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MARY, Queen of Heaven and Earth,
| She is the mother of the King!
In history: To recognize Mary as the Mother of Jesus is widely accepted by Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Protestantism, even Islam and Judaism. It is admitted as a "historical fact". But Jesus Christ being the awaited Messiah is only recognized by Christians.
In the liturgy: Not only is Jesus acknowledged as God but one of his title (out of the 198 title and name listed in the Gospels) is "King" of ALL, King of the UNIVERSE"! In the liturgical calendar of the Catholic church, there is a specific feast day for this, it is the last Sunday before Advent: the Feast of Christ the King.
In theology and dogma: Mary as therefore the mother of God was debated and officially recognized by the Church at the Council of Ephesus in 431. Therefore her title of "Theotokos": Mother of God.
In Scripture, we are told about the Magi Mat 2:1,2 "When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, 2 behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, 2 saying, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star 3 at its rising and have come to do him homage." The Magi came to adore him and brought gifts worthy of a King,
Liturgical Readings of the Feast of Christ the King:
READING 1: DANIEL 7:13-14 the one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship; all peoples, nations, and languages serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed. RESPONSORIAL PSALM 93:1, 1-2, 5
R. (1a) The LORD is king; he is robed in majesty.
READING 2: REVELATION 1:5-8 Behold, he is coming amid the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him. All the peoples of the earth will lament him.Yes. Amen."I am the Alpha and the Omega, " says the Lord God,"the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty."
GOSPEL: JOHN 18:33B-37…"But as it is, my kingdom is not here." So Pilate said to him, "Then you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."
PHOTO: the beautiful Risen Christ of the Sacré-Coeur in Paris. I took this photo in 2011 when I first spent the night there. I had not realized that no picture was permitted and I never took another one afterwards…I have gone there for a Lent Retreat too a couple of years later and I just spent the night again two weeks ago.
| The King gave her to us as our "Mother"
at the foot of the Cross
Jn 19:26 Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
By these last words, Jesus Christ is placing her, Mary, in her rightfully place in his new Kingdom, where she is now and for eternity the Mother of all believers. These last words represent much more than just a concern for her welfare after his death, which is very good in itself already, but his "Kingdom" implies a whole new covenant, a whole new economy of "love and trust, humility and obedience" and His mother has an essential place in it.
PHOTO: The central stained glass window in the church in Verchaix of His crucifixion and John and Mary on each side:
| The King listens to her… as He did
Jn 2:1-11 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." (And) Jesus said to her, "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servers, "Do whatever he tells you."
By calling her "Woman", he is connecting her not only to the Woman in Genesis but to the Woman in Revelation
" J'ai vu moi-même Elisabeth m'appeler Mère de Dieu avant l'enfantement; après l'enfantement Syméon m'a chantée, Anne m'a célébrée, les mages sont accourus de la Perse à la crèche, une étoile annonçait d'avance la naissance, les bergers avec les anges se faisaient hérauts de la joie. Que pouvais-je aller chercher de plus grand que ces miracles, pour croire sur leur foi que mon Fils est celui qui a tout créé avec Sagesse? " Sermon de Saint Romain le Mélode
PHOTO: my own - and very simple - illustration of Cana...
| She was foreshadowed in both the OT
and the NT…
All the covenants in OT 1) with Adam and Eve, 2) with Noah and his family, 3) with Abraham and his tribe, 4) with Moses and the entire nation of Israel, 5) with David and his Kingdom of many tribes and many nations, are foreshadows of the new covenant with Christ in NT, where God would bring all of humanity into his divine family.
This video course on Mary greatly highlighted for me the link between the "Woman" of Genesis, the Queen Mother of Solomon, Mary Mother of Jesus Christ (whom he addresses as "Woman") and the Woman of Revelation. It helped me see the importance of the Queen Mother in the Davidic Kingdom of the Old Testament (Solomon bows to his Mother, he has her seated on a throne at his right hand (see 1 Kings 2:19). It helped me understand the duties and privileges that came with the position of Queen Mother as a unique and most respected adviser and to see how Mary fills this position of Queen Mother in the Kingdom of Christ.
In the OT: in Genesis, in the Davidic kingdom...
In the NT: in the Gospels, in Revelation, the Woman clothed with the sun, 12 stars around her head, crushing the serpent under her feet...
- a stained glass window on King Solomon in the church of Taninges.
- A photo collage of my own Miraculous Medal, because Mary is the New EVE, she is THE WOMAN!
| She constantly intercedes for us,
her children, as a mother should
" Because Tradition says so from the earliest Christians, the Church Fathers, the Popes, theologians and doctors of the Church, teachers and writers of the faith, thousands of saints and martyrs throughout the ages and all over the globe, up until today
" Because of her constant stream of apparitions, of private messages to saints and seekers, her never ending inspiration in art and culture, in paintings and sculptures and mosaics, in music and hymns, in books and stories, in movies and videos, in today's blogs and social networks, in so many schools and universities named after her…
This is possibly where I was becoming so enthusiastic about Mary and this set of videos from the St Paul Theological center that I veered off on a personal tangent! Motherhood was great to me. It was absolutely a grand experience, it opened up so many vistas in my life. It created a shift within me (where I went from being, more or less, the center of the world) to a new dimension where her wellbeing, her development became the most important drive in my world, where the love and joy and the sense of responsibility for this new being outdid my own needs. Well, I had no idea that becoming a grandmother, 30 years later, would even completely surpass it!
