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On August 22, the Church celebrated the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Bible describes her this way: “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.” This has always been seen as an image of both the Church and of the Blessed Mother.
Here are 12 brief facts about our queen, one for each star in her heavenly crown.
1: In ancient Israel, the king’s mother was a queen. In the Old Testament, kings such as David often had more than one wife. That made it hard to pick a queen, so the queen’s mother naturally filled the role.
2: The queen mother receives great honor. In 1 Kings 2:19, we hear about the mother of David’s son: “When Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, the king stood up to meet her, bowed down to her and sat down on his throne. He had a throne brought for the king’s mother, and she sat down at his right hand.”
3: The queen’s voice commands respect. The passage in Kings goes on “I have one small request to make of you,” she said. “Do not refuse me.” The king replied, “Make it, my mother; I will not refuse you.”
4: Mary was the eternal king’s mother. When Mary learns she will bear Jesus, she also learns that she is a queen. The angel tells her: “You will conceive and give birth to a son … The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
5: The New Testament queen was honored like the Old Testament queens. Look how Elizabeth reacted to Mary: “In a loud voice [Elizabeth] exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?’”
6: Mary was called a queen in the Early Church. As St. John Paul II pointed out, “Starting from the 5th 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.”
7: The early Church also saw that she was far less than God. In the 300s, Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis, wrote of Mary’s assumption saying, “death would have found her pure, and her crown would have been a virginal one … she would shine gloriously among the martyrs … for by her, did light come to the world.” But he also said: “Mary should be honored, but the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit should be worshiped; no one should worship Mary.”
8: When we say “Our Lady” we mean “Our Queen.” St. John Damascene, in the 700s, called Mary “God’s mother and Lady and Queen over all created things.” His Greek word that originated the phrase “Our Lady” meant “royal personage.”
9: Vatican II calls her “Queen of the Universe.” The document Lumen Gentium says Mary was “exalted by the Lord as Queen of the universe, that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and the conqueror of sin and death.”
10: Satan treats her like the queen. “When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child,” says Revelation 12:13.
11: Mary triumphs like a queen. When the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in Mexico, she appeared as the woman of the Book of Revelation. She came and she conquered: Nine million were converted by Our Lady of Guadalupe.
12: Mary is your personal queen. She will help you triumph also. St. John Paul II stresses that: “She is beside us, because her glorious state enables her to follow us in our daily earthly journey.”
Let us pray! Blessed Virgin Mary, I put my life at your service as my queen. Give me your obedience to the Father, fellowship with the Son, and partnership with the Holy Spirit. Amen.