A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. Revelation 12:1
For many centuries, Catholics all over the world have rejoiced to honor Mary and call upon her aid under the title “Queen of Heaven.” According to St. John’s vision in Revelation 12:1, she appeared in heaven wearing a crown of 12 stars on her head, symbolic of the 12 tribes of Israel, and the 12 apostles who were the foundation stones of the New Israel, the Church. Mary is clearly the heavenly Queen of the People of God.
This title for Mary was also foreshadowed in the story of the Annunciation. When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, he promised her that her son would reign forever as the Messiah:
He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end (Lk 1:32-33).
Now, if Mary’s son was to inherit an everlasting Kingdom, this implies that Mary was literally to be the “Queen Mother” of His Kingdom, for we know for a fact that in ancient Israel, the mother of a king usually received the role and title of “Queen Mother.” As Catholic theologian Dr. Mark Miravalle points out:
In the Old Testament, Our Lady’s role as Advocate is foreshadowed in the office of the “Queen Mother.” …[T]he Queen Mother tradition refers to the tradition among the Davidic Kings to appoint their mothers as their queens of the kingdom, and who then became the principle advocates for the people of Israel to their kingly sons (cf. 1 Kings 2:19). The Queen-Mother was referred to as the “Gebirah” or “Great Lady” of the Kingdom, who gave the people of the kingdom their greatest intercession to the king. The Queen Mother, the “Great Lady” was therefore the principle advocate and intercessor for the people of the kingdom. (From the Marians of the Immaculate Conception)
Mary is indeed our Queen, for her Son is the King of kings! But she is also our Beloved Mother, and as St. Therese so aptly expressed it:
Mary is more Mother than Queen.