By: Deacon Marques Silva
The feast of the Queenship of Mary, August 22, has a special meaning to me not only as a deacon but as a husband. First, a quick reminder about this feast. The foundation of this title and feast finds itself firmly rooted in Scripture when the Archangel Gabriel announced that Mary’s son would receive the throne of David and rule forever. Most know that Pope Pius XII established this feast in 1954.
What you may not know is that the fourth century Syrian Deacon and Doctor of the Church, St. Ephrem (June 9), is the first recorded to call her “Lady” and “Queen.” Later Church fathers and doctors continued to use this title, which laid the foundation for hymns written between the 11th and 13th centuries addressing Mary as queen: “Hail, Holy Queen,” “Hail Queen of Heaven,” “Queen of Heaven.” On the present calendar, it follows eight days after the Solemnity of the Assumption – two glorious mysteries linked together.
It also happens to be the Marian feast day that I chose to propose to my now wife of 19 years. As the story goes (don’t let her tell you otherwise), on August 16, 1992, my father asked me to give him three good reasons why I shouldn’t propose to my then college girlfriend that very day (she was down at our house visiting for a family event). After stumbling through two lame reasons that he quickly dismissed, I smugly exclaimed that I would only propose on a Marian feast day. It took him less than an hour to respond, at which time he reminded me that the upcoming Saturday was the Queenship of Mary (gulp!). Well, obviously she said yes, most likely due to our Lady’s intercession. Today, twenty-one years later, we will be invoking her name for another landmark event in our family’s life – dropping our eldest son off at college for his freshman year.
Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth, pray for us who have recourse to thee!