The Queenship of Mary: 7 Blog Posts on the Marian Feast

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is one of the many Marian feasts of the Catholic Church, and a topic, just like the Assumption, I have written about quite often on here. Below you will find links to the 7 blog posts on the Queenship of Mary, some that come from my weekly series – “Mondays with Mary.” 

Queen of Heaven – Diego Velázquez

I hope you enjoy them, learn from them, and share them with others. They are listed from the most recent to the first one I wrote in August 2012.

1.“Mondays with Mary – 7 Quotes on the Queenship of Mary by Blessed Pope Pius XII

2. “Mondays with Mary” – The Queen of Mercy

3.  Blessed John Paul II (now Pope St. JP 2) on the Queenship of Mary

4. The Queenship of Mary: Advocate, Co-Redemptrix, and Mediatrix

5. “Mondays with Mary” – If Jesus Christ is the King; then is Mary the Queen?

6. “Mondays with Mary” – The Queenship of Mary

7. “Mondays with Mary”: John the Apostle, Mother I Beseech You

O Theotokos and Advocating Queen Mother…Pray for All Christians and All of Humanity.

“Mondays with Mary – 7 Quotes on the Queenship of Mary by Blessed Pope Pius XII

Since today, August 22, is the Memorial of the Queenship of Mary, a topic that I have written on many times, which you can read here; I thought I would add another blog post to this already extensive subject, which is often misunderstood by many non-Catholics. One of the questions often asked is – how is Mary a Queen? But if we believe that Christ is the King, then it makes perfect sense, as it did in the Old Testament and was completed in the New, that Mary would be and is the Queen.

If you are seeking an answer for what I have stated above, feel free to read any of the previous blog posts on the topic. However, for today’s post on the Queenship of Mary, I want to share with you 7 quotes from the encyclical, Ad Caeli Reginam (On the Proclamation of the Queenship of Mary), written by Blessed Pope Pius XII and promulgated on October 11, 1954 –

1. “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.”

2. “In this matter We do not wish to propose a new truth to be believed by Christians, since the title and the arguments on which Mary’s queenly dignity is based have already been clearly set forth…From early times Christians have believed, and not without reason, that she of whom was born the Son of the Most High received privileges of grace above all other beings created by God…And when Christians reflected upon the intimate connection that obtains between a mother and a son, they readily acknowledged the supreme royal dignity of the Mother of God.”

3. “The theologians of the Church, deriving their teaching from these [the Early Church Fathers] and almost innumerable other testimonies handed down long ago, have called the most Blessed Virgin the Queen of all creatures, the Queen of the world, and the Ruler of all…The Supreme Shepherds of the Church have considered it their duty to promote by eulogy and exhortation the devotion of the Christian people to the heavenly Mother and Queen.”

Queen of Heaven - Diego Velázquez

Queen of Heaven – Diego Velázquez

4. “But the Blessed Virgin Mary should be called Queen, not only because of her Divine Motherhood, but also because God has willed her to have an exceptional role in the work of our eternal salvation. “What more joyful, what sweeter thought can we have” – as Our Predecessor of happy memory, Pius XI wrote – “than that Christ is our King not only by natural right, but also by an acquired right: that which He won by the redemption?…”

5. “Now, in the accomplishing of this work of redemption, the Blessed Virgin Mary was most closely associated with Christ; and so it is fitting to sing in the sacred liturgy: ‘Near the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ there stood, sorrowful, the Blessed Mary, Queen of Heaven and Queen of the World.’ Hence, as the devout disciple of St. Anselm (Eadmer, ed.) wrote in the Middle Ages: ‘just as . . . God, by making all through His power, is Father and Lord of all, so the blessed Mary, by repairing all through her merits, is Mother and Queen of all; for God is the Lord of all things, because by His command He establishes each of them in its own nature, and Mary is the Queen of all things, because she restores each to its original dignity through the grace which she merited.’”

