“Christians live from feast to feast,” St. Athanasius said. The church’s feasts are linked to one another and all are linked finally to the great feast of the Resurrection of Jesus.
The Assumption of Mary into Heaven, August 14, is followed by the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, August 22, a feast introduced into the liturgy of the Roman Catholic church in 1955 to celebrate the privileged place of Mary in heaven. She “was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory when her earthly life was over, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things.” ( Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium 59)
In the Old Testament royal titles were commonly given to God and those anointed by God, and Christianity continued the pratice, giving royal titles to Jesus and Mary. She is called queen in traditional Christian prayers like the Hail Holy Queen and Queen of Heaven:
“Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in the valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy towards us, and after this our exile, show to us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promise of Christ.
However sublime her title, Mary on her part recognizes her greatness is from her Lord, as she does in her Magnificat:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior. He who is mighty has done great things to me; holy is his name.” ( Luke 1, 46-55)
Fra Angelico captures Mary’s humility in his portrayal of her (above), bowing before her Son. Honors given to her are a reflection of the graces promised to humanity.
“Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.”