“Thus will it come about that all Christians, in honoring and imitating their sublime Queen and Mother, will realize they are truly brothers, and with all envy and avarice thrust aside, will promote love among classes, respect the rights of the weak, cherish peace.”
These words of Pope Pius XII at the Proclamation of the Queenship of Mary in 1954 are as true and important today as they were then. He continued, “No one should think himself a son of Mary, worthy of being received under her powerful protection, unless, like her, he is just, gentle and pure, and shows a sincere desire for true brotherhood, not harming or injuring but rather helping and comforting others.” Then, as now, there was increasing persecution of Christians, civil unrest, and conflict between countries. Communism was rising, threatening the freedom and dignity of human beings.
His encyclical, AD CAELI REGINAM (Proclaiming the Queenship of Mary), came toward the close of the 1954 Marian Year, the purpose of which was to commemorate the centennial of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, increase devotion to Mary, facilitate understanding of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, encourage holiness in imitation of Mary, and remind the faithful to pray for the persecuted church. Perhaps you could say that AD CAELI REGINAM was the “crowning glory” of the Marian Year.
“And now, he explained, “that We may bring the Year of Mary to a happy and beneficial conclusion, and in response to petitions which have come to Us from all over the world, We have decided to institute the liturgical feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen. This will afford a climax, as it were, to the manifold demonstrations of Our devotion to Mary, which the Christian people have supported with such enthusiasm.”
Crowning Mary is the climax of our devotion to her. In crowning her, we recognize her rightful place as Queen Mother beside her Son, the King of Kings. In Biblical times, the mother of the king bore the title “queen” and not the king’s wife, as some may think. The Queen Mother ruled along the side of the King, and he consulted her in important matters, looking to her for guidance and advice in governing his kingdom. She took rank almost with the king and held a position of high political can social importance.
Consider this scene between Solomon and Bathshe’ba. “So Bathshe’ba went to King Solomon, to speak to him on behalf of Adoni′jah. And the king rose to meet her and bowed down to her; then he sat on his throne, and had a seat brought for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right.” (see 1 Kings 2:19) In 2 Kings 24:15, Nebuchadnezzar carried Nehushta, the mother of King Jehoiachin, into captivity. This is the royal pair whose impending doom was predicted by the prophet Jeremiah (see Jer 13:18). This mention of the king’s mother demonstrates her exalted position.
Our Queen – the Queen of Heaven and Earth – also occupies an exalted position and we would do well to seek her counsel and guidance, especially in these troubled times. There’s a tremendous battle raging over control – political, social, moral, economic, cultural, ideological – that threatens the Kingdom of God on earth. Hatred abounds, violence reigns, and even those of us who cling tightly to the Church and the teachings of Christ are tempted to join the fray. It’s hard not to hit back when you’ve been clouted with a dangerous weapon powered by evil.
This is the time to crown our Blessed Mother, not just on the feast of her Queenship (August 22), but every day, and even several times a day. Crowning her Queen of our heart, Queen of the world will make a statement about who we stand for and with and reclaim ourselves for Christ the King and his Queen Mother, Mary. Let’s re-crown her each time we’re weighted down by distressing news, confronted with hostility, angered over violence and injustice, or tempted to hit back after being clouted. This not only acknowledges their esteemed position but also reminds us of our royal dignity as children of the Queen and will urge us to act accordingly. Jesus is King, Mary is the Queen Mother. They are more powerful than any force on earth and their Kingdom cannot be destroyed.
Image: Marge Steinhage Fenelon Copyright 2018
Six Key Bible Quotes to Boost You Up When You’re Down
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