Thought for the Day – 22 August – The Memorial of The Queenship of Mary, Holy Mother of God – Today’s Gospel: Luke 1:26–38
As St Paul suggests in Romans 8:28–30, God has predestined human beings from all eternity to share the image of his Son. All the more was Mary predestined to be the mother of Jesus. As Jesus was to be king of all creation, Mary, in dependence on Jesus, was to be queen. All other titles to queenship derive from this eternal intention of God. As Jesus exercised his kingship on earth by serving his Father and his fellow human beings, so did Mary exercise her queenship. As the glorified Jesus remains with us as our king till the end of time (Matthew 28:20), so does Mary, who was assumed into heaven and crowned queen of heaven and earth.
In the fourth century St Ephrem called Mary “Lady” and “Queen.” Later Church fathers and doctors continued to use the title. Hymns of the 11th to 13th centuries address Mary as queen: “Hail, Holy Queen,” “Hail, Queen of Heaven,” “Queen of Heaven.” The Dominican rosary and the Franciscan crown as well as numerous invocations in Mary’s litany celebrate her queenship.
The feast is a logical follow-up to the Assumption and is now celebrated on the octave day of that feast. In his 1954 encyclical To the Queen of Heaven, Pius XII points out that Mary deserves the title because she is Mother of God because she is closely associated as the New Eve with Jesus’ redemptive work because of her preeminent perfection and because of her intercessory power. (Fr Don Miller OFM)
“Just as Mary surpassed in grace all others on earth, so also in heaven is her glory unique. If eye has not seen or ear heard or the human heart conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9), who can express what He has prepared for the woman who gave Him birth and who loved Him, as everyone knows, more than anyone else?” (St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) – Doctor of Light – Mellifluous Doctor)
Mary Queen of Heaven and Earth,
Pray for your children!
Your eyes opened to a new kind of light
Wide pools that gaze with merciful love upon the world
Your sword-pierced heart, immaculate,
Strong-walled as a cathedral
In the holy city of God.
Angels surround your throne
Holy Blessed Virgin,
Mother of God
Star-crowned Queen of heaven and
Queen of angels
We, though sinners, are yours,
Every tribe on earth, every race
Beckoned to enclosure
In deep mantle-folds of grace.