Today, as we approach the end of May, I am sharing a teaching from Antonio Cardinal Bacci (b. 1885- d. 1971). In this teaching Cardinal Bacci reflects on Our Lady as Queen. This is fitting as May nears its end, for on the last day of May, the Church will commemorate the Queenship of Mary . I think you will enjoy this instruction; here begins Cardinal Bacci:
Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth
1. Towards the close of his life, St. Paul wrote to his well-loved disciple, St. Timothy: “As for me, I am already being poured out in sacrifice, and the time of my deliverance is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. For the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just judge, will give to me in that day; yet not to me only, but also to those who love his coming.” (2 Tim. 4:6-8)
After all his apostolic labours and difficulties, and after a lifetime of boundless love, St. Paul could confidently say that he would receive the crown which he had earned. When the Blessed Virgin came to the end of her earthly pilgrimage, during which she had lovingly worked and suffered so much for Jesus, she could have expected with even greater certainty to receive the crown of glory which she had merited. She was the noblest and holiest of creatures, because she was the Mother of the eternal Word of God made man. Therefore her reward had to be greater than that of any other creature. She was the Mother of the King of Angels and of Saints, of Heaven and of earth. As such, it was her place to rule over them all. Seated at the right hand of her divine Son, she has glory and power which none other could possess. The Church, therefore, invokes her under the title of Queen of Angels and of Saints, Queen of Apostles, Queen of Virgins, of Confessors and of Martyrs, Queen of Heaven and of earth. When our Holy Father, Pius XII, solemnly proclaimed her Queenship in the year 1954, he was only giving voice to the general consensus of tradition, of the Liturgy, and of the belief of all the faithful. (Cf. Encyclical “Ad Coeli Reginam,” 11th Oct., 1954)
It should be very encouraging to all of us to know that we have so powerful a Queen in Heaven, whose privilege it is to dispense God’s graces. She has crushed the poisonous head of Satan. Now she is able and eager to help us, her loyal sons and servants, to resist temptation, to frustrate the schemes of our deadly enemy, and to perfect ourselves in virtue.
2. Mary is a supremely powerful Queen, because she is the Mother of God. She is a most merciful Queen, because she is our Mother and the Mother of sinners. She is a most loving Queen, because hers is a kingdom of love and of goodness. Even as she is the most lovable of creatures, so she is the most loving.
“To the immense love of God for his creatures,” writes Cardinal Massimi, “and to His command to rational beings that they should love Him with all their hearts, there has been only one worthy response. That response was yours, O Mary. You loved God with an intensity which surpassed the combined love of all other creatures. God created your heart, which was destined to be the heart of His Mother, after the fashion of His own. Adorned with every perfection, it had an immeasurable capacity for love… even as you are supreme in your love for God, O Mary, so you are supreme in your love for us… What a cause for gladness this is! God loves us, and you love us, O Mary. Our poor hearts which have a natural longing to be loved and suffer so much when they are disappointed, rejoice in being the object of your love. We thank you, O Mary, for favouring us in spite of your greatness and our unworthiness.” (Card. Massimi: Le Feste di Maria, p. 82-83)
The realisation of Mary’s regal power and of her maternal love for us should lead us to have complete confidence in her. This confidence should inspire us to pray fervently to her, to love her in return, and to form a practical resolution of imitating her.
3. O Queen of Angels and of Saints, my most powerful and most loving Mother, have pity on me, for I am surrounded by such great perils and need so much to advance in virtue. Although I am weak and weary, I desire ardently to imitate the shining example of your holiness. Obtain for me from your divine Son the grace to imitate you as far as I am able on earth, so that one day I may share your happiness in the presence of God for all eternity. Amen. (source)
May you have a good day.
~Image: Our Lady with her Holy Child, Jesus. Church of St. Patrick, Mystic, CT. Taken by J. David, May 2019.