Eight days after the solemnity of her Assumption into heaven, the liturgy invites us to venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary with the title of "Queen." The Mother of Christ is contemplated being crowned by her Son, that is, linked to his universal kingship, as is depicted in numerous mosaics and paintings. This memorial too recurs this year on Sunday, acquiring greater light from the Word of God and from the weekly Easter ("Pasqua") celebration.
In particular, the icon of the Virgin Mary as Queen has a meaningful verification in today's Gospel, where Jesus states: "Behold, there are those who last who shall be first and those who are first who shall be last" (Luke 13:30). This is a typical expression of Christ, reported many times by the evangelists -- even with similar formulas -- because it evidently reflects a theme dear to his prophetic preaching. The Madonna is a perfect example of such evangelical truth, that is, that God brings low the proud and powerful of this world and raises up the humble (cf. Luke 1:52).
The simple little girl of Nazareth has become the Queen of the world! This is one of the marvels that reveal the heart of God. Naturally, Mary's royalty is completely dependent on Christ's: He is the Lord, who, after the humiliation of death on the cross, the Father exalted above every creature in heaven, on earth and under the earth (cf. Philippians 2:9-11). Through a design of grace, the Immaculate Mother was completely bound to the mystery of the Son: to his Incarnation; to his earthly life, at first hidden in Nazareth and then manifested in the messianic mystery; to his passion and death; and finally to the resurrection and ascension in heaven. The Mother shared with the Son not only the human aspects of this mystery but also the profound intention, the divine will, in such a way that her entire existence, poor and humble, was elevated, transformed, glorified, passing through the "narrow gate" that is Jesus himself (cf. Luke 13:24). Yes, Mary was the first to walk along the narrow "way," opened up by Christ, to enter into the Kingdom of God, a way that is accessible to the humble, to those who entrust themselves to the Word of God and who endeavor to put it into practice.
In the history of the cities and peoples evangelized by the Christian message there are innumerable witnesses of public veneration, in some cases even institutional, of the Virgin Mary's royalty. But today we desire above all to renew, as sons of the Church, our devotion to her whom Jesus left to us as Mother and Queen. Let us entrust the daily prayer for peace to her intercession, especially in those places where the absurd logic of violence rages most, so that all men are persuaded that in this world we must help each other as brothers to build the civilization of love. "Maria, Regina pacis, ora pro nobis!"
[Following the Angelus the Holy Fathered greeted those present in several languages. In English he said:]
I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at this Angelus prayer. In a particular way I welcome a group of young Orthodox Christians from Galilee. Today's Gospel reminds us that the way to heaven is through the narrow door. May we enter through this narrow door by means of prayer, humility and service of our neighbours, and thus live the joy of the Kingdom even now. Upon you and your loved ones, I invoke the blessings of Almighty God.
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