“I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!”
St. Luke 12:49
From the earliest centuries of the Catholic Church, Christians have addressed suppliant prayers and hymns of praise to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the hope they have placed in the Mother of the Saviour has never been disappointed. They have looked upon Her as Queen of Angels, Queen of Patriarchs, Queen of Prophets, Queen of Apostles, Queen of Martyrs, Queen of Virgins. Because of Her eminence, She is indeed entitled to the highest honors that can be bestowed upon any creature. Saint Gregory Nazianzen called Her Mother of the King of the entire universe, and the Virgin Mother who brought forth the King of the entire world.
His Holiness Pope Pius XII, in his Encyclical Letter of October 11, 1954, On the Royal Dignity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Institution of Her Feast, ordaining its celebration throughout the world every year on May 31st, reminds us of what Pope Pius IX had said of Mary: Constituted by the Lord as Queen of Heaven and earth, and exalted above all the choirs of Angels and the ranks of the Saints in heaven, standing at the right hand of Her only-begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, She petitions most powerfully with Her maternal prayers, and obtains what She seeks.
Pope Pius XII adds another ordinance: We ask that on the feast day be renewed the consecration of the human race to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Upon this is founded a great hope that there may arise an era of happiness which will rejoice in the triumph of religion and Christian peace. Therefore let all approach, with greater confidence than ever before, to the throne of mercy and grace of our Queen and Mother, to beg help in difficulty, light in darkness and solace in trouble and sorrow. In asking this, the Holy Father was responding to the request of the Virgin Herself at Fatima in 1917, that the world and each soul individually be consecrated to Her Immaculate Heart. She promised that it will be then that a time of peace will be given to the world. Do not Mary's rights as Queen require respect? And will we deny to Her maternal Heart the love it merits, for twenty centuries of uninterrupted intercession on behalf of Her children?
Heavenly Friends: a Saint for each Day, by Rosalie Marie Levy (Saint Paul Editions: Boston, 1958).
The glorious Virgin has been raised to the dignity of Mother of the King of kings, and therefore the Holy Church is entitled to honor Her, and to ask that all honor Her with the glorious title of Queen. Salve Regina!
“If the Son is King, says St. Athanasius, the Mother has the right to be held as Queen and to bear the name.” – “Yes, adds St. Bernardine of Siena, when Mary consented to be the Mother of the eternal Word, at that very moment and by that consent, She merited and was granted the principality of the earth, the domain of the world, the scepter and the quality of Queen of all creatures.” And as Arnould de Chartres observes, if by the flesh Mary is so intimately united to Jesus, how could this divine Mother be separated from Her Son with regard to sovereign power?
Now, if Jesus is King of the universe, it is of the universe that Mary is Queen: “Queen of Heaven, says Abbot Rupert, She rightly commands the whole kingdom of Her Son.” Hence this consequence expressed by St. Bernardine of Siena: “As many creatures are subject to the glorious Virgin as there are to the adorable Trinity Herself, for all created beings, whatever rank they hold among the works of God, whether they be pure spirits like the Angels, beings endowed with reason like men, purely material bodies like the celestial bodies and the elements; all that exists in Heaven and on earth, both the damned and the Blessed, all that is subject to the divine power is likewise subject to Mary, and recognizes Her authority; for the Son of God, who is at the same time the Son of the Blessed Virgin, wishing to equal the empire of His Mother with that of His heavenly Father, made Himself the servant of His divine Mother on earth and was subject to Her. Hence it may be said in all truth: Everything obeys the divine power, even the Virgin; everything obeys the power of the Virgin, even God.”
In Heaven, the Angels and Saints render, with what joy, the homage of their submission, their respect, their praises to their beloved Queen.
On this earth, Mary’s servants bow with love under Her scepter of goodness and mercy.
As for inanimate things, they cannot praise Mary nor recognize Her dominion. But the Saints, especially the Fathers and Doctors, have been pleased to attribute to Mary, in their praises, all that is most precious, most pure, most fruitful, most beautiful, most fragrant, most delicious in nature, to symbolize the attributes of this divine Virgin. Mary is the star of the sea, the dawn announcing the sun, the moon with its soft light, the limpid diamond, the precious pearl, the immaculate lily, the sparkling snow, the innocent dove, the ewe giving the spotless Lamb, the fruitful vine yielding the wine that produces virgins, the fertile earth giving the divine Ear, the heavenly garden, the fountain of living waters, the thornless rose, the humble violet, the sweet-smelling incense, the exquisite honey, the tasty milk…
Thus, all creatures serve in their own way the Queen of Heaven and the world. “Continue, therefore, O Mary, continue to reign in all security; dispose of Your Son’s treasures as You please; since You are the Mother and Spouse of the King of the universe, You are Queen and are entitled to empire and dominion over all creatures.”
Works of the Lord, bless and praise Mary your Sovereign forever!
Sun and moon, stars of the sky, rain and dew, wind, fire and heat, cold, frost, ice and chill, night and day, light and darkness, lightning and clouds, praise Mary, your Sovereign!
Earth, mountains and hills, plants, fountains of waters, seas and rivers, monsters, fish and birds, wild beasts, give blessings to Mary!
Children of men, servants of the Lord, praise Mary!
Angels of the Lord, praise and give thanks to Mary!
Praise Her according to the immensity of Her greatness!
Let all creatures praise the most worthy Mother of God, Queen of heaven and earth! Hallelujah!
Brother Mutien-Marie de Ciney, f.é.c., (1895-1940), Pour aimer et faire aimer Marie (To Love Mary and make Her loved)