August 22nd marks the feast of the Queenship of Mary. Pope Pius XII instituted this feast in 1954, saying, “The purpose of the Feast is that all may recognize more clearly and venerate more devoutly the merciful and motherly sovereignty of her who bore God in her womb.” Though the feast itself wasn’t instituted until the 1950s, the idea of honoring Mary as our queen is nothing new. We even have the fifth Glorious Mystery of the Rosary to commemorate it and help us meditate upon it.
To those of us in modern, non-monarchical society, the concept of queenship is probably a little harder to grasp than it might have been for others in the past. However, it’s an important idea for us to understand if we want to have a full appreciation for just what role Christ wishes His Mother to play in our lives.
Mary as the Queen Mother
In the Old Testament, there are many examples of the king’s mother being given the role of queen. Actually, this was typical.
In both the first and second books of Kings, the new kings of Judah are mentioned along with their mothers who would serve as queens. The books of Jeremiah and Proverbs also mention the helping role of the queen mother as well.
Particularly, we can see in the Old Testament that the queen mother would listen to the people’s requests and present these requests to the king. King Solomon gives a clear example of just how much importance the king places upon these requests of his mother. In 1 Kings 2:20 Solomon says to his mother, “Ask it, my mother, for I will not refuse you.”
In the New Testament, the Wedding at Cana shows us clearly that Christ holds His mother’s requests in just such a high regard as the Old Testament kings held those of the queen mother. Over two thousand years of Catholic Tradition tells us that we are to turn to Mary with our own requests and be sure of having an advocate in her.
The comfort of turning to Mary
When we live in the world, particularly as singles trying to remain faithful to Christ, things can feel lonely. Especially in those seasons of life when we have little to no Catholic community we can turn to, the straight and narrow road can feel very solitary.
It can often feel like we have no Catholic friends to keep us accountable in our struggles, let alone to pray for our intentions and for our success in the path of virtue. But no matter how alone we might be when it comes to having good Catholic companions in our lives, we always have Mary to turn to.
Yes, Mary was perfect and never sinned. But she was only human just like us. She suffered and struggled, and she understands our struggles as only a mother can.
By crowning her Queen, Christ has shown us that He wants us to turn to her in a particular way. Even better than having a fellow Catholic friend praying for us, we have a deep assurance that Christ will listen to Mary’s requests on our behalf with particular attention.
How Mary’s queenship affects the lives of Catholic singles
There are a lot of ways we can take advantage of the gift that Mary is to us. We can practice simply talking to her as a friend. But we can also participate in the more official forms of devotion to her that the Church gives us.
Praying the rosary daily is a great way to start. This prayer helps us to meditate on the mysteries of Christ’s life and death from the point of view of His mother. If it seems daunting to make time for five whole decades every day at first, try starting slowly with a decade per day and work your prayer stamina up from there.
I’ve heard from more than one person in my life how praying the rosary daily has served to increase their devotion, improve the rest of their prayer life, and help them on the path to virtue in unexpected ways.
There are actually even fifteen promises of Mary to those who recite the rosary daily. She gave the message of these promises to Saint Dominic. Among the promises are a guarantee of Mary’s special protection and greatest graces. She promises that we will “never be conquered by misfortune,” and that we can obtain all we ask for from her by reciting the rosary.
Apart from the rosary, other ways we can grow closer to Mary include wearing a scapular, consecrating ourselves to her, and consecrating our homes to her. A good place to start if this is unfamiliar territory to you might be to begin some spiritual reading about Mary, her life, and how to develop deeper devotion to her.
Christ gave us His mother for a specific purpose. Let us strive to honor her as He wishes and take full advantage of the gift she is to us.