The Glorious Assumption and Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Its Relevance
The months of May and October are usually regarded as the Marian months. However, the month of August has two significant feast days in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary based on the liturgical calendar, such as: 1. the Solemnity of the Assumption (15th August) and 2. the Queenship or the Coronation of Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth (22nd August). Note that the said feast days are also included in the five Glorious Mysteries of the Holy Rosary which only shows how relevant the Blessed Mother in our faith journey. These beautiful events serve as a reminder for us to appreciate and honor the vital role played by Our Lady in our salvation. Said devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary are unique in itself as they play an essential part of our identity as Catholics vis-a-vis other Christian denominations. As Catholic Christians, the Virgin Mary is considered as our Spiritual Mother and she has been a fundamental part of our faith.
However, not every Catholic is fully cognizant of the said celebrations except for those who are Marian devotees or for someone who belongs to a parish named after the said feast days. Likewise, not everyone knows that the Assumption of the Blessed Mother is considered as one of the dogmas of the Church, a belief that the Virgin Mary was elevated/assumed into heaven by the grace of God with the help of the angels. (Briefly, a dogma is a truth revealed by God, which the Church declared as binding). Being conceived without original sin, being sinless throughout her life as she lived in accord with God’s will, and being the Mother of Jesus Christ on earth, she was privileged to be granted this amazing grace of being taken into Heaven with body and soul, unlike the rest of the human race. Our Blessed Mother was one of the support systems of our Lord Jesus Christ on earth, comforting Him when He was in agony and pain, when He suffered on the Cross. Thus, she now enjoys not only the so-called eternal life, but most importantly as the Queen of Heaven. Since she is now in Heaven, she serves as the intercessor for everyone and for the whole Church.
Have you had a glimpse of a picture or a painting of the Assumption of Our Lady? The photo featured in this blog which serves as the cover showed how the angels accompanied the Virgin Mother to Heaven. I can simply imagine how joyful the Blessed Mother was when she was being brought up to Heaven to be reunited with her Son, being cheered and entertained by the angelic choir with trumpets and other musical instruments, welcoming her to Heaven. What a glorious sight to behold!
On the other hand, the Queenship of Mary which refers to the crowning of the Blessed Mother as Queen of Heaven and Earth is not a dogma of the Church but simply a celebration of the said feast day, in recognition of Our Lady’s role in God’s Kingdom. Subsequent to her Assumption, body and soul, into Heaven, our Blessed Mother was crowned and became the Queen of Heaven, the Queen of everyone and the Queen on Earth. The Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary enumerates her other Queen-related titles, to wit: Queen of Angels, Queen of Patriarchs, Queen of Prophets, Queen of Apostles, Queen of Martyrs, Queen of Confessors, Queen of Virgins, Queen of All Saints, Queen of Peace, among others. As mentioned earlier, the Blessed Virgin was given the privilege to be a Virgin, preserved free from original sin. and was chosen as the mother of Jesus on Earth when she said her unwavering “YES” to the will of God. As an icon of humility and obedience to the will of God, she was likewise rewarded with an exalted position and high veneration as Queen in Heaven. Based on accounts, however, the feast day of Our Lady’s Queenship was only included in the Church’s calendar in 1954. Vatican II stated unequivocally that ”Mary was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen of the universe…“ (Lumen Gentium, 59).
Both the Assumption and the Queenship of Mary are relevant for us Catholics. Her assumption and coronation paved the way for us all to be more closer to God. With our Blessed Mother in Heaven, she continues to act as our intercessor before God who comes to our aid, specifically for those in dire need of help. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that: “Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation . . . Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.”512. Thus, just like our earthly mothers, we should not hesitate to ask anything from our Heavenly Mother, to call her whenever we need something not only for ourselves but for others too, especially during these trying times, wherein the Covid19 virus pandemic and its variants continue to sweep through the world affecting people’s lives. Praying to the Blessed Virgin Mary (specifically the Holy Rosary) to implore for her intercession and protection in times of crisis will provide us peace, offer us hope, healing and comfort, and will guide our efforts to transform the world and ourselves for the better. Obviously, no other person other than our Lord is honored and celebrated with as much solemnity as the Mother of God. Indeed, she is worthy of our deepest love, respect and veneration.
Pope Francis, in his message at the St. Peter’s Square in one of his Sunday’s Angelus stated that the Blessed Mother is reminding us about God’s call for everyone to be with Him and that practicing the virtue of humility in all things is the right path to Heaven. The Holy Father stressed that material gifts or wealth will not allow us to be exalted by God. Rather, it is “our humility, our loving and serving God in total giving that matters”. He also encouraged us all to make Our Lady as our model even in ordinary and difficult lives so as to be able to reach God’s Kingdom. Pope Francis once stated that the Blessed Mother’s Assumption “shows us our own destiny as God’s adoptive children and members of the body of Christ. Like Mary our Mother, we are called to share fully in the Lord’s victory over sin and death, and to reign with him in his eternal Kingdom”. The Holy Father further stated that we should ask Our Lady “to help us to be faithful to the royal freedom we received on the day of our Baptism, to guide our efforts to transform the world in accordance with God’s plan”. And that he invited us “to look at the Blessed Virgin as our Mother of Hope” as she showed us what hope is and that it is real, that there is heaven that awaits us, if only we remain faithful to God, or probably if we go back to God whenever we fall. Note that the Blessed Mother has also the title as the Gate of Heaven, and so she’ll be able to show and guide all Christians to the right path where God’s Kingdom reign.
One best way of commemorating these feast days is to pray the Holy Rosary daily, as much as or if and when possible. The Holy Rosary is a very powerful prayer as it allows us to meditate and reflect on the life and passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, the many struggles and challenges faced by Our Lady, not to mention her accomplishments during her earthly life. When we pray and contemplate on the Holy Rosary, we feel more closer to Our Lady and ultimately to Jesus Christ. St. Louis de Montfort indicated that if the prayer is recited sincerely, “our angel will use them to make crowns for Jesus and Mary”.
We pray to our Lady, our Blessed Mother and our Queen who was assumed to heaven, body and soul, that the Almighty God grant us blessings, our families and our world. We also pray to our Blessed Mother to cover us with her mantle of love and pour forth the mercy of God upon us always. As the Queen of Heaven and Earth, may the Blessed Mother teach us on how to live with humility, show us the right path and accompany us on our journey that leads us to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ’s Kingdom. Our Blessed Mother Mary, assumed into Heaven, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Amen.