The queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
One of the titles of the Blessed Virgin Mary is “queen of heaven”. The Catholic Church proudly calls her the queen of heaven despite the contrary arguments and personal opinions flying around. The place of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Catholic Church is uncontestable; she is the mother of the Church, the mother of priests and the queen of heaven.
Some people are not comfortable with the title queen of heaven, they argue against it with a very beautiful and logical arguments that cannot deter the Church from honouring Mary as the queen of heaven. I do really appreciate the beautiful presentation of their arguments, but in Christianity, faith and reason must be allowed to work together. There may be other arguments against the title “queen of heaven”, but I chose to limit myself to the two most familiar ones to me.
That Catholics worship idols is a very familiar argument against the Church, the queen of heaven as a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary is seen by some people in the light of this idol worship. Their argument is based on Jeremiah 7:18, here, our God says the children gather wood, the father kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger. Still in the book of prophet Jeremiah, the people were warned against the worship of idols, but they insisted, saying but we will do everything that we have vowed, burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out libations to her, as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no evil Jer. 44:17.
Going through these passages in the bible, one may immediately conclude that Catholics are actually wrong to call Mary the queen of heaven or even believe that Catholics worship idols. But wait a minute, don’t be too hasty in your conclusion, let’s ask a very important question here. Where is this heaven and how many heavens do we have? This question may open the door to another argument that I may not want to go into at the moment, however, the question is still relevant to the topic of discussion. I have heard people talk about the seventh heaven, this idea of multiple heavens is seen in Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and its traces is also seen in the bible. In Deuteronomy 10:14 which is a reflection of Judaism, the bible says; Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens… this suggests that there is more than one heaven. In Luke 2:14, the angels of God sang Glory to God in the highest..., the word highest suggests multiple heavens. In second Corinthians 12:2, Paul testified saying; I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven…, this again suggest multiple heavens. My point here is not to prove that there are multiple heavens but to let you know that the word “heaven” as used in Jeremiah may not be referring to the abode of our God where Mary is queen.
The queen of heaven mentioned in Jeremiah is a title used for Ishtar, an Assyrian and Babylonian goddess also called Ashtoreth and Astart by various other groups. She was thought to be the wife of the false god Baal, also known as Molech. Women were mostly interested in the worship of this goddess because she was seen as one who promotes fertility.
Many of those who use this passage from Jeremiah believe that there is just one heaven and also that there is no queen in heaven; neither the Babylonian goddess nor the Blessed Virgin Mary are queen in heaven. They also say that there is just a king in heaven. I agree with them that there is only one heaven, only one king in heaven and that the Babylonian goddess is not queen in heaven. However, I disagree that there is no queen in heaven. May be they see this queenship the Church talks about like the earthly queen; they are not the same. The idea of Mary as the queen of heaven developed out of the Church’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, it may not be explicitly stated in the bible just as they argue that it is not in the bible, but it is indirectly there, and the Church honour’s her as such. It is an honourary title given to Mary by the Church but confirmed by God. This leads us to their second argument.
Their second argument is not a complicated one, it is simple and straight forward just like the answer. We know just as they know that Jesus is king, so they argue that Mary is not Jesus’ wife and so cannot be called a queen. The argument says that only the wife of a king is called queen, Mary was the wife of Joseph who was a mere carpenter and not a king. Therefore, they say Mary cannot be a queen. Interesting, very interesting.
The wife of a king may be called a queen, but the mother of a king is also called queen; queen mother. So, the queenship of the queen mother is from the kingship of her Son. The queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary therefore is from the kingship of Jesus Christ her Son. There are queen mothers in the bible; 1Kg. 2:19, 1Kg. 15:13, 2Chro. 15:16, 2Kg. 10:13, Jer. 13:18 etc.
The queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary may be an honorary title conferred on her by the Church through Pope Pius XII, but it is a title already approved by God by choosing Mary to be the queen mother. The kingship of Jesus Christ did not expire after his passion and ascension into heaven, he is king forever. And since the queenship of Mary is from the kingship of Jesus that never expires, it means therefore that the queenship of Mary is forever. So, she is queen where her Son the king reigns forever.