Inoltre, ricorrendo il centenario della definizione dogmatica fatta dal Nostro predecessore, Pio IX, di imm. Il cielo, infatti, fu soltanto tuo trono, non tua madre. I sommi pastori della chiesa non mancarono di approvare e incoraggiare la devozione del popolo cristiano verso la celeste Madre e Regina con esortazioni e lodi. Ripensino tutti gli uomini dimentichi quanto costammo al nostro Salvatore: "Non siete stati redenti con oro o argento, beni corruttibili, Onde - come scrisse il Nostro predecessore Pio XI di fel.
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Already from the earliest centuries of the Catholic Church, the Christian people have addressed suppliant prayers, and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven, both when they had reason to rejoice and particularly when they were beset by serious troubles.
There has never been a weakening of that Faith by which we are taught that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, reigns with her maternal heart over the entire world, just as she is crowned with the diadem of royal glory in heavenly blessedness.
After the frightful calamities which, under Our very eyes, have covered flourishing cities, towns, and villages with ruins, We, sorrowing, see so many and such great spiritual evils spreading themselves abroad with fearful violence, and We behold justice giving way, and the attractions of evil triumphing.
We are filled with great sorrow in this threatening and fearful danger, and thus, with confidence, We fly to Mary Our Queen, manifesting not only our own sense of filial reverence, but also that of all those who glory in the Christian name. It is pleasing and helpful to remember that We ourselves, on the first day of November of the Holy Year , before a huge multitude of Cardinals, Bishops, priests, and of the faithful who had come there from every part of the world, defined the solemn dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven1 where, present in soul and body, she reigns together with her only-begotten Son, amid the heavenly choirs of the Angels and the Saints.
And moreover, since a century was being completed from the time our Predecessor of immortal memory, Pius IX, proclaimed and defined that the great Mother of God had been conceived without any stain of original sin, We instituted this current Marian Year.
Mary Major , where great multitudes have manifested in a striking way their faith and their most ardent charity towards the heavenly Mother--but also in all parts of the world, that filial reverence toward the Virgin Mother of God has increased more and more, and that the principal shrines of Mary have been visited and are still being visited by many throngs of Catholic pilgrims gathered in prayer.
Everyone knows that We, as often as the opportunity presented itself, that is, when We were speaking to our children in Christ who were gathered in our Presence, or when, by radio, We spoke to people afar off, We have exhorted all whom We could to love our most kind and powerful Mother, as children should, with a strong and tender love.
On this point, We may especially call to mind the radio message which We addressed to the people of Portugal, when the miraculous image of the Virgin Mary, which is venerated at Fatima, was being crowned with a golden diadem. And now, so that We may, as it were, bring to a climax the series of many manifestations of our filial reverence towards the great Mother of God, manifestations which the Christian people have followed so carefully, and likewise so that we may happily and usefully conclude the Marian Year, which is now drawing to a close, and so that We may freely grant the urgent petitions on this matter which have come to Us from all over the world, We have decided to institute a liturgical feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Queen.
It is our pleasure to recall these things in this present encyclical letter, so that We may renew the praises of our heavenly Mother, and so that We may encourage a more zealous filial reverence towards her, to bring spiritual gain to the souls of all men.
Since the Christian people, even long ago, rightly believed that she from whom was born the Son of the Most High, the One who "will reign in the House of Jacob forever",5 the "Prince of Peace",6 the "King of kings and the Lord of lords",7 has received singular gifts of grace over and above all other creatures, and since they took cognizance of the intimate connection between the Mother and the Son, they easily acknowledged the supreme royal dignity of the Mother of God.
Hence it is not astonishing that the ancient writers of the Church, basing their stand on the words of St. So it is that St. Ephrem, burning with poetic inspiration, represents her as speaking in this way: "Let Heaven sustain me in its embrace, because I am honored above it. For Heaven was not Thy mother, but Thou hast made it Thy throne. How much more honorable and venerable than the throne of a king is his mother".
Maiden, Empress and Ruler, Queen and Lady, protect and keep me in thine arms, lest Satan, who causes evil, exult against me, lest my wicked foe be glorified against me.
Mary is called by St. Gregory Nazianzen "the Mother of the King of the entire universe," and the "Virgin Mother who brought forth the King of the entire world". And this royal dignity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is clearly and openly meant and stated by those who call her "Lady," "Mistress," and "Queen.
