This week we celebrate another feast of our Blessed Mother instituted by Pope Pius XII, the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Just four years after declaring the dogma of the Assumption of Our Lady into heaven, Pope Pius XII, through the papal encyclical entitled Ad Caeli Regnum, instituted a feast to celebrate the Queenship of our Lady. The feast was originally celebrated on May 31st to “crown” the last day of the month of Mary.
Today, due to the rearrangement of some of Our Lady’s feast days by Pope Paul VI, the church celebrates this feast on the octave of the Assumption. It is very fitting that these two feast days of the Blessed Virgin Mary be celebrated in such close proximity, because it was upon her Assumption into heaven that our Lady took her place as the Queen Mother, beside her Son, Jesus Christ. In addition, if one recalls the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, you will note that the fourth Glorious Mystery is the Assumption and the fifth Glorious Mystery is the Crowning of Mary. Since Our Lady gave the most holy rosary to the church, through St. Dominic, these two mysteries have been closely associated.
Why do we celebrate Mary as Queen? This is because her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, is our King, the Prince of Peace, the Lord of Lords. Since Mary is the mother of Our Lord, she is rightly called Queen. Throughout the history of the church we have never hesitated to proclaim that Mary is Mother of the King, the Queen Mother of our Lord. St. Jerome noted that in the Syrian language, Mary’s name means Lady. Likewise, St. Chrysologus emphasizes that in the Hebrew language, Mary means Lady, Domina in Latin. Our Lord and our Lady; King and Queen. So through, the Pontificate of Pope Pius XII, we have a feast day to celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Queenship. A day to acknowledge what the Church has always professed, that the Blessed Virgin Mary, as the Mother of God, is the true Queen of heaven and earth.