The purpose of this article is to explain how first centuries Christians would have seen Jesus’ mother Mary as Queen in the Kingdom of God.
A Latin phrases you might often see is Ad Jesum per Mariam, which translates “To Jesus through Mary.” Several point to John 2:5 as the origin of this phrase: “His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.”
While going through the RCIA process to join the Church, I discovered the Rosary and felt like Jesus’ mother took me by the hand and said, “Let me introduce you to my Son.” Within a couple of years of coming into the Church, I have struggled with Mary role because I felt close to Jesus and did not need someone to intercede for me. I was also troubled by inappropriate emphasis many place on Mary.
Fran and I were married at Queen of Angels parish in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I never understand that title or how a human could become the queen of the Kingdom of God. While doing research for the Becoming A Light To The Nations Show, I have learned how the first centuries Christians would have understood that His mother has a privileged place in the Kingdom.
Jewish Understanding of Queen
To understand Mary’s role and the title of Queen of Heaven or Queen of Angels, we need to look at the first two chapters of the first book of Kings.
First Kings 1:16 says that Bathsheba bowed in homage to King David, she refers to herself as David’s handmade and calls David by his royal titles. Never does David honor her as queen. If we stopped here, we could conclude that David was a chauvinist and even though Bathsheba was the wife he was willing to kill for, he still did not regard her as better than any other of his subjects so let’s not stop here.
After David dies and Solomon becomes king, Bathsheba (his mother) comes before King Solomon to intercede for Adonijah. When she enters the throne room, Solomon stands up out of respect and has a throne brought for her so that she may sit at his right hand.
It would be easy to conclude that Solomon is doing this out of respect for his mother while David disrespect his wife; however, as the Kings are listed in the both books of Kings, 2 Chronicles, and Jeremiah, their mothers are almost always listed with them.
The Jewish understanding of a queen is not the same as the European one. The queen is the mother of the king, not his wife.
Jesus is the King of the Kingdom of God that follows the model God established in the Davidic kingdom. Because Mary is His mother, we understand her as His queen. This is not a dogmatic teaching as is her Immaculate Conception and her Assumption; therefore, you are not required to believe it.
From a man who struggled with the role of Mary in the church, this idea of her being the queen mother helped me to grasp her role in the church and why she has held up as the greatest of all saints, is the most faithful intercessor, and as our mother.