Already in one of the homilies attributed to Origen, Mary is called by Elizabeth, not only "the Mother of my Lord," but also "Thou my Lady. The same thing is found in the writings of St. Moreover, Epiphanius, the Bishop of Constantinople, writing to the Sovereign Pontiff Hormisdas, says that we should pray that the unity of the Church may be preserved "by the grace of the Holy and the consubstantial Trinity, and by the prayers of Mary, Our Lady, the holy and glorious Virgin and Mother of God.
Another writer of that same era thus solemnly salutes the Blessed Virgin Mary sitting at the right hand of God to pray for us: "the Lady Ruler of mortal man, the most holy Mother of God.
Andrew of Crete frequently ascribed the dignity of a Queen to the Virgin Mary. He has written this, for example: "His ever-virgin Mother, from whose womb He, being God, took on human form, He today transports from earthly dwellings as Queen of the human race.
And in another place he speaks of "the Queen of the entire human race, faithful in reality to the meaning of her name, who is exalted above all things save only God Himself. Likewise, St. Germanus speaks to the humble Virgin in these words: "Be seated, Lady, for it is fitting that thou shouldst sit in a high place since thou art a Queen and glorious above all kings. She is called by St. And finally St. Ildephonsus of Toledo gathers together almost all of the titles of honor in this salutation: "O my Lady, my Ruler, Thou who dost govern me, Mother of my Lord Lady among the handmaidens, Queen among sisters.
The theologians of the Church, deriving their teaching from these and almost innumerable other testimonies handed down long ago, have called the most Blessed Virgin the Queen of all creatures, the Queen of the world, and the Lady Ruler of all things. And the Supreme Pastors of the Church have considered it their duty to approve and advance by their own words of praise the piety of the Christian people towards the heavenly Mother and Queen.
And so, to pass over the documents of more recent Pontiffs, it is well to remember that, already in the seventh century, our Predecessor St. Martin I called Mary "our glorious Lady, ever Virgin. We wish also to recall that our Predecessor of immortal memory, Sixtus IV, touched favorably upon the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, beginning the Apostolic Letter "Cum Preexcelsa"30 with words in which Mary is called "Queen," "Who is always vigilant to intercede with the King Whom she bore.
Consequently St. Furthermore, the sacred liturgy, which is, as it were, a faultless mirror of the doctrine handed down from the ancients and believed by the Christian people through the course of all the ages, both in the East and in the West, has sung the praises of the heavenly Queen and constantly sings them. Ardent voices from the East sing out: "O Mother of God, today thou art carried into Heaven on the chariots of the Cherubim, the Seraphim wait upon thee, and the ranks of the heavenly host bow before thee.
Further: "O just, O most blessed Joseph , since thou are sprung from a royal line, thou hast been chosen from among all to be spouse of the pure Queen, who in a way which defies description will give birth to Jesus the King. Our tongue cannot worthily praise thee, O Lady; for thou who hast borne Christ the King, art exalted above the Seraphim We read, moreover, in the Ethiopic Missal: "O Mary, center of the whole world, The Heaven and the earth is entirely filled with the sanctity of thy glory.
To these should be added, in addition to other things, the Litany of Loreto which daily invites the Christian people to call upon Mary as Queen. Likewise, for many centuries past, Christians have been accustomed to meditate upon the ruling power of Mary which embraces Heaven and earth when they consider the fifth glorious mystery of the Rosary, which can be called the mystical crown of the heavenly Queen.
Finally, art which is based upon Christian principles, and is animated by their spirit as something which faithfully interprets the sincere and freely expressed filial reverence of the faithful, since the Council of Ephesus, portrays Mary as Queen and Empress seated upon a royal throne, adorned with the royal insignia, crowned with the royal diadem, and surrounded by the host of the Angels and the Saints in Heaven and ruling not only nature and its powers, but also over the machinations of Satan.
Iconography, to represent the royal dignity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, has always been enriched with works of the highest artistic value and the greatest beauty, and has gone so far as to represent colorfully the Divine Redeemer crowning His mother with a splendid diadem.
The Roman Pontiffs, favoring this devotion of the people, have often decorated with a crown, either personally or through representatives, the images of the Virgin Mother of God which were already distinguished by public veneration.
III As a result, St. John Damascene could rightly and deservedly write these words: "Truly she has become the Lady Ruler of every creature, since she is the Mother of the Creator.
Now, the most Blessed Virgin Mary is to be called Queen, not only by reason of her Divine Maternity, but also because by the will of God she has had an outstanding part in the work of our eternal salvation.
