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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Harvey

Why is Mary considered a Queen?

Scripture shows us a Mary who is the Mother of God, a disciple of her Son, the New Ark of the Covenant, the one to intercede with Jesus for the first public miracle, and the New Eve. Yet, the queenship of Mary seems for some to be a bit odd for two reasons: (1) Mary does not appear to be a queen in her gospel scenes, and (2) we consider queens to be the spouse of kings. Let us first consider the latter.

There are plenty of examples throughout Western civilization of a king and queen of a realm being married. Kids see such examples in cartoons. Even the newly crowned King Charles III’s wife, Camilla, is now Queen Camilla. Yet, our starting point needs to be rooted in Salvation History. The Davidic Kingdom did things differently. The queen was not the king’s spouse, but his mother. The queen mother even interceded for others with the king. The Old Testament often notes the queen mother’s name along with a new king, and at times is listed as a member of the court (cf. 2 Kings 24:12). The idea of a queen mother continued into Israel’s prophetic tradition, like Jeremiah and Isaiah. When we come to the gospels, Jesus is revealed to be a king and of the Davidic line (Mt 1:1, Lk 1:32, Jn 18:36). Who will be the queen of His kingdom? His mother, Queen Mary.

Indeed, Mary does not dress in fancy robes or wear a crown throughout the gospel scenes. Jesus is king and did not process about with royal pomp either. Jesus’ kingship is rooted in humility. Jesus explained, “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mt 20:28). Mary does act like a queen of the Davidic Kingdom. Her interceding at the wedding feast in Cana reflected the intercessory role of queen mothers in the past (cf. 1 Kgs. 2:19–20). It should then not surprise us to see the book of Revelation describing the mother of the Messiah as a queen. “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” (Rev 12:1).

In closing, I offer for your reflection and use during prayer the following Collect Prayer from the August 22nd Mass for the Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary,

"O God, who made the Mother of your Son to be our Mother and our Queen, graciously grant that, sustained by her intercession, we may attain in the heavenly Kingdom the glory promised to your children. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever."

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