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Regina Coeli

Submitted by on Monday, 22 August 2011No Comment

Regina coeli, laetare, alleluia
quia quem meruisti portare alleluia
resurrexit sicut dixit alleluia
ora pro nobis Deo alleluia.

The feast of the Queenship of Mary was instituted through the encyclical of Pius XII entitled "Ad coeli reginam" of October 1954, four years after he defined the dogma of the Assumption of Our Lady. Below are two resources about the feast that one can consult. The first is about the role of the Queen Mother in the Davidic dynasty. Our Lord, "son of David" is also the son of Mary. If He is King, then Mary is Queen Mother. The second resource is Pius XII’s "Ad coeli reginam".

The Queen Mother in the Dynasty of David


The title Gebirah (Gebira), meaning "Great Lady" or "Queen Mother" was a royal title and an office which was bestowed upon the mothers of the Kings of Israel, but limited to those Queens who were mothers of kings in the line of King David. When the monarchy divided into the two kingdoms of Judah in the south and Israel in the north, the institution of the Gebirah was not practiced in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The Northern Kingdom was ruled by 9 ruling houses (dynasties) but Judah continued to be ruled by the House of David.

The royal kings of Israel and the House of David had many wives and no single wife of the king had the influence that his mother enjoyed as the chief confidant of her son. It is not clear exactly what position of authority was accorded the mothers of the kings of Israel/ Judah, but scholars believe that Queen mothers of the ruling House of David were crowned, occupied a throne next to their sons, and that both state and religious functions required their presence and attention. There is evidence from other kingdoms in antiquity that the queen mother was the most highly placed person in the kingdom next to the king [i.e. in Egypt, in the Hittite Empire, etc.]. We do know from Scripture that these women exercised their influence from the time their sons ascended the throne and sometimes even into the reign of their grandsons as in the case of Maacah in 1 Kings 15 during the reign of her grandson Asa. It is significant that every mother of a Davidic king is listed along with her son in Sacred Scripture. The name of each Davidic Queen Mother is given in the introduction to each reign of the Davidic Kings of Judah … Continue reading the article from Agape Bible Study

Ad Caeli Reginam

34. As We have already mentioned, Venerable Brothers, according to ancient tradition and the sacred liturgy the main principle on which the royal dignity of Mary rests is without doubt her Divine Motherhood. In Holy Writ, concerning the Son whom Mary will conceive, We read this sentence: "He shall be called the Son of the most High, and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father, and he shall reign in the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end,"[40] and in addition Mary is called "Mother of the Lord";[Luc. I, 32, 33] from this it is easily concluded that she is a Queen, since she bore a son who, at the very moment of His conception, because of the hypostatic union of the human nature with the Word, was also as man King and Lord of all things. So with complete justice St. John Damascene could write: "When she became Mother of the Creator, she truly became Queen of every creature."[S. Ioannes Damascenus, De fide orthodoxa, 1. IV, c. 14; PL XCIV, 1158 s. B. ] Likewise, it can be said that the heavenly voice of the Archangel Gabriel was the first to proclaim Mary’s royal office.

35. But the Blessed Virgin Mary should be called Queen, not only because of her Divine Motherhood, but also because God has willed her to have an exceptional role in the work of our eternal salvation. "What more joyful, what sweeter thought can we have" – as Our Predecessor of happy memory, Pius XI wrote – "than that Christ is our King not only by natural right, but also by an acquired right: that which He won by the redemption? Would that all men, now forgetful of how much we cost Our Savior, might recall to mind the words, ‘You were redeemed, not with gold or silver which perishes, . . . but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb spotless and undefiled.[I Petr. I, 18, 19] We belong not to ourselves now, since Christ has bought us ‘at a great price’."[I Cor. VI, 20], [Pius XI, litt. enc. Quas primas: AAS XVII, 1925, p. 599]

36. Now, in the accomplishing of this work of redemption, the Blessed Virgin Mary was most closely associated with Christ; and so it is fitting to sing in the sacred liturgy: "Near the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ there stood, sorrowful, the Blessed Mary, Queen of Heaven and Queen of the World."[Festum septem dolorum B. Mariae Virg., Tractus.] Hence, as the devout disciple of St. Anselm (Eadmer, ed.) wrote in the Middle Ages: "just as . . . God, by making all through His power, is Father and Lord of all, so the blessed Mary, by repairing all through her merits, is Mother and Queen of all; for God is the Lord of all things, because by His command He establishes each of them in its own nature, and Mary is the Queen of all things, because she restores each to its original dignity through the grace which she merited.[Eadmerus, De excellentia Virginis Mariae, c. 11: PL CLIX, 508 A B. ]

37. For "just as Christ, because He redeemed us, is our Lord and king by a special title, so the Blessed Virgin also (is our queen), on account of the unique manner in which she assisted in our redemption, by giving of her own substance, by freely offering Him for us, by her singular desire and petition for, and active interest in, our salvation."[F. Suárez, De mysteriis vitae Christi, disp. XXII, sect. II (ed Vivès, XIX, 327). ]

The feast of the Queenship of Mary was instituted by the encyclical "Ad Caeli Reginam" authored by Pope Pius XII on October 11, 1954. Read it from this link. The readings for the day will be taken from the weekday lectionary.

Today’s Readings

  • Reading I: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 (passim)
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 149
  • Gospel Reading: Matthew 23:13-22
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
View in: NAB NIV KJV Vulg Greek
1Paul and Sylvanus and Timothy: to the church of the Thessalonians, in God the Father, and in the Lord Jesus Christ.
2Grace be to you and peace. We give thanks to God always for you all; making a remembrance of you in our prayers without ceasing,
3Being mindful of the work of your faith, and labour, and charity, and of the enduring of the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ before God and our Father:
4Knowing, brethren beloved of God, your election:
5For our gospel hath not been unto you in word only, but in power also, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much fulness, as you know what manner of men we have been among you for your sakes.
6And you became followers of us, and of the Lord; receiving the word in much tribulation, with joy of the Holy Ghost:
7So that you were made a pattern to all that believe in Macedonia and in Achaia.
8For from you was spread abroad the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia, and in Achaia, but also in every place, your faith which is towards God, is gone forth, so that we need not to speak any thing.
9For they themselves relate of us, what manner of entering in we had unto you; and how you turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God.
10And to wait for his Son from heaven (whom he raised up from the dead,) Jesus, who hath delivered us from the wrath to come.
Matthew 23:13-22
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
13But woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men, for you yourselves do not enter in; and those that are going in, you suffer not to enter.
14Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: because you devour the houses of widows, praying long prayers. For this you shall receive the greater judgment.
15Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you go round about the sea and the land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, you make him the child of hell twofold more than yourselves.
16Woe to you blind guides, that say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but he that shall swear by the gold of the temple, is a debtor.
17Ye foolish and blind; for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?
18And whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gift that is upon it, is a debtor.
19Ye blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?
20He therefore that sweareth by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things that are upon it:
21And whosoever shall swear by temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth in it:
22And he that sweareth by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.

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