The Queenship of Mary
Although this feast was only established in 1954 by Pope Pius XII, the tradition of the Queenship of Mary has ancient roots in the church. Right back at the Annunciation the angel Gabriel promised Mary that her son would be from the line of David, who was King of Israel.
In the fourth century St Ephrem calls Mary ‘Queen’ in many of his writings. However, it was not until the 11th and 12th centuries that in Europe that men like St Bernard and St Dominic, along with the Franciscan crown which was given to Mary in art that the devotion to Mary as Queen took on real force in the West.
The feast is a logical follow on from the Assumption and is now celebrated a week after that feast. In his 1954 encyclical To the Queen of Heaven, Pius XII points out that Mary deserves the title because she is Mother of God, because she is closely associated as the New Eve with Jesus’ redemptive work, because of her preeminent perfection and because of her intercessory power.
As I grow older I am coming to understand that it is not until we get to heaven that we shall really appreciate the part that Mary played in the redemptive life of Jesus. We are trapped in the notion that all people are like us and we have no understanding of what Mary was like, having been born free from original sin.
Being under the yoke of original sin is our natural state and we see all things through the eyes of people who are in the fallen state. Mary was not like us in this sense so we have no real understanding of her life of grace, it is so different from our experience.