Saturday, August 23, 2008

August 23, The Day After the Queenship of Mary

"Mary… The Apex of Creation… The First Entirely Human Person of the Universe."[1]

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

"The sovereign royalty of Mary is intimately connected to her Son's. Jesus Christ is King since total, proper and absolute power belong to him, as much in the natural order as in the supernatural. The royalty of Mary is entire as well: it stems from her Son. The terms Queen and Lady with reference to the Virgin are not metaphors. By means of them, we designate a true pre-eminence and an authentic dignity and power in heaven and on earth. As Mother of the King, Mary is truly and properly Queen. She is the apex of creation, and effectively the first entirely human person of the universe. Almighty God placed her far above all the angels and all the saints, and so filled her with every heavenly grace, taken from His own divine treasure, that she was always free from all stain of sin, all beautiful and perfect, possessing such a fullness of innocence and holiness to be found nowhere outside of God, and which no one but God can comprehend."[2]

Significantly, when Pius XII instituted this feast day, he invited all Christians to draw near to the "throne of grace and mercy of our Queen and Mother." These very words were heard by St. Josemaría Escrivá on this date, August 23, 1971. It is a verse taken from the epistle to the Hebrews, chapter 4, verse 16: "Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

St. Josemaría explained the meaning to his sons and daughters such that they should go with confidence to the "throne of grace" (he heard "glory"): the most sweet heart of Mary, so that they may get mercy from the most Sacred and Merciful Heart of Jesus.

This day had the significance of being proposed by John Paul II for the establishment of Opus Dei as a personal Prelature in 1982, but it was postponed until the first Sunday of Advent, November 28th of that year.

[1] Francis Fernandez Carvajal, "In Conversation with God" Scepter Volume 7 (1991) 104-105.
[2] Pius IX, Bull Ineffabilis Deus, 8 December 1854.

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