Queenship of Mary
Today we celebrate the feast of the Queenship of Mary. Pope Pius XII established this feast in 1954, placing it an octive, or eight days, after the celebration of Mary's Assumption into Heaven. The feast can be considered a prolongation of the celebration of the Assumption.
Mary’s queenship has roots in Scripture. At the Annunciation, Gabriel announced that Mary’s Son would receive the throne of David and rule forever. At the Visitation, Elizabeth calls Mary “mother of my Lord.” In all the events of her life, Mary is closely associated with Jesus, and through her queenship, she shares in Jesus’ kingship.
In the fourth century St. Ephrem called Mary “Lady” and Queen.” Later on Church fathers and doctors continued to use the title. Hymns of the 11th to 13th centuries address Mary as queen: “Hail, Holy Queen,” “Hail, Queen of Heaven,” “Queen of Heaven.”
The early writers of the Church called Mary "the Mother of the King" and "the Mother of the Lord," based on the words of St. Gabriel the archangel, who foretold that the Son of Mary would reign forever, and the words of Elizabeth who greeted her with reverence and called her "the Mother of my Lord."
In his 1954 encyclical To the Queen of Heaven, Pope Pius XII points out that Mary well deserves the title: she is Mother of God and she is closely associated as the New Eve with Jesus’ redemptive work. She deserves the title because of her preeminent perfection and because of her intercessory power.
Many of “Mary’s flowers” are associated with the attributes of Mary:
Madonna Iris is an emblem of Mary’s queenship and of her descent from the royal house of David.
Madonna Lily is an ancient emblem of Our Lady - the waxy white petals symbolizing her bodily purity and the golden anthers her purity of soul.
Lily of the Valley is called Beata Maria (Blessed Mary) in Spanish. It is a symbol of humility: its tiny bell-shaped white flowers humbly bending downward.
Dante called Mary the “Mystical Rose.”
The white rose represents Mary’s purity.
Marigold - Mary’s Gold - represents Mary’s glory, in heaven and on earth.
John Stokes wrote: “We see how beautifully the golden masses of marigolds suggest Our Lady’s splendor after her glorious assumption into heaven, and her “coming forth as the morning rising….bright as the sun” from the interior of the Trinity, as the “Woman clothed with the sun” and “Queen in gilded clothing” and in her subsequent merciful appearances on earth. We ask her to pray that we may obtain the promise of heaven.”
I have marigolds growing in pots on my patio, their bright gold reminding me of her glory and her many blessings.
Let us honor Mary on this special day with her flowers.