“Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?” (Song of Songs 6:10)
One week ago we celebrated the Assumption of Mary, body and soul, into heaven upon the end of her earthly life. Today we celebrate her as Queen of Heaven and Earth.
There may be a “War on Women,” but it is not being waged by the side that holds women in such esteem as this.
Dr. Scott Hahn, professor of theology here at Franciscan University, talks about how the Assumption indicates her Queenship in this video from his St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology.
Mary was assumed into heaven—taken up into heaven—so that she might reign as queen over all of creation; or, rather, so that she might be accessible to all as our Mother, caring for us and bringing us closer to her Son.
There is no creature so hated and so feared by the demons of hell than the Blessed Mother. Jesus? They knew He was Lord of the cosmos: but Mary… she was a mere creature. She was supposed to be one they could (and would) sway and cause to choose sin. She was supposed to fall like the rest of us. But she did not.
She is God perfect work of art. She is the channel through which God became man. Her “yes” to God enabled Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Her patient suffering at the foot of the cross, seeing her Son, whom she loved with a love this world has not otherwise experienced, bloodied and crucified and dying, won for her a crown of martyrdom. Her consistent care for all of God children—they are her children too, by virtue of her motherhood of God’s Son—shows her a true queen.
And this is not some gradual development of an extra-biblical practice created by the Catholics. From the middle of the third century, before we even had the Bible as such, we had a hymn we know today in the West as “Sub Tuum Praesidium,” or “Beneath Thy Protection,”:
Under thy protection
We seek refuge,
Holy Mother of God;
despise not our petitions
in our needs
but from all dangers
deliver us always,
Virgin, Glorious and Blest.
Mary, from the earliest days of Christianity, has been honored as a special intercessor to her Son.
Considering the manner in which knowledge and culture was passed along at that time, could it be because during that period after Christ ascended into heaven, leaving Mary and the nascent Church, Mary was honored and revered by the Apostles and their disciples as a special intercessor with the Ascended Lord, her Son? And if, as tradition indicates, Mary was then assumed into heaven upon her death, would not the Apostles and disciples have taken this as a cue that their veneration of Mary as intercessor was appropriate and good? If we hold that Tradition is the faithful handing-on of the heritage of the Church, guided and protected by the Holy Spirit (and we do), then what was held to be the true testimony of the Apostles at that early stage would certainly still be true today!
Pope Pius XII wrote in Ad Caeli Reginam:
From these considerations, the proof develops on these lines: if Mary, in taking an active part in the work of salvation, was, by God’s design, associated with Jesus Christ, the source of salvation itself, in a manner comparable to that in which Eve was associated with Adam, the source of death, so that it may be stated that the work of our salvation was accomplished by a kind of “recapitulation,” in which a virgin was instrumental in the salvation of the human race, just as a virgin had been closely associated with its death; if, moreover, it can likewise be stated that this glorious Lady had been chosen Mother of Christ “in order that she might become a partner in the redemption of the human race”; and if, in truth, “it was she who, free of the stain of actual and original sin, and ever most closely bound to her Son, on Golgotha offered that Son to the Eternal Father together with the complete sacrifice of her maternal rights and maternal love, like a new Eve, for all the sons of Adam, stained as they were by his lamentable fall,” then it may be legitimately concluded that as Christ, the new Adam, must be called a King not merely because He is Son of God, but also because He is our Redeemer, so, analogously, the Most Blessed Virgin is queen not only because she is Mother of God, but also because, as the new Eve, she was associated with the new Adam.
Mary, far from taking our attention off of Our Lord, leads us directly to Him and shows us the way to Him. She does this as Queen of our Hearts. Fly to Mary for refuge. Be a child in her arms. Let her be a mother to you. Share with her your hurts and fears and uncertainties. Let her wrap you in her mantle and comfort you. Let her reign in your heart so that she might herald the entrance of her Son, Our Lord, the King of all.