Trinitarian Coronation of Mary, as Queen - by VELÁZQUEZ, Diego Rodriguez de Silva y - from Museo del Prado, Madrid
If Jesus is the King of the Universe,
Mary is also its Queen
Salve Regina, Mater misericordiae,
Vita dulcedo et spes nostra salve.
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae.
Ad te suspiramus gementes et flentes,
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eja ergo advocata nostra,
illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.
Et Jesum benedictum fructum ventris tui
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria.
Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
Hail our Life, our Sweetness and our Hope.
To you do we Cry, Poor Banished Children-of-Eve,
to you do we Send-up our Sighs,
Mourning and Weeping in this Valley-of-Tears.
Turn then, most Gracious Advocate
your Eyes-of-Mercy, toward us.
And after this, our Exile,
Show us the Fruit of your Womb, Jesus.
O Clement, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary.
|Nota Bene: Bible verses quoted in this Book, are from the English Douay-Rheims Translation, Commissioned-by the Catholic Church.|
Mary, then, is a Queen: but, for our Common Consolation, be it 'Known' that she is a Queen so-Sweet, Clement, and so-Ready to-Help us in our Miseries, that the Holy Church 'Wills' that we should 'Salute' her in this Prayer, under the Title-of Queen-of-Mercy.
"The Title of Queen", remarks Blessed-Albert-the-Great (Super Miss. q. 162), "differs-from that of Empress, which 'Implies' Severity and Rigor, in 'Signifying' Compassion and Charity towards the Poor". "The Greatness of Kings and Queens", says Seneca, "consists in Relieving the Wretched" - ("Hoc reges habent magnificum, prodesse miseris" Medea, act. 2), and whereas Tyrants, when they 'Reign', have their Own Good in-view; Kings should have that of their Subjects at Heart. For this Reason it is, that at their 'Consecration', Kings have their Heads 'Anointed' with Oil, which is the Symbol-of-Mercy; to Denote that, as Kings, they should, above all things, Nourish in their Hearts, Feelings of Compassion and Benevolence, towards their Subjects.
Kings should, then, 'Occupy' themselves Principally-in Works-of Mercy, but not so as to 'Forget' the Just Punishments, that are to be Inflicted on the Guilty. It is, however, not thus with Mary, who, although a Queen, is not a Queen-of-Justice, 'Intent' on the Punishment-of the Wicked, but a Queen-of-Mercy, 'Intent' only on Commiserating and Pardoning Sinners. And this is the Reason for which the Church 'Require's that we should Expressly Call her the "Queen-of-Mercy". The Great Chancellor-of-Paris, John Gerson, in his Commentary on the Words-of-David, "These two things have I heard, that Power belongeth to God, and Mercy to Thee, O Lord" - ("Duo haec audivi; quia potestas Dei est, et tibi, Domine, misericordia" Psalm 61:12-13), says that the Kingdom-of-God, Consisting-in Justice and Mercy, was 'Divided' by Our Lord: the Kingdom-of-Justice, He Reserved-for Himself, and that-of Mercy, He Yielded-to Mary, 'Ordaining' at the same Time, that All Mercies that are Dispensed-to Men, should Pass-through the Hands-of-Mary, and be Disposed-of by her at Will. These are Gerson's own words: "The Kingdom-of-God Consists-in Power and Mercy; Reserving Power to Himself, He, in some way, yielded the Empire-of-Mercy, to His Mother" - ("Regnum Dei consistit in potestate et misericordia: potestate Domino remanente, cessit quodammodo misericordiae pars Christi Matri regnanti" Super Magn. tr. 4). This is Confirmed-by Saint Thomas, in his Preface-to the Canonical Epistles, saying, "that when the Blessed Virgin conceived the Eternal Word in her Womb, and brought Him forth, she Obtained Half the Kingdom-of-God; so that she is Queen-of-Mercy, as Jesus is King-of-Justice" ("Quando filium Dei in utero concepit, et postmodum peperit, sic dimidiam partem regni Dei impetravit, ut ipsa sit Regina mesericordiae, cujus Filius est Rex justitiae").
