Mary "reigns" in heaven?

So today at Mass, my parish chose entirely songs about Mary (“Hail Holy Queen”, etc.)

I assume this was because it was the Presentation of the Lord, but I have to say I don’t really understand using songs about Mary for a day that’s really about Jesus (and where’s Joseph in all this? Doesn’t he get any songs?)

But more importantly, I was caught off guard by the lyrics of one song which stated that Mary “reigns” in heaven. I guess “Hail Holy Queen” never really bothered me because a) historically queens didn’t have a ton of power unless they were king-less and b) I always took it as more of a “queen mother” position, which is not actually in charge of anything.

Isn’t it sort of heretical to say Mary is “reigning” in heaven? She’s the top saint, but she’s not a deity. The reigning belongs to God and Jesus, does it not?

Yes, of course she does. She is Queen of Heaven and Earth.

No. It is entirely orthodox to say this.

Yes, this is also a fact. Mary being Queen of Heaven and reigning in heaven does not imply otherwise.

“If we have died with him, we shall also live with him; if we persevere, we shall also reign with him” (2 Tim. 3:11, 12)

And Mary.

Well based on that quote, every single person in heaven is reigning.

When we say “Hail Marys,” though, we ask Mary to pray for us. We don’t ask God to pray for us, because prayers go TO God. So it would seem (rightfully so) that God outranks Mary. And if that is the case, then Mary is not in a reigning position.

Also, I find this bit of the EWTN article you shared disturbing:
“We notice that there are two titles for the kingship of Christ: divine nature, and “right of conquest”, i.e., the Redemption. She is Queen “through Him, with Him, and subordinate to Him.” The qualifications are obvious, and need no explanation. Her Queenship is basically a sharing in the royalty of her Son. We do not think of two powers, one infinite, the other finite. No, she and her Son are inseparable, and operate as a unit.”

If Mary is one with Jesus, and Jesus is one with God, then by the rules of basic logic he is saying that Mary is one and the same as God. That has got to be heretical …

I’m not sure why you are determined to see something that simply isn’t there and say that “this” **MUST **imply “that” when it does no such thing.

I don’t think I’m the right person to help you. Sorry, perhaps someone else will join the discussion.

Well they are, but not like Mary.

Because not every single person has received the fullness of what Mary has received-- assumption body and soul. Only Mary has. We will not do so until the end of time.

Here, this is from the Papal Encyclical of Pope Pius XII “proclaiming the queenship of Mary.”

While he uses the term “reign” in relation to Mary several times, he also says:

"Certainly,* in the full and strict meaning of the term, only Jesus Christ, the God-Man, is King;** but Mary, too, as Mother of the divine Christ, as His associate in the redemption, in his struggle with His enemies and His final victory over them, has a share, though in a limited and analogous way, in His royal dignity. For from her union with Christ she attains a radiant eminence transcending that of any other creature; from her union with Christ she receives the royal right to dispose of the treasures of the Divine Redeemer’s Kingdom; from her union with Christ finally is derived the inexhaustible efficacy of her maternal intercession before the Son and His Father.

  1. Hence it cannot be doubted that Mary most Holy is far above all other creatures in dignity, and after her Son possesses primacy over all."*

So I guess it depends on how you define “reigning.” But clearly she’s not at the top of the hierarchy at any rate.

No one said she was.

Well I think to most people that’s what the word “reign” implies. Especially since the main dictionary definitions of it are: “to rule as a king” or “to be the best, most powerful or important person or thing.”

So a prince is royalty … he’s next in line to the throne … but he’s not the “reigning” ruler until his father dies and he becomes king. It just seems like a poor word choice to describe Mary’s position to me …

Here on the desk beside me is a copy of the book, QUEEN MOTHER: A BIBLICAL THEOLOGY OF MARY’S QUEENSHIP. By Edward Sri (Emmaus Road Publishing, 827 North Fourth St., Steubenville, Ohio 43952, 2005).

