The Marian Times

Mother of All Peoples

Advocate and Queen



The following article by Edward Sri, S.T.D. is an excerpt from a chapter in the recently published Marian anthology, Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons, Seat of Wisdom Books, A Division of Queenship, 2008. Fifteen international Mariology experts contributed to the text. The book features a foreword by Archbishop Raymond L. Burke and has 17 chapters divided into four parts: 1. Mary in Scripture and the Early Church; 2. Marian Dogma; 3. Marian Doctrine; and 4. Marian Liturgy and Devotion.

-Asst. Ed.


Introduction


Belief in Mary’s loving intercession was expressed in early Christian art, prayer and teaching. Whether it be in the many frescoes of the Roman catacombs depicting Mary in a prayerful position, or through early Church Fathers who portray Mary in heaven as praying for those on earth, or through other Fathers who address Mary and prayerfully seek her supplication, Mary’s intercessory role is clearly attested to in the first four centuries of the Church (1). As an example of how highly developed the understanding of Mary’s intercessory power could become in the early church, consider the prayer Sub Tuum Praesidium, which can be dated approximately to the mid-third century: “We fly to thy protection, O holy Mother of God, despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us from all danger, O ever glorious and blessed Virgin.” From this we see evidence of early Christians confidently turning to Mary for protection in the face of the trials and dangers in life and asking her to intercede for them. It is not surprising that the Church throughout the centuries would refer to Mary as our “Advocate,” indicating her unique power of intercession, taking petitions from God’s people on earth and presenting them before her Son in heaven.


Closely related to Mary’s advocacy is her role as Queen—another Marian title found in the early Church and developed in the Tradition throughout the centuries. In fact, many magisterial teachings will note how Mary exercises her royal office through her role as Advocate, interceding on our behalf. This article will examine Mary’s role as Advocate and Queen, first by exploring an important Biblical foundation for these two titles: the queen mother, who held a royal office in the kingdom of David, and exercised her office especially through her role as advocate, interceding for the people of the kingdom. Next, we will outline how the Church’s Tradition and magisterial teaching has developed the understanding of Mary’s advocacy and queenship throughout the centuries. And finally, some theological issues regarding Mary’s role as Advocate and Queen will be addressed.


Biblical Foundations


The Queen Mother and Advocate in the Davidic Kingdom


The mother of a ruling monarch held an important position in many Ancient Near Eastern kingdoms. She is known to have influenced political, military, economic and cultic affairs in the royal court and played a key part in the process of dynastic succession. In fact, it was generally the king’s mother who ruled as queen, not the king’s wife. We see this in Hittite, Ugaritic, Egyptian and Assyrian kingdoms, as well as in ancient Israel (2).


The importance of the king’s mother may seem odd until we recall that most Ancient Near Eastern kings practiced polygamy and had large harems. While kings may have had many wives, they each had only one mother, and the queenship was given to her. This, in fact, is what one finds in ancient Israel, where the king’s mother was given preeminence over all the women in the kingdom of Judah, even over the king’s wives. She was given the title Gebirah—or “Great Lady”—and reigned as queen in her son’s kingdom.


We can see the importance of the queen mother expressed in many texts of the Old Testament. First, the succession narratives of 1 and 2 Kings present the mother of the king as having such importance that almost every time a new Davidic king is introduced in the Kingdom of Judah, the mother’s name also is mentioned—but the wife’s name is not. Thus, at the crucial transition points of dynastic succession, the narrative consistently highlights the queen mother’s important place alongside the new king. As one commentator has explained, “On the throne the queen mother represented the king’s continuity with the past, the visible affirmation of God’s ongoing plan for his people, the channel through which the Lord’s dynastic promise to David was fulfilled” (3).


The queen mother held an official position in the kingdom of Judah. She is described as having a crown (Jer 13:18) and a throne (1 Kings 2:19; cf., Jer 13:18). It is also significant that 2 Kings 24 mentions the queen mother among the members of the royal court whom King Jehoiachin surrenders to the king of Babylon. In this passage, the queen mother is the first of the king’s royal court listed as being given over to Babylon to go into exile (2 Kings 24:12-15). Miguens notes how this highlights the queen mother’s preeminence in the royal court:


She is mentioned before the “wives of the king” (2 Kings 24:15) and before the ministers, dignitaries and officers (2 Kings 24:12, 15; Jer 29:2). Significantly these biblical passages say that the gebirah is the second, only to the king, in the list of prominent official persons brought into captivity. This detail speaks very highly of the political significance of “the mother of the king” (4).


The queen mother was not simply a “figurehead” position. She had real royal authority, participating in her son’s reign. For example, consider the following prophecy, which the prophet Jeremiah addresses both to the king and the queen mother:


Say to the king and the queen mother: “Take a lowly seat, for your beautiful crown has come down from your head. … Lift up your eyes and see those who come from the north. Where is the flock that was given you, your beautiful flock?” (Jer 13:18, 20).

By addressing both the king and the queen mother, this passage recognized the queen mother’s important royal office. In ominous imagery, the king and queen mother are told to “take a lowly seat”—symbolizing how both had thrones, but would lose them soon. Moreover, both are told they will lose their crowns—also foreshadowing their political downfall. Most of all, both king and queen are described as having the responsibility to shepherd the flock of the people of Judah, a flock that is about to be taken away from them: “Where is the flock that was given you, your beautiful flock?” The important point for our purposes is to note how this prophecy portrays the queen mother as participating in the king’s reign: she has a throne and a crown with the king, and she shares in the king’s mission of shepherding the people.


The queen mother’s royal authority can best be seen if we compare Bathsheba’s role in the kingdom when she was the wife of the king, to her role when she became the mother of the king. In 1 Kings 1, her husband David, the king, is still alive, so she is just the king’s wife. When she wants to enter the royal chamber to meet him, she bows before her husband and pays him homage (1 Kings 1:16). As she leaves she honors the king, saying, “May David live forever!” (1 Kings 1:31).


In the next chapter, David has died and Bathsheba’s son Solomon has assumed the throne, making her queen mother. When she enters the royal chamber this time as mother of the king, she is treated much differently than when she was just the wife of the king. The narrative tells not of Bathsheba bowing before the king, but of King Solomon rising and bowing down before her. Then Solomon has a throne brought in for her, symbolizing her royal status. Even more striking is the place where Solomon places Bathsheba’s royal seat: at his right hand. The queen mother being seated at the king’s right hand has the greatest significance, for in the Bible the right is a position of authority and supreme honor. As Gray observes, “Nowhere else in the Bible does the king honor someone as Solomon does the Gebirah.” (5).


The queen mother also served as a counselor to the king (6). We have some evidence of this in the Old Testament. For example, in Proverbs 31, a queen mother gives wise counsel to her son about how to serve the poor, rule the people with justice, avoid too much alcohol and choose a good wife. Although not always this positive, the queen mother’s counsel seems to have had the ability to greatly influence affairs in the kingdom. 2 Chronicles 22:3, for example, tells how King Ahaziah “walked in the ways of the house of Ahab (an evil king), for his mother was his counselor in doing wickedly.” This shows how at least this particular queen mother’s counsel was so influential it led the king into wickedness.


The influence of the queen mother is seen in the intercessory role she played in ancient Israel (7). She served as an advocate, taking petitions from the people and presenting them to the king. Her intercessory function can be seen in the passage from 1 Kings 2 when Bathsheba went to meet her royal son, Solomon. In the context, Solomon has been crowned king, and Bathsheba has thus become queen mother. Her new intercessory power is immediately recognized when a man named Adonijah asks Bathsheba to bring a petition of his to the king. Adonijah expresses great confidence in her intercessory role, saying “Pray ask King Solomon—he will not refuse you” (1 Kings 2:17). Bathsheba agrees and then goes to the king.


After she is welcomed by the king, who bows before her and gives her a throne at his right hand, Bathsheba tells Solomon she has a small request to bring to him. Solomon responds by saying “Make your request my mother, for I will not refuse you.” Indeed, Solomon’s words reveal the king’s ordinary commitment to the queen mother’s petitions (8).


In sum, we have seen that the queen mother held an official position in the royal court, sharing in the shepherding responsibilities of the king, and serving as a counselor for the king and as an advocate for the people.


The Queen Mother in Prophecy: Isaiah 7:14


We also see the importance of the queen mother in Israel’s prophetic tradition, particularly in the Emmanuel prophecy of Isaiah 7:14. This passage, filled with strong Davidic overtones, is important for our study because it is associated with Israel’s messianic hopes and was explicitly related to Mary and Jesus in the New Testament (Mt 1:23).


The prophecy comes during a period of dynastic crisis. Syria and the Northern Kingdom of Israel threaten to invade the Kingdom of Judah. Ahaz, the king of Judah, fears that the dynasty may be coming to an end with him (Is 7:1-6). Isaiah is sent by God to assure a doubting Ahaz that the kingdom will survive this foreign threat and challenge him to entrust his throne to the Lord. Isaiah then gives a sign to the house of David that will serve as a confirmation of Yahweh’s protection of the Davidic dynasty:


Here then O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin (almah) shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Emmanuel (Is 7:13-14).


At a most basic level, the child represents an heir to the Davidic throne. Such a view best demonstrates how this sign for the house of David relates to the immediate context of the dynastic crisis at hand. Not only is the Davidic line in danger of expiring (Is 7:6), but as a result, God’s faithfulness to the Davidic dynasty (2 Sam 7:11-14) is called into question. It is within this setting that Isaiah specifically addressed “the house of David” with this oracle announcing the Immanuel child in 7:14. Given this context, the child seems to represent some type of dynastic sign guaranteeing the succession of the endangered Davidic line.


This view finds further support in the fact that the child’s name (God with us) is itself bound up with the idea of the preservation of the Davidic dynasty. Since God promised to be “with” the sons of David in a special way (2 Sam 7:9; 1 Kings 1:37; Ps 89:22, 25; 1 Kings 11:38), the sign of a child named “Immanuel” gives assurance that God will remain faithful to his promise to the Davidic dynasty: God will still be with his people even through this crisis in which the house of David appears to be crumbling. All this strongly supports an understanding of the child as a successor to the Davidic throne—someone in whom the dynasty would continue. And in light of the fact that this child in Isaiah 7 is also associated with the great prophecies of Isaiah 9 (a child who would bring about a never-ending kingdom) and Isaiah 11 (a royal son who would unify all people and whom all nations would seek), we can see even more clearly that this prophecy ultimately will be fulfilled in the great messiah king to come, Jesus Christ (cf., Mt 1:23).


