This Feast was established by Pope Pius XII in 1954. The Holy Father taught that
Jesus Christ alone, God and man, is King in the full, proper, and absolute sense of the term. Mary also, in a restricted and only analogous way, shares in the royal dignity as the Mother of Christ who is God, as His associate in the work of Redemption, in His conflict with the enemy, and in His complete victory. From this association with Christ the King, she obtains a height of splendor unequaled in all creation (Ad Caeli Reginam , no.25).
Through Mary’s “yes” to bringing the Savior of the world into the world, she receives a place of spiritual royalty as the Mother of our King. As early as the fourth century, St. Ephrem was referring to Mary as “Queen” in his prayers and poems. The hymns of the eleventh to thirteenth centuries sing of Mary’s queenship and the hope that is alive in Scripture, which promises us a share in royal dignity. While Western Protestantism continues to misunderstand the Catholic view of Mary, Christians of the Eastern rites, both Catholic and non-Catholic, celebrate her queenship in their prayers and liturgies.
The feast is a logical follow-up to the Assumption and is now celebrated on the octave day of that feast. In the Vatican II Dogmatic Constitution on the Church , the Church calls
the entire body of the faithful [to] pour forth persevering prayer to the Mother of God and Mother of men. Let them implore that she who aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers may now, exalted as she is in heaven above all the saints and angels, intercede with her Son in the fellowship of all the saints. May she do so until all the peoples of the human family, whether they are honored with the name of Christian or whether they still do not know their Savior, are happily gathered together in peace and harmony into the one People of God, for the glory of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church , 69).
As an expectant mother draws the community around her to the coming of her child, our Blessed Mother draws us to her as we wait together for the coming of the King. Her queenship is an acknowledgment of her testimony to our redemption and her role is to convince us that He fulfills His promise to be with us always as our King until the end of time (Mt 28:20).
Other Saints We Remember Today
Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Saints Timothy, Hippolytus, and Symphorian (3rd Century), Martyrs