Pius XII wrote of Our Blessed Mother: “Let all Christians, therefore, glory in being subjects of the Virgin Mother of God, who, while wielding royal power, is on fire with a mother’s love.”

In the Extraordinary Form of the Roman liturgical calendar, May 31 is the feast of the Queenship of Mary. In the Novus Ordo calendar, this feast was transferred to mere memorial status on August 22, which is the anniversary of the 1485 Battle of Bosworth. In the Novus Ordo calendar, May 31 is the feast of the Visitation.

Speaking of Pius XII, in his 1954 encyclical letter Ad Caeli Reginam, the Venerable Pontiff proclaimed the Queenship of Mary and established her feast. He included in his encyclical many patristic references, among which is a quotation from St Gregory Nazianzen (d 390) calling Mary, “Mother of the King of the universe”, and the “Virgin Mother who brought forth the King of the whole world”. There are also liturgical references from both East and West, including lines from the Tract of the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows: “Near the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ there stood, sorrowful, the Blessed Mary, Queen of Heaven and Queen of the World.” Since her earliest years, Holy Church has revered the Mother of God.

Here is a marvellous exhortation from Pius’s encyclical, no less suitable for our own day and devotional lives than it was in 1954:

48. Let all, therefore, try to approach with greater trust the throne of grace and mercy of our Queen and Mother, and beg for strength in adversity, light in darkness, consolation in sorrow; above all let them strive to free themselves from the slavery of sin and offer an unceasing homage, filled with filial loyalty, to their Queenly Mother.

Let her churches be thronged by the faithful, her feast days honoured; may the beads of the rosary be in the hands of all; may Christians gather, in small numbers and large, to sing her praises in churches, in homes, in hospitals, in prisons. May Mary’s name be held in highest reverence, a name sweeter than honey and more precious than jewels; may none utter blasphemous words, the sign of a defiled soul, against that name graced with such dignity and revered for its motherly goodness; let no one be so bold as to speak a syllable which lacks the respect due to her name.

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