Pope Benedict XVI recommended that Christians look to the queenship of Mary, who is “queen in the service of God to humanity,” as a sure guide towards her Son.
“Dear friends, devotion to Our Lady is an important part of spiritual life. In our prayer, we should not fail to turn to her, confident that Mary will intercede for us with her Son,” the Pope said to pilgrims during his Aug. 22 general audience at Castel Gandolfo.
“Looking upon her, let us imitate her faith, her complete openness to the loving plan of God, her generous welcoming of Jesus. We learn to live from Mary.”
The Pope recalled how the establishment of a particular day to celebrate the queenship of Mary is actually a “recent establishment,” even though it has “an ancient origin and devotion.” When Pope Pius XII created the feast in 1954, he originally placed it on May 31, at the end of the month dedicated to Mary.
“On that occasion, he said that Mary is queen more than any other creature for the elevation of her soul and for the excellence of gifts received. She never ceases to bestow all the treasures of her love and of her care on humanity,” Pope Benedict said.
Following the Second Vatican Council, the feast day was moved by Pope Paul VI to Aug. 22, so that it would be “eight days after the Solemnity of the Assumption to emphasize the close relationship between the royalty of Mary and her glorification in soul and body next to her Son.”
The fact that Mary is “uniquely bound to her Son” both on earth and in heaven lies at the root of today’s feast, said the Pope, since she now participates in “God’s responsibility for the world and the love of God for the world.”
Just as the kingship of Jesus “has nothing to do with that of the powerful of this world,” as evidenced by his washing of the disciples' feet or death on the cross, so the queenship of Mary “is not (one of) wealth and power,” but is “a service of love,” Pope Benedict taught.
She is “queen in the service of God to humanity, is queen of the love that lives the gift of self to God (so as) to enter into the plan of salvation of man. To the angel she replies: 'I am the handmaid of the Lord.'”
This love is expressed, suggested the Pope, in the fact that Mary is continually “watching over us, her children, the children who come to her in prayer, to thank her or to ask for her maternal protection and heavenly help, perhaps after having lost their way, burdened with grief or anguish amid the sad and troubled vicissitudes of life.”
It is the queenship of Mary that we should turn to throughout life, he said, “so that from her Son we may receive every grace and mercy necessary for our journey along the roads of the world.”
“To him who rules the world and holds the destinies of the universe, we turn with confidence, through the Virgin Mary.”