DAY 20: “QUEEN OF THE FAMILY” (REGINA FAMILIAE)
Aside from the original twelve invocations of Our Lady as “Queen” in the Litany, some other “queenship titles” were later introduced to also aid in building the relationship of the faithful with the Blessed Virgin Mary. The title: “Queen of the Family” (Latin, Regina familiae) was introduced by Pope St. John Paul II, in response to the request made at the conclusion of the Seventh Laurentian Centenary in 1995. Today, being the twentieth day of our October Devotion, we shall briefly examine this title. How is the Blessed Virgin Mary “Queen of the family,” and what importance has this title in our respective families?
As a perennial sign of the great event experienced by more than four million pilgrims, Pope John Paul II determined on December 31, 1995, the liturgical feast of the Holy Family, to incorporate the invocation “Queen of the family” into the Litany so that through the light of the example of Mary, the domestic church (the family) of God’s people may be modelled after the holy family and enjoy their maternal protection. It is awesome to see that this invocation (Queen of the family) was inserted after the invocation “Queen of the Holy Rosary” and before the invocation “Queen of Peace,” as an appropriate place to consider Mary as the mother and protector of the family, a place where the Holy Rosary is recited in common and where peace is taught in daily relations between people.
Invoking the Blessed Virgin Mary as “Queen of the family” enables us to understand her role in the family – being a place of education, learning and exercising human and Christian virtues – the virtues first exercised by the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is up to the family to imitate her in order to avail the everyday opportunity for peaceful coexistence in which the Christian values are realized in the spirit of fraternity and joy. Put differently, the figure of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the family should enable us to see the family as a teacher of virtues. The home should be the principal place of catechesis and prayer. Unfortunately, many families today allow the Church to fill that role alone. The home of Nazareth, in addition to the local synagogue, would have been the place of instruction for the Christ Child. The Holy Family taught Jesus how to pray and read, and at the start of his public ministry, Jesus would read from the scroll and declare the passage to be “fulfilled in their hearing” (see Lk 4:21). The home of Nazareth reminds us that families have the responsibility of teaching their children the Faith and to model the virtues. Jesus had most excellent parents; Mary was without sin and Joseph is described as a just and prudent man. Parents today can learn from Joseph and Mary on how to teach their children.
In the holy family at Nazareth, the chaste relationship of Joseph and Mary reminds all Christian faithful that, even in marriage, chastity is to be observed. The practice of natural family planning (NFP) is one way a couple observes chastity in their marriage. The fidelity of Joseph and Mary to each other also gives a great example and encourages couples in their fidelity to one another, even in difficult circumstances. The chaste relationship between Joseph and Mary means they experienced intimacy in different ways through their common life together. Their purity of mind and heart of mutual love for each other and the Son of God is indeed worthy of imitation by all families
Above all, in a world where the vision of the family today is questioned and attacked by immoral issues with a conflictive and violent frequency (abortion, IVF, artificial insemination, suicide, secularism, decline in the faith and spirituality, lack of care, lust divorce, domestic violence, etc.), the Blessed Virgin Mary becomes a shining example and intercessor. Her figure should enable families to rediscover the true meaning of the family, to rediscover that in the depths of the human heart lives and throbs countless desire to love, for unity and mutual help.
Let Us Pray:
O God, fill our families with the virtues of the Holy Family of Nazareth and grant that through the prayers of Mary and Joseph, Your will be done in the families as it is in heaven. Amen
Oh “Queen of the family” (Regina familiae), 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?