Mary’s Universal Queenship

Updated: May 30, 2020

The following summary of the theology of Our Lady’s Queenship is presented by the late Father Juniper Carol, O.F.M., founder of the Mariological Society of America. – Ed.

A logical consequence of Mary’s unique mission is her role as universal Queen. Much attention has been devoted to this thesis in recent years, particularly in view of the repeated declarations of the magisterium. In our presentation of the doctrine we shall endeavor to avoid the two extremes sometimes encountered in this connec­tion, namely, exaggerations per excessum, and exaggera­tions per defectum. Our safest guide in the matter will be the magisterium itself. The treatment of this thesis may be conveniently divided into the following sections:

I. Explanation of the terms “king” and “queen” in general;

II. The meaning of “queenship” as applied to Mary;

III. The teaching of the magisterium;

IV. The biblical basis of the doctrine;

V. The voice of Tradition;

VI. The extent and nature of Mary’s Queenship.

I. Explanation of the Terms “King” and “Queen” in General. The words “king” and “queen” are not neces­sarily synonyms differing only in gender. In most cases, according to the usage universally accepted, they imply functions which are formally different. Since queenship is predicated only analogically of Mary and of earthly queens, and since the office of a queen is related to that of the king, we will first describe the latter in order better to understand the former, and then project these con­cepts on the specific case of Our Blessed Lady. (1)

A. Meaning of the Word “King.”

(1) In a purely metaphorical sense the word “king” connotes simply a certain primacy, prominence or excel­lence with reference to others of the same genus. In this sense the lion is often called the king of animals; Demos­thenes the king of orators, and so forth,

(2) In the proper sense a “king” is the man who, on his own authority, rules the members of an organized society and leads them to their common end, exercising his supreme dominion by means of the threefold power: legislative, judicial and coercive.

B. Meaning of the Word “Queen.”

(1) In a purely metaphorical sense the word “queen” connotes only a certain primacy, prominence or excellence with reference to others. Thus theology is called the queen of sciences; charity the queen of virtues, and so on.