Today we celebrate the Memorial of the Queenship of Mary. However, in the old calendar, for us Dominicans at least, this was the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which, until fairly recent times was not universal. The Immaculate Heart was moved on the Roman Calendar to bring it next to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, which seems fitting enough. That left today, August 22nd, open for another Marian feast - and what better way to end a sort of informal Octave (from the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary), that is, the Fourth Glorious Mystery, than with the Fifth Glorious Mystery, the Coronation of the Blessed Mother as Queen of Heaven and Earth?
In recognizing her Queenship, we recognize a singular honor given to Our Blessed Mother, by the grace of which she is lifted even above the angels. She is the highest honor of our fallen race, never ceasing to be a Mother to us as well.
As St. John Henry Newman so beautifully put it:
“No one has access to the Almighty
as His mother has – none has merit such as hers.
Her Son will deny her nothing that she asks
and herein lies her power.
While she defends the Church,
neither height nor depth,
neither men nor evil spirits,
neither great monarchs,
nor craft of man, nor popular violence,
can avail to harm us – for human life is short
O most august Queen of Heaven and Queen of our hearts, pray for us!