Now, in accomplishing this work of the Redemption, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary was certainly intimately associated with Christ. Anselm wrote, "As God is the Father and Lord of all things, preparing all by His power, so the Blessed Mary, repairing all things by her merits, is the Mother and Ruler of all.
For God is the Lord of all things, in each constituting by His Command in its own nature, and Mary is the Lady Ruler of all in restoring each to its original dignity through that grace which she has merited.
As Christ is our Lord and King by a special title because He redeemed us, so the Blessed Virgin [is our Lady and Queen] because of the unique way in which she has cooperated toward our Redemption by giving of her own substance, by offering Him willingly for us, and by desiring, praying for, and bringing about our salvation in a singular manner. From these premises the following argument is drawn. Mary was, by the will of God, associated with Jesus Christ, the Principle of salvation itself, in bringing about spiritual salvation in a way that was quite similar to the way in which Eve was associated with Adam, the principle of death, so that it may be said that the work of our salvation was accomplished through a certain "recapitulation," in which a virgin is instrumental in saving the human race, just as a virgin was instrumental in making it subject to death.
And so it is that Jesus Christ alone, God and man, is King, in the full, proper, and absolute sense of the term. Yet Mary also, although in a restricted way and only by analogy, shares in the royal dignity as the Mother of Christ Who is God, as His Associate in the labors of the Divine Redemption, and in His struggle against His enemies and in the victory He won over them all.
From this association with Christ the King, she obtains a splendor and eminence surpassing the excellence of all created things. Finally, from this association with Christ comes the unfailing efficacy of her maternal intercession with the Son and with the Father.
There is no doubt whatsoever that the most holy Mary surpasses all created things in dignity, and likewise that she has gained a primacy, after her Son, over all things. As St. Sophronius says: "Thou hast, in fact, far surpassed every creature What could be more sublime than this joy, O Virgin Mother? And what could be greater than this grace which thou alone hast received from God?
Germanus adds these words of praise to that greeting: "Thine honor and dignity surpass all created things. In order to understand this most exalted grade of dignity which the Mother of God has obtained above all created things, we should recall that the holy Mother of God was, already in the first moment of her Conception, filled with such an abundance of graces as to surpass the grace of all the Saints.
Hence--as our predecessor of happy memory, Pius IX, wrote in his Apostolic Letter--the indescribably perfect God "so marvelously endowed her above all the Angels and Saints with the abundance of all heavenly gifts from the treasury of the Divinity that she, always completely free from every stain of sin and entirely beautiful and perfect, possesses such a fullness of innocence and holiness that, under God, no greater than this is understood, and that no one other than God Himself can ever know.
Moreover, the blessed Virgin Mary has not only received the grade of excellence and perfection which is supreme after that of Christ Himself, but has also received some sharing of that efficacy by which her Son and our Redeemer is rightly and properly said to reign over the minds and wills of men. As Our Predecessor of immortal memory, Pius IX, said: "Turning her maternal heart toward us and dealing with the affair of our salvation, she is concerned with the whole human race.
Constituted by the Lord, Queen of Heaven and earth, and exalted above all the Choirs of Angels and the ranks of the Saints in Heaven, standing at the right hand of her only begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, she petitions most powerfully with her maternal prayers, and she obtains what she seeks. And she cannot fail. Yet, in these and other questions about the Blessed Virgin Mary, let theologians and preachers of the Word of God take care to avoid certain deviations lest they fall into twofold error.
Let them beware of teachings that lack foundation, and that, by misuse of words, exceed the bounds of truth. And let them beware of too great a narrowness of mind when they are considering that unique, completely exalted, indeed almost Divine dignity of the Mother of God, which the Angelic Doctor teaches we must attribute to her "by reason of the infinite good which is God.
Moreover, in this part of Christian doctrine as in others, the living Magisterium of the Church which Christ has constituted "to elucidate and explain things that are contained in the Deposit of Faith only obscurely and, as it were, implicitly" stands forth for all as "the immediate and universal norm of truth. Likewise, We have proved that the arguments which sacred Theology has constructed by reasoning from the Deposit of Divine Faith completely confirmed this same truth.
From so many testimonies gathered together there is formed, as it were, a far-sounding chorus that praises the high eminence of the royal honor of the Mother of God and men, to whom all created things are subject, and who is "exalted above the choirs of the Angels unto heavenly kingdoms.
