Why we crown Mary as a queen

By Fr. John Broussard | Special to the Compass | April 29, 2021

Question

Why do we have May crownings? Where did they come from? Why are they part of the church tradition? — Allouez

Answer

May Crowning is a traditional Roman Catholic ritual held during the month of May. It usually begins with a solemn procession honoring the Blessed Mother of Jesus. At the close of the procession, a statue of the Blessed Virgin is crowned with a garland or crown of flowers honoring Mary as “the Queen of Heaven.” There is a special honor attached to being chosen to crown the statue.

The queen symbol and title is attributed to Mary because she was a perfect follower of Christ, her son, who is the absolute “crown” of creation. She is the Mother of the Son of God, who is the messianic King; thus, Mary shares in the reign and complete dominion of her son. “She remained steadfast in close union with her Son, all the way to the foot of the cross; she persevered in prayer with the church. Thus, in an eminent way she won the “crown of righteousness” (2 Tim 4:8), the “crown of life” (Jas 1:12; Rev 2:10), the “crown of glory” (1 Pet 5:4) that is promised to those who follow Christ.” (Order of Crowning,” NCCB, 1987). 

In more recent times, St. Paul VI, in his papal “Letter on the Occasion of the First of May” (April 30, 1965), noted not only the venerable tradition of May devotions to Mary, but also their importance: “It is precisely because the month of May is a powerful incentive to more fervent and trusting prayer, and because, during it, our petitions find their way more easily to the compassionate heart of our Blessed Lady, that it has been a custom dear to our predecessors to choose this month, dedicated to Mary, for inviting the Christian people to offer up public prayers, whenever the needs of the church demanded it, or whenever danger hovered menacingly over the world.” 

The world needs Mary now, more than ever. This month of May, in special veneration of our Lady, is an acknowledgement of her closeness to her son and the profound help that she can provide. We crown Mary as our queen, guide and intercessor; one who can truly bring us closer to her son and to salvation. Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, pray for us!     

Fr. Broussard, a Father of Mercy, is rector of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, Wis.

Have you ever wondered something about the church or the Catholic faith? If you have a question about the Catholic Church or faith, send it to FAQs, c/o The Compass, P.O Box 23825, Green Bay WI 54305, or via email to [email protected].

Related Posts

Scroll to Top