One of the most deserved and prominent titles by which Mary is addressed and extolled, especially as evident in the litany of Loreto is that of “Queen.” She is lauded Queen immaculately conceived and consummately assumed into heaven, a place prepared for her by God [cf. Rev 12:6] where she reigns in her Son’s glory and is honoured by angels and saints, prophets as well as apostles, patriarchs, martyrs and pilgrims alike, especially us Catholics and other orthodox faithful. As with other marian pious doctrinal affirmations, this dignifying recognition and acclaim of the lowly handmaiden and virgin of Nazareth, as Regina Caeli – the Queen of Heaven issues as an unsurprising consequence of her divine selection and exalted placement as Mater Dei – Mother of God.
Being the new Eve who enjoys without measure God’s favour and the fullest dose of grace, and hallowed as the most blessed of all women [Luke 1: 28, 30, 42], she rightly qualifies and earns the title and crown of Queen because her Son, the Incarnate Word of God, is the King, not only of Israel, but of Heaven and the entire Universe. Indeed, that Christ’s mother, rather than the wife (not like he had any), is ennobled as Queen, is not, as some would want to dismiss, one of those “catholic exaggerated marian pious habits,” but a characteristically biblical (Davidic) tradition.
The angel’s greeting and message is greatly insightful into the truth of Mary’s divine appointment to the regal status. Gabriel was unmistaken in af
firming Isaiah’s prophecy that He who is to be birthed by the virgin “will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David. He will rule over the house of Jacob forever and his reign will be without end”
. This declaration also echoes what already was foretold from of old, namely that the Messiah would be an heir of David’s dynasty; yet he would also be God’s son
. He would rule all nations with a rod of iron and his reign would be everlasting. The tale of the birth of this son is retold in Rev 12, with a vivid description that avails us the strong indication of the noble and royal status of the child and his mother – “the pregnant woman robed with the sun, standing on the moon; and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” St John does not fail to tell that, having been safely delivered, in spite of the dragon’s attempt to devour him, the infant king was taken and crowned by God who also had a special place prepared for his mother [Rev 12:1-6]. In the Davidic dynasty, it has been the royal culture that the queen mother, the ‘Great Lady’ (gebirah) is dignified, sharing in the king’s majesty as advocate and counsel in the king’s court [cf. 1 Kings 2:19- 22; 2 Kings 24:15; Jer 13:18; ].
As with David’s first successor, Solomon who had his mother Bathsheba enthroned and revered at his right hand, and with all the kings after him, so would David’s ultimate successor, Jesus even more definitively and perfectly have his mom “Queened up” in his heavenly royal courts where he superintends the entire universe with a supreme sovereignty that endures endlessly. Highlighting the legitimate theological footings of the creedal testimony to the Queenship of Mary, Pope Pius XII noted that – the king Jesus reflects on His mother the glory and dominion of His kingship. The queenship of the mother does not obviate nor deflect on the majesty and sovereignty of the Son, rather it accentuates it. “Since by divine design, she had been associated to the King in the grand scheme of human redemption as a willing cooperator and facilitator, she remains forever associated to Him, with a practically unlimited power, in the distribution of the graces which flow from the Redemption.”
“In effect, as Jesus reigns as King throughout all eternity by nature and by right of conquest; through Him, with Him, and subordinate to Him, Mary is honoured as Queen by grace, by divine relationship, by right of conquest, and by the singular choice of the Father.” More so, she who was closely associated as mother, trustee and support in king’s salvific mission and ministry, has by the fact of her fiat, earned the dignity of Queen. She is enthroned at the right hand of her Son in preeminent perfection and designation as advocate and mediatrix with noble intercessory power. The singular and especial grace of Divine Motherhood provides the impetus and explains the principle of the royal dignity of Mary. As St John Damascene writes; “when she became mother of her creator, she truly became Queen of every creature.” Pope Paul VI determined that the feast of the Queenship of Mary be commemorated on the octave of the solemnity her Assumption into heavenly glory to demonstrate how closely knit both mysteries are and to etch the truth of both realities in the faith affirmation of all the faithful.
Truly, God would not stop at only bestowing the gift of corporal preservation on his deserving mother but would further guarantee that she is rightly and justly bequeathed the honour that is her due [cf. Luke 1:48-49]. It is only appropriate that the woman who gave Him her womb, be not allowed to suffer the corruption of the tomb. Yes, even so, the remarkable and gratuitous benevolence of the Father would ensure that the mother of His Son – the King of kings – be made to savour a share in the majesty of her Son; that she be crowned and enthroned in the royal courts on high where the choirs of heaven and the voices on earth sing Salve Regina, trumpeting how gloriously she shares in the triumph and victory of her Son.