The article of the month

The Fatima Centennial by Father James M. Sullivan, o.p.

The Queen of Heaven and Earth

 Just eight days ago we celebrated the Solemnity of our Lady’s Assumption into heaven. Today on this octave day of that great feast we celebrate our Lady’s Queenship. This is not a liturgical coincidence but rather a profound insight into the role of Mary and her continued mediation: in the Church, in the world, and in the universe.

No woman makes herself a queen. She does not decide one day to choose this for herself. A queen is not self-pro­claimed. She is not elected. A woman becomes a queen by her relationship to another, either by marriage or by ances­try. Queenship is something bestowed upon her by another. This is an essential part of Mary’s own queenship, as she was chosen by the Father to be the Mother of his Son. Her relationship to Christ has brought a new depth and dimen­sion to her person.

As Mary has now entered heaven, body and soul, she has begun her reign as Queen of that realm entrusted to her care, all of heaven and earth. But the greatest gift that the Blessed Mother offers us is not one of worldly power. Her queenship possesses greater riches. The gift of her reign is the gift of her Son. Our own relationship to Christ is what brings a new depth and dimension to our lives. As Queen, Mary always stands ready to reveal how fully this gift can be bestowed upon us as well.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


(Father James M. Sullivan, o.p., serves as director of the Institute for Continuing Theological Education at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.