Once we see the Immanuel child as a Davidic king, the young woman (almah) conceiving this child would have been understood as the mother of the king. Furthermore, in this oracle addressed specifically to the Davidic household (Is 7:13), the young woman bearing the royal son, an heir to the throne, would have been understood as a queen mother. With Isaiah’s overriding concern for dynastic succession in the house of David, it is fitting that this prophecy links the royal son with his queen mother—the very woman who played an important role in dynastic succession and in the royal court. Indeed, Matthew’s Gospel will employ this queen mother and son prophecy in relation to Mary and her royal Davidic son, Jesus, in the New Testament (Mt 1:22-23).


Mary as Queen Mother and Advocate in the New Testament


Up to this point, we have seen the important role of the queen mother in the Davidic kingdom and in the prophetic tradition about the future of the kingdom. We now can turn our attention to the New Testament. Here we will consider how Luke, Matthew and the Johannine writings portray Mary in ways that bring to mind the queen mother of the Old Testament.


Luke 1:26-38


Luke evokes many Davidic kingdom themes in his infancy narrative. In the Annunciation scene, Luke presents Mary’s vocation as Mother of the Messiah within a Davidic kingdom framework. She is introduced in the narrative as being betrothed to a man who is “of the house of David” (Lk 1:26). Luke mentions this detail of Joseph’s heritage in order to prepare the reader for understanding Jesus as a Davidic heir.


The angel’s announcement to Mary in Luke 1:32-33 highlights that her child will be the son of David, fulfilling the promises God made to David in 2 Samuel 7. First, she is told by Gabriel that her Son will be called “Son of the Most High” (1:32). Since “Most High” was a title for God in the Old Testament, and a common divine title in Luke as well (9), the description of Jesus as “Son of the Most High” would indicate that he has a filial relationship with God. This expression also could be understood in light of the Old Testament designation of the Davidic king as God’s son. Thus, Jesus as “Son of the Most High” likely recalls Nathan’s oracle (2 Sam 7:14) and the royal Psalms (Ps 2:7; 89:26-27; cf. Ps 110:1)—both of which describe the Davidic king as having a special filial relationship with Yahweh.


That this is the primary meaning of the child’s divine sonship in 1:32 is made clearer in the following verses, which include even more direct allusions to the Davidic covenant and thus bring Jesus’ kingship into sharper focus. The angel goes on to tell Mary that her child will be given “the throne of his father David” (Lk 1:32), showing that Jesus fulfills Nathan’s promise for the Davidic dynasty in which God would establish “the throne of his kingdom forever” (2 Sam 7:13). When the angel describes how the child will “reign over the house of Jacob forever” and says “of his kingdom there will be no end” (Lk 1:33), these words further explicate Jesus’ kingship in terms of the hopes surrounding the Davidic dynasty (2 Sam 7:13; Ps 89:36ff; Is 9:6ff).


Furthermore, there are several direct parallels between Luke 1:32-33 and the promises God made to David in 2 Samuel 7:9-16 (great name, throne, divine sonship, house and kingdom). Indeed, Gabriel’s words clearly echo Nathan’s oracle, which became the foundation for Jewish messianic hopes. The parallels can be demonstrated in the following chart:


Luke 1:


32a: He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High.

32b: And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David

33a: and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever,

33b: and of his kingdom there will be no end.

2 Sam 7:

9: I will make for you a great name . . .

13: I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

14: I will be his father, and he shall be my son . . .

16: And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever (10).


With these words, Gabriel is clearly identifying the child as the Davidic messiah, fulfilling the hopes of 2 Samuel 7. Therefore, the narrative shows that Mary is given the vocation to be the mother of the king.


This is why some have suggested that the queen-mother tradition may be in the background of the Annunciation scene (11). Indeed, this passage portrays Mary as a mother linked with the house of David and giving birth to a Davidic son. Especially since Luke places this scene in the context of the Davidic kingdom, it seems that Mary’s role should be understood in light of that Davidic tradition as well. In that context, Mary, as mother of the Davidic king, would be seen as queen mother of her royal son. As Cazelles has pointed out, while the angel’s words speak of Jesus as the Messiah-King, they also provide a basis for Mary’s royal maternity. “One could not more explicitly announce the birth of the Messiah who was waited for and announced by the prophets. However, by speaking directly to the Mother of the Messiah, the angel implicitly evoked the woman who was the mother of the king, linked to her son. It is thus that these words contain a theology of the queenship of Mary” (12).


Luke 1:39-45


In Luke’s account of the visitation, we will see how Elizabeth’s greeting Mary with the title “the mother of my Lord” (Lk 1:43) is charged with great royal significance that is helpful for our topic.


This is the first time Jesus is called “Lord” in Luke-Acts. While kurios was used often in the Old Testament as a circumlocution for avoiding the Tetrogrammaton (Yahweh), it also referred to the Davidic king (2 Sam 24:21; 1 Kings 1:13-47) and the royal messiah (Ps 110:1). Within the Lucan narrative, the title “Lord” later came to refer to Jesus’ total authority and placed him on par with Yahweh (Acts 2 and 10) (13). However, at this point in the narrative, its use by Elizabeth could be “a prophetic foreshadowing” of Jesus’ full identity to be revealed later in the narrative. But in this first use of the title “Lord,” “it could also be seen to signify simply the Lordship of the Messiah (Lk 20:41-44)” (14).


Furthermore, Elizabeth’s words to Mary, “And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Lk 1:43), echo 2 Samuel 24:21 where the phrase “my Lord” is used as a royal title honoring the king. In that text, Araunah greets King David, saying: “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” (2 Sam 24:21). With this in the background, Elizabeth’s words here in 1:43 would have regal connotations that further present Jesus as a Davidic king.


It is also significant that the title in 1:43 is not used in an absolute sense, but stands alongside the first person possessive, “my Lord.” This may further signify its royal messianic meaning, since this expression was used in the Old Testament to denote the king and the future messiah. As Brown has observed, “Both in the gospel (20:41-44) and in Acts (2:34) Luke uses Psalm 110:1, ‘the Lord said to my Lord,’ to show that Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God; and Elizabeth is recognizing Mary as the mother of ‘my Lord’ i.e., of the Messiah” (15).


Thus, when Elizabeth calls Mary “the mother of my Lord,” these words not only point to Jesus as the Messiah, but they also tell us something important about Mary. While recognizing the messianic lordship of Mary’s child, Elizabeth, at the same time, acknowledges Mary as the mother of her king. Here it should be pointed out that in the New Testament, Mary often is referred to as the “mother of Jesus” or “his mother,” but nowhere is she called the “mother of my Lord” except here in 1:43 (16). Thus, this unique title for Mary seems to draw attention to her position not just as mother of Jesus in general, but as mother of Jesus specifically in his role as messianic Lord. In other words, Elizabeth, in greeting Mary as “the mother of my Lord,” refers to her as mother of the Messiah-King.


This is why the words “the mother of my Lord” point to Mary as a queen-mother figure. It has been noted that in royal court language of the Ancient Near East, the title “Mother of my Lord” would have been used to address the queen mother of the reigning king (who himself was addressed as “my Lord”; cf., 2 Sam 24:21) (17). Thus, within the strong Davidic context of Luke’s infancy narrative, Elizabeth addressing Mary with this royal title provides a basis for viewing her in light of the queen-mother tradition of the Old Testament.


Matthew 1-2


The infancy narrative in Matthew’s Gospel is framed largely around the hopes surrounding the Davidic kingdom. For example, in the very first verse, Jesus is called “christos,” which translated the Hebrew word masiah (1:1). This title was used often in the Old Testament to describe Israel’s king, and in post-exilic times to designate the future Davidic king whom God would use to restore the kingdom and establish a perfect, everlasting reign. By using “christos” five times in the first two chapters, Matthew draws attention to Jesus’ Davidic heritage, identifying him as the long-awaited king who would restore the kingdom (Mt 1:1, 16, 17, 18; 2:4).


This messianic portrait is filled in more by another title used in the first verse: “the Son of David” (1:1). By the first century, this title designated the messianic king who would fulfill the promises God made to David. Thus, Matthew’s Gospel shows that Jesus is not just any descendant of David, but is the son of David who would inaugurate the perfect kingdom that would never end.


After tracing Jesus’ royal lineage all the way back to King David in Matthew 1:6-17, Matthew’s Gospel goes on to show how Jesus’ birth itself fulfills hopes surrounding the Messiah-King and the restoration of the Davidic dynasty. Matthew notes that Jesus is born in Bethlehem (2:1), the same place where David was born. The magi call him “the king of the Jews” (2:2) and want to give royal homage to this newborn king (2:2). The scene of the magi paying royal homage to the child also reveals Jesus’ kingship. This is especially seen in the gifts which the magi bring, for they are gifts fit for a king, as seen in this passage’s allusions to Isaiah 60:1ff.; Psalm 72:10-11 and 1 Kings 10:2, 10. Matthew also highlights how Jesus’ birth fulfills prophecies about Davidic kings, including the Immanuel prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 (see Mt 1:22-23) and the prophecy about the future ruler being born in Bethlehem in Micah 5:2 (see Mt 2:5-6).


Within this resounding chorus of Davidic kingdom allusions, Matthew also associates the royal Son with his Mother in several ways that may recall the queen mother.

First, Matthew associates Mary and Jesus with the queen mother and royal son prophecy of Isaiah 7:14. In 1:23, Matthew identifies Mary as the parthenos, whom Isaiah prophesied would give birth to the Immanuel child in Isaiah 7:14 (LXX). As we saw earlier, in the Isaian oracle, the queen mother of Immanuel brings forth a child who would ensure the perseverance of the Davidic dynasty. Here in Matthew 1, Mary does the same, bringing forth the Davidic heir who would secure the true Davidic kingdom forever. As Serra explains, “Just as she (the queen mother in Isaiah 7:14) gave birth to a son who guaranteed the continuation of the House of David, so Mary gives birth to a son who will reign forever on the throne of David, in the house of Jacob, in the ‘Israel of God’ (cf., Mt 28:20; 16:18; Gal 6:16; 2 Sam 7:16). One notes the royalty of the two women” (18).


