May Crowning

This weekend we celebrate May Crowning, wherein a statue of Mary is adorned with a crown as an acknowledgment of her place as Queen of Heaven. This is a way of honoring her and drawing attention to her as both an example of faith and as the Queen Mother of the Church. In the Middle East during Biblical times, the Queen was not the King’s wife; it was His mother. As Jesus fully embraces our humanity, He also fully embraces the human aspects of His relationship with His mother, including a sharing of some of His authority with Mary. In Revelation chapter 12, we read; “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head” (Revelation 12:1). This passage explains that the woman who will give birth to the Messiah is also honored as the Queen of Heaven. The crown of twelve stars indicates a role of authority regarding the twelve tribes of Israel, which refers to God’s people, the Church.

Far from being a Catholic invention, or an overemphasis on the importance of Mary, May Crowning is not something that we are doing; the crowning of Mary is something that God has already done, and we are simply acknowledging it. We should also acknowledge this in our life of prayer as we ask for her intercession and allow her to be a spiritual mother to us. She has been given to us by her Son Jesus for a reason; it is because she can teach us how to fall more deeply in love with her Son.  She can teach us how to trust more deeply in her Son. She can teach us how to listen to His words and ponder them in our hearts until we can courageously say “yes” to Him as she has done. If Jesus gives Mary such a role in His Church, shouldn’t we also give her a role in our hearts as we pray? Do not be afraid of giving Mary a role in your heart or loving Mary too much; since she is a human being who has been perfected in love (a saint), it is not in her nature to be worshipped. She will always direct you to her Son, that you may love Him more than you previously thought possible, and so that you will worship Him alone.

Fr. Dan