Mary, Queen and Mother

The queen stood on thy right hand, in gilded clothing; surrounded with variety.

Psalm 44:10

St. Thomas interprets Psalm 44:10 to describe qualities of the bride of Christ, the Church. However, he also notes that the verse and the qualities of the Church “can be explained as referring to the Blessed Virgin, who is Queen and Mother of the King, who stands above all the choirs of angels, arrayed in gold, that is the gilded array of divinity, not because she is God, but because she is the Mother of God” (St. Thomas, In psalmos Davidis expositio, Psalm 44, n. 7). Elsewhere, he states: “Although the Blessed Virgin is exalted above the angels, she is nonetheless not exalted to the level of equality with God or personal union. Therefore, she is not said ‘to be seated at the right hand’ [sedere ad dexteram] but ‘to stand at the right hand’ [astare dextris] insofar as the honor of the Son in some measure participatively but not plenarily overflows to her, in as much as she is the Mother of God but not God” (Super III Sent., d. 22, q. 3, a. 3, qc. 3, ad 3).

God so loved the world that He sent into it His only begotten Son to redeem it from the evil permitted in that universe, conceived from all eternity in the divine mind. In His wisdom, this required that God’s Son be born of a woman, a virgin named Mary. God thus so loved the world to-be-redeemed that He made Mary a part of it. And yet, more than that. He so conceived of a universe-to-be-redeemed that it had this woman as its eternal heart, for it was created in a way for her, as she was needed to bring Christ into the world, the true final cause of creation. An entire history of a nation was written for her, such that she was anticipated as “Daughter of Sion.” The prophecies of the end of time include her, for she is the “Woman Clothed with the Sun.” Even more, she was not only the principal created person and part of the universe, but she contained that universal order of redemption, the Church of Christ, within herself by being its archetype and exemplar. She is thus the final cause of all creation, next to her Son, as its very form. Predestined as the truest of queens, exceeding every lower or misshapen type of queenship, she claims her title through her divine maternity, her co-redemption of mankind, and her universal mediation, all bearing reference to her Divine Son, Redeemer and Mediator of mankind. As such, and for such reasons, she is the Queen of the Universe. Lastly, in her queenship itself is found imaged or exemplified the very perfections of the universe of which she is principal part, for in her humility she contains the true excellence of all things, by her intercession she sustains the mercy needed for the working of all things unto salvation, and in her sovereignty over the peace of heaven she soothes God’s children with the final tranquility of order of the universe.

There is no created person nobler or more powerful or more consequential in God’s providential ordering of creation than she, for within her is contained to a more expansive and intensive degree the entire raison d’être of the entire universe, and through her has been effected what God so designed, such that by a fitting right she has merited her appointed place as Queen of the Universe. In view of this fact, what ought we do? What do we owe the Queen of Heaven?

What indeed but that which is proper to a queen, and yet more? This goes by a traditional name: “hyperdulia.” Her nobility as queen demands an exceedingly high love from us:

Because she carries with her the notion of the properly universal common good, because she is for us the principle of every spiritual good, it is not enough to love the Blessed Virgin as one loves oneself, nor to love her as much as oneself. Just as it is necessary to love Christ more than oneself, so too it is necessary to love the Blessed Virgin more than oneself.

Charles De Koninck, Ego Sapientia

That is, Mary is Queen of Mercy is our universal intercessor; Mary is Queen Mother and as such the final cause of the universe, created as its preeminent part, and as Mother of God exceeding it by her relation to the Trinity. She alone of all created persons deserves an honor second only to God. We must seek to belong to her kingdom, which is one and the same as the kingdom of Christ. (For this, one cannot but help recommend the practice of true devotion to Our Lady, taught by St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort in his treatise True Devotion to Mary.) To seek first the kingdom of Jesus Christ is nothing other than to seek out Our Lady’s kingdom. This kingdom is our inheritance, the kingdom not of this world, the kingdom now hidden in the charity within the hearts of the faithful, and to be manifest only at the end of time, when God will be all in all.

Excerpted from John G. Brungardt, “Mary, Queen of the Universe,” in Mary, Full of Grace, 279–324 (Providence, RI: Cluny Media, 2019).

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