Second, Matthew frequently records the newborn king alongside his mother. In fact, some have pointed out how Matthew constantly mentioning the child and his mother together—five times in chapter two alone—could draw attention to Mary’s association with her royal Son in a way that recalls the Old Testament queen-mother tradition (19). Matthew’s recurring phrase “the child and his mother” has “a Davidic resonance” (20), which might bring to mind the way the books of Kings repeatedly introduced each new Davidic king alongside the queen mother.


Third, she holds an important narrative position alongside her royal Son when the magi pay him homage (Mt 2:11). This scene involves a number of Davidic kingdom themes. Jesus is called the “king of the Jews” (2:2). The star guiding the magi recalls the star in Balaam’s oracle about the royal scepter rising out of Israel (Num 24:17). The narrative centers on the city of Bethlehem, where David was born (1 Sam 17:12) and out of which the future Davidic king would come (Mic 5:2). And the magi bringing gifts and paying the child Jesus homage recall the royal Psalm 72:10-11 (cf., Is. 60:6).


Within this Davidic kingdom context, Matthew records Mary with the child when the three magi come to honor the newborn king. Notice how mention of Joseph is conspicuously absent: “…going into the house, (the magi) saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him” (Mt 2:11). Why does Matthew focus on Jesus and Mary and leave Joseph out of the picture at this point? All throughout the narrative in Matthew 1-2, Joseph is much more prominent than Mary. Matthew traces Jesus’ genealogy through Joseph. The angel appears to Joseph three times. It is Joseph who leads the Holy Family to Bethlehem, to Egypt and back to Nazareth. However, as Aragon notes, in this particular scene of the magi coming to honor the newborn king, Mary takes center stage, and surprisingly, Joseph is not mentioned at all in the entire pericope. “Her mention in this moment, along with the omission of Joseph, underlines that Mary is a person especially important for the narrator, and that is why he puts her in this very high position” (21). This link between royal child and mother in such a regal context again may bring to mind the queen-mother tradition. Indeed, if Jesus is the newborn “king of the Jews” in this scene (2:2), then Mary, as the mother of this king (cf., 2:11), could be understood as a queen mother (22). Brown draws a similar conclusion: “(S)ince the magi story puts so much emphasis on homage paid to a Davidic king in Bethlehem of Judah, ‘the child with his mother’ might evoke the peculiar importance given to the queen mother (gebirah, ‘the Great Lady’) of a newborn or newly installed king in the Davidic dynasty” (23).


Revelation 12


When interpreting the “woman clothed with the sun” in Revelation 12, some identify the “woman” merely in a collective way—as a symbol for the Old Testament people of God, as a symbol for the New Testament church, or as a symbol of God’s people in general, spanning both the old and the new. However, as discussed in the chapter on New Testament foundations, while Revelation 12 portrays the woman in ways that might recall Israel or the Church, the “woman clothed with the sun” is also meant to be understood as Mary. Since Revelation 12 presents the woman as the Mother of the Messiah, a Marian interpretation makes most sense. As Andre Feuillette once put it: “Is it conceivable that a Christian author of the late first century could speak about the Mother of Christ while prescinding entirely from the Virgin Mary?” (24) Once a Marian interpretation of the woman in Revelation 12 is held, the ways in which this book presents Our Lady’s queenship become quite apparent.


Like the other Marian passages we have studied, Revelation 12 is filled with royal themes. On one level, this is seen in the woman’s son, who is described as the messianic king exercising his universal dominion. The book of Revelation uses the messianic Psalm 2 to describe how this child will “rule all the nations with a rod of iron” (12:5). He is taken up to heaven to sit on a throne (12:5). This son ushers in the kingdom of God as the enemy is defeated: “Now … the kingdom of our God (has) come, for the accuser … has been thrown down” (12:10).


On another level, royal images are also associated with the woman herself, who as the mother of this king, is portrayed as a majestic queenly figure: “And a great sign 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). First, the woman’s crown is a symbol of royal authority and victory. In the book of Revelation, the symbol of the crown is never a superfluous decoration, but connotes a real reign (25). It often refers to the share the saints have in Christ’s kingship and the reward they receive for victorious perseverance during times of persecutions and temptations (Rev 2:10; 3:11; 4:4, 10; 6:2; 14:14). Thus, the woman having a crown of her own shows that she too has a royal status. The twelve stars point to her relationship with the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev 21:12) or the Church, founded on the twelve apostles (Rev 21:14).


Second, the woman described as having the moon under her feet also may point to her royal authority. In the Scriptures, under-the-feet imagery was often used to denote royal dominion and subjugation of enemies, especially within a Davidic kingdom context (26). Hence, Vanni concludes: “To have someone or something under the feet signifies having power” (27). Thus, the woman depicted as subjugating the moon under her feet suggests that she too has some type of royal position (28).


Further, the images of the sun, moon and twelve stars portray the woman in light of an Old Testament passage that may highlight the woman’s royal authority. It is sometimes proposed that Isaiah’s depiction of the new Jerusalem’s splendor in 60:19-20 (illumined by God’s glory, no longer in need of the sun or moon) and Song of Songs 6:10 (the bride described as beautiful as the moon and resplendent as the sun) have foreshadowed the woman’s radiant description in Revelation 12:1. While these texts may be in the background, Joseph’s dream in Genesis 37:9-11 seems to be even more related, because it has even stronger parallels with Revelation 12:1-2. In this famous dream, the sun, moon and stars bow down before Joseph, symbolizing the royal authority he would have over his father, mother and brothers when he would rise to a pre-eminent position in Egypt as the most powerful person in Pharaoh’s royal court. Thus, in light of the royal significance of the sun, moon and stars in Genesis 37:9-11, the woman in Revelation 12:1 being depicted with these celestial images may add further color to her royalty.


Therefore, the woman in Revelation 12, portrayed alongside her kingly son and depicted with all these royal images clearly would be seen as some type of queenly figure. And once again, the Old Testament tradition of the gebirah could shed light on this queenly woman of Revelation 12. Indeed, she is the mother of the Davidic king (Rev 12:5; Ps 2:7), and she wears a crown as did the queen mothers in the Davidic kingdom (Jer 13:18). Revelation 12 presents a royal woman (12:1) giving birth to the messiah-king (12:5). Although corporate interpretations often view the woman as a symbol for God’s people, no Old Testament or Jewish text speaks of a queenly figure personifying the collective people of God and giving birth to the messiah. However, a close fit can indeed be found in the Old Testament tradition of the queen mother. The queen mother was a royal woman well-known in the Scriptures for having given birth to the Davidic king and for being closely associated with his reign (29). This is similar to the queenly figure in Revelation 12. As such, the queen mother may be in the background for understanding the royal woman who gave birth to the Davidic messiah in Revelation 12. Kirwin draws a similar conclusion: “The woman of Apocalypse 12 is the Mother of the Messiah-King who on the day of his birth, ‘caught up to the throne of God’ is ruler of the universe… Here too, she is the Queen Mother, Mother of Christ – Head and members, Mother of the Church” (30).


These insights would be strengthened by considering how Revelation 12 portrays the woman in light of the Emmanuel prophecy of Isaiah 7:14, which as we saw involves a queen mother who will give birth to a Davidic son. The woman in Revelation 12:1 is introduced as “a sign” (sēmeion), recalling the sign (sēmeion) given to the house of David in this prophecy (Is 7:10 LXX). This sign in Revelation is located in the heavens, like the sign as high as heaven that was offered to King Ahaz (Is 7:10). The sign in Revelation involves a royal woman giving birth to a kingly son (12:1-2, 5) like the queen mother who would conceive and bear a Davidic heir in the Immanuel prophecy (Is 7:14).


Since the woman is portrayed with a number of royal images, she is presented to the reader as some type of queenly figure. And since she is presented as the Mother of the Davidic Messiah (12:5), the queen-mother tradition of the Old Testament can shed light on the woman’s queenly position in this passage. It is thus, as we have seen, that Revelation 12 lends strong biblical support for an understanding of Mary as Queen Mother.


The Queen-Advocate at Cana


In summary, we have examined the portrayal of Mary in Luke 1:26-38, Luke 1:39-45, Matthew 1-2 and Revelation 12. By considering Mary in light of the Davidic kingdom themes that these passages evoke, we have seen how the queen mother can serve as an important background for understanding Mary in the New Testament. As the mother of the Messiah-King, she appears as the new Gebirah. And as the Queen Mother of Christ’s Kingdom, Mary would serve as Advocate, interceding for God’s people. By way of conclusion, let us briefly consider one New Testament passage which illustrates how effective Mary can be as an Advocate in the Kingdom: the Wedding Feast at Cana (Jn 2:1-11).


First, this scene expresses Mary’s compassion and attentiveness to others’ needs. Vatican II described Mary at Cana being “moved with pity” when she noticed the wine ran short at the wedding (31). John Paul II said Mary was “prompted by her merciful heart” to help this family by bringing her concern for them to Jesus. “Having sensed the eventual disappointment of the newly married couple and guests because of the lack of wine, the Blessed Virgin compassionately suggested to Jesus that he intervene with his messianic power” (32).


Second, this scene serves as a pattern for Marian intercession. Just as Mary at Cana noticed the family’s needs first and brought those needs to Christ, so does she continue to bring our needs to her Son through her intercession for us. John Paul II noted how this scene at Cana exemplifies how she intercedes for all mankind. It demonstrates, he says, “Mary’s solicitude for human beings, her coming to them in the wide variety of their wants and needs” and presenting those needs to Jesus. He continues:


At Cana in Galilee there is shown only one concrete aspect of human need, apparently a small one of little importance (They have no wine). But it has a symbolic value: this coming to the aid of human needs means, at the same time, bringing those needs within the radius of Christ’s messianic mission and salvific power. Thus there is a mediation: Mary places herself between her Son and mankind in the reality of their wants, needs and sufferings (33).


