Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mary, Queen of Heaven

Coronation of Mary at St Francis De Sales Cathedral, Baker City, OR
Mary the Queen of Heaven or the Queenship of Mary, is a Catholic feast day, created by Pope Pius XII on October 11, 1954, The feast was celebrated on May 31, the last day of the Marian month but Pope Paul VI moved the feast day to August 22, one week after the feast of the Assumption.
Assumed into heaven, Mary is with Jesus Christ, her divine son. Mary should be called Queen, not only because of her Divine Motherhood of Jesus Christ, her only son, but also because God has willed her to have an exceptional role in the work of our eternal salvation. 
In a way we can say that many feasts of Mary parallel those of Jesus. We have His Ascension and her Assumption, we have his suffering on Good Friday, and her feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. We have his birthday on Christmas and her birthday on September 8. We have his conception in Mary's womb on March 25, and her conception in St Anne’s womb on December 8.
Most of the images and paintings of Mary portray her with the child Jesus and others with St Joseph. Yet there is quite a portfolio of paintings that has Mary being crowned. Accentuating the positive, it is better to see Mary being crowned with angels around her, instead of seeing her suffer under the cross of Jesus, and yet both are important to emphasize, because one would not have been possible without the other. 
The prayer mostly associated with her role as Queen is: 
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. 
It is said that when St Bernard heard these words being sung in a church, he uttered the words: O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! And his words were then added to this prayer.

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