QUEEN OF HEAVEN


Much is made of the title Queen of Heaven by those who attack Catholicism and Marian devotion. The allusion is always to the pagan pantheons and to the mother of the gods, often mother in a very carnal sense of other pagan deities. The Canaanite worship of the "Queen of Heaven" condemned by the prophets is mentioned, as is the worship of Diana of the Ephesians, devotion to whom was exceeding popular before the Gospel arrived among the pagans. It is said that Catholicism at the Council of Ephesus restored this pagan devotion under the cover of devotion to Mary. The history of that Council given above shows the absurdity, and the intellectual dishonesty, of that claim! One might as well claim with respect to Jesus that Christians worship a mere man, since to arrive at this conclusion the Church's teaching must be ripped from its context and distorted to fit a preconceived judgement.

What then does it mean for Mary to be the Queen of Heaven? In the Old Testament monarchy the Queen of the Davidic Kingdom was the Queen Mother. The Kings, for reasons of state and human weakness, had many wives, none of whom fittingly could be called Queen. That honor was reserved for the mother of the King, whose authority far surpassed the many "queens" married to the king. We see this is the role Bathsheba played with respect to King Solomon and the occasions when the Queen Mother acted as regent on behalf of juvenile successors to the throne.

The role of the Queen Mother, therefore, is a prophetic type of the Kingdom role of Mary, just as the role of the Davidic King is a prophetic type of the Kingdom role of Jesus. Jesus inherited the Kingdom promised to David, who was told that one of his descendants would rule forever. The angel Gabriel revealed this fact to Mary at her Annunciation,

Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." (Luke 1:31-33)

Aside from the prophetic types present in the Kingdom of Judah, there is also the text of Psalm 45, which when speaking of the Kingdom of God also speaks of its Queen.

[6] Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. [7] Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. [8] All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad. [9] Kings' daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir. [10] Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; [11] So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him. (Psalm 45:6-11, KJV)

That Kingdom ruled by God is the same as the Kingdom ruled eternally by the Son of David. It is not an earthly kingdom, though it is present on earth in the Church, but a heavenly kingdom, the Kingdom of God. The Queen of that Kingdom is the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of the Lord God Jesus Christ.
Answered by Colin B. Donovan, STL
Solemnity of the Incarnation
Year of the Father, 1999

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