Finally, the Wedding at Cana illustrates Mary’s effectiveness as an advocate. Mary notices the problem the family is facing, and in her unique position as the Mother of the King, she confidently turns to her royal Son for help in a way that no one else could. As John Paul II explained, as Christ’s Mother, Mary knows that “she can point out to her Son the needs of mankind, and in fact, she ‘has the right’ to do so” (RM, 21). And when she presents those needs to her Son, Jesus responds to his Mother’s intercession quite powerfully. As the passage bears out, Mary’s request is fulfilled. Jesus performs the miracle and provides the wine that was lacking. And even more, Jesus supplies for them in an abundant way that goes well beyond one’s expectations—at least 120 gallons worth (cf. Jn. 2:6). Thus, Mary is portrayed as a powerful advocate for the family of the bride and groom at Cana, bringing their needs to the King and effectively receiving from her royal Son what the people need.


Advocate: Foundations in Tradition and Magisterium


Let us turn our attention to Mary’s advocacy role as it unfolds in Catholic Tradition. The early Church quickly perceived the important role Mary played in God’s redemptive plan. The role of Mary as New Eve beside her Son in the economy of salvation is found already in the writings of St. Justin Martyr, St. Irenaeus of Lyons and Tertullian (and possibly other earlier sources) (34). In Justin’s Dialogue with Trypho, Eve is the virgin who “conceived the word of the serpent” and “brought forth disobedience and death”; whereas Mary is the virgin filled with faith, who through her obedience to the angel’s annunciation conceived the child who destroys the serpent and delivers from death those who believe in him (35). In Irenaeus’ Against the Heresies, Mary is described as the cause of salvation (causa salutis) whose obedience untied “the knot of Eve’s disobedience” (36). And in Tertullian’s De Carne Christi, he describes how Eve believed the serpent and conceived the Devil’s word; whereas Mary believed the angel and conceived in her womb the Word of God (37). However, it is St. Irenaeus who is the first to bestow upon Mary the title “advocate” with this Eve-Mary parallel, calling Mary the “advocate of the virgin Eve”:


And if the former (Eve) did disobey God, yet the latter (Mary) was persuaded to be obedient to God, in order that the Virgin Mary might become the advocate (Latin: advocata) of the virgin Eve. And thus, as the human race fell into bondage to death by means of a virgin, so it is rescued by a Virgin; virginal disobedience having been balanced in the opposite scale by virginal obedience (38).


In another text of St. Irenaeus called Proof of the Apostolic Teachings, Mary again is called “advocate” of the virgin Eve:


And just as it was through a virgin who disobeyed that man was stricken and fell and died, so too it was through the Virgin who obeyed the word of God that man, resuscitated by life, received life. For the Lord came to seek back the lost sheep, and it was man who was lost; and therefore he did not become some other formation, but likewise of her that was descended from Adam, preserved the likeness of formation; for, Adam had necessarily to be restored in Christ; that mortality be absorbed by immortality and Eve in Mary; that a Virgin became the advocate of a virgin should undo and destroy virginal disobedience by virginal obedience (39).


According to Luigi Gambero, this text, preserved in Armenian, “seems to indicate the word might have been parakletos, whose meaning is ‘defender, comforter, advocate.’ In fact, in another passage the author applies the title parakletos to the Holy Spirit with a meaning that seems to be in opposition to the term ‘prosecutor’” (40).


That early Christians already were invoking Mary as a powerful intercessor is seen clearly by about the third century. A prayer preserved in a papyrus that was discovered in the John Rylands library of Manchester in 1917, gives the first instance of a prayer addressed to Mary that bears witness to belief in Mary’s intercessory power and her being a source of protection in the face of life’s trials and temptations.

The prayer, known as the Sub Tuum Praesidium, refers to Mary as the Mother of God in whom we find protection (Under your mercy we fly for refuge). The prayer then asks Mary to hear our prayers (despise not our petitions in our necessities) and asks Mary to “deliver us always from all dangers”—echoing the petition from the “Our Father” and in fact using the same word for deliver (rysai) from that prayer (cf. Mt 6:13) (41).


The testimony of Mary’s role as Advocate continued to unfold with greater clarity and elaboration throughout the centuries. St. Ephraim described Mary as “the friendly advocate of sinners” (42). St. Germanus of Constantinople describes Mary’s advocacy role: “For, just as in your Son’s presence you have a mother’s boldness and strength, do you wish your prayers and intercessions save and rescue us from eternal punishment, for we have been condemned by our sins and do not dare even to lift our eyes to heaven above” (43). St. Romanus the Singer envisioned Mary addressing Adam and Eve, saying “Cease your lamentations, I shall be your advocate with my Son” (44).


The twelfth-century liturgical antiphon Salve Regina portrays Mary as the Advocate interceding on our behalf: “…To thee we cry out, poor banished children of Eve; to thee we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, O most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.” Around this period, St. Bernard of Clairvaux refers to Mary’s role as Advocate in his De Aqueductu: “You wish to have an advocate with him (Christ)? … Have recourse to Mary.” He beautifully pleads for Mary to be our Advocate before Jesus in his second sermon for Advent “Our Lady, our Mediatrix, our Advocate, reconcile us to your Son, commend us to your Son, represent us before your Son” (45).


Papal teaching from the sixteenth century onward has often used the title “Advocate” to describe Our Lady. Popes Leo X (in 1520), Sixtus V (in 1587), Clement IX (in 1667) and Clement XI (in 1708) all referred to Mary as Advocate (46). In his 1805 Apostolic Constitution Tanto Studio, Pius VII explained how Mary’s role as Advocate is more powerful than that of the saints by virtue of her being the Mother of Christ. “For, while the prayers of those in heaven have, it is true, some claim on God’s watchful eye, Mary’s prayers place their assurance in a mother’s right. For that reason, when she approaches her divine Son’s throne, as advocate she begs, as handmaid she prays, but as Mother she commands” (47). Pope St. Pius X, in his 1903 prayer “Virgine Sanctissima,” links Mary’s advocacy with her queenship and asks Mary to present our petitions before God to be protected from the snares of the Devil: “Ah! Do thou, our Blessed Mother, our Queen and Advocate … do thou gather together our prayers and we beseech thee (our hearts one with thine) present them before God’s throne” (48).


Pius XI also affirmed Mary’s title as Advocate. In his 1928 Encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor, he mentioned that Christ wished to make Mary “the advocate of sinners and dispenser and mediatrix of his grace” (49). Later, in a 1933 papal allocution, he showed how Mary’s advocacy role is animated by the love between a mother and her son: “…though the grace comes from God, it is given through Mary, our advocate and mediatrix, since motherly affection on the one hand finds response in filial devotion on the other” (50).


Pius XII underscored the universal scope of Mary’s role as Advocate. In a 1947 radio message to the National Marian Congress of Argentina, he notes that while the saints can intercede for our particular needs, Mary’s intercession as Advocate can address more effectively all our needs. He quotes Francisco Suárez, S.J.: “We have the Virgin as universal advocate in all things, for she is more powerful in whatever necessity than are the other saints in particular needs” (51).


Vatican II affirmed the title Advocate in its Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium. First, the constitution relates Mary’s intercession as flowing from her “maternal charity,” by which she “cares for the brethren of her Son.” Lumen Gentium then mentions the title Advocate: “Therefore, the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix” (LG, 62) (52). The constitution goes on to explain that this title Advocate (and the other related titles) do not take away from or add to “the dignity and efficacy of Christ the one Mediator” (LG, 62). Finally, Lumen Gentium itself concludes with a call to Mary to intercede for the unity of the entire human family in Christ’s Church:


The entire body of the faithful pours forth urgent supplications to the Mother of God and of men that she, who aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers, may now, exalted as she is above the angels and saints, intercede before her Son in the fellowship of all the saints, until all families of people … may be happily gathered together in peace and harmony into the one People of God (LG, 68).


We can see how Pope John Paul II reaffirmed Mary’s role as Advocate at different points in his pontificate. For example, in his 1987 Encyclical, Redemptoris Mater, John Paul II notes how Mary intercedes for us, and quotes Lumen Gentium’s teaching about the Church invoking Mary as Advocate (RM, 40, cf. LG, 62). And like Lumen Gentium, this encyclical also calls on Mary to pray for unity (RM, 30). Ten years later, as part of a series of general audience addresses on Mary, John Paul II taught that the Church, following Mary’s example of intercession at Cana and at Pentecost, “learns to be bold in her asking, to persevere in her intercession” (53). In a later address in 1997, he goes on to explicitly discuss the title “Advocate.” He first quotes Lumen Gentium’s affirmation of the title (in LG, 65). Second, he notes how the title goes back to St. Irenaeus, who described Mary’s yes at the Annunciation as the moment she “became the Advocate” of Eve, freeing her “from the consequences of her disobedience, becoming the cause of salvation for herself and the whole human race.” Third, he explains how Mary, as Advocate, works in union with her Son and the Holy Spirit to protect her spiritual children on earth:


Mary exercises her role as “Advocate” by cooperating both with the Spirit (the Paraclete) and with the one who interceded on the Cross for his persecutors (cf. Lk 23:34), whom John calls our “advocate with the Father” (1 Jn 2:1). As a mother, Mary defends her children and protects them from the harm caused by their own sins (54).


Queenship: Foundations in Tradition and Magisterium


Although the earliest Fathers of the Church did not explicitly give Mary the title “Queen,” they did express the reality of her queenship in two ways (55). First, some saw royal significance in Mary’s name. For example, St. Jerome noted that Mary in Syriac can be translated as “domina” (56), meaning Lady, or sovereign, indicating her dignity. Similarly, Peter Chrysologus held that Mary should be translated from the Hebrew as “domina” (57). Subsequent Western authors such as Eucher of Lyons, Isidore of Seville and Venerable Bede followed this approach when discussing Mary’s royal position (58).


On a more exegetical level, initial attention was given to Mary being called “the mother of my Lord” in the Visitation scene (Lk 1:43). For example, Clement of Alexandria, Jerome, Ambrose and Augustine all emphasized Mary being the mater domini (59). With deeper reflection on what it meant for Mary to be the Mother of the Lord, there arose a deeper understanding of Mary being associated with Christ’s kingship. Origen was one of the first to make this move, by referring to Mary as kuria in his commentary on this passage. Origen viewed Elizabeth’s greeting of Mary with the words “Mother of my Lord” as honoring her with a royal dignity (60). Similarly, St. Ephrem referred to Mary as “the Most Holy Sovereign Lady (Domina), Mother of God” (61). Jerome (62) and Augustine (63) also spoke of Mary’s sovereignty (64).