6. “Since we are convinced, after long and serious reflection, that great good will accrue to the Church if this solidly established truth shines forth more clearly to all, like a luminous lamp raised aloft, by Our Apostolic authority We decree and establish the feast of Mary’s Queenship, which is to be celebrated every year in the whole world on the 31st of May [in the traditional calendar]. We likewise ordain that on the same day the consecration of the human race to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary be renewed, cherishing the hope that through such consecration a new era may begin, joyous in Christian peace and in the triumph of religion.”

7. “In some countries of the world there are people who are unjustly persecuted for professing their Christian faith and who are deprived of their divine and human rights to freedom; up till now reasonable demands and repeated protests have availed nothing to remove these evils. May the powerful Queen of creation, whose radiant glance banishes storms and tempests and brings back cloudless skies, look upon these her innocent and tormented children with eyes of mercy; may the Virgin, who is able to subdue violence beneath her foot, grant to them that they may soon enjoy the rightful freedom to practice their religion openly, so that, while serving the cause of the Gospel, they may also contribute to the strength and progress of nations by their harmonious cooperation, by the practice of extraordinary virtues which are a glowing example in the midst of bitter trials.”

Each of these quotes are powerful in their own right, but reading this seventh one makes me realize that much hasn’t changed in the nearly sixty-two years when it comes to religious freedom in the world, a topic the Second Vatican Council would take up ten years later. In the United States, we most certainly need something to combat our own religious freedom issues, and I believe that’s Our Lady of America. If you haven’t read my posts on her yet, I would encourage you to do so.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth…Pray for Us

“Mondays with Mary” – The Blessed Virgin Mary in Lumen Gentium, Part II

Today we pick up right we where left off in Part I and continue to discuss the Blessed Virgin Mary in Chapter 8 of the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium. For today’s post, we will focus our attention on paragraphs 58-64.

#58: Although the term, Co-Redemptrix or Co-Redemption are not used in this document, it does mean that the Council Fathers do not teach it – they do. However, because of the ecumenical nature of the Council, the Council Fathers chose not to use the term, but when you read this paragraph carefully, you clearly see Mary’s role as Co-Redemptrix is here.

Within this paragraph, we see three elements of Calvary. First, the Council Father’s say that Mary endured with her only begotten son the intensity of his suffering. She endured the pain of the crucifixion. Second, Mary associated herself with his sacrifice in her mother’s heart – one sacrifice from two hearts. Finally, lovingly she consented of the annulation, destruction of the victim being offered, of this victim born of her. She not only tolerated the crucifixion, but also consented to it – “enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, associated herself with his sacrifice in her mother’s heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim which was born of her.”

It was this paragraph that became the foundation for Pope St. John Paul II’s encyclical on Mary in the life of the Pilgrim Church, Redemptoris Mater. John Paul II says that Mary’s consent to this sacrifice is not only a “spiritual crucifixion” for her, but it’s also her second “fiat” – the second sorrowful fiat of Mary. As she consented at the Annunciation to the Mother of the Redeemer, so too here she consents during his ultimate sacrifice on the cross.

#59: Drawing from Pope Pius IX’s Papal Bull, Ineffabilis, and Pope Pius XII’s Apostolic Constitution, Munificentissiumus Deus, and his Encyclical, Ad coeli Reginam, the Council Father’s state,

“Finally the Immaculate Virgin preserved free from all stain of original sin, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, when her earthly life was over, and 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. Apoc 19:16) and conquer of sin and death.”

Queen Mother

This paragraph speaks of how the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a clear sign that she was Immaculately Conceived in the womb of her mother, St. Anne. In the Kingdom of God, Mary’s role would then be the Queen Mother. She is Queen over all things – here on Earth and in Heaven.

#60: Drawing from St. Paul’s First Letter to Timothy, the Council Father’s explain a point that is often brought up against Mary as being a mediator – “for there is but one God and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a redemption for all (2:5-6).

So how does Mary’s mediation work in relation to St. Paul’s words? First, Mary’s mediation does not compete or obscure the mediation of Jesus Christ. Second, our Lady’s mediation is not an inner necessity. God does not have to use a woman, but He does since it is His will (Gen 3:15). Third, the mediation of Mary is dependent on the one mediation of Christ and fosters union with Christ and the faithful.

