31 May: Mary’s Queenship, and yet “more Mother than Queen”

31 May is liturgically complicated.  In the traditional calendar it is the Feast of the Queenship of Mary.  In the Novus Ordo, it is the Feast of the Visitation.  Again in the Novus Ordo, Queenship of Mary is on 22 August, which in the TLM calendar is Immaculate Heart.

These mysteries and feasts seem all tangled together, and for good reason.

When the angel Gabriel came to Mary he told her that her Son would have the throne of David and that His kingdom would have no end (Luke 1:32-33).

If our Lord is our King, then His Mother is our Queen.

In ancient Israel, the mothers of the House of David’s kings were crowned, addressed as Gebirah, “Great Lady”. They sat beside the throne of their royal sons.

Mary’s Queenship is intimately tied to the Kingship of her Son just as Her Immaculate Heart beats in harmony with His Sacred Heart.

Mary conceived her King within her Heart, before she carried Him below her Heart, and Her Queenship rests not on her own merits alone, but rather it rests upon the majesty of her divine Son.  At the conclusion of Dante’s Divina Commedia St Bernard sings of Heaven’s Queen that she is the “daughter of her Son”.

And of course, as we remember from the Davidic Kings, of whom Christ is the fulfillment, it was the Mother of the King, not his wife, who was Queen, sat by the King and interceded.  But she will always remain, as Saint Thérèse observed, “more Mother than Queen”.

Speaking of addressing Mary, we name her Queen in many prayers, such as the Salve, Regina. We invoke her in the Litany of Loreto as Queen of Angels, Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, Virgins, All Saints and, so important these days, Families.  St John Paul, taking stock of our times, added that last title to the Litany in 1995.  She is the Queen conceived without original sin, assumed into Heaven, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary and Queen of Peace.

May I suggest, dear readers, that you offer your day to the King of Fearful Majesty through our Queen’s intercession?  I ask also a prayer for myself.

O my God, in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus from all the altars throughout the world, joining with It the offering of my every thought, word, and action of this day. O my Jesus, I desire today to gain every indulgence and merit I can and I offer them, together with myself, to Mary Immaculate, that she may best apply them in the interests of Thy Most Sacred Heart. Precious Blood of Jesus, save us! Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us! Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Rob83 says:

    Adding to the liturgical confusion, the Mass of the day was Mary Mediatrix of All Graces (with a commemoration, although unsure which given I didn’t figure out the proper Mass until halfway through). The missal notes that this was formerly assigned to 31 May, but the date would probably vary according to local calendars after 1956.

  2. ex seaxe says:

    The idea of Bathsheeba crowned and enthroned beside Solomon has distracted me from the serious meat of your post, Father.

  3. The idea of moving the commemoration of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the day after the Sacred Heart was actually an improvement, and the creation of an unofficial octave after the Assumption by placing the Queenship of Mary on the eighth day after Assumption wasn’t exactly bad either. Perhaps even more appropriate would be to have the Queenship of Mary the day after Christ the King, for the reasons that Father mentions.

  4. grateful says:

    For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, Have mercy on Fr John Zuhlsdorf and on the whole world.

  5. Padre Pio Devotee says:

    Speaking of Dante and the Blessed Mother, just received a book on that exact topic, “Dante and the Blessed Virgin” by Ralph McInerny.

    Mary Queen of the Clergy, Queen of Heaven and Earth, Queen of Angels and Saints, pray for all bishops, priests, religious, seminarians, and novices, most especially Fr. Z. Amen.

  6. Pingback: RECENT POSTS and THANKS! | Fr. Z's Blog

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