Queen of angels, pray for us.
Queen of patriarchs, pray for us.
Queen of prophets, pray for us.
Queen of apostles, pray for us.
Queen of martyrs, pray for us.
Queen of confessors, pray for us.
Queen of virgins, pray for us.
Queen of all Saints, pray for us.
Queen conceived without Original Sin, pray for us.
Queen assumed into Heaven, pray for us.
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us.
Queen of Peace, pray for us.
Queen of the Church, pray for us.
Each time I hear the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, "Queen of All Saints" seems to stand out as one of Our Lady's most beautiful titles. Each of us has, of course, different patron saints to honor on this Feast of All Saints, but we should also honor Mary, for she is our first patroness.
In The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort writes of how we honor the Blessed Trinity when we honor Our Lady. He speaks of an “old hymn” and a “new hymn;” the old was sung by the Jews in the Old Testament to give thanks to God for creating them, for blessing them, for delivering them from bondage and giving them manna in the desert. The new, St. Louis writes, was prophesied by King David in Psalm 143:9: “I will sing a new song to You.” This hymn is the Hail Mary, or the Angelic Salutation, which Christians sing to give thanks to God for the Incarnation and for our Redemption:
Similarly, in True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, St. Louis explains why we honor Mary as our Queen:
“Although this new hymn is in praise of the Mother of God and is sung directly to her, nevertheless it greatly glorifies the Blessed Trinity because any homage that we pay Our Lady returns directly to God Who is the cause of all her virtues and perfections. When we honor Our Lady: God the Father is glorified because we are honoring the most perfect of His creatures; God the Son is glorified because we are praising His most pure Mother, and God the Holy Spirit is glorified because we are lost in admiration at the graces with which He has filled His spouse.”
The Second Vatican Council writes about the Queenship of Mary in Lumen Gentium, which devotes an entire chapter to Our Lady:
“Jesus, in choosing her as His inseparable associate in His life, death, glory and power in heaven and on earth, has given her by grace in His kingdom all the same rights and privileges He possesses by nature. ‘All that belongs to God by nature belongs to Mary by grace,’ say the saints, and according to them, just as Jesus and Mary have the same will and the same power, they have the same subjects…”
If we look to Christ as our King, then we look to Mary as our Queen, as Queen of Heaven and Queen of All Saints, for God in His love for her has given her this place of honor, and in His love for us He has given her to us as our Mother and as a most perfect example for us to follow as we strive to become saints. As Pope John Paul the Great writes in his Encyclical Redemptoris Mater, Mary was the “first disciple” of her Son, and so she is the greatest saint of all: “Mary was and is the one who is ‘blessed because she believed’; she was the first to believe.”
“Preserved free from all guilt of original sin, the Immaculate Virgin was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory upon the completion of her earthly sojourn. She was exalted by the Lord as Queen of the Universe, in order that she might be the more thoroughly conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords (cf. Rev. 19:16) and the conqueror of sin and death."
The image is a detail from Madonna of the Magnificat by Sandro Botticelli, an Italian Renaissance artist best known for his Birth of Venus.