#61: Here we see the combination of Our Lady as Co-Redemption, which in turn leads to Mediation. This role is a supernatural role. She is a mother to us in the order of grace – she is Co-Redemptrix and then Mediatrix. It does not make any sense that she would distribute grace, unless she herself first acquired it. In her Immaculate Conception, she receives grace. In her role as Mediator, the term that is often used, and it’s the most ancient title for Mary is Advocate. St. Irenaeus of Lyons was the first to use this term.

#62: This paragraph continues to focus on the role of mediator. Mary’s saving office on earth is always subordinate to that of Christ. This saving office in Heaven, where she intercedes for the gifts of eternal life, is still given to her. Through her intercession, we receive protection and sanctification. Although some disagree that these titles should have been added to this paragraph, we see the titles of: Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix. In the original schema (the working document), the only term was Mediatrix of all Grace. Some at the Council objected to this term, however, the Council Fathers insisted that this term was included.

#63 & 64: These paragraphs are transitional paragraphs where we see the Blessed Virgin and Mother as the “type” of the Church. It was St. Ambrose of Milan who first defined Mary as a “type” of the Church. Everything that is true of Mary will apply to the Church in its own degree. The terms, virgin and mother, are two examples of the Church. As a mother, The Church gives birth to the sacraments. As a virgin, the Church is entirety and pure – she is pledged to her spouse, Jesus Christ. The Church is both Mother and Bride – “The Church indeed contemplating her hidden sanctity, imitating her charity and faithfully fulfilling the Father’s will, by receiving the word of God in faith becomes herself a mother” (#64).

Next week, we will conclude with Part III and examine paragraphs 65-69.

The Queenship of Mary: 6 Blog Posts on the Marian Feast

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is one of the many Marian feasts of the Catholic Church, and a topic, just like the Assumption, I have written about quite often on here. Below you will find links to the 6 blog posts on the Queenship of Mary, some that come from my weekly series – “Mondays with Mary.”

I hope you enjoy them, learn from them, and share them with others. They are listed from the most recent to the first one I wrote in August 2012.

1. “Mondays with Mary” – The Queen of Mercy

2. Blessed John Paul II (now Pope St. JP 2) on the Queenship of Mary

3.  The Queenship of Mary: Advocate, Co-Redemptrix, and Mediatrix  

4. “Mondays with Mary” – If Jesus Christ is the King; then is Mary the Queen?

5. “Mondays with Mary” – The Queenship of Mary

6.  “Mondays with Mary”: John the Apostle, Mother I Beseech You

O Theotokos and Advocating Queen Mother…Pray for All Christians and All of Humanity.

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” – If Jesus Christ is the King; then is Mary the Queen?

Yesterday in the Catholic Church, we ended the liturgical year by celebrating the great Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe – otherwise known as the Solemnity of Christ the King (Cristo Rey in Spanish). So if Jesus Christ is the King; then is Mary (His Mother) the Queen? It’s no doubt an interesting question and one that I have answered before in previous posts.

As Catholics, we affectionately know Mary as our Mother. She is our Blessed Mother for she was Immaculately Conceived (next weeks “MWM”). The Fifth Glorious Mystery we pray is the Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth. We read in Luke 1:43 – Elizabeth says, “the mother of my LORD.” There is a royalty motif that exists in the statement by Elizabeth. In Revelation 12, we read about a woman with a crown on her head that gives birth to a male child that will rule all the nations. Throughout the Old Testament we also see many Scriptures reveal the importance of royalty and Queenship that points to Mary in the New Testament.

So with Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition (the Deposit of Faith) revealing what it does for us – where does the Queenship of Mary originate, where do we see this in the New Testament, and what does it mean for not only the Catholic Church, but for all of humanity?? I give you three “Mondays with Mary” posts regarding these topics over the past months – The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, The Magnificat, and The Queenship of Mary. These posts answer the questions and then some.

