The Queenship of Mary is an important concept in the Catholic Church that celebrates Mary as the Queen of Heaven and Earth. This idea has been particularly cherished by modern popes, who have contributed to its development and celebration.
Pope Pius XII was instrumental in establishing the Memorial of the Queenship of Mary as a feast for the Universal Church. In his Papal Encyclical Ad Coeli Reginam, he proposed the traditional doctrine on Mary’s Queenship and underscored its importance.
The idea of Mary as queen has been echoed by other popes as well. Pope Pius IX emphasized Mary’s concern for the human race and her powerful intercession with her son, Jesus Christ. He referred to her as the Queen of Heaven and Earth, exalted above all angels and saints.
Pope Pius XII further encouraged devotion to Mary’s Queenship by recommending that the human race be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart on the festival celebrating her queenship. He emphasized that all should approach her with confidence, seeking help in difficulty, light in darkness, and solace in trouble and sorrow. He also highlighted that honoring her brings blessings of peace and the hope of seeing Jesus after this earthly exile.
The roots of Mary’s Queenship can be traced back to Scripture. The angel Gabriel, during the Annunciation, proclaimed that her son would inherit the throne of David and rule forever. At the Visitation, Elizabeth referred to Mary as “mother of my Lord,” implying her royal status. Throughout the Old Testament, the mother of the king held significant influence, a role that Mary has inherited as the mother of Jesus, the King.
As early as the fourth century, St. Ephrem referred to Mary as “Lady” and “Queen.” Later Church fathers and doctors continued to use this title, emphasizing her royal role. Hymns from the 11th to 13th centuries, such as “Hail, Holy Queen,” “Hail, Queen of Heaven,” and “Queen of Heaven,” further celebrate her queenship. The Dominican rosary, Franciscan crown, and various invocations in Mary’s litany also honor her as queen.
The feast of the Queenship of Mary is a logical follow-up to the Assumption and is celebrated on the octave day of that feast. In his 1954 encyclical To the Queen of Heaven, Pope Pius XII highlighted that Mary deserves the title of Queen because she is the Mother of God, is closely associated with Jesus’ redemptive work as the New Eve, possesses preeminent perfection, and has remarkable intercessory power.