Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Feast Day: August 22
The Church celebrates Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth officially through the Marian feast day of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the octave of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Aug. 22. The theology behind this Marian feast is relatively direct: as Jesus is the king of all creation, Mary, as His mother, is the queen. Furthermore, Mary is honored as queen, not only because of her Divine Motherhood of Jesus, but also because God has willed her to have an exceptional role in the work of eternal salvation.
Pope Pius XII officially designated this feast in 1954 in his encyclical, Ad Caeli Reginam, “To the Queen of Heavens.” However, as he wrote, the faithful have been honoring Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth from the beginning: “From the earliest ages of the Catholic Church a Christian people, whether in time of triumph or more especially in time of crisis, has addressed prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven. And never has that hope wavered which they placed in the Mother of the Divine King, Jesus Christ; nor has that faith ever failed by which we are taught that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, reigns with a mother’s solicitude over the entire world, just as she is crowned in heavenly blessedness with the glory of a Queen.” (Ad Caeli Reginam, §1)
As St. Paul writes in Romans 8:28–30, God has desired human beings from all eternity to share the image of his Son. Mary’s response to God’s eternal desire made her the mother of Jesus. As Jesus was to be king of all creation, Mary, in dependence on Jesus, was to be queen.
All other titles to queenship derive from this eternal intention of God. As Jesus exercised his kingship on earth by serving his Father and his fellow human beings, so did Mary exercise her queenship. As the glorified Jesus remains with us as our king till the end of time (Matthew 28:20), so does Mary, who was assumed into heaven and crowned queen of heaven and earth.