The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
One week ago, the Church celebrated the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15th, when at the conclusion of her earthly life, Our Lady was assumed body and soul, into Heaven by her Divine Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Within the octave of this Solemnity is another beautiful Marian feast – the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also known as the Queenship of Mary. The Queenship of Mary was proclaimed as a new feast in 1954 by Pope Pius XII and was originally celebrated on May 31st. In 1969, Pope Paul VI transferred this feast to August 22nd, to draw special emphasis to the close bond between Our Lady’s queenship and her glorification in body and soul in Heaven. The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is also commemorated as the fifth of the Glorious Mysteries of the Holy Rosary.
As we enter the final months of the Year of Faith, it is fitting to draw inspiration from the entirety of Our Lady’s life as we continue to live the spirit of the Year of Faith in our own lives. From the moment Mary gave her assent – her assent of faith – at the Annunciation, she completely and perfectly submitted herself to the Will of God without any idea what He had in store for her – neither the sorrows nor the glories.
Throughout her earthly life, Mary’s heart remained open to and focused on God’s Will and doing what He asked of her and through it all, her faith remained steadfast, persevering to the end. Assumed into Heaven, Mary is now crowned with glory – the reward for her unwavering faithfulness. Our Lady’s crown is a symbol of the crown of everlasting life that awaits each one of us, if only we imitate her example, and remain steadfast in following her Son.
As Queen, the distribution of graces and favors has been entrusted to her hands by Jesus and it is with loving generosity that she bestows these graces on all her children. Although Queen, Mary is very approachable, as Saint Thérèse, the Little Flower, reminds us, “She is more Mother than Queen.” Pope Pius XII concurs, “…the Virgin Mother of God reigns with a mother’s solicitude over the entire world.” Thus, it is with trust and confidence we should approach her and ask our Blessed Mother for the graces we need during the journey of our earthly life, to help us stay focused on Jesus and on His promise of the reward of everlasting life.
It is also worthwhile to remember that Mary never fails those who seek her intercession. Blessed John Henry Newman’s wonderfully encouraging words to us, “No one has access to the Almighty as His mother has; none has merit such as hers. Her Son will deny her nothing she asks.” We need only recall the Gospel account of the wedding feast at Cana to see the veracity of these words.
Therefore, on this feast of the Queenship of Mary, let us approach our Heavenly Mother with trust and confidence and prayerfully ask her to bestow on us the grace of increasing our faith and to aid us in opening our hearts to God’s Will as completely as she did. There can be no doubt that Mary will lovingly enfold in her mother’s embrace all her children who come to her because she only ever wants to lead us to her Divine Son – to Jesus through Mary.