Another line of development can be seen in patristic references to Mary as the mother of the king (65). With the New Testament bestowing on Jesus the title of king, it was easy for some Fathers to describe the Mother of Jesus as the mother of the king, thus linking her closely with Christ’s royal status (66). This set the stage for the title “queen” being used explicitly by later Church Fathers. Chrysippus of Jerusalem, for example, in his homily on Psalm 44, describes Mary as the mother of the king, who herself will be changed into a heavenly queen (67).


As the early Church developed its understanding of basic Marian truths (especially after the Council of Ephesus), there arose greater reflection on the meaning and extent of Mary’s queenship (68). For example, Idelfonse of Toledo not only viewed Mary as a royal figure, but even placed himself as a servant of the queenly Mother of Jesus: “I am your servant, for your Son is my Lord. You are my Queen because you have become the handmaid of my King” (69). Andrew of Crete elaborated on Mary’s royal office, describing her as being crowned in heaven and being the “Regina universorum hominum” (70). St. Germain of Constantinople referred to Mary as “Queen of the Universe” (71), while John Damascene taught that she is queen because she is the Mother of the Creator (72), and even went on to ask Mary to rule over his entire life (73).


Moving into the medieval period, there was frequent mention of Mary’s queenship by writers such as Peter Damian, Anselm, Eadmerus and Bernard of Clairvaux (74)—the latter two laying deeper theological foundations for the queenship in Mary’s divine maternity and her unique cooperation in Christ’s redemptive work (75). This two-fold foundation was discussed more in subsequent centuries. For example, a famous medieval work, the Mariale super missus est, explained how Mary’s queenship is based on her being the Mother of God and her being uniquely associated with Christ’s triumph and royal reign in the kingdom (76).


In this period, the nature and function of Our Lady’s queenship were treated in more detail. Bernardine of Siena taught that Mary reigned over all creatures, including souls on earth, in purgatory and in heaven, and even all devils (77). The function of her royal office is to direct, protect and intercede—thus showing Mary’s advocacy in relationship to her queenship (78). A popular title for Mary in this period was “Queen of Mercy,” which described her royal position in terms of her intercessory role (79). At the same time, there were some suggestions that Mary is queen not only because of her intercessory influence at her Son’s throne, but also in a formal and proper sense. This can be seen, for example, in the writings of Peter Canisius and the Mariale (80).


In the seventeenth century, there was increased emphasis on Mary’s queenship in the strict, formal sense. Ferdinand de Salazar and Christopher de Vega treated Mary’s queenship as having real power, with Mary having real reign over her subjects. Although subordinate to her Son, Mary truly rules with Christ the king. If a king receives his reign by natural right or by right of conquest, the parents participate in that reign. They concluded that since Mary was mother of the king and shared in her Son’s victorious work of redemption, she was queen by natural right and right of conquest and therefore gained a share in her Son’s royalty (81).


Bartholomew de los Rios is another theologian of the period who stressed Mary’s queenship as a real dominion. In scholastic fashion, he outlined the different kinds of royal authority and showed how all apply to Mary (82). These notions find themselves worked out in the eighteenth-century reflections on the spiritual dimension of Mary’s queenship, as seen in St. Alphonsus Ligouri’s The Glories of Mary, and St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary (83).


Liturgical worship in both East and West attest to the queenship of Mary. For example, the non-Byzantine liturgies of the East mention Mary’s queenship implicitly, in texts referring to her as “Lady” or “Our Lady.” The Ethiopian Rite expresses the universal nature of Mary’s reign, calling her “The Lady of us all” (84). The Byzantine liturgy often calls Mary “Queen.” For the feast of the Dormition, Mary is honored as being set upon a throne and reigning with her Son (85). Since the eleventh century, the West has honored Mary as queen quite explicitly in sacred songs. The great Marian hymns Salve Regina and Ave, Regina Caelorum (eleventh century) as well as the Regina Caeli (twelfth-thirteenth century) all express her queenly status and came to be part of the Church’s liturgical worship (86). Further witness to Mary’s queenship is found in popular devotions such as the Rosary (the fifth Glorious Mystery), the Litany of Our Lady, which invokes Mary as “Queen” (Litany of Loreto) (87), and in sacred art, which has commonly depicted Mary with queenly imagery (seated on a throne, crowned, wearing royal clothes, surrounded by angels and saints venerating her, and even being crowned by her Son) (88). Such evidence from popular piety and sacred art reflects an understanding of Mary’s royal status in the believing Church.


* * *


Although Mary’s queenship was not an explicit topic of discussion in early magisterial teachings of the first millennium, a number of popes and councils referred to Mary as a queenly figure in passing. For example, the Third Council of Constantinople described Mary as Lady—”despoina“—a queenly title. In a letter to St. Germain, the patriarch of Constantinople, Pope Gregory II expressed the universality of Mary’s queenship, calling her the ruler of all Christians who will triumph over enemies of the faith (89). While defending the legitimacy of sacred images, the Second Council of Nicea referred to images of “our undefiled Lady (dominae), or holy Mother of God” (90).


In his constitution on the Immaculate Conception, Cum Praecelsa (1477), Pope Sixtus IV referred to Mary as “the Queen of Heaven, the glorious Virgin Mother of God, raised upon her heavenly throne” (91). Pope Benedict XIV’s (1740-1758) papal bull Gloriosae Dominae (1748) (92) not only spoke of Mary as “Queen of heaven and earth,” but also discussed how Christ grants to her “nearly all his empire and power” (93).


Turning to the nineteenth century, Pius IX’s 1854 definition of Mary’s Immaculate Conception (Ineffabilis Deus) described the universal extent of her queenship (Queen of heaven and earth) and directly linked Mary’s royal office with her intercessory power (94).


Popes from the time of Leo XIII to John Paul II have continued to teach of Mary’s queenship with increased frequency and precision. Leo XIII (1878-1903) referred to Mary as queen in several encyclicals and other teachings (95). Pope St. Pius X (1903-14), in his Encyclical Ad Diem Illum (1904), based Mary’s queenship on her unique participation in Christ’s redemptive work (96). Writing during World War I, Pope Benedict XV (1914-22) often entrusted the world to the protection of Mary “Queen of Peace” (97). Pope Pius XI (1922-39) entrusted the Church’s missionary efforts to Mary “Queen of Apostles” (98), and the unity of the Church was entrusted to Mary “the heavenly Queen” (99).


This brings us to Pope Pius XII (1939-58), who was described by one theologian as making Our Lady’s queenship the Marian doctrine most illumined throughout his papal teachings (100). His Encyclical Mystici Corporis refers to Mary as the “true Queen of Martyrs” (101), and as reigning with her Son in heaven (102). In the Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus, defining the Assumption, Pius XII mentions the queenship in his explanation of the Assumption: As the New Eve sharing in the suffering and victory of the New Adam, Mary “finally obtained, as the supreme culmination of her privileges that she should be preserved free from the corruption of the tomb and that, like her own Son, having overcome death, she might be taken up body and soul to the glory of heaven where, as Queen, she sits in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of Ages” (103).


Pius XII offered the Magisterium’s most extensive treatment on Mary’s royal office in 1954, when he instituted the feast of the Queenship of Mary in the Encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam. Near the beginning of this document, the Pope explains that he does not intend to propose Mary’s royal status as a new doctrine, but that he is reaffirming a truth held by the faithful for centuries and instituting a liturgical feast to promote that truth (104). The encyclical discusses two theological foundations for Mary’s royal office: her divine motherhood and her unique cooperation in her Son’s work of salvation. The divine maternity is “the main principle” on which Mary’s queenship rests (105). Pius XII says “it is easily concluded that she is a queen, since she bore a son who, at the very moment of his conception, because of the hypostatic union of the human nature with the Word, was also as man King and Lord of all things” (106).

However, since Christ is king not only by natural right, but also by his salvific work, Mary in a similar way is queen not only by her divine motherhood, but also by her unique cooperation in Christ’s work of redemption. Describing her cooperation in redemption as a second basis for Mary’s queenship, Pius XII, quoting Suárez, teaches

For “just as Christ, because he redeemed us, is our Lord and king by a special title, so the Blessed Virgin also (is our Queen), on account of the unique manner in which she assisted in our redemption, by giving of her own substance, by freely offering him for us, by her singular desire and petition for, and active interest in, our salvation” (107).


The encyclical then expounds on the two-fold meaning of Mary’s queenship. First, Pius XII says it is a “queenship of excellence.” “Hence, it cannot be doubted that Mary Most Holy is far above all other creatures in dignity, and after her Son possesses primacy over all” (108). This unique dignity flows from Mary’s Immaculate Conception. Citing Pope Pius IX’s Ineffabilis Deus, Pius XII notes how Mary, from the first moment of her conception, was filled with every heavenly grace and thus possessed a fullness of innocence and holiness to be found nowhere outside of God (109).


Second, her queenship is one of “efficacy.” This refers to Mary’s real share in Christ’s influence over humanity. As queen, Mary has “a share in that influence by which he, her Son and our Redeemer, is rightly said to reign over the minds and wills of men” (110). The encyclical explains this royal power of Mary in the context of her role in the “distribution of graces” (111) through her motherly intercession—again linking Mary’s queenship with her advocacy.


With a heart that is truly a mother’s … does she approach the problem of our salvation, and is solicitous for the whole human race; made Queen of heaven and earth by the Lord, exalted above all choirs of angels and saints, and standing at the right hand of her only Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, she intercedes powerfully for us with a mother’s prayers, obtains what she seeks, and cannot be refused (112).


Vatican II, in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, explicitly refers to Mary as “Queen over all things,” linking it to her Immaculate Conception and Assumption (LG, 59). Later, the document alludes to Mary’s royal status by speaking of her being “exalted above all angels and men to a place second only to her Son, as the most holy Mother of God who was involved in the mysteries of Christ: she is rightly honored by a special cult in the Church” (LG, 66).


