Coronation of Our Lady Gentile da FabrianoToday is the octave day of the Solemnity of the Assumption and we honor Mary in her Queenship.

There are a few times during the liturgical year that the Church uses royal titles for the God and the Mother of God. There may be a slight disconnect for some with the use of titles that denote royalty but what we understand to be regal, majestic, and powerful in this world with kings and queens, it is not at all the same for God and the Mother of God. Indeed, the world’s royals have had, and continue to have a certain amount of power and privilege. What we attribute to the world’s elite is not what we attribute to the Divine. Our theology says that we understand on this plain is far exceeded when speaking of God. For example fatherhood is not the same as Divine Fatherhood; biological father is imperfect but the perfection we have in God is utterly different.

So, what do we say about Mary’s Queenship? Mary is the sinless Virgin who humbly accepted God’s will for her; as a mother she experience a life of great suffering with the death of her Son; Mary’s Queenship exists in the sense that her motherly love and concern for all of us is total and majestic. It is with a special concern for our salvation wrought through her Son’s saving Paschal Mystery of the Cross and Resurrection finds a place in our devotion. Her is a key point: Mary has a queenship, in fact, Queen Mother, because her Son is King. Without this connection to Jesus, the title falls away.

Called a queen does not replace Mary’s essential role as mother. As John Paul said, “her queenship remains a corollary of her particular maternal mission and simply expresses the power conferred on her to carry out that mission.” She is not exclusive in her concern for all of the Father’s creation: her particular mission is for all humanity.

Mary’s mission is recognized as St Germanus preached about Her: “You [Mary] dwell spiritually with us and the greatness of your vigilance over us makes your communion of life with us stand out” (Horn. 1, PG 98, 344).

Vatican II spoke of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin in “body and soul into heavenly glory,” and also teaches Mary was “exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords (cf. Rv 19:16) and conqueror of sin and death” (Lumen gentium, n. 59).

Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of the Queenship of Mary to be celebrated on May 31st, the last day of the month dedicated to Our Lady. The Second Vatican Council liturgical reform moved the feast to today, the octave day of the Assumption.