At the conclusion of the Rosary, Catholics are heard praying, 'Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope...' Yet, many non-Catholic Christians, and even many poorly catechized Catholics, wonder how so many believers in Jesus have come to this conclusion. Is this Biblical? Is this Traditional Christianity? And these are honest questions.
Honest questions deserve honest answers.
First, and foremost, we must remember that Jesus of Nazareth was the son of a Jewish mother. As a Jew, Jesus would have come to expect the promised Messiah along the kingly lines of David (Mt 22:42). As the Son of God, Jesus was the Incarnate Word, the long promised Jewish Messiah, and the Messiah of the world. So, in a very true sense, Jesus fulfilled the kingly role of the line of David. And, in this line of thought, Jesus came to fulfill, not abolish, even 'one iota' of the Messianic prophecy. So when King David, and all his descendants, ruled, the Queen was not his wife, but his mother. And this is also true with Jesus Christ, which means Jesus Messiah.
And this Queen was mysteriously, and Scripturally, revealed from the beginning.
From Genesis we are introduced to a powerful woman, in the Protoevangelium, who crushes the serpents head. This woman is hinted of in the gospel when Jesus questions Mary's advocacy for the Cana-marriage-miracle, and at the foot of the Cross in Jesus giving John to Mary as her son. This line of 'woman' mystery is culminated in the Book of Revelation when 'the woman clothed with the sun, and the Moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars' is revealed through Sacred Tradition, interpreting Sacred Scripture, as Mary the Mother of God.
In other words, this was always the Apostolic belief.
Pope Pius XII, therefore, established the feast of the Queenship of Mary in 1954. But, truth be told, Catholics held Mary as their Queen for nearly two millennia prior to this great proclamation. And here is why. Tradition has always held that Mary was assumed bodily into heaven by Jesus and the angels. And after Mary was assumed into heaven, body and soul, she sits as Queen of Heaven and Earth in lieu of her Son's Lordship as King of kings. And as the Book of Revelation reveals, she is 'crowned with 12 stars,' since she is also Queen of the Apostles, and Queen of the Church.
And as Queen, we must thank Mary for some very great gifts.
"No one can describe His bodily generation. No one can point to a father who begot Him in the flesh, because His body did not come from a man, but from the Virgin alone." St Athanasius of Alexandria
Therefore, we thank Mary for her yes (fiat) and acknowledge our Queen as 'the hinge' of our salvation. We also acknowledge Mary as Mother of God, Holy Virgin, Mother of the Church, and the refuge of sinners.
St Andrew of Crete adds: "Today, Jesus transports the Queen of the human race outside of her earthly dwelling: his Ever-Virgin Mother, in whose womb he took human form without ceasing to be God."
These are power-packed words! Mary, in her humble yes, reversed the no of the first Eve, and humbly, yet powerfully, bowed to the Holy Spirit in the Incarnation of the Word of God--He who dwelt among us. Mary's perpetual Virginity, moreover, reveals her as the new Ark of the Covenant, the new consecrated soul, she who lives for Jesus alone. Yet, Mary, obedient to her Son's great commandment, Loved God first through a charity for her brothers and sisters, unparalleled by any other saint, as she pondered, prayed, and followed her Son faithfully, from the cradle, through the Passion, to the Cross--holding the dead body of her Son--and all the way to the mount of Ascension, and the upper room of Pentecost, and finally, eternally, next to Him, enthroned in Heaven.
And, in Praise of her Son, we faithfully, and joyfully, pray: 'Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope...'