In Pope Paul VI’s Apostolic Exhortation Marialis Cultus, he explicitly treats the feast of Mary’s queenship, showing its link with the solemnity of the Assumption of Mary. Here, he explains how in the revised liturgical calendar the Solemnity of the Assumption is prolonged in the celebration of Mary’s queenship, which occurs seven days later. And he does so in a way that links Mary’s queenship with her advocacy role of interceding before her Son on our behalf: “On this occasion we contemplate her who, seated beside the King of ages, shines forth as Queen and intercedes as Mother” (MC, 6) (113).


A significant development on Mary’s queenship can be seen in Pope John Paul II’s Redemptoris Mater. While re-affirming the teaching of Pius XII and Vatican II, and associating Mary’s queenly position with her Assumption, the Pope then expounds upon a new emphasis: he places Mary’s exalted queenship in the context of her humble service in the kingdom. Peña notes three principal ideas set forth by John Paul II along these lines. The Pope first illustrates how Mary’s exalted royal office must be understood in relation to Christ’s kenosis and royal exaltation. Christ himself humbly served even to the point of death and was therefore raised and entered into the glory of his kingdom, exalted as Lord over all (cf. Phil 2:8-9). The Pope discusses the gospels’ portrayal of the true disciple who will reign in the kingdom as the one who follows Christ’s example through service: “to serve means to reign!” (RM, 41) (114). In this regard, the Pope notes how Mary is the model disciple. At the Annunciation, she called herself the “handmaid of the Lord” and lived out this title throughout her life. She is the first disciple who served Christ in others and led them to him. This is the basis of her queenship: “Mary, the handmaid of the Lord, has a share in this Kingdom of the Son” (RM, 41) (115).


Secondly, the Pope shows how Mary’s queenship continues to be based on her servanthood, even in heaven. “The glory of servingdoes not cease to be her royal exaltation: assumed into heaven, she does not cease her saving service, which expresses her maternal mediation ‘until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect’” (RM, 41) (116).


Thirdly, John Paul II also shows the ecclesial dimension of Mary’s unique royal privilege, placing it in the context of the Communion of Saints who all participate in Christ’s reign. “Thus in her Assumption into heaven, Mary is as it were clothed by the whole reality of the Communion of Saints, and her very union with the Son in glory is wholly oriented towards the definitive fullness of the Kingdom, when ‘God will be all in all’” (RM, 41) (117).


Theological Conclusions and Applications


In summary, our exploration of the Biblical foundations for Mary as Queen and Advocate has demonstrated the important role of the queen mother in the Old Testament Davidic kingdom: she had a real participation in the reign of her son, served as a counselor to her son and most especially, served as an advocate for the people, bringing their petitions to the king. Then we have seen how the New Testament portrays Mary in ways that recall this queen-mother tradition, thus presenting Mary as the new Queen Mother and Advocate in Christ’s kingdom. Next, we have seen how the Church’s understanding of Mary as Queen and Advocate emerged in the early Church, and has deepened and developed throughout the centuries in her Tradition and magisterial teachings. Now, we will briefly consider some ways the biblical queen-mother theme can shed light on certain aspects of Mary’s position as Advocate and Queen.


The queen-mother background offers strong Biblical support for Mary’s intercessory role as Advocate. Since the queen mother served as an Advocate, bringing petitions from the people to the king, the fact that the New Testament presents Mary as the new Queen Mother in Christ’s kingdom indicates that, from a scriptural perspective, Mary should be understood as our Advocate, interceding for us citizens in the Kingdom of her Son.


The queen-mother background also underscores the Christological basis of Mary’s titles as Queen and Advocate. As Vatican II taught, Mary’s queenly and intercessory role should be seen in their relationship with Christ—as dependent upon him and subordinate to him (cf. LG, 62), and as a participation in his reign (cf. LG, 59). The queen-mother theme highlights exactly this point. Just as the queen mother’s royal office and advocacy role in the Davidic kingdom was completely dependent on her son’s reign as king, so too Mary’s position as Queen Mother and her ability to exercise that office through intercession as our Advocate is completely dependent on Christ and his kingship.


Mary’s queenship and advocacy being thus seen as a participation in Christ’ kingship will further highlight how it is not merely an honorific title, but a real queenship, with real power, rooted in humility, service, and sacrifice. The kingdom in which Mary reigns—the kingdom of Christ—is presented in the Scriptures as very different from the kingdoms of this earth. Christ’s kingship “is not of this world” (Jn 18:36), and it is not based on political, militaristic or economic power. While rulers of worldly kingdoms “lord it over” their subjects, Christ exercises his reign through humility and becoming a servant, even to the point of giving his life as a ransom for many (Mt 20:25-28; Phil 2:5-11). Furthermore, the New Testament describes how because of his humble service Christ is exalted by the Father and enthroned over all things (Heb 1:9, 13), victorious over the enemies of sin (Heb 1:3), the Devil (Heb 2:14) and death (1 Cor 15:24) (118). This abasement-exaltation of Christ is seen especially in Philippians 2:5-11, which describes how every knee shall bend to Christ and every tongue shall confess him as Lord, but also emphasizes that his supreme exaltation flows from his abasement, becoming a slave, being obedient unto death, death on a cross.


All this is important because Mary is portrayed in the New Testament as a person who exemplifies this Christ-like abasement-exaltation pattern. She is described as a humble servant of the Lord (Lk 1:38, 48); she is the first who obediently hears God’s word and accepts it (Lk 1:38, 45; Lk 11:27-28), and she perseveres even unto the greatest human suffering, second only to her divine Son (Lk 2:34-35; Jn 19:25-27) (119). And it is precisely in her lowliness as the Lord’s servant that God has exalted her (Lk 1:46-55). In this light, one can conclude that the life of Mary is a testimony to the kingdom of God, and it is through her humble, obedient service that she has a share in Christ’s reign, reigning with him over the powers of sin and death (120).


This is the proper context for understanding the meaning of Mary’s queenship. Mary’s royal position, when viewed through the Biblical view of the kingdom, will be seen in light of the way she imitates Christ’s reign through humble service, obedience to God and persevering faith. As Pope John Paul II has taught in Redemptoris Mater, this perseverance of Mary as “the handmaid of the Lord” is an important basis for understanding her queenship in the kingdom of Christ.


In this she confirmed that she was a true “disciple” of Christ, who strongly emphasized that his mission was one of service: 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). In this way Mary became the first of those who, “serving Christ also in others, with humility and patience lead their brothers and sisters to that King whom to serve is to reign,” and she fully obtained that “state of royal freedom” proper to Christ’s disciples: to serve means to reign! (RM, 41) (121)


This also sheds light on the ecclesial dimension of Mary’s queenship. The Scriptures attest that Christ promised all his faithful disciples a share in his reign. The New Testament describes how those disciples who have been willing to give up everything and follow Christ will “sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Mt 19:28-30). Anyone who hears Christ’s voice and “opens the door” will sit with him on his throne (Rev 3:20-21). His disciples who have continued with him through trials will rule over the new Israel (Lk 22:28-30), and those who will die with him will reign with him (2 Tim 2:11-12).


Mary certainly meets the Biblical criteria for reigning with Christ (122). From the Annunciation to Pentecost, Mary is portrayed as a model disciple who heard God’s word and accepted it (Lk 1:38, 45; 8:21; 11:27-28), and persevered throughout her life (Acts 1:14), following Christ even through the torment of her Son’s death (Lk 2:34-35; Jn 19:25-27). Thus, having been a true disciple of Christ, it is fitting that she would share in the reign Christ promised all of his disciples.


One Mariologist has noted how this Biblical understanding of Christ’s kingdom also places Mary’s queenship more clearly in the context of the royalty of the whole people of God, highlighting the ecclesial dimension of her royal office:


The insertion of the queenship of the Virgin in the context of the royal office of the people of God (1 Pet 2:9; Rev 1:6; 5:9; 20:4-6), while not detaching the person of Mary from the ecclesial community, helps to understand better the significance of Mary’s queenship and its meaning for Christians today (123).


Mary’s queenship is not something far removed from the Christian life, an exalted position in heaven that we are to honor only from a distance. “She is not an isolated and extraneous figure, but one who, in communion with all Christians, participates in the same reign of Christ” (124). As such, Mary becomes “an example from within the people of God” of the destiny to which we are all called (125). We can see in Mary a model of what all faithful disciples will become. Through imitating Mary’s humble service as a faithful disciple of the Lord, we can hope to have a share in the same Kingdom of Christ that she does. In this light, we can see that Mary’s queenship has great practical significance for Christians of all ages, of all cultures and in all states of life. As Pope John Paul II taught in an Angelus exhortation in 1981:


Therefore, fixing our gaze on the mystery of Mary’s Assumption, of her “crowning” in glory, we daily learn to serve—to serve God in our brothers and sisters, to express in our attitude of service the “royalty” of our Christian vocation in every state or profession, in every time and in every place. To carry over into the reality of our daily life through such an attitude the petition, “thy kingdom come,” which we make every day in the Lord’s Prayer to the Father (126).



Notes


(1) See J. Murphy, “Origin and Nature of Marian Cult” in Mariology, vol. 3, ed. J. Carol (Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing, 1961).


(2) See my Queen Mother: A Biblical Theology of Mary’s Queenship (Steubenville, Ohio: Emmaus Road Publishing, 2005), pp. 45-53. See also: N. Andreasen, “The Role of the Queen Mother in Israelite Society” CBQ 45 (1983), pp. 179-194; L. Schearing, “Queen” in D. Freedman, ed., The Anchor Bible Dictionary, vol. 5 (New York: Doubleday, 1992), pp. 583-588; R. De Vaux, Ancient Israel (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1961), pp. 115-119; G. Kirwin, The Nature of the Queenship of Mary (Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI Dissertation Services, 1973), pp. 297-312.


(3) G. Montague, Our Father, Our Mother (Steubenville: Franciscan University Press, 1990), p. 92.


(4) M. Miguens, Mary: ‘Servant of the Lord’ (Boston: St. Paul Editions, 1978), p. 65.


(5) T. Gray, “God’s Word and Mary’s Royal Office,” Miles Immaculatae 13 (1995), p. 377.


