Afghanistan Prompts Us to Crown Mary Anew

The Queen of Heaven and Earth Will Be Victorious

Bartolomeo Cavarozzi, “The Virgin and Child With Angels,” ca. 1620
Bartolomeo Cavarozzi, “The Virgin and Child With Angels,” ca. 1620 (photo: Public Domain)

“Following upon the frightful calamities which before Our very eyes have reduced flourishing cities, towns, and villages to ruins, We see to Our sorrow that many great moral evils are being spread abroad in what may be described as a violent flood. Occasionally We behold justice giving way; and, on the one hand and the other, the victory of the powers of corruption. The threat of this fearful crisis fills Us with a great anguish, and so with confidence We have recourse to Mary Our Queen, making known to her those sentiments of filial reverence which are not Ours alone, but which belong to all those who glory in the name of Christian.”

Pope Pius XII wrote these words in his encyclical, Ad Caeli Reginam, in October 1954 when he established the feast of the Queenship of Mary which the Church celebrates annually on Aug. 22. He could just as well have written them today. His description of the state of the world in 1954 is a mirror image of what we’re currently experiencing. The turmoil in Afghanistan comes to mind with frightful calamities reducing cities, towns and villages to ruins. The world is watching as Taliban forces claim territory and lives. Destruction is happening elsewhere on the globe, perpetrated by other forces yet all with evil intent. Christian persecution is widespread, corruption thrives, censorship is unprecedented, economic uncertainty looms, immorality is exploding and abortions — even late-term ones — have become commonplace. Need I say more?

I’ve found myself, like countless others, tempted to anguish over current events and their threats to our faith, families and freedoms. Despite this, we have a good reason not to anguish. The truth is that we have a mighty advocate, the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is powerful against evil and loves us with all her heart. As Pope Pius XII related in his encyclical, Mary is the Queen of Heaven and Earth and shares in the royal dignity of her Son.

“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,’” said St. Alphonsus Liguori. Her position beside the King of Kings allows Mary to reign over the world as protector, intercessor and mother. She is the woman clothed with the sun, with a crown of 12 stars on her head, who defeats Satan.

In every distress, we have recourse to the Kings of Kings and to his mother, Queen of Heaven and Earth. Along with St. Ephrem, we could say, “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.” Christ has conquered the world, meaning that all are subject to him — the evil as well as the good. Mary stands beside him as his helpmate.

“Certainly, in the full and strict meaning of the term, only Jesus Christ, the God-Man, is King; but Mary, too, as Mother of the divine Christ, as His associate in the redemption, in his struggle with His enemies and His final victory over them, has a share, though in a limited and analogous way, in His royal dignity. For from her union with Christ she attains a radiant eminence transcending that of any other creature; from her union with Christ she receives the royal right to dispose of the treasures of the Divine Redeemer's Kingdom; from her union with Christ finally is derived the inexhaustible efficacy of her maternal intercession before the Son and His Father,” Pope Pius XII wrote.

Through her Son, Mary has been granted power over Satan and the ability to overcome adversity. As Queen Mother she rules over the world and will not refuse our requests as long as they are in accordance with God’s will. The Queenship of Mary should be a reminder and consolation to us. No matter what we face, we are not alone and should not despair. Perhaps this is a good time to re-crown Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth, asking her to reign over our world, our loved ones and ourselves. She, along with Christ, will be victorious.

You can read the entire encyclical here: Ad Caeli Reginam.

Oscar Wergeland, “Service in a German Village Church,” ca. 1880

This Sunday, I’ll Be Going to Church. Will You Join Me?

“The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor. Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.” [CCC 2181]