The Eternal Father made Jesus Christ the King-of-Justice, and consequently, Universal Judge of the World: and therefore the Royal Prophet 'Signs': "Give to the King Thy Judgment, O God, and to the King's Son, Thy Justice" - ("Deus, judicium tuum Regi da, et justitiam tuam filio Regis" Psalm 71:2). Here a Learned Interpreter takes-up the Sentence, and says: "O Lord, Thou has given justice to Thy Son, because Thou has given Mercy to the King's Mother" - ("Quia misericordiam tuam dedisti Matri Regis"). And, on this Subject, Saint Bonaventure, 'Paraphrasing' the Words-of-David, thus 'Interprets' them: "Give to the King Thy Judgment, O God, and Thy Mercy to the Queen His Mother" - ("Deus judicium tuum Regi da, et misericordiam tuam Reginae, Matri ejus"). Ernest, Archbishop-of-Prague, also 'Remarks', "that the Eternal Father gave the Office-of Judge and Avenger, to the Son, and that of showing Mercy and Relieving the Necessitous, to the Mother" - (Pater omne judicium dedit Filio, misericordiae vero officium dedit Matri" Marial. c. 127). This was Foretold-by the Prophet David, himself; for he says that God (so-to-speak) Consecrated Mary, Queen-of-Mercy; Anointing her with the Oil-of-Gladness: "God hath Anointed thee with the Oil of Gladness" - ("Unxit te Deus . . . oleo laetitiae" Psalm 44:8). In-order-that we Miserable Children-of-Adam might Rejoice, Remembering that in Heaven we have this Great Queen, Overflowing-with the Unction-of-Mercy and Compassion towards us; and thus we can say with Saint Bonaventure, "O Mary, thou art Full of the Unction-of-Mercy, and of the Oil of Compassion" - ("Maria plena unctione misericordiae, plena oleo pietatis" Spec. B.M.V. lect. 7); therefore God has Anointed thee with the Oil-of-Gladness.
And how Beautifully, does not Blessed-Albert-the-Great, 'Apply' to this Subject, the History-of Queen Esther, who was herself, a Great Type-of our Queen Mary!
We read, in the Fourth (4th) Chapter of the Book-of-Esther, that is the Reign-of King Assuerus (Ahasuerus), a Decree was issued, by which all Jews were Condemned-to-Death. Mardochai (Mordecai), who was One of the Condemned, 'Addressed' himself to Queen Esther, in-order-that she might 'Interpose' with King Assuerus, and obtain the Revocation-of the Decree, and thus be the Salvation of All. At First (1st), Esther 'Declined' the Office, Fearing that such a Request might Irritate the King still more; but Mardochai 'Reproved' her, 'Sending' her word that she was not to-Think only of Saving herself, for God had 'Placed' her on the Throne to 'Obtain' the Salvation of All the Jews: "Think not that thou mayest save thy Life only, because thou art in the King's House, more than All the Jews" - ("Ne putes, quod animam tuam tantum liberes, quia in domo Regis es prae cunctis Judaeis" Esther 4:13). Thus did Mardochai 'Address' Queen Esther. And so can we Poor Sinners, 'Address' our Queen Mary, should she show any Repugnance to 'Obtain' of God, our Delivery-from the Chastisement we have Justly Deserved: "Think not, O Lady, that God has Raised thee to the Dignity of Queen of the World, only to provide for thy Good; but in order that, being so Great, thou mightest be better able to Compassionate and Assist us Miserable Creatures".
