“Crowned in glory – as she appears in the last Glorious Mystery – Mary shines forth as Queen of the Angels and Saints, the anticipation and the supreme realization of the eschatological state of the Church.”
Pope Saint John Paul II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae
Hymns, ancient prayers, and historic liturgical documents have revered Mary as queen long before the feast of the Queenship of Mary was established in 1954. The sixteenth-century Litany of Loreto gives us Our Lady as Queen of Apostles, Queen of Peace, Queen of Patriarchs, and Queen of Martyrs to name a few; the Rosary utilizes the Hail Holy Queen prayer (Salve Regina); artwork since as early as the 431 Council of Ephesus depict Mary with regal adornments; we directly commemorate Mary’s coronation as Queen of Heaven and Earth in the Fifth Glorious Mystery of the Holy Rosary.
It comes as no surprise one of the most cited pieces of evidence of the queenship of Mary is the Gospel of Luke. Gabriel proclaims in the Annunciation that “the Lord will give [Jesus] the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end” (1:32-33). Jesus is the eternal King of Kings in the Davidic line, which points to Mary as queen from the Incarnation onward. Many Church scholars also include the woman crowned with twelve stars in Revelation 12 as an allusion to the Blessed Mother.
Mary’s close association with Jesus and His mission is paramount to understanding her queenly role, urges Pope Pius XII in his encyclical Ad Caeli Reginum (“To the Queen of the Heavens”): “For if through His Humanity the divine Word performs miracles and gives graces, if He uses His Sacraments and Saints as instruments for the salvation of men, why should He not make use of the role and work of His most holy Mother in imparting to us the fruits of redemption?”
We see this connection very clearly in our prayers, in our saints, and even in our feast days. But this veneration of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth also includes a different title, often used when discussing salvation history: Mary is the New Eve. Just as Eve contributed to the fall of man, so too should a New Eve – Mary, humble and pure – contribute to the redemption of mankind alongside Jesus, the New Adam. Our Lady’s queenship not only points us to Mary’s maternal intercession in the here and now, but also from the beginning of humanity’s dire need of redemption.
This feast was instituted, in light of the New Eve’s royal place as guide and mother in the Church, “so that all may recognize more clearly and venerate more devoutly the merciful and maternal sway of the Mother of God…. Is she not a rainbow in the clouds reaching towards God, the pledge of a covenant of peace?”
Let each of us, in borrowing Pope Pius XII’s words, “glory in being subjects of the Virgin Mother of God, who, while wielding royal power, is on fire with a mother’s love.”
Our Lady, Queen of Heaven and Earth, pray for us!
Our Lady is celebrated under many names, from popular apparitions to small-town titles. Each reveal something different about the Blessed Mother to us – and affirms what we already know of her love and intercessory power! Deepen your devotion to Our Lady with Miracles, Mysteries, & Mary, a monthly collection of stories, Church teaching, reflections, and so much more – guaranteed to expand your knowledge of Our Blessed Mother. Sign up today to receive this Marian content, right to your inbox, and check out our archive page to catch up on our year of Our Lady!