(6) P. De Boer, “The Counselor,” VTSup 3 (Leiden: Brill, 1955), p. 54; N. Andreasen, “The Role of the Queen Mother in Israelite Society,” pp. 190-191.


(7) P. De Boer, “The Counselor,” pp. 60-61; N. Andreasen, “The Role of the Queen Mother in Israelite Society,” pp. 194.


(8) See F. Rossier, L’intercession Entre les Hommes dans la Bible Hébraique Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 152 (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1996), p. 189. Also, see Gray’s note on this passage: “The fact that Solomon denies the request in no way discredits the influence of the Gebirah. Adonijah wanted Abishag the Shunammite for the treacherous purpose of taking over the kingdom from Solomon.” T. Gray, “God’s Word and Mary’s Royal Office,” p. 381, n. 16. Taking the king’s concubine was a sign of usurping the throne in the Ancient Near East. For example, see how Absalom (Adonijah’s older brother), in his attempt to take the throne from David, took his concubines (2 Sam 16:20-23). Gray continues, “Thus the wickedness of Adonijah’s intention is the reason for denial, which in no way reflects negatively upon the Gebirah’s power to intercede. The narrative bears out the fact that the king normally accepted the Gebirah’s request, thus Solomon says, ‘Ask, I will not refuse you.’ To say then that this illustrates the weakness of the Gebirah’s ability to intercede would be to miss the whole point of the narrative, which tells how Adonijah uses the queen mother’s position in an attempt to become king.” T. Gray, “God’s Word and Mary’s Royal Office,” p. 381, n. 16, emphasis added. For more on the political symbolism of usurping a member of a king’s harem, see R. De Vaux, Ancient Israel, p. 116.


(9) See Luke 1:35, 76; 6:35; 8:28; Acts 7:48; 16:17. J. Fitzmyer, The Gospel According to

Luke (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1981) p. 348.


(10) R. Brown, Birth of the Messiah (New York: Doubleday, 1993), p. 310.


(11) S. De Fiores, “Regina: Approfondimento Teologico Attualizzato,” in S. De Fiores and S. Meo, eds., Nuovo Dizionario di Mariologia (Milan: Edizioni San Paolo, 1996), pp. 1080-1081; A. Serra, “Regina,” pp. 1073-1074; J. Ibánez and F. Mendoza, La Madre del Redentor (Madrid: Ediciones Palabra, 1988), p. 290; G. Del Moral, “Santa María, La Guebiráh Messiánica,” p. 44; T. Gray, “God’s Word and Mary’s Royal Office,” p. 384; H. Cazelles, “La Mère du Roi-Messie” in Mater et Ecclesia, Congressus Mariologicus, vol. 5 (Lourdes, 1958), pp. 55-56; A. Valentini, “Lc 1, 39-45: Primi Inizi di Venerazione delle Madre del Signore,” Marianum 58 (1996), p. 348.


(12) H. Cazelles, “La Mère du Roi-Messie,” p. 56.


(13) D. Bock, Proclamation from Prophecy and Pattern (JSNTSup 12) (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1987) pp. 69-70.


(14) Bock continues: “…but in view of Luke’s later development of this term, clearly something more is in mind here, though this deeper intention is not clear by this text alone. It only emerges from later Lucan usage.” D. Bock, Proclamation from Prophecy and Pattern, p. 70.


(15) R. Brown, Birth of the Messiah, p. 344.


(16) M. Miguens, Mary: Servant of the Lord, p. 61.


(17) B. Ahern, “The Mother of the Messiah” in Marian Studies 12 (1961), p. 28; G. Kirwin, The Nature of the Queenship of Mary, p. 29, n. 72; G. Del Moral, “La Realeza de María segun la Sagrada Escritura,” p. 176; M. Miguens, Mary: Servant of the Lord, pp. 60-62.


(18) A. Serra, “Bibbia,” p. 219.


(19) Matthew 2:11, 13, 14, 20, 21. See, for example, B. Nolan, The Royal Son of God (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Rupprecht, 1979), p. 43.


(20) B. Nolan, The Royal Son of God, p. 43.


(21) R. Aragon, “La Madre con el Niño en la Casa” EphMar 43 (1993), pp. 54-55. See also: G. Segalla, “Il Bambino con Maria Sua Madre” Theotokos 4 (1996), p. 19.


(22) “Matthew makes it very clear that the infant is king, Israel’s messiah, son of David (1:1, 20; 2:2, 6, 11). Clearly, Mary is the Gebirah, the queen-mother.” G. Montague, Our Father, Our Mother, p. 97. See also: G. Segalla, “Il Bambino Con Maria Sua Madre in Matteo 2,” p. 18; A. Serra, “Regina,” p. 1073; G. Del Moral, “Santa María, La Guebiráh Mesiánica,” p. 42.


(23) R. Brown, Birth of the Messiah, p. 192, n. 32.


(24) A. Feuillet, Jesus and His Mother (Still River: St. Bede’s Publications, 1984), p. 23.


(25) See G. Stevenson, “Conceptual Background to Golden Crown Imagery in the Apocalypse of John (4:4, 10; 14:14),” JBL 114 (1995), p. 260; U. Vanni, “La Decodificazione ‘Del Grande Segno’ in Apocalisse 12,1-6,” Marianum 40 (1978), p. 131.


(26) Ps 89:23; 110:1; 2 Sam 22:37-43; cf. Gen 3:15; Ps 8:6. See W. Witfall, “Gen 3:15—A Protoevangelium?” CBQ 36 (1974), p. 363.


(27) U. Vanni, “La Decodificazione ‘Del Grande Segno,’ ” p. 129.


(28) “The moon beneath her feet (perhaps a footstool) speaks of dominion.” R. Mounce, The Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), p. 232. Since the moon was important for time (Gen 1:14-19 and the Jewish lunar calendar), this image may symbolize dominion over the temporal realm. See also: A. Serra, “Bibbia,” p. 265; idem., “Regina,” pp. 1079-1080.


(29) P. Farkas, La Donna di Apocalisse 12 (Rome: Editrice Pontificia Universita Gregoriana, 1997), pp. 210-211.


(30) G. Kirwin, The Nature of the Queenship of Mary, p. 297.


(31) Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, 58.


(32) John Paul II, general audience of March 5, 1997, in Theotokos (Boston: Pauline Books and Media, 2000), p. 177.


(33) John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, 21 (Boston: Pauline Books and Media, 1987).


(34) For a discussion of possible Eve-Mary parallels in the middle second century, Epistle to Diognetus, and in a possible allusion to Papias in Victorinus of Pettau’s treatise De Fabrica Mundi, see L. Gambero, “Patristic Intuitions of Mary’s Role as Mediatrix and Advocate: The Invocation of the Faithful for Her Help” Marian Studies 52 (2001), pp. 79-83.


(35) St. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho 100, PG 6, 711-12; L. Gambero, “Patristic Intuitions,” pp. 83-84.


(36) St. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses 3:22 PG 7, 958-960; L. Gambero, Mary and the Fathers of the Church (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1999), p. 58; idem, “Patristic Intuitions,” p. 88.


(37) Tertullian, De Carne Christi, 17, PL 2, 827; L. Gambero, “Patristic Intuitions,” pp. 95-96.


(38) St. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses 5, 19, 1, PG 7, 1175-1176; The Ante-Nicene Fathers, 1:547.


(39) Cf. L. Gambero, Mary and the Fathers of the Church, p. 55.


(40) L. Gambero, “Patristic Intuitions,” p. 93.


(41) See M. O’Carroll, Theotokos, p. 326.


(42) St. Ephraim, S. Ephraiem Syri testim. De B.V.M. meditatione, Ephemeredes Theologicae Lovanienses, IV, fasc. 2, 1927. As cited in M. Miravalle, Mary: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate (Santa Barbara: Queenship Publishing, 1993) p. 63.


(43) St. Germanus of Constantinople, Homily on the Cincture PG 98, 380 D-381 A. As translated in L. Gambero, Mary and the Fathers of the Church, p. 388.


(44) St. Romanos the Singer, Homily on the Nativity, II, SC 110, 100. As translated by M. O’Carroll, “Advocate” in Theotokos, p. 6.


(45) De Aquaeduc, 7 ed. J. Leclercq. V, 279. As translated by M. O’Carroll, in Theotokos, p. 6; PL 183, 43C.


(46) Leo X, Bull Pastoris Aeterni (October 6, 1520); Sixtus V, Bull Gloriosae (June 8, 1587); Clement IX, Brief Sincera Nostra(October 21, 1667); Clement XI, Bull, Commissi Nobis (December 8, 1708). As Cited in M. O’Carroll, Theotokos, p. 6.


(47) Pius VII, Apostolic Constitution Tanto Studio (Feb. 19, 1805) in Our Lady (Boston: St. Paul Editions, 1961), p. 42.


(48) St. Pius X, prayer for the 50th anniversary of the definition of the Immaculate Conception, “O Most Holy Virgin” (Sept. 8, 1903) in Our Lady, p. 165.


(49) Pius XI, Encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor (May 8, 1928) in Our Lady, p. 209.


(50) Pius XI, Papal Allocution to pilgrims present at the reading of the decree de tuto for the canonization of Bl. Antida Thouret (August 15, 1933) in Our Lady, p. 223.


(51) Pius XII, radio message to the National Marian Congress of Argentina (Oct. 12, 1947) in Our Lady, p. 280.


(52) Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post-Conciliar Documents, ed. A. Flannery (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1992).


(53) John Paul II, “Mary is a Model of Faith, Hope and Charity” general audience of

September 10, 1997, in Theotokos (Boston: Pauline Books & Media, 2000).


(54) John Paul II, “Mary Has a Universal Spiritual Motherhood,” general audience of September 24, 1997, in Theotokos.


(55) L. Gambero, “La Regalità di Maria nel Pensiero dei Padri,” p. 435.


(56) “Sciendumque quod Maria sermone Syro domina nuncupetur.” Jerome, Liber de Nominibus Hebraicis, PL 23, 842. See also M. Donnelly, “The Queenship of Mary During the Patristic Period,” p. 90.


(57) Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 142, PL 52, 579c.


(58) L. Gambero, “La Regalitá nel Pensiero dei Padri,” pp. 441-442; M. Donnelly, “The Queenship of Mary During the Patristic Period,” pp. 99-100.


