Hail, Queen of Heaven!

Luke 1:26-38
Isa 9:1-6 / Psa 1

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.
(Luke 1:32-33)

Her virtues that we emulate
Shield us from all tribulation;
Today let’s pause to celebrate
Our Queen Mother’s coronation.

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. 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.” Mary asked the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:26-38)

Reflection

The Church celebrates this day, August 22, as the Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This feast day was established by Pope Pius XII in his encyclical, “To the Queen of Heaven” (“Saint of the Day” by American Catholic Org). Pius XII declared in his May 13, 1946 message, “He, the Son of God, reflects on His heavenly Mother the glory, the majesty and the dominion of His kingship, for, having been associated to the King of Martyrs in the … work of human Redemption as Mother and cooperator, she remains forever associated to Him, with a practically unlimited power, in the distribution of the graces which flow from the Redemption. Jesus is King throughout all eternity by nature and by right of conquest: through Him, with Him, and subordinate to Him, Mary is Queen by grace, by divine relationship, by right of conquest, and by singular choice [of the Father].” (“Mary’s Queenship”, Our Lady in Doctrine and Devotion, by William G. Most, 1994)

As the angel Gabriel announced in today’s Gospel passage of Luke, the kingship of her Son, Who would “reign forever”, so she, the mother of the King deserved to be called “queen”. This is the reason why when we pray the holy rosary, we always address her in its concluding prayer, “Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy. . .” This we also emphasize in the “Litany of Loreto” after the Rosary—“Queen of the Angels”, “Queen of Patriarchs”, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, etc. . . up to “Queen of Peace”. In the Book of Revelation we read: “A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev.12:1). This was St. John’s vision of the Queen Mother, as God Himself had revealed the Queenship of Mary. As Scripture has confirmed, and as all the saints and popes have attested to, the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Queen of heaven and earth, and deserves the honor and devotion of all God’s creation.

Hail, Queen of Heaven and earth, in the Holy name of your beloved Son, Jesus, our Lord and King, we praise and give you thanks for your loving intercession, drawing us closer to Him, Who is our hope of salvation. Amen.

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