In regards to Mary as queen and mother, I leave you with the words of thirty-third Doctor of the Church, who says in her Novissima VerbaThe Last Confidences of the St. Therese of the Child Jesus,

“Mary, then, is queen, but queen in the way of a mother, serving all her children, guiding them in their most personal and intimate life, not so much by law and precept as by kindly prompting and persuasion, with an affectionate smile on her countenance as she goes about bestowing a mother’s tender care on all her children, on the lowliest no less than on the more fortunate. In fact, the more humble and lowly her children, the more mother she is to them. And the more we put ourselves in Mary’s guiding care, the more quickly she leads us up to God.

In union with Christ, Mary guides the entire Church militant on the road to the City of God. But Mary’s rule is marked, above all, by the supreme grace of her motherhood. She rules and directs souls with the power of a mother’s smile and the irresistible attraction of a mother’s sweetness. With a mother’s intuition she is ever alert, one might say, to yield to the supremely sovereign and kingly action of her son, keeping herself in the background, for even in her own sovereign rule over the universe Mary is “more mother than queen.”

May – The Month of Mary

Last weekend when I was home for my niece’s Baptism into the Catholic Church, I decided to wait to get her presents at the King’s House, a Catholic religious store, in Scottsdale, Arizona. As I was walking around the store, I noticed a small cart with books marked for sale. By the way, this is a great method to build up your personal library too – see Brandon Vogt’s blog on building up a library.

As I looked through the books, one text caught my attention immediately! The text is a collection of documents on the Blessed Virgin Mary called Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church published by Pauline Press. As I picked up the text and started to flip through the pages, I noticed there were many documents that I had read before, but there was one that really caught my attention – The Month of May (Mense Maio), which was promulgated on April 30, 1965 by Pope Paul VI.

This 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. During the month of May, it is my hope to write on her Queenship and I will start with this scripture verse.

A good chunk of Mense Maio focuses on the importance of World Peace. It was written at a time in the mid 1960’s when so much turmoil was occurring around the world in many countries (see paragraphs 5-9). In light of the HHS Mandate and threats on religious liberty, I would encourage you to read this document (it’s super short!), take it to heart and contact your local and state politicians.

In paragraph 6, His Holiness Paul VI states, “we beg all who hold responsibility in public life not to remain deaf to the unanimous desire of mankind which wants peace…continue at all times to foster and encourage conversations and negotiations at all levels…let efforts be made to single out for recognition every true and sincere yearning for justice and peace.” He is talking about justice as defined by St. Thomas Aquinas and Pope Pius XI (Social Justice), not that distorted idea of social justice that the world and Catholics who don’t understand the true meaning of this term promote. I will touch on this topic in the months ahead.

Beginning tomorrow and the three subsequent Monday’s of May, I will write a post on Mary – The Blessed Mother of God. This short series will be known as MONDAYS WITH MARY. For this series to continue after the Month of May will be contingent on the response I receive overall from my blog followers and Twitter followers. Is Mariology (the theology of Mary) important to you? Do you have a desire to have a more personal relationship with Jesus Christ and do you think knowing his Blessed Mother will help? Are there things about Mary that you don’t know? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then let me know about it in the comment section of each of the posts or you can email me at catholictom@gmail.com to express your desire to know more about the Blessed Virgin Mary.

I will tell from my personal experience, since I took an entire semester course on the Blessed Mother in college, that once you attain more knowledge (academic and intellectual) about Our Lord’s beautiful Mother, you heart will be hers forever. There is a reason Jesus gave her to all of us through John the Apostle while he was being crucified on the Cross.

With that being said, I will conclude the post with some of the writings from Pope Paul VI on the Blessed Mother in his encyclical, Mense Maio –

“This pious practice, by which the Blessed Virgin Mary is honored and the Christian people enriched with spiritual gifts, gladdens and consoles us. Mary remains ever the path that leads to Christ. Every encounter with her can only result in an encounter with Christ himself” (MM 2).

“…the Church has always prayed from her earliest days, and in a special way calling on the intercession and protection of the Virgin Mary, who is the Queen of Peace” (MM 9).

“…let our prayers ascend to Mary in this month of hers, to implore her graces and favors with increased fervor and confidence” (MM 10).

“…do not fail to lay careful stress on the saying of the rosary, the prayer so dear to Our Lady and so highly recommended by the Supreme Pontiffs” (MM 11).