(59) M. Donnelly, “The Queenship of Mary During the Patristic Period,” p. 87.


(60) Fragmenta Origenis, Ex Macarii Chrysocephali Orationibus in Lucam, PG 13, 1902. “Cur me igitur prior salutas? Nunquid ego sum quae Salvatorem pario? Oportebat me ad te venire: tu enim super omnes mulieres benedicta: tu Mater Domini mei: tu mea Domina.”


(61) Ephrem, Ed. Assemani, III, 524 as cited in M. Donnelly, “The Queenship of Mary During the Patristic Period,” p. 87.


(62) Jerome, Homilia in die Dom. Paschae, ed. D. Morin, Anecdota Maredsolan, t. III, pars. II, p. 414 as cited by M. Donnelly, “The Queenship of Mary,” p. 88.


(63) Augustine, In Joannis Evangelium VIII, PL 35, 1456.


(64) M. Donnelly, “The Queenship of Mary During the Patristic Period,” p. 88. On the significance of this title “Domina,” see G. Kirwin, The Nature of the Queenship of Mary, p. 39: “The name, ‘Domina’ indicates a great dignity and the fact that it is applied to Mary who is the Mother of the ‘Dominus’ leads us easily to the conclusion that she too is a sovereign.”


(65) For example: Gregory of Nanzianzus, Poemata Dogmatica, PG 37, 485a; Hesychius, de Sancta Maria Deipara Homilia, PG 93, 1465-1468; Sedulius, Opus Paschale, PL 19, 599; cf., John Chrysostom, In Annuntiationem Deiparae, PG 62, 765.


(66) M. Donnelly, “The Queenship of Mary During the Patristic Period,” pp. 88-89; L. Gambero, “La Regalità di Maria nel Pensiero dei Padri,” pp. 438-441.


(67) Chrysippus of Jerusalem, In S. Mariam Deiparam, PO 93, 339.


(68) Cf. L. Gambero, “La regalità di Maria nel Pensiero dei Padri,” p. 433.


(69) Idelfonse of Toledo, Liber de Virginitate Perpetua S. Mariae, PL 96, 106.


(70) Andrew of Crete, In Dormitionem S. Mariae, PG 97, 1107.


(71) Germain of Constantinople, In Praesentationem SS. Deiparae I, PG 98, 304.


(72) John Damascene, De Fide Orthodoxa Lib. IV, PG 96, 1157, 1162.


(73) John Damascene, Homilia II in Dormitionem B.V. Mariae, PG 96, 721.


(74) W. Hill, “Our Lady’s Queenship in the Middle Ages and Modern Times,” pp. 135-143.


(75) W. Hill, “Our Lady’s Queenship,” pp. 139, 143; F. Schmidt, “The Universal Queenship of Mary,” p. 530.


(76) W. Hill, “Our Lady’s Queenship,” p. 148.


(77) G. Kirwin, The Nature of the Queenship of Mary, p. 53. Conrad of Saxony drew a similar conclusion. F. Schmidt, “Universal Queenship of Mary,” p. 531.


(78) G. Kirwin, The Nature of the Queenship of Mary, p. 53.


(79) W. Hill notes Bonaventure, the Mariale, Richard of St. Lawrence, Bernardine of Siena, and Denis the Carthusian as examples. W. Hill, “Our Lady’s Queenship,” pp. 146, 149-152.


(80) W. Hill, “Our Lady’s Queenship,” p. 153.


(81) G. Kirwin, The Nature of the Queenship of Mary, p. 55. W. Hill, “Our Lady’s Queenship,” pp. 159, 161.


(82) G. Kirwin, The Nature of the Queenship of Mary, p. 55. W. Hill, “Our Lady’s Queenship,” pp. 164-167.


(83) W. Hill, “Our Lady’s Queenship,” p. 168.


(84) G. Kirwin, The Nature of the Queenship of Mary, pp. 62-63.


(85) G. Kirwin, The Nature of the Queenship of Mary, p. 63.


(86) E. Lodi, “Preghiera Mariana” in Nuovo Dizionario di Mariologia, eds. S. De Fiores & S. Meo (Milan: Edizioni San Paolo, 1996), p. 1029. C. O’Donnel, At Worship with Mary: A Pastoral and Theological Study (Wilmington, Delaware: Michael Glazier, 1988), p. 153.


(87) G. Besutti, “Litanie,” in Nuovo Dizionario di Mariologia, eds., S. De Fiores & S. Meo (Milan: Edizioni San Paolo, 1996), p. 684.


(88) G. Kirwin, The Nature of the Queenship of Mary, pp. 40-41, 68-79. Pius XII, Ad Caeli Reginam, AAS 46 (1954) 632-633.


(89) E. Carroll, “Our Lady’s Queenship in the Magisterium of the Church,” pp. 38-39.


(90) Council of Nicea II in The Sources of Catholic Dogma, ed. H. Denzinger (St. Louis: Herder, 1957), p. 121.


(91) E. Carroll, “Our Lady’s Queenship,” p. 41.


(92) Benedict XIV, Gloriosae Dominae (September 27, 1748) in Our Lady, pp. 25-29.


(93) Benedict XIV, Gloriosae Dominae, in Our Lady, p. 26.


(94) Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus in Our Lady, p. 82.


(95) For example: Supremi Apostolatus, ASS 16 (1883) 116; Octobri mense, ASS 24 (1891-1892) 202; Magnae Dei Matris, ASS 25 (1892-1893) 140; Laetitiae sanctae, ASS 26 (1893-1894) 193; Iucunda semper, ASS 27 (1894-1895) 177; Adiutricem populi, ASS 28 (1895-1896) 129; Fidentem piumque, ASS 29 (1896-1897) 204. See E. Carroll, “Our Lady’s Queenship,” pp. 47-53.


(96) Pius X, Ad Diem Illum, AAS 36 (1903-1904) 454. See Our Lady, pp. 165-182.


(97) See E. Carroll, “Our Lady’s Queenship,” pp. 55-56.


(98) Pius XI, Rerum Ecclesiae, AAS 18 (1926) 83. Trans. from Our Lady, p. 207.


(99) Pius XI, Lux Veritatis, AAS 23 (1931) 515. Trans. from Our Lady, p. 218.


(100) “If we should wish to determine from the documents we have what truth Pius XII has above all illuminated in Our Lady, it seems no mistake to say: the queenship … On this point the teaching of Pius XII far surpasses in richness and development that of his predecessors.” D. Bertetto, “La Dottrina Mariana di Pio XII,” Salesianum 11 (1949), pp. 22-23 as cited in E. Carroll, “Our Lady’s Queenship,” pp. 61-62. Note how this statement was made about Pius XII even before the definition of the Assumption and his encyclical on Mary’s queenship, Ad Caeli Reginam!


(101) Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, AAS 35 (1943) 248.


(102) AAS 35 (1943) 248.


(103) AAS 42 (1950) 768-769. Trans. from Papal Teachings, p. 318.


(104) Pius XII, Ad Caeli Reginam, AAS 46 (1954) 626-627. For more extensive treatments on this encyclical, see: N. Peña, “La Encíclica ‘Ad Caeli Reginam,’” EphMar 46 (1996), pp. 485-501; M. Peinador, “Propedeutica a la Encyclica ‘Ad Caeli Reginam,’” EphMar 5 (1955), pp. 291-316; G. Roschini, “Breve commento all’Enciclica ‘Ad Caeli Reginam,’” Marianum 16 (1954), pp. 409-432.


(105) AAS 46 (1954) 633. Trans. from Ad Caeli Reginam, 34 in The Papal Encyclicals.


(106) Ibid.


(107) AAS 46 (1954) 634. Trans. from Ad Caeli Reginam, 36 in The Papal Encyclicals.


(108) AAS 46 (1954) 635. Trans. from Ad Caeli Reginam, 40 in The Papal Encyclicals.


(109) AAS 46 (1954) 636.


(110) AAS 46 (1954) 636. Trans. from Ad Caeli Reginam, 42 in The Papal Encyclicals.


(111) AAS 46 (1954) 637. Trans. from Ad Caeli Reginam, 42 in The Papal Encyclicals.


(112) Emphasis added. AAS 46 (1954) 636-637. Trans. from Ad Caeli Reginam, 42 in The Papal Encyclicals.


(113) Emphasis added. AAS 66 (1974) 121. Trans. from Marialis Cultus, 6 (Boston: St.

Paul’s Editions, 1974).


(114) AAS 79 (1987) 417. Trans. from Redemptoris Mater, 41 (Boston: Pauline Books, 1987).


(115) AAS 79 (1987) 417. Trans. from Redemptoris Mater, 41 (Boston: Pauline Books, 1987). See N. Peña, “La Encíclica ‘Ad Caeli Reginam,’” p. 499.


(116) AAS 79 (1987) 417. John Paul II Redemptoris Mater, 41 (Boston: Pauline Books, 1987).


(117) AAS 79 (1987) 418. Trans. from Redemptoris Mater, 41 (Boston: Pauline Books,

1987). See N. Peña, “La Encíclica ‘Ad Caeli Reginam,’” p. 499.


(118) A. Serra, “Regina,” p. 1076.


(119) See C. O’Donnell, Life in the Spirit and Mary (Wilmington, Delaware: Michael Glazier, 1981), p. 45. Cf., idem., At Worship with Mary, pp. 153-154.


(120) S. De Fiores, Maria nel Mistero di Cristo, p. 89.


(121) AAS 79 (1987) 417. John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, 41 (Boston: Pauline Books & Media, 1987).


(122) A. Serra, “Regina,” pp. 1074-1075.


(123) See S. De Fiores, Maria Presenza Viva nel Popolo di Dio (Rome: Edizioni Monfortane, 1980), p. 58.


(124) S. De Fiores, Maria Presenza Viva nel Popolo di Dio, p. 59.


(125) M. Masciarelli, “Laici,” in S. De Fiores and S. Meo, eds., Nuovo Dizionario di Mariologia, (Milan: Edizioni San Paolo, 1986), p. 659.


(126) Pope John Paul II, “To Serve is to Reign,” Angelus Message at Castel Gandolfo (August 23, 1981) in L’Osservatore Romano, English edition, 35 (699) August 31, 1981, p. 3.



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