On August 22, we celebrate the feast day of the Coronation and Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Calling Mary our Queen has roots in Scripture. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is recorded in the bible, the Gospel of Luke, as being "full of grace" and "blessed among women." In Luke chapter 1 verse 48 we read; "For He has looked on the humility of His handmaid; For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed..."
Early Christians honored Mary throughout history and this has been passed on from the Apostles. She was the mother of God, a title given to her by the early church during the council of Ephesus in the year 431 AD. Mary was the closest person to Jesus on earth and carried Him in her womb for 9 months. At the Annunciation, the Archangel Gabriel announced that Mary’s Son would receive the throne of David and rule forever. At the Visitation, in the Gospel of Luke, Elizabeth calls Mary “mother of my Lord.” In Jewish history, throughout the Old Testament, the mother of the king was considered the queen. In the bible we find the passage of Revelation chapter 11:19 to 12:1, which allude to Mary;
"Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars."
As in all the mysteries of Mary’s life, Mary is closely associated with Jesus: Her Queenship is a share in Jesus’ kingship.
In the fourth century Saint Ephrem called Mary “Lady” and “Queen” and Church fathers and doctors (among them, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Saint Augustine, Saint Anselm, Saint Peter Chrysologus, and Saint Amadeus of Lausanne) continued to use the title. For centuries, Christians have called upon the help of Our Blessed Mother under a her many titles. Queen of Angels, Queen of Patriarchs, Queen of Prophets, Queen of Apostles, Queen of Martyrs, Queen of Virgins, Queen of the Rosary, Queen of Heaven and of Earth. Pope Benedict the 16th noted that Mary is Queen of Heaven because of her humble and unconditional acceptance in the divine will when he said: ”God exalted her over all other creatures, and Christ crowned her Queen of heaven and earth.” Saint John Damascene who was born in 675 said, “When she became Mother of the Creator, she truly became Queen of every creature.” We remember this coronation in the fifth Glorious Mystery of the Holy Rosary.
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.
Pope Pius XII established the feast of Mary’s Queenship in 1954, but recognition of Our Lady as Our Queen has roots in Scripture. Now familiar hymns such as “Hail, Holy Queen,” “Hail, Queen of Heaven,” and “Queen of Heaven,” became popular as early as the eleventh century. The feast of Mary’s Queenship is a logical follow-up to the Assumption, now celebrated on the octave day of that feast. In his encyclical To the Queen of Heaven, Pius XII points out that Mary deserves the title because she is Mother of God, because she is closely associated as the New Eve with Jesus’ redemptive work, because of her preeminent perfection, and because of her intercessory power. In support of these four reasons that Our Lady deserves the title of Our Queen, Pope Pius XII bestowed upon her four titles. Of these four titles, two closely parallel those of Jesus, and two are unique unto the role of Mary.
First, Mary is Queen by her “divine relationship” with Jesus. That is, as Jesus was, is, and every shall be king, so, too, shall Mary ever be queen. But her relationship with Jesus supercedes that of normal earthly queen mothers, as she did not birth a man who would become king, she birthed an eternal king who predated the world.
Second, Mary is Queen by right of conquest, just as Jesus was King by the same right. Mary shared in her Son’s struggle and victory over Satan—and in doing so, shared in our redemption.
Third, Mary is Queen by grace. She is, as the Archangel Gabriel announced, “full of grace,” surpassed in grace only by Jesus. And fourth, Mary is Queen by the singular choice of the Lord. He chose her, appointed her, and elevated her through the birth of His Son.
In his Encyclical Letter of October 11, 1954, “On the Royal Dignity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Institution of Her Feast,” Pope Pius XII said “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.” United with her Son, Our Blessed Mother can obtain by her intercession anything that the all-powerful God can do by His own inherent power.
The Catechism explains, in paragraph 966, "Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death."
Paragraph 970 says, "Mary's function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power."
Saint Bonaventure said, "She has surpassed the riches of the virgins, the confessors, the martyrs, the apostles, the prophets, the patriarchs, and the angels, for she herself is the first-fruit of the virgins, the mirror of confessors, the rose of martyrs, the ruler of apostles, the oracle of prophets, the daughter of patriarchs, the queen of angels." The next paragraph says, "By her complete adherence to the Father's will, to his Son's redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the Church's model of faith and charity."
Saint Louis Marie de Montfort explained, "Mary has the authority over the angels and the blessed in heaven. As a reward for her great humility, God gave her the power and mission of assigning to saints the thrones made vacant by the apostate angels who fell away through pride. Such is the will of the almighty God who exalts the humble, that the powers of heaven, earth and hell, willingly or unwillingly, must obey the commands of the humble Virgin Mary. For God has made her queen of heaven and earth, leader of his armies, keeper of his treasure, dispenser of his graces, mediatrix on behalf of men, destroyer of his enemies, and faithful associate in his great works and triumphs."