was complete. As the Queen of Heaven (and Earth), Mary intercedes for us to the new King – Jesus Christ.

To the Most Blessed Virgin Mary

O most blessed and sweet Virgin Mary, Mother of God, filled with all tenderness, Daughter of the most high King, Lady of the Angels, Mother of all the faithful,

On this day and all the days of my life, I entrust to your merciful heart my body and soul, all my acts, thoughts, choices, desires, words, deeds, my entire life and death,

So that, with you assistance, all may be ordered to the good according to the will of your beloved son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Be to me, my most holy Lady, a comforter and an ally against the stratagems and traps of the ancient enemy and of all those who harbor ill intentions against me.

From your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, request for me the grace to resist firmly the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil, an a constant resolve to sin no more and to persevere in your service and the service of your beloved Son.

My most holy Lady, I also beseech you to obtain for me true obedience and true humility of heart

So that I may recognize myself truly as a sinner – wretched and weak – and powerless, without the grace and help of my Creator and without your holy prayers, to do any kind of good work or even to resist the unrelenting assaults of evil.

Procure for me also, O my most sweet Lady, perpetual purity of mind and body, so that with a pure heart and chaste body I may be strengthened to serve you and your beloved Son through the Dominican Order.

From Him, obtain for me a spirit of poverty willingly accepted with patience and tranquility of mind, so that I will have the strength to sustain the labors of this Order and to work for my own salvation and that of my neighbors.

Obtain for me as well, O most sweet Lady, true charity with which from the depths of my heart – I may love your most holy Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and, after Him, love you above all other things, and love my neighbor in God and because of God.

Thereby may I rejoice in his goodness, sorrow over his evils, despise no one, never judge rashly, and never in my heart exalt myself over anyone.

Grant, O Queen of Heaven, that ever in my heart I may have fear and love alike for your most sweet Son; That I may give thanks for the many blessings bestowed upon me not for my merits but by His kindness;

And that I may ever make a pure and sincere confession and do true penance for my sins, in order that I might deserve to obtain His mercy and grace.

I pray also that, at the end of my life, you, Mother without compare, Gate of Heaven, and Advocate of sinners, will not allow me, your unworthy servant, to stray from the holy Catholic faith

But that you will protect me with your great piety and mercy, defend me from evil spirits, and obtain for me, through the blessed and glorious Passion of your Son and through your own intercession, received in hope, the forgiveness of all my sins.

When I die in your love and His love, may you direct me into the way of salvation and blessedness.

Amen

Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth…Pray For Us!