Why all the paintings and statues of Mary with a crown? Why do we Catholics call her Queen of Heaven? Before I was Catholic I thought it was idolatrous. I thought Catholics were making Mary into some kind of goddess. How could the mother be the queen? Was it because Jesus didn't have a wife? What humble girl from Nazareth would wear a crown? She would shun it. She would never want that honor. It was all a bunch of made up nonsense.
Wrong wrong wrong. I am so glad I found out I was wrong. And I'm glad I found out that Mary as Queen of Heaven is consistent with history and Scripture.
Jesus is a King in the line of King David, his human ancestor. All the prophets foretold that Messiah would be like a second King David. That's why so many of the Jews got it wrong when he was preaching on earth. They expected an earthly king, one that would set up Israel as a mighty nation once again; free Israel from the boot of Roman oppression.
But Jesus, being God-made-man, came for a larger purpose. He came to redeem the WHOLE world, and set up the Kingdom of God on earth - a kingdom that would include Gentiles as well as Jews; and would last forever. Yes, Jesus, in the line of David, is King - King of heaven and earth! And like the Hallelujah Chorus says, "He shall reign forever and ever!"
So what's with his mom? In the kingdom of David, it wasn't the king's wife who sat at his right hand and ruled with him as queen. Surprise. It was his mother. King Solomon's mom, Bathsheba, sat at his right hand. If you have a Bible, read the books of Chronicles. There the writer lists a king, and his mother. For example: 2 Chronicles 26:3 says, "Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. His mother's name was Jeconiah; she was from Jerusalem."
To the original readers of the books of Chronicles and Kings, it was obvious why the mother of the king was mentioned. In ancient Israel, the Queen was the king's mother. She had honor and influence. So the ancient Church, being fully aware of this, realized that Mary, as the mother of Jesus Christ, the Most High King, would have a special place of honor at his right side in heaven, as His Queen. Not a goddess. Not a half-goddess. A humble, human girl who said yes to God - became the mother of Jesus and the Queen of Heaven, an honor given to her by her Son, Our Lord, the King. The lowly is brought high.
Mary said it herself, that humble, poor Jewish girl. She understood what so many of us have failed to recognize: "From now on, all generations shall call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me - holy is His name." (Luke 1:40)
We Catholics call Mary "the Blessed Virgin Mary," for indeed, she was, and is. And if Jesus is my Brother, Mary is my mother. If Jesus is my King, Mary is my queen.
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I am a Catholic wife, mom and grandma. In 1995, after Bible college and a few years as an Evangelical Missionary, I was received into the Church at the Easter Vigil. These are my personal musings on Scripture, prayer, and living close to Jesus.