Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Queenship of Mary

Queen of the World and of Peace

From a homily by Saint Amadeus of Lausanne, bishop

Observe how fitting it was that even before her assumption the name of Mary shone forth wondrously throughout the world. Her fame spread everywhere even before she was raised above the heavens in her magnificence. Because of the honor due her Son, it was indeed fitting for the Virgin Mother to have first ruled upon earth and then be raised up to heaven in glory. It was fitting that her fame be spread in this world below, so that she might enter the heights of heaven in overwhelming blessedness. Just as she was borne from virtue to virtue by the Spirit of the Lord, she was transported from earthly renown to heavenly brightness.

So it was that she began to taste the fruits of her future reign while still in the flesh. At one moment she withdrew to God in ecstasy; at the next she would bend down to her neighbors with indescribable love. In heaven angels served her, while here on earth she was venerated by the service of men. Gabriel and the angels waited upon her in heaven. The virgin John, rejoicing that the Virgin Mother was entrusted to him at the cross, cared for her with the other apostles here below. The angels rejoiced to see their queen; the apostles rejoiced to see their lady, and both obeyed her with loving devotion.

Dwelling in the loftiest citadel of virtue, like a sea of divine grace or an unfathomable source of love that has everywhere overflowed its banks, she poured forth her bountiful waters on trusting and thirsting souls. Able to preserve both flesh and spirit from death she bestowed health-giving salve on bodies and souls. Has anyone ever come away from her troubled or saddened or ignorant of the heavenly mysteries? Who has not returned to everyday life gladdened and joyful because his request had been granted by the Mother of God?

She is a bride, so gentle and affectionate, and the mother of the only true bridegroom. In her abundant goodness she has channeled the spring of reason’s garden, the well of living and life-giving waters that pour forth in a rushing stream from divine Lebanon and flow down from Mount Zion until they surround the shores of every far-flung nation. With divine assistance she has redirected these waters and made them into streams of peace and pools of grace. Therefore, when the Virgin of virgins was led forth by God and her Son, the King of kings, amid the company of exulting angels and rejoicing archangels, with the heavens ringing with praise, the prophecy of the psalmist was fulfilled, in which he said to the Lord: At your right hand stands the queen, clothed in gold of Ophir.

A great sign appeared 
in the heavens: 
a woman clothed 
with the sun, 
with the moon under her feet,
and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.

From the Liturgy of the Hours, August 22nd Memorial for the Queenship of Mary

I love you Holy Mother, pray for us.

Saint Amadeus (1110-1159) was born of the royal family of Franconia, in France in 1110. He was the son of Blessed Amadeus of Clermont, France and was educated at the monasteries at Bonnevaux and Cluny. Amadeus entered the monastery at Clairvaux in 1124, becoming a Cistercian under the spiritual direction of St. Bernard. Fifteen years later he was appointed abbot of Ilautecombe abbey in Savoy in 1139. Five years later he was made bishop of Lausanne in 1144. There he worked for renewal and reform in a troubled region racked with violence and disturbances. In one of his letters he tells how his vestments once ran red with the blood of a man murdered while the bishop tried unsuccessfully to protect him. Amid these difficulties and administrative duties, Amadeus wrote and preached eight homilies in praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, reflecting the devotion learned in the Cistercian monastery under St. Bernard. These homilies evidence a distinctive piety expressed with all the eloquence of a trained orator. The above is one of those homilies.