PHOTO: a happy grandmother holding her first grand daughter… Grand parenting is an art based on life and love, trust and faith, I find it extremely rewarding and all I can say is "Thank you, Mary, for your guidance in gentleness and humility and patience"!
| She wants us to come closer to Christ
and become matured believers, she is guiding us in holiness
She was loved and venerated from the very beginning of the Church, she is Queen of Heaven and Earth, she is the Mother of the Church, the Mother of all believers, she is Our Mother!
Padre Pio, when asked what is the best shortcut to Jesus? Answered: His Mother…
Because of her most amazing supportive and interactive part in the PRAYERS of the world:
…with the Jesus Prayer and Icons in the East becoming the epitome form of prayers and art merged together for the faithful and the devout;
…with Adoration and the rosary in the West being the most formative and meditative prayer on the life of Jesus Christ and on God's plan for our salvation.
…with her most astounding motherly love for us, working in a double interactive stream of prayers: her never ending attention in steadfastly interceding for us, for our needs and supplications; and her constant assistance in encouraging us to a more profound life of prayers, penance and conversion, obedience and patience, humility and gentleness
...she motivates us to participate in an active prayer life thru her apparitions and counsel, through the beauty of prayers written in her name, because love begets trust, trust feeds hope, hope sustains faith, faith generates more love …All those virtues are linked and they strengthen each other. But Mary is actually never the goal because Jesus Christ is and she is always guiding us to Him. She truly is the mother of all believers, the New Eve, the Woman clothed with the sun who is, still today, giving birth to believers (as mentioned in the video of lesson 12) and who will again and again do it till the Return of her Son…
PHOTO: This beautiful icon was made by a local Icon Master in the valley: her name is Didi and she - and another very good friend of mine, now deceased - offered me this Icon in August 2016. The photo was taken in my living room.
| Her Queenship is a dogma of the Church
founded by her Son
Liturgical Feast Day on August 22: the Queenship of Mary
all 4 Marian dogma (Mother of God, Forever Virgin, her Immaculate Conception and her Glorious Assumption) and all her titles are all linked and they give "the big picture" of Mary in God's economy of salvation.
See the catechism of the Catholic Church, § 487 to 511 here
And also § 963 to 975 here
PHOTO: Mary with a royal crown, details of a stained glass window in Notre Dame des Victoires, the French Marist church in San Francisco.
Mary with a royal crown, in local churches in Haute-Savoie,
France. Now that I am much more aware of her Queenship, I notice it everywhere!
Conclusion: This course on "The Bible and the Virgin Mary" was so good and so thought provoking to me that I created this page, in the hope to share my enthusiasm. It is all about Christ, because nothing can be said - and learned - about her without first saying and learning about her son. She was the first human person to know him and to love him and she is always - and forever - leading us to Him, Jesus the Christ. To understand and appreciate this makes me love and appreciate consequently the Catholic faith even more, which is the most coherent and most lovingly articulated, the most beautiful and totally inspiring religion in the world!
Wait, I forgot to mention that it is also absolutely the most real and true worldview (and I am referring here to both the visible and the invisible world), unfolding itself simultaneously privately in our own hearts and souls, and globally across nations and cultures, as we speak, as you read this…
And if you are not Catholic, at least not yet, do not feel threatened by my words. I say this but I completely understand within my heart that many Orthodox and Protestants are members of the Body of Christ, from wherever they stand. For that matter, many rightful and just souls can be found outside of Christian churches because it is all about relationship, love and forgiveness, trust and justice and charity, and God knows the truth of our lives…
References : le centurion romain dans Matthieu 8.10, saint Paul à l'Aréopage d'Athènes ; Rm 11, 11-24 ; Gn 1, 1-2, 4a. ;
sur la foi et la culture, see this excellent document here ; et sur la foi dans le monde moderne, see this terrific encyclical Letter Evangelii Nuntiandi here
May is the month of Mary!
Saint Ephrem (v.306-373): Prière à la très sainte
Mère de Dieu, " Très sainte Dame, Mère de Dieu, seule très pure d'âme
et de corps, seule au delà de toute pureté, de toute chasteté, de toute virginité
; seule demeure de toute la grâce de l'Esprit-Saint ; par là surpassant incomparablement
même les puissances spirituelles, en pureté, en sainteté d'âme et de corp..."
Acclamation: Nous vous saluons, ô Marie, Mère de Dieu, véritable trésor de tout l'univers, flambeau qui ne se peut jamais éteindre, couronne de la virginité, sceptre de la foi orthodoxe, temple incorruptible, lieu de celui qui n'a pas de lieu, par laquelle nous a été donné celui qui est appelé Béni par excellence, et qui est venu au nom du Seigneur. C'est par vous que la Trinité est glorifiée ; que la croix est célébrée et adorée par toute la terre ; c'est par vous que les cieux tressaillent de joie, que les anges sont réjouis, que les démons sont mis en fuite, que le démon tentateur est tombé du ciel, que la créature tombée est mise en sa place.
"Marie remplit le monde: Sanctuaires, Cathédrales, Eglises, chapelles, lieux d'apparition ou de dévotion à Marie recouvrent toute la surface de la terre, sur les cinq continents. Chaque nation a son histoire mariale ! Chaque peuple, son lot inouï de grâces et de prodiges obtenus par Marie ! Autant d'histoires vraies et merveilleuses que l'on voudrait pouvoir présenter à tous !"
Une liste étonnante, une liste tres longue, des sanctuaires et site mariaux sur le site de Marie de Nazareth : ici
Detail du vitrail de l'Annonciation, église Notre Dame de l'Assomption, Samoëns, France