Why Do Catholics Celebrate the “Queenship of Mary”?

Queenship of Mary


Why Do Catholics Celebrate Mary as “Queen”?

Well, let’s start with what we know. We know that the Old Testament kings clearly prefigured Jesus Christ, the New Testament King of kings (Revelation 19:16). We know that Jesus, in His humanity, descended from King David. Therefore, the kings of Judah, who were from David’s line, especially prefigure Jesus’ kingship.

Luke 1:32: “the Lord God will give to him [Jesus] the throne of his father David.”

Now here’s something interesting: the wife of the king of Judah was not the queen. The queen was the king’s mother. She was known as the Queen Mother. She had great honor and authority in the kingdom.

Check out this amazing scene where king Solomon honors his mother, Bathseba:

1 Kings 2:19-20: So Bathseba went to king Solomon, to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. And the king rose to meet her, and bowed down to her; then he sat on his throne, and had a seat brought for the king’s mother; and she sat on his right. Then she said, “I have one small request to make of you; do not refuse me.” And the king said to her: “Make your request, my mother; for I will not refuse you.”

By honoring his mother and giving her a throne at his right hand, Solomon established an institution known as the Queen Mother. This institution lasted as long as the kings of Judah, nearly four hundred years. The Queen Mother served as the king’s confidant and advisor. The Queen Mother had an official position; she had to be deposed in order to be removed (1 Kings 15:13). The Jewish idea of Davidic kings would have naturally included the king on his throne with the queen mother at his right hand.

The Holy Spirit, in leading the Old Testament people of Judah to establish the office of Queen Mother, was preparing the way for Mary. Jesus, the New Testament Davidic King, does not have a wife. His mother would be the NT queen.

This is exactly what Revelation 11 and 12 describe. A woman (Mary) gives birth to a son (Jesus) who will “rule all the nations” (12:5). Jesus is a new Solomon. Just as Solomon ruled over other kings (2 Chronicles 9:23–26), Jesus is the “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16).

Just as Solomon, son of David, built a Temple housing the Ark of the Covenant (the Temple was destroyed and the Ark lost in 587 BC), Jesus, son of David, builds an eternal Temple housing a new Ark of the Covenant in heaven (11:19).

And just as King Solomon enthroned his queen mother at his right hand, Jesus enthrones Mary as His Queen Mother:

Revelation 12:1: “a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”

A woman with a crown—that’s a queen! Any king of the house of David would be expected to have a queen mother. That’s precisely what Mary is: the Queen Mother of the Messianic King.

So by looking at the great honor and dignity queen mothers had in the Old Testament, we can see the profound role God has given Mary as the New Testament Queen Mother.

(Adapted from Beginning Apologetics 6: How to Explain and Defend Mary, available from www.catholicfaithstore.com)