22 August 2009

Memorial of the Queenship of Blessed Virgin Mary

22 AUGUST 2009. Today the Church celebrates the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today's celebration was first enunciated by Pope Pius XII in his encyclical Ad caeli reginam, issued on October 11, 1954. Originally, the memorial was celebrated on the last day of Mary's month--May 31. However, Pope Paul VI moved the feast to August 22.

Recognizing previous recognitions of Mary as Queen, Pope Pius XII recites the many saints that have attributed heavenly royalty to Our Mother. At one point, Pius writes:
St. Alphonsus Ligouri, in collecting the testimony of past ages, writes these words with evident devotion: "Because the virgin Mary was raised to such a lofty dignity as to be the mother of the King of kings, it is deservedly and by every right that the Church has honored her with the title of 'Queen'."
Mary, Our Mother, is indeed the queen of heaven and earth. As Christ the King was born of her virgin womb, and she was chosen by God to bear His Son, we acknowledge that Mary has a royal presence in the sight of the Lord. There is no other woman to whom the title of queen so rightly belongs.

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;

O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God

That we may be made worthy of the
promises of Christ.

IMAGE: The Salus Populi Romani crowned by Pope Pius XII in 1954

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