DAY 10: “QUEEN OF PROPHETS” (REGINA PROPHETARUM)
The third of Our Lady’s twelve invocations as “Queen” in the Litany of Loreto praises her as “Queen of the Prophets,” (Latin, Regina Prophetarum). Like the Patriarchs, the Prophets also predate her, except John the Baptist, obviously, the last prophet (cf. Matt. 11:9-11), who was sanctified in his mother’s womb as a result of the visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary (pregnant with the Child Jesus) – Lk. 1:41-44. Now, the question is, did the Blessed Virgin Mary share in the prophetic ministry? If yes, does the Bible give us a clue? If no, why, then, is she invoked as “Queen of the Prophets?” Therefore, today being the tenth day of our October Devotion, we shall reflect on this impressively beautiful title. In order to do this, we ask the salient question: How is the Blessed Virgin Mary “Queen of Prophets?”
To begin with, the first prophecy ever made in Scripture was pronounced by God Himself and it was about the advent of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her Child Jesus – the Woman and her Seed (cf. Gen. 3:15). Since the coming of the Messiah was at the heart of the Jewish history and religion, and prophets were raised by God to announce this coming; it follows then, that the Woman through whom the Messiah would come also becomes an important figure prophetically linked with the Jewish history.
Throughout the Old Testament (and at the commencement of the New Testament), God raised some people to prepare the world for the advent of the Messiah. We call these people prophets. These include Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah, and many others. All of them, in one way or another, foretold and prefigure the coming of the Messiah; and as a matter of fact, some of these prophets even prophesied about the Blessed Virgin Mary. Put differently, the great mission of all the prophets was to announce the coming of the Saviour to the world, so Mary was also at the very heart of this great prophecy; since the prophets had the grace to profess the Word of God, and since God’s Word was Christ incarnate, in a way, all the prophets looked forward to the coming of Our Lady and her “Yes.” This appears clearly in the dream of St. Joseph, described in the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because she conceived what was in her by the power of the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, whom you will name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins. All this happened in order to fulfil what the Lord spoke for the prophet: Behold, the Virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, who will be called Immanuel (Is. 7:14), which means: God with us ”(Mt 1:20- 23). This prophecy of Isaiah refers indirectly to Mary, the young woman God chose to be the Mother of His beloved Son. This way, the prophet Isaiah “praises” the Virgin who would give birth to God in the flesh.
Prophet Jeremiah in his own regard, prophesied about the Blessed Virgin Mary—”the Lord has created a new thing upon the earth. A Woman shall compass a man” (Jer. 31:22), meaning that a Woman would bear in Her womb a grown man. Thus, Jeremiah too contemplated the “Woman” foretold in Genesis. Put differently, Jeremiah was also privileged to foresee in some way, the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was to bring forth the seed to crush the serpent’s head. He, too, knew Her to be his Queen, the Queen of all prophets since her Son is King.
When the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would be the Mother of the Saviour, all the prophecies reached their standstill; the whole heaven waited patiently for her answer. Finally, Mary replied, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to thy word” (Lk 1:38). We could say that at that moment: “‘Prophecy’ became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14). Mary’s ‘Yes’ paved the way for the fulfilment and incarnation of all prophecies. In other words, when her yes was proclaimed, it was the TIMELIEST PROPHECY that our history has ever heard. Mary opened this door, and that is why we must invoke her as “Queen of the Prophets.”
It is also amazing that all of Mary’s close associates at the beginning of the Mystery of the Incarnation were filled with the prophetic spirit. We see this in Zachariah who proclaimed the “Benedictus” (Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel… Lk. 1:68-79); Elizabeth, bearing the last prophet in her womb also cried out in great reverence for the queen of prophets: “Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord?”; John the Baptist (the very last prophet himself, who stood on the threshold between the Old and the New Testament), leapt for joy at the presence of the pregnant queen (Lk. 1:44); Simeon, with his “Nunc Dimittis” (cf. Lk. 2:29-32); Anna, the prophetess, etc., all glorified the God Whom Mary bore, but they also reverenced the Blessed Virgin Mary whose greatness and blessedness their prophetic souls visualized; in other words, they reverenced her as their Queen; And the Blessed Virgin Mary, of course, makes her own famous prophesy when she proclaims in her Magnificat, “All generations shall call me blessed” (cf. Lk 1:48). Therefore, it becomes apparent that the Blessed Virgin Mary must have a special place in the prophetic ministry as Queen of Prophets – one who bore the Son of God who is King, Priest, and Prophet.
Having said these, it becomes apt to say that the Blessed Virgin Mary is “Queen of Prophets” not only because the prophets prophesied about her and reverenced her for being the Mother of the Messiah, but because She was a Prophetess Herself, and in fact, the queen of all the prophets: “For behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed” (Lk. 1:48). The “Magnificat” proclaims Her a prophet without an equal – the Woman called Blessed by all generations, not only the generation of time but the generation of eternity.
Above all, in her capacity as the queen of prophets, she continues to remain a prophet for us; since her Assumption into heaven till date, she still appears to us on earth to leave a message for mankind to turn towards Christ in the spirit of conversion and penance; her various apparitions prove this reality. Hence, she has been prophesying to our souls, illuminating the way, showing us how we may come to her Divine Son. Blessed shall we be if we pay attention to this magnificent “Queen of Prophets.” Therefore, all of us, through baptism, must live our vocation as prophets by imitating and invoking our Blessed Mother, “Queen of Prophets,” and announcing the truth and denouncing all forms of injustice.
Let us pray
O God, you called the Blessed Virgin Mary to share in the prophetic ministry in heralding the advent of Your Beloved Son. Grant that by invoking her as “Queen of Prophets,” we may continually harken to the message of salvation realized in Christ in living out our baptismal vocation as common “prophets, kings and priests.” We make our prayers through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Oh “Queen of Prophets” (Regina Prophetarum), pray for us that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.
© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Fatima, Vila Sabrina, São Paulo, Brazil
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PS: Have you prayed your Rosary today?