The feast of the Queenship of Mary is more than just another way of honoring Mary as the mother of Jesus; it is also a reminder that all of us are “kings and queens” in the Kingdom of God—even the youngest of your kids!
Why do we celebrate the Queenship of Mary?
Once celebrated on the last day of May (“Mary’s month”), it is now celebrated on the octave day of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (You’ll remember that the Assumption is all about Mary being taken (assumed) into heaven body and soul as the first fruit of Christ’s salvation of humanity.)
The feast of the Queenship of Mary was established in 1954 by Pope Pius XII, but the tradition pf celebrating Mary as queen of heaven goes back much earlier, with various saints and Church fathers referring to Mary as “lady” and “queen” as early as the fourth century. The basic idea is that if Jesus is “king,” then it is fitting that Mary, his mother, would share in his reign as queen. This way of understanding the honor due Mary as the Mother of God became especially popular in the Middle Ages, with its emphasis on courtly manners, but it also has a biblical basis. The Book of Revelation describes a woman clothed with the sun and crowned with twelve stars, traditionally understood to be Mary. When the angel Gabriel appears to Mary, he says that her son, Jesus, will inherit the throne of David (Luke 1:32). Later, Mary proclaims her Magnificat (Luke 1:46-56), in which she says, “Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me….”
Although the feast day honors Mary, it is also a reminder of our own baptismal call to fully participate in the Reign of God—a call we received when we were baptized as priest, prophet, and king in Christ. Mary’s “coronation” as “queen of heaven” points to the destiny that God wants for each of us: full participation in the glory of heaven.
The Story of the Coronation of Mary for Kids
A great sign appeared in the sky:
a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet,
and on her head,
a crown of twelve stars.
The woman is Mary,
the one God chose
as the first to be purified
by the blood of the cross;
the one who said yes
to God’s Word,
and the one in whom
the Word became flesh;
the one who carried Jesus
in her womb, and in her arms,
and in her heart;
the one Jesus gave to us,
saying, “Behold, your mother”;
and the one who leads us
to say yes to her son,
so that his Word
becomes embodied in us.
—from The Glorious Mysteries
Ideas for celebrating with your kids
- Make crowns for younger children. You can make crowns out of flowers, or out of paper. If you make crowns out of paper, be sure to decorate them with symbols that show what it means to be a “king” or “queen” in the Christian sense.
- Pray the “Hail, Holy Queen” or the Magnificat as part of your mealtime or bedtime prayer with your kids.
- Make cupcakes with little crowns made of frosting.
- Decorate your home prayer table with an image of Mary and flowers or rose petals.