Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Mary, Queen of Apostles

Yesterday we celebrated Mary as Queen of Apostles in the Marianist Community. It is one of the oldest devotions in the Church. After Christ and with Christ, Mary is the Apostle. God continues to give all graces through Mary, just as He willed that Christ should come to us through Mary: "born of a woman."

Every apostolate and every true apostle has life and action from Mary. Christ began his apostolate through Mary at Cana; the mission of the apostles was begun through Mary in the cenacle. Likewise, through the centuries all apostolates have received their origin and strength through Mary. Without God, nothing exists; without Mary, nothing in Christ and in the Church.

Mary is Queen of Apostles because she was chosen to be the Mother of Jesus Christ and to give him to the world; she was made the apostles' Mother and our own by our Savior on the cross. She was with the apostles while awaiting the descent of the Holy Spirit, obtaining for them the abundance of supernatural graces they received on Pentecost. The most holy Virgin was and always will be the wellspring for every apostolate.

She exercised a universal apostolate, one so vast that it embraced all others. The apostolate of prayer, the apostolate of good example, the apostolate of suffering--Mary fulfilled them all. Other people have practiced certain teachings of the Gospel; Mary lived them all. Mary is full of grace, and we draw from her abundance.

Mary attracts the zealous to the various apostolates, then protects and defends all these works. She sheds on each the warmth of her love and the light of her countenance. She presented Jesus in a manner unparalleled throughout the ages. Her apostolate is of the highest degree--never to be equaled, much less surpassed.

Mary gave Jesus to the world and with Jesus came every other blessing. Thus, because of Mary we have the Church: "Mary is the Mother of the Church not only because she is the Mother of Christ and His most intimate associate in 'the new economy when the Son of God took a human nature from her, that He might in the mysteries of His flesh free man from sin', but also because 'she shines forth to the whole community of the elect as a model of the virtues'. (Lumen Gentium. 55, 65)

Because the Blessed Mother occupies a most important position in God's plan of salvation, all humanity should pay homage to her. Whoever spreads devotion to the Queen of Apostles is an apostolic benefactor of the human race, because devotion to Mary is a treasure. Blessed is the person who possesses this treasure! Mary's devotees will never be without grace; in any danger, in every circumstance they will always have the means to obtain every grace from God.

Several religious congregations practice devotion to Mary under the title of Queen of Apostles, including the the Marianists.