This work is his doctoral thesis defended and approved February 20, 2001 at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome. The book is heavily footnoted – there are 116 pages of text and 85 pages of footnotes in very small print.

Beginning on p. 50, Sri covers “The Queen Mother’s Influence in the Kingdom” which he breaks down into three categories: Royal Authority, Advocate, and Counselor. I will cover the first aspect of her influence in this post.

Royal Authority

Sri demonstrates the royal authority of the Queen Mother by referring to three passages of scripture:

1 Kings 2:19
When Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, the king stood up to meet her, bowed down to her and sat down on his throne. He had a throne brought for the king’s mother, and she sat down at his right hand.

Sri writes,

“This account reveals the sovereign prerogatives of the queen mother. As one scholar points out, ‘Nowhere else in the Bible does the king honor someone as Solomon does the Gebirah.’ Note how the king rises and bows as the queen mother enters, and not his commitment to her petitions. Most of all, Bathsheba’s seat at the king’s right hand has the greatest significance. In the Bible, to sit at the right hand is to be given the place of ultimate honor. ‘She was seated at his right, the place offered to the king by God (Psalm 110:1), i.e., she took precedence above all others.’ Thus, the queen mother sitting at the king’s right hand symbolizes her sharing in the king’s royal authority and illustrates how she holds the most important position in the kingdom, second only to the king.” (Ibid., p. 51)

2 Kings 11:1-3
1 When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family. 2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram [a] and sister of Ahaziah, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes, who were about to be murdered. She put him and his nurse in a bedroom to hide him from Athaliah; so he was not killed. 3 He remained hidden with his nurse at the temple of the LORD for six years while Athaliah ruled the land.

Sri notes,

“Ahaziah’s sudden death after a short one-year reign left the kingdom with sons who were too young to rule. This power vacuum left the door open for Athaliah, who used her influence in the kingdom to secure full dynastic authority for herself. She massacred the royal family and proceeded to rule the kingdom for seven years (while Jehosheba kept one royal son in hiding). The fact that Athaliah was able to get away with this and continue to rule the kingdom in the absence of a king points to her strong power base and demonstrates the high ranking of the queen mother’s office” (Ibid., p51-52).

Jeremiah 13:18, 20
18 Say to the king and to the queen mother, "Come down from your thrones, for your glorious crowns will fall from your heads… 20 Lift up your eyes and see those who are coming from the north. Where is the flock that was entrusted to you, the sheep of which you boasted?

In his article published in This Rock magazine, Sri states:

“Her royal office is also described by the prophet Jeremiah, who tells how the queen mother possessed a throne and a crown, symbolic of her position of authority in the kingdom… It is significant that God directed this oracle about the upcoming fall of Judah to both the king and his mother. Addressing both king and queen mother, Jeremiah portrays her as sharing in her son’s rule over the kingdom.” (Is Mary’s Queenship Biblical?, Edward P. Sri, PhD, This Rock, 1998, ).

Expanding on this further in his doctoral thesis, Sri asks:

"Why would the queen mother be addressed in this oracle? Again, this points to her preeminent position in the kingdom. By addressing both the king and his mother, this passage seems to recognize the queen mother’s important role in the royal court. First, in ominous royal imagery pointing to their downfall, the king and queen are told to ‘take a lowly seat’—symbolizing how they both will soon lose their thrones. Second, both are told that they will lose their crowns—again foreshadowing their imminent fall from authority (Jer. 13:18; cf. Jer. 22:26, 29:2). Third, it is interesting to note how this oracle portrays the people of Judah has being shepherded by both the king and queen mother. ‘Where is the flock that was given to you, your beautiful flock?’ Thus, the prophet seems to understand that the queen mother had a shared role in ruling the kingdom.” (Queen Mother, p. 52)

In closing, the influence of the queen mother’s royal authority in the Davidic kingdom is clearly demonstrated from scripture. Her advocacy (seen in the account of Solomon and Bathsheba), as well as her role as counselor (see Proverbs 31), can be demonstrated as well.

Not if you look at it in context instead of isolating the word “reign” as you are seeking to do.

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