Our Lady, Queen of Apostles
Honouring Mary as Queen of Apostles
One of the titles with which we address Mary in the beautiful Litany of Loreto is “Queen of Apostles.” We traditionally celebrate the feast of Our Lady, Queen of Apostles, on the Saturday after the Ascension every year.
Devotion to Mary as Queen of Apostles is rooted in Scripture, as well as in Catholic Tradition. In the Acts of the Apostles, St. Luke wrote that after the Ascension of Our Lord, the Apostles and several disciples were gathered together in the Upper Room with Mary, “persevering with one mind in prayer” (Act 1:14a DRB). It was here that the Holy Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and Mary as tongues of fire. This was the second time that Mary had received the Holy Spirit, the first being at the Annunciation (see Lk 1:35). She who once bore the incarnate Son of God by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit now received the same Spirit again, this time as Mother of the Church and Queen of Apostles. As Pope Leo XIII wrote:
With a generous heart Mary undertook and discharged the duties of her high but laborious office, the beginnings of which were consecrated in the Cenacle. With wonderful care she nurtured the first Christians by her holy example, her authoritative counsel, her sweet consolation, her fruitful prayers. She was, in very truth, the Mother of the Church, the Teacher and Queen of the Apostles, to whom, besides, she confided no small part of the divine mysteries which she kept in her heart.
As He hung on the Cross, Our Lord gave Mary the role of Mother of the Church, which is intimately connected with her title of Queen of Apostles: “When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother” (Jn 19:26-27a). As Queen of the Apostles, she is the one to whom the entire Church – including her leaders, the successors of the Apostles – looks for guidance. It was the role of the Apostles to “form the Church in line with the ideal of sanctity already programmed and prefigured in Mary,” and their successors – the bishops and Popes of the Church throughout the centuries – continue to carry out this important task.
On this beautiful feast, and on every day, may we show Our Lady the honour and love she is due as our Heavenly Mother, the Queen of Apostles.
“Blessed Mother and Immaculate Virgin, glorious Queen of the world, intercede for us before the Lord: for thou art the glory of Jerusalem, the joy of Israel, and the honor of our people.”
[Communion antiphon, feast of Our Lady, Queen of Apostles, in The Roman Catholic Daily Missal 1962 (Kansas City, MO: Angelus Press, 2004), 1683.]