Catholics call her Our Mother, the Blessed Virgin, the Cause of Our Joy, Mother Most Powerful, Mother of Our Savior and many others. We know for certain that she is the woman clothed with the sun mentioned in the book of revelation. We all have this special attachment as christians to her for our faith and God’s spirit guides us that Mary is our Mother and queen.
The month of May is especially dedicated for the Blessed Virgin. Many important events in history have resulted in traditions attributed to Mary. Giving her the queenly honor she deserves.
The feast of the Holy Cross which originally is celebrated on the third of May has resulted to the Flores de Mayo (Flowers of May) tradition to the Philippines. This includes offering a rosary prayer and flowers daily in chapels or churches for the Blessed Virgin Mary, usually children make these offerings which follows a catechism. It also celebrates the discovery of Saint Helena of the True Cross of Christ. On the last day of May, a Santacruzan (from the Spanish santa cruz, “holy cross”) is held, a ritual pageant and procession to commemorate the finding of the Holy Cross.
Certain devotions are a result of an impressive miracle by Our Lady. Catholics in dire need of her protection always find aid and solace.
The great naval Battle of Lepanto in 1571, where the christians were outnumbered by troops and boat power, was won in a single day. Pope Pius V attributed the victory to the Most Holy Virgin as he prayed the rosary with the other christian sailors throughout the night before the clash. According to stories, the Turkish forces was to the fore in their attack when the weather changed, giving the christian forces great advantage which overwhelmed the enemy. Hence, that day October 7 became the Feast of Our Lady of Victory, which now we celebrate as Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Almost a hundred years later 1646, history repeated itself with another miracle from the Blessed Virgin, this time in Manila, Philippines. Also a naval battle against the eager Dutch forces. There were only two merchant galleons, the Encarnacion and the Rosario, converted to warships against the Dutch armada with 18 battle ships. It was impossible to win against the experienced naval rival. However, the generals leading the Spanish galleons vowed in public to walked barefoot with his crew to Santo Domingo church in Manila and will honor Her with a solemn feast if she will grant them victory. Indeed, the battle was won. The general and his crew kept their promise, emerged victorious and walked barefoot to the church in thanksgiving.
At present the Feast of Our Lady of La Naval de Manila – Our Lady of the Holy Rosary is celebrated every second Sunday of October.
Going back in Europe, in 1683 the great Battle of Sienna was also won with the aid of Mary. The Ottoman has advanced its invasion to Vienna, Austria. It was critical to save this gateway for if the the Muslim forces breaks the wall of Vienna, they will invade all of Europe and seize Rome and the faith. But King of Poland’s Jan Sobieski, devoted to Mary and the rosary, heed the call to save Europe from the invasion. He went straight to the church of Our Lady of Czestochowa with his army prayed to Our Lady and consecrated themselves to Mary. They prayed the rosary as they travel, shouted the the name of Jesus and Mary during their attack, and won the battle with might and power. The battle will always be one of the significant ones in history and in christianity.
The Blessed Virgin also appeared in Fatima, the Virgin of the Rosary in 1917 in Portugal, was one of the most important apparitions of the last century. Devotion to her is profound throughout the world. Every 13th day of May there is surely a procession to commemorate her first visit in Fatima with the three children. Millions of pilgrims come to her apparition site where miracles and answered prayers happen.
From the old and new testament, from the patriarchs, prophets, virgins and martyrs, up to the apostles and saints in our time, there is no one saint who has great love for the mother of God. We truly recognized her as Queen of all saints. That is why all around the world devotions in her honor are majestic and solemn. Because Catholics in state of hyperdulia offer its best to celebrate a feast fit for a queen.
Saint Athanasius in one of his sermons said “If he who was born of the virgin is a king, then the one who bore him is rightly called a lady and a queen.” Saint Louis de Monfort also wrote, “It was through the Blessed Virgin Mary that Jesus came into the world, and it is also through her He must reign in the world.”.
Pope Pius XII in his papal encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam expressed that:
From the earliest ages of the catholic church a Christian people, whether in time of triumph or more especially in time of crisis, has addressed prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven. And never has that hope wavered which they placed in the Mother of the Divine King, Jesus Christ; nor has that faith ever failed by which we are taught that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, reigns with a mother’s solicitude over the entire world, just as she is crowned in heavenly blessedness with the glory of a Queen.
Mary is Queen of Heaven because her son is Jesus Christ. Also mentioned in the encyclical from St Alphonsus de Liguori was that, “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’.”
St. Maximilian Kolbe said “Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.” And this is exactly the reason why by prayer we asked God to inspire us though the Holy Spirit to become better christians. To never stop loving His Son and the Blessed Virgin. To strive for perfection and to be worthy to face them in heaven.
In the holy rosary, we meditate on the glorious’ last mystery the assumption, queenship and crowning of Mary. By tradition, we remember how Mary was crowned in heaven by God with the angels and saints in great jubilation.
Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich’s account wrote on her books how Mary assumed into heaven:
“On the night following the burial took place the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin into Heaven. I saw on this night several of the Apostles and holy women in the little garden, praying and singing Psalms before the grotto. I saw a broad pathway of light descend from Heaven and rest upon the tomb. In it were circles of glory full of angels, in the midst of whom the resplendent soul of the Blessed Virgin came floating down. Before her went her Divine Son, the marks of His Wounds flashing with light.”
Truly a great privilege to be welcomed by her own Son in entry to heaven. Many religions would disagree with the story because it’s not written in the bible. But traditions are not for unbelievers, part of accepting dogmas and traditions is humility. Only the faithful can receive the grace of wisdom.
Through thousands of years, the power of Mary to assist us is innumerable. It’s because her authority comes from the fact that she was also spared from original sin. She was chosen for a purpose, and she was very much worthy to participate with God’s plan of salvation. Her being the Mother of God makes the enemy fear her more. This is why they are forever restless and furious by her.
“Then the dragon was enraged with the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children, who obey God’s commandments and have in themselves the witness of Jesus.”, Revelation 12:17.
Revelation prophesies the looming danger of her children, but the Blessed Virgin is also the Queen of Peace. History has proven her impressive records of aiding her devout ones. Thus, let’s keep the faith. Pray our rosaries and wear our scapular. Let’s pray that each one of us will keep the Mother of God the queen of our homes and our hearts.