The Queenship of Mary Aug. 22

The Feast of the Queenship of Mary – the Coronation – was established in 1954 by Pope Pius XII in a document called Ad Caeli Reginam. The original date for this feast was chosen as May 31st, but was later moved to the octave day of the feast of the Assumption, August 22nd. The Catholic faith states as a dogma that Mary was assumed into heaven, and is with Jesus Christ, her Divine Son. Mary should be called Queen, not only because of her Divine Motherhood of Jesus Christ, but also because God has willed her to have an exceptional role in the work of eternal salvation.

Jesus Christ as Redeemer is Lord and King. The Blessed Virgin is Queen, because of the unique manner in which she assisted in our redemption, by giving of her own substance, by freely offering Him for us, by her singular desire and petition for, and active interest in our souls. Mary was chosen Mother of Christ so she might become a partner in the redemption of the human race.

As Pope Pius XII wrote: “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.”

The Catechism tells us that “the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.” (CCC 966).

All devotion to Mary is intrinsically linked to the worship of Jesus Christ. However, devotion is different than the worship. Because God is infinite, we offer him worship – called “latria” in Greek. Devotion is different. We can be devoted to our parents or our closest friends. And we owe special devotion to the saints who have preceded us to Heaven. But to Mary is owed the highest devotion because of the special role that God chose for her in His plan of salvation. In Greek, devotion is called “dulia” and to Mary we owe the highest devotion or “hyperdulia.”

And as Queen of Heaven, Mary serves as a powerful intercessor for us. This intercession in no way diminishes the unique salvific mediation of Jesus Christ; rather, she reveals to us His power. As she herself states in her great “Magnificat”: her soul “magnifies” the Lord. Just as a magnifying glass doesn’t change the size of the thing it magnifies, but only makes it easier to see and understand, Mary does the same thing for us with Christ. She adds nothing to His greatness but she allows us to understand it and appreciate Him more and more.