Since, after long and careful consideration, We have come to the conclusion that great benefits will accrue to the Church if that solidly established truth were to shine forth even more clearly to all, like a bright light placed on its pedestal, We, by Our Apostolic Power, decree and institute the Feast of Mary as Queen to be celebrated throughout the entire world every year on May And likewise We command that on that same day there be renewed the consecration of the human race to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Upon this there is founded a great hope that there may arise an era of happiness that will rejoice in the triumph of the true Religion and in Christian peace. Therefore, let all approach with greater confidence now than before, to the throne of mercy and grace of our Queen and Mother, to beg help in difficulty, light in darkness, and solace in trouble and sorrow.
And, what is very important, let them strive to free themselves from the servitude of sin. Let them pay unswerving homage, mingled with the beauteous veneration of her children to the royal scepter of that great Mother.
May her shrines be filled with a multitude of people, and may her Feasts be celebrated. May her Rosary be found in the hands of all. May the name of Mary, which is sweeter than nectar and more precious than any jewel, be given the highest honor.
Let no one speak vile words against that name, so majestically beautiful and venerable by her maternal grace. Such talk is the sign of a vile mind. And let no one dare say anything lacking in due reverence to her. Let all strive vigilantly and strenuously to reproduce, each according to his own condition, in their own souls and in their own conduct, the exalted virtues of our heavenly Queen and our most loving Mother.
And hence it will follow that those who are counted as Christians, honoring and imitating their Queen and Mother, will finally realize that they are truly brothers, and spurning jealousies and immoderate desires, may promote true social charity, respect the rights of the weak, and love peace.
And let no one consider himself a child of Mary to be taken readily under her most powerful protection, unless according to her example, he practices justice, meekness, and chastity and devotes himself to true brotherhood, not harming or hurting anyone, but rather helping and consoling.
Ad caeli Reginam
Already from the earliest centuries of the Catholic Church, the Christian people have addressed suppliant prayers, and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven, both when they had reason to rejoice and particularly when they were beset by serious troubles. There has never been a weakening of that Faith by which we are taught that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, reigns with her maternal heart over the entire world, just as she is crowned with the diadem of royal glory in heavenly blessedness. After the frightful calamities which, under Our very eyes, have covered flourishing cities, towns, and villages with ruins, We, sorrowing, see so many and such great spiritual evils spreading themselves abroad with fearful violence, and We behold justice giving way, and the attractions of evil triumphing. We are filled with great sorrow in this threatening and fearful danger, and thus, with confidence, We fly to Mary Our Queen, manifesting not only our own sense of filial reverence, but also that of all those who glory in the Christian name. It is pleasing and helpful to remember that We ourselves, on the first day of November of the Holy Year , before a huge multitude of Cardinals, Bishops, priests, and of the faithful who had come there from every part of the world, defined the solemn dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven1 where, present in soul and body, she reigns together with her only-begotten Son, amid the heavenly choirs of the Angels and the Saints. And moreover, since a century was being completed from the time our Predecessor of immortal memory, Pius IX, proclaimed and defined that the great Mother of God had been conceived without any stain of original sin, We instituted this current Marian Year. Mary Major , where great multitudes have manifested in a striking way their faith and their most ardent charity towards the heavenly Mother--but also in all parts of the world, that filial reverence toward the Virgin Mother of God has increased more and more, and that the principal shrines of Mary have been visited and are still being visited by many throngs of Catholic pilgrims gathered in prayer.
Ad Caeli Reginam
From the earliest ages of the catholic church a Christian people, whether in time of triumph or more especially in time of crisis, has addressed prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven. Following upon the frightful calamities which before Our very eyes have reduced flourishing cities, towns, and villages to ruins, We see to Our sorrow that many great moral evils are being spread abroad in what may be described as a violent flood. Occasionally We behold justice giving way; and, on the one hand and the other, the victory of the powers of corruption. The threat of this fearful crisis fills Us with a great anguish, and so with confidence We have recourse to Mary Our Queen, making known to her those sentiments of filial reverence which are not Ours alone, but which belong to all those who glory in the name of Christian. It is gratifying to recall that We ourselves, on the first day of November of the Holy Year , before a huge multitude of Cardinals, Bishops, priests, and of the faithful who had assembled from every part of the world, defined the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven where she is present in soul and body reigning, together with her only[1a] Son, amid the heavenly choirs of angels and Saints.
Ad caeli reginam