Holy Mary, Queen of heaven and earth

"The Mother of Christ is glorified as universal Queen. She who at the Annunciation defined herself as the handmaid of the Lord was throughout her earthly life faithful to what this name expresses, thus confirming that she was a true "disciple" of Christ, who strongly emphasized the service character of his own mission: the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mt 20:28). For this reason Mary was the first among those who, "serving Christ also in others, lead their brothers and sisters in humility and patience to the King, whose service is equivalent to reigning" (Const. Lumen Gentium, 36), and she fully attained that "state of royal freedom" proper to the disciples of Christ: to serve means to reign! (...). The glory of serving does not cease to be her royal exaltation; assumed into heaven, she does not end that salvific service of hers... "1.

The dogma of the Assumption, which we celebrated last week, leads us naturally to the feast we celebrate today, the Kingship of Mary. Our Lady ascended to Heaven body and soul to be crowned by the Most Holy Trinity as Queen and Lady of Creation: "When her earthly life was ended, she was assumed body and soul to glory and was exalted by the Lord as universal Queen in order that she might more fully resemble her Son, Lord of lords (cf. Rev 19:16) and conqueror of sin and death". This truth has been affirmed since ancient times by the piety of the faithful and taught by the Magisterium of the Church. St. Ephrem puts on Mary's lips these beautiful words: "May Heaven support me with his arms, for I am more honored than he himself. For Heaven was only your throne, not your mother. Now how much more worthy of honor and veneration is the Mother of the king than his throne!".

It was very frequent to express this title of Mary by the custom of crowning the images of the Blessed Virgin in a canonical way, by express concession of the Popes5. Christian art, since the first centuries, has been representing Mary as Queen and Empress, seated on a royal throne, with the insignia of royalty and surrounded by angels. Sometimes she is represented at the moment of being crowned by her Son. And the faithful have recourse to her with these prayers: Salve Regina, Ave Regina caelorum, Regina coeli laetare..., so often repeated.

On many occasions we have turned to her, reminding her of this beautiful title of her royalty, and we have considered it in the fifth glorious mystery of the Holy Rosary. Today, in our prayer and throughout the day, we do so in a special way. "Thou art all fair, and there is no spot in thee. Enclosed garden you are, my sister, Bride, enclosed garden, sealed fountain. Veni: coronaberis. Come: you will be crowned (Cant 4, 7, 12 and 8).

"If you and I had had power, we would have made her also Queen and Mistress of all creation.

"A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman with a crown of twelve stars on her head. Clothed with the sun. The moon at her feet (Rev 12:1) (...). The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit crown her as the Empress who is of the Universe.

"And the Angels..., and the patriarchs and the prophets and the Apostles..., and the martyrs and the confessors and the virgins and all the saints... and all the sinners and you and me.