As-soon-as King Assuerus saw Queen Esther standing before him, he asked her, with Love, what she came to 'Seek'. "What is thy Request"! The Queen replied, "If I have found Favor in thy sight, O King, give me my People, for which I Request" - ("Quae est petition tua? . . . Si inveni gratiam in oculis tuis, o rex! Dona mihi . . . populum meum pro quo obsecro" Esther 7:2,3). King Assuerus 'Granted' her Request, and Immediately 'Ordered' the Revocation-of the Decree. And now, if King Assuerus, through Love for Queen Esther, 'Granted', at her Request, Salvation to the Jews, how can God 'Refuse' the Prayers of Mary, Loving her Immensely-as He does, when she Prays for Poor Miserable Sinners, who 'Recommend' themselves to her, and 'Says' to Him, "My King and my God, if ever I have found Favor in Thy Sight" (though the Divine Mother well Knows-that she was the Blessed, the Holy One, the only One of the Human Race, who 'Found' the Grace, Lost by all Mankind; well does she Know-that she is the Beloved One of her Lord, Loved more than all the Saints and Angels together), "Give me my People, for which I ask". If Thou Lovest me, she says, "Give me, O Lord, these Sinners, for whom I Entreat Thee". Is it possible that God should 'Refuse' her? And who is Ignorant-of the Power-of the Prayers-of Mary with God? "The Law-of-Clemency is on her Tongue" - ("Lex clementiae in lingua ejus" Proverbs 31:26). Each of her Prayers is, as it were, an Established Law for our Lord, that He should 'Show' Mercy to All, for whom she 'Intercedes'. Saint Bernard asks Why the Church calls Mary the "Queen-of-Mercy"? And he replies, that "It is because we believe that she Opens the Abyss of the Mercy of God to whomsoever she Wills, when she Wills, and as she Wills; so that there is no Sinner, however Great, who is Lost, if Mary Protects him" - ("Quod divinae pietatis abyssum, cui vult, quando vult, et quomodo vult, creditor aperire; ut quivis enormis peccator non pereat, cui Sancta Sanctorum patrocinii sui suffragia praestat" In Salve Reg. s. 1).
But perhaps we may Fear that Mary would not Deign-to Interpose-for some Sinners, because they are so Overloaded-with Crimes? Or perhaps we ought to be Over-Awed at the Majesty and Holiness of this Great Queen? "No", says Saint Gregory VII, "for the Higher and more Holy she is, the Greater is her Sweetness and Compassion towards Sinners, who have Recourse to her, with the Desire-to Amend their Lives" - ("Maria, quanto altior et sanctior, tanto clementior et dulcior circa converses peccatores" Lib. i. Ep. 47). Kings and Queens, with their Ostentation-of-Majesty, 'Inspire' Terror, and 'Cause' their Subjects to Fear to 'Approach' them: but what Fear, says Saint Bernard, can the Miserable have to 'Approach' this Queen-of-Mercy, for she 'Inspires' no Terror, and 'Shows' no Severity, to those who Come-to her, but is all Sweetness and Gentleness. "Why should Human Frailty, Fear to go to Mary? In her there is no Austerity, nothing Terrible: she is all Sweetness, Offering Milk and Wool to all" - ("Quid ad Mariam accedere trepidet humana fragilitas? Nihil austerum in ea, nihil terribile; tota suavis est, omnibus offerens lac et lanam" In Sign. Magn.). Mary is not only Willing to 'Give', but she herself 'Offers' Milk and Wool to All: the Milk-of Mercy, to Animate our Confidence, and the Wool-of her Protection, against the Thunderbolts of Divine Justice.
Suetonius (Tit. c. 8.) Relates-of the Emperor Titus, that he could never Refuse a Favor, so-much-so that he sometimes Promised more than he could Grant, and when Admonished of this, he replied that a Prince should never send-away any person, whom he Admitted-to his Audience, Dissatisfied. Titus spoke thus, but in Reality, he must often have Deceived or Failed in his Promises. Our Queen cannot Deceive, and can 'Obtain' all that she Wills, for her Clients. Moreover, "Our Lord has Given her so Benign and Compassionate a Heart", says Lanspergius, "that she cannot send away any one Dissatisfied, who Prays to her" - ("Ita benigna est, ut neminem a se redire tristem sinat" Alloq. l. 1, p. 4. can. 12). But how, to use the Words-of Saint Bonaventure, canst thou, O Mary, who art the Queen-of-Mercy, 'Refuse' to Succor the Miserable? And "who", asks the Saint, "are the Subjects for Mercy, if not the Miserable? And since thou art the Queen-of-Mercy", he continues, "and I am the most Miserable of Sinners, it follows that I am the First of thy Subjects. How, then, O Lady, canst thou do otherwise than Exercise thy Mercy on me?" - (Tue es Regina misericordiae, et qui misericordiae subditi nisi miseri? Tu Regina misericordiae es, et ego miserrimus peccatorum, subditorum maximum; rege nos ergo, o Regina misericordiae!" Paciucch. In Salve Reg. exc. 2.) Have Pity on us, then, O Queen-of-Mercy, and take Charge-of our Salvation.
