The Queenly Titles of Our Lady

Mary’s Universal Queenship comes home to us in a more concrete form if we consider its different aspects as presented in the Litany of Loreto: Queen of angels, of patriarchs, of prophets, of apostles, of martyrs, of confessors, of virgins, of all the saints, of peace.

Queen of Angels

Mary is Queen of the angels since her mission is higher than theirs. They are but servants, whereas she is the Mother of God. She is as much above them as the word “mother” surpasses the word “servant.” She alone with the Father can say to Jesus: “Thou art my Son, I have begotten thee.”

She is higher than the angels also by her fullness of grace and glory, which surpasses that of all the angels united. She is purer than they, for she has received purity for others as well as for herself. She was more perfect than they and more prompt in her obedience to God’s commandments and in following His counsels. By her co-operation in the redemption she merited de congruo for the angels themselves the accidental graces by which they help us to save our souls and the joy which they experience in doing so.

As Justin of Miéchow well remarks, (1) if the angels have served Our Lord how much more did not Mary serve Him, she who conceived and bore Him, who cared for Him, who carried Him into Egypt to escape Herod’s anger?

She surpasses the angels in this also, that they have each care of one soul or one community, but she is the guardian of all men and of each in particular. She is, more than they, the messenger of God who brought us not a created word but the Uncreated Word.

Archangels are appointed to protect this or that city: Mary protects all cities and all churches in them. Principalities are the custodians of provinces: Mary has the whole Church under her protection. Powers repel demons: Mary has crushed the serpent’s head; she is terrible to the demons by the depth of her humility and the ardor of her charity. Virtues perform miracles as God’s instruments: but the greatest miracle was to conceive the Incarnate Word for our salvation. Dominations command the lower angels: Mary commands all the heavenly choirs. The Thrones are those angels in whom God dwells in a specially intimate way: Mary, who gave birth to Jesus, is the Seat of Wisdom, and the Blessed Trinity resides in her more familiarly than in the highest angel—that is to say, in a way proportionate to her consummated grace.

She surpasses even the Cherubim and Seraphim. The Cherubim shine with the splendor of their knowledge: but Mary has penetrated deeper than they into the divine mysteries since she has the light of glory in a degree far above theirs. She has carried in her womb Him in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. She lived with Him for thirty years on earth, and in heaven she is nearest of all to Him.

The Seraphim burn with the flame of love: but more ardent still is the living flame of Mary’s charity. She loves God more than all creatures together, for she loves Him not only as Creator and Father but as her Infant and her treasured Son.

She is therefore Queen of Angels. They serve her faithfully, surround her with veneration, marvel at her tender solicitude for each one of us and for the whole Church. Her charity, her zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of souls are the objects of their intense admiration.

Queen of Patriarchs

The superiority of Mary to Adam in the state of innocence is clear from all that has been said thus far. She was higher in grace than he, and had as well the principal effects of original justice: subordination of the sensibility to the higher faculties, and subordination of these latter to God. Mary’s charity was greater from the first instant of her conception than that of Adam in the state of innocence, and she had in addition the special grace of freedom from all sin however slight, even though she was c