Electronic Prayer Book

On Proclaiming the Queenship of Mary


(From the Encyclical of Pope Pius XII. — Promulgated October 11, 1954)


Venerable Brethren, Health and Apostolic Blessing.


1. From the earliest ages of the Catholic Church a Christian people, whether in time of triumph or more especially in time of crisis, has addressed prayers of petition and hymns or praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven. And never has that hope wavered which they place in the Mother of the Divine King, Jesus Christ; nor has that faith ever failed by which we are taught that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God reigns with a mother’s solicitude over the entire world, just as she is crowned in Heavenly blessedness with the glory of a Queen.

2. Following upon the frightful calamities which before Our very eyes have reduced flourishing cities, towns, and villages to ruins, We see to Our sorrow that many great moral evils are being spread abroad in what may be described as a violent flood. Occasionally We behold justice giving way; and, on the one hand and the other, the victory of the powers of corruption. The threat of this fearful crisis fills Us with a great anguish, and so with confidence We have recourse to Mary Our Queen, making known to her those sentiments of filial reverence which are not Ours alone, but which belong to all those who glory in the name of Christian…

3. In this matter We do not wish to propose a new truth to be believed by Christians, since the title and the arguments on which Mary’s queenly dignity is based have already been clearly set forth, and are to be found in ancient documents of the church and in the books of the sacred liturgy.

4. It is Our pleasure to recall these things in the present encyclical letter, that We may renew the praises of Our Heavenly Mother, and enkindle a more fervent devotion towards her, to the spiritual benefit of all mankind.

5. From early times Christians have believed, and not without reason, that she of whom was born the Son of the Most High received privileges of grace above all other beings created by God. He “will reign in the house of Jacob forever” (Luke 1: 32), “the prince of Peace”, (Isaiah 9: 6), the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”, (Apoc/Rev 19: 16). And when Christians reflected upon the intimate connection that obtains between a mother and a son, they readily acknowledge the supreme royal dignity of the Mother of God.

6. Hence it is nor surprising that the early writers of the Church called Mary “the Mother of the King”, and “the Mother of the Lord.” Basing their stand on the words of St. Gabriel the archangel, who foretold that the Son of Mary would reign forever, (Luke 1: 32—33) and on the words of Elizabeth who greeted her with reverence and called her “the Mother of my Lord.” (Luke 1: 43) Thereby they clearly signified that she derived a certain eminence and exalted station from the royal dignity of her son…