DAY 19: “QUEEN OF PEACE” (REGINA PACIS)
The twelfth of the original twelve invocations of our Lady as “Queen” in her Litany praises her as “Queen of Peace” (Latin, Regina Pacis). Apparently, this title could not be otherwise, since the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of the “Prince of Peace.” Therefore, today being the nineteenth day of our October Devotion, we shall briefly examine the importance of this Marian title and its significance to us, and in particular, to Nigeria at the time of the #EndSARS protest in the country, year 2020.
It is important to note that Our Lady is the Queen of Peace not only in view of the absence of war but in the positive values of the biblical shalom, of peace that is born out of fraternity, of justice, of solidarity, etc. – a full and substantial peace. The Prophet Isaiah describes the kingdom of SHALOM (Is 65: 17-23), and in Psalm 72:7, we read of a prophecy of the Kingdom of Christ, declaring that “In his days, justice shall flourish and peace till the moon fails.” Shalom is the joy of living the fruits of love, the serenity that comes from mutual trust, justice and fairness. Therefore, peace can be understood as a Messianic asset. Being a queen in this Messianic kingdom, the Blessed Virgin Mary must be the “Queen of Peace,” for in her capacity, she continually intercedes for her people in order to ensure the reign of peace (a fruit of the Holy Spirit) even in the midst of challenges and difficulties, right from the inception of the Church at Pentecost. As a matter of fact, the Blessed Virgin Mary experienced in her own flesh the violence that sin causes in the world – the sword that pierced her soul (cf. Lk 2:34-35). This sword touched the depth of Mary’s soul the moment she saw her son on the cross. It is not difficult to imagine her pain at the moment when she witnessed her Son’s sufferings and death; but what would have been her reaction? Despair? Certainly not! It was a painful serenity – SHALOM! Michelangelo, the Italian Renaissance artist, was able to represent this attitude in the classic Pieta image. What draws the attention of those who observe this sculpture, preserved in the Vatican, is that the face has nothing to do with a woman of forty-five years. She looks more like a 16-year-old. This contrasted with the genre of the time, which used to portray the pain of Jesus and Mary in very strong and expressive colours of cruelty. Michelangelo showed with his art that, even in the greatest pain, Maria remained hopeful and serene – “Queen of Peace.”
It becomes pertinent to understand that by invoking the Blessed Virgin Mary as “Regina Pacis” (Queen of Peace) we receive the Peace that our first parents lost at the beginning of creation because of sin. Saint Irene is known to have said that the knot of Eve’s disobedience was undone by Mary’s obedience. If the wages of sin was pain, violence and death, through Mary’s “Yes,” salvation and peace have come to us through our Lord Jesus Christ.
We live in a very violent world today. Safety is one of the greatest desires of our families. Every child knows very well where to find a safe haven: on his mother’s lap. When we invoke Mary as “Queen of Peace,” we actually ask for her lap, intercession and example. The one who lived through the drama of her Son’s death without losing peace will teach us the way to guarantee peace between husband and wife, between young and old, peace in the streets and squares, peace in the cities and in the fields. Sadly, in 2020, across the streets of the Nigerian states, there was a clamour (peaceful protest) to put an end to “SARS” (Special Anti-Robbery Squad), a unit of the Nigerian Police originally intended to establish peace in the country by securing the lives and properties of the citizens, it turned out that these very SARS personnel have been distorting the peace of many innocent Nigerians, some killed, other brutalized, many abused, harassed, and intimidated, etc. , hence, the peaceful protest. I dare to say that difficult moments like this demand a full recourse to the intercession of our Lady, Queen of Peace to get rid of every form of corruption, bad governance, failure of the political leaders, economic instability, etc., of Nigeria. It is high time to move from chaos, anarchy and doom to experiencing peace, the peace which the world cannot give – the peace coming from our risen Saviour through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Therefore, my dear friends in Christ, arise and pray the rosary that the results of the peaceful protest held in 2020 may yield good fruits of future peace and serenity in Nigeria, and the world at large
Above all, may the Queen of Peace, (that peace that only Christ can give – the certainty of being in love, the tranquillity of conscience, the conviction that we are fighting for the common good) grant peace in our homes/families; may peace reign in our walls, palaces, towns and villages, cities, states, country, and above all, in our world, through the daily recitation of the Holy Rosary by invoking the Queen of Peace.
Let Us Pray:
Lord, our God, through the fiat of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Prince of Peace came into the history of the human race. Grant that through her intercession, peace may be once again restored in our hearts and souls, families, communities, countries, and the world at large. Amen.
Oh “Queen of Peace” (Regina Pacis), 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
email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
PS: Have you prayed your Rosary today?