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August 22

At his right stands the Queen,
in gold of Ophir.

From early times Christians have believed, and not without reason, that she of whom was born the Son of the Most High received privileges of grace above all other beings created by God. He will reign in the house of Jacob forever, the Prince of Peace, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And when Christians reflected upon the intimate connection that obtains between a mother and a son, they readily acknowledged the supreme royal dignity of the Mother of God.

Hence it is not surprising that the early writers of the Church called Mary the Mother of the King and the Mother of the Lord, basing themselves on the words of St. Gabriel the archangel, who foretold that the Son of Mary would reign forever; as well as the words of Elizabeth, who greeted her with reverence and called her the Mother of my Lord. Thereby they clearly signified that she derived a certain eminence and exalted station from the royal dignity of her Son.

So it is that St. Ephrem, burning with poetic inspiration, represents her as speaking in this way: Let Heaven sustain me in its embrace, because I am honored above it. For heaven was not Thy mother, but Thou hast made it Thy throne. How much more honorable and venerable than the throne of a king is his mother. And in another place he thus prays to her: . . . Majestic and Heavenly Maid, Lady, Queen, protect and keep me under your wing lest Satan the sower of destruction glory over me, lest my wicked foe be victorious against me.

St. Gregory Nazianzen calls Mary the Mother of the King of the universe, and the Virgin Mother who brought forth the King of the whole world, while Prudentius asserts that the Mother marvels that she has brought forth God as man, and even as Supreme King.  And this royal dignity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is quite clearly indicated through direct assertion by those who call her Lady, Ruler and Queen.  In one of the homilies attributed to Origen, Elizabeth calls Mary the Mother of my Lord. and even addresses her as Thou, my Lady.

The same thing is found in the writings of St. Jerome where he makes the following statement amidst various interpretations of Mary's name: We should realize that Mary means 'Lady' in the Syrian Language. After him St. Chrysologus says the same thing more explicitly in these words: The Hebrew word 'Mary' means 'Domina.' The Angel therefore addresses her as 'Lady' to preclude all servile fear in the Lord's Mother, who was born and was called 'Lady' by the authority and command of her own Son.

Moreover Epiphanius, the bishop of Constantinople, writing to the Sovereign Pontiff Hormisdas, says that we should pray that the unity of the Church may be preserved by the grace of the holy and consubstantial Trinity and by the prayers of Mary, Our Lady, the holy and glorious Virgin and Mother of God.

The Blessed Virgin, sitting at the right hand of God to pray for us is hailed by another writer of that same era in these words, the Queen of mortal man, the most holy Mother of GodSt. Andrew of Crete frequently attributes the dignity of a Queen to the Virgin Mary. For example, he writes, Today He transports from her earthly dwelling, as Queen of the human race, His ever-Virgin Mother, from whose womb He, the living God, took on human formAnd in another place he speaks of the Queen of the entire human race faithful to the exact meaning of her name, who is exalted above all things save only God himself.

Likewise St. Germanus speaks to the humble Virgin in these words: Be enthroned, Lady, for it is fitting that you should sit in an exalted place since you are a Queen and glorious above all kings. He likewise calls her the Queen of all of those who dwell on earth.  She is called by St. John Damascene Queen, Ruler, and Lady, and also the Queen of every creature. Another ancient writer of the Eastern Church calls her favored Queen, the perpetual Queen beside the King, her son, whose snow-white brow is crowned with a golden diademAnd finally St. Ildephonsus of Toledo gathers together almost all of her titles of honor in this salutation: O my Lady, my Sovereign, You who rule over me, Mother of my Lord . . . Lady among handmaids, Queen among sisters….

For all these reasons St. Alphonsus Ligouri, in collecting the testimony of past ages, writes these words with evident devotion: Because the virgin Mary was raised to such a lofty dignity as to be the mother of the King of kings, it is deservedly and by every right that the Church has honored her with the title of 'Queen'.

Furthermore, the sacred liturgy, which acts as a faithful reflection of traditional doctrine believed by the Christian people through the course of all the ages, both in the East and in the West, has sung the praises of the heavenly Queen and continues to sing them.

From the Encyclical of Pope Pius XII "Ad Caeli Reginam:
Given at Rome on the feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 
11th of October 1954