"Say not, O Holy Virgin", exclaims Saint-George-of-Nicomedia, "that thou canst not Assist us on account of the Number-of our Sins, for thy Power and thy Compassion are such, that no Number-of Sins, however Great, can Outweigh them. Nothing Resists thy Power, for our common Creator, Honoring thee as His Mother, considering thy Glory as His own"; and the Son, "Exulting in it, Fulfils thy Petitions, as if He were Paying a Debt" - ("Habes vires insuperabiles, ne clementiam tuam superset multitude peccatorum. Nihil tuae resistit potentiae; tuam enim gloriam Creator existimat esse propriam. Et Filius in ea exsultans, quasi exsolvens debitum, implet petitiones tuas" Or. de Ingr. B.V.); meaning thereby, that He is under an Infinite (∞) Obligation to her, for having 'Given' Him His Humanity; and therefore Jesus, to 'Pay', as-it-were, what He Owes to Mary, and 'Glorying' in her Glory, Honors her in a Special Manner, by Listening-to and Granting all her Petitions.
How Great, then, should be our Confidence in this Queen, Knowing her Great Power with God, and that she is so Rich and Full-of-Mercy, that there is no One Living-on the Earth, who does not Partake-of her Compassion and Favor. This was Revealed-by our Blessed Lady herself to Saint Bridget, saying, "I am the Queen-of-Heaven, and the Mother-of-Mercy; I am the Joy of the Just, and the Door through which Sinners are brought-to God. There is no Sinner on Earth, so-accursed as to be Deprived-of my Mercy; for All, if they Receive nothing else through my Intercession, 'Receive' the Grace of being less-Tempted by the Devils, than they would otherwise have been" - ("Ego sum Regina coeli, ego mater misericordiae: ego justorum gaudium, et aditus peccatorum ad Deum. Nullus est adeo maledictus, qui, quamdiu vivit, careat misericordia mea; quia propter me levius tentatur a daemonibus quam aliter tentaretur"). "No one", she adds, "unless the Irrevocable Sentence has been Pronounced" (that is, the one Pronounced-on the Damned), "is so Cast-off by God, that he will not return-to Him, and Enjoy His Mercy, if he Invokes my Aid" - ("Nullus ita alienatus est a Deo, nisi omnino fuerit maledictus, qui, si me invocaverit, non revertatur ad Deum; et habebit misericordiam" Rev. l. 6, c. 10). "I am called by-All, the Mother-of-Mercy, and Truly the Mercy-of my Son towards Men, has made me thus Merciful towards them" - ("Ego vocar ab omnibus mater misericordiae; vere, misercordia Filii mei misericordem me fecit" Ibid. l. 2, c. 23); and she concludes by saying, "and therefore Miserable will he be, and Miserable will he be to all Eternity, who, in this Life, having it in his Power to-Invoke me, who am so Compassionate to All, and so Desirous to assist Sinners, is Miserable enough not to-Invoke me, and so is Damned" - ("Ideo miser erit, qui ad misericordiam, cum posit, non accedit" Ibid).
Let us, then, have Recourse, and always have Recourse, to this most-Sweet Queen, if we would be certain-of Salvation; and if we are Alarmed and Disheartened at the Sight-of our Sins, let us Remember that it is in-order-to Save the Greatest and most-Abandoned Sinners, who 'Recommend' themselves to her, that Mary is made the Queen-of-Mercy. Such have to be her Crown in Heaven; according to the Words addressed-to her by her Divine Spouse: "Come from Libanus, my Spouse; 'Come' from Libanus, 'Come': thou shalt be Crowned; . . . from the Dens-of the Lions, from the Mountains-of the Leopards" - ("Veni de Libano, Sponsa mea, veni de Libano, veni, coronaberis . . . de cubilibus leonum, de montibus pardorum" Canticles 4:8). And what are these Dens-of-Beasts, but Miserable Sinners, whose Souls have become the Home-of-Sin, the most Frightful Monster that can be found. "With such Souls", says the Abbot Rupert, 'Addressing' our Blessed Lady, "Saved by thy means, O Great Queen Mary, wilt thou be Crowned in Heaven; for their Salvation will Form a Diadem worthy-of, and well-becoming, a Queen-of-Mercy" - ("De talium leonum cubilibus tu coronaberis; . . . eorum salus corona tua erit" In Canticles 1:3). On this Subject, 'Read' the following: