Happy Birthday to My Mom—Born on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary

Mary wearing a crown

A couple of years ago, I was wishing my mom a happy birthday when she said, “To be born on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary—what an honor!” This weekend, we celebrate this wonderful feast (August 22) as my family and I also celebrate my mom’s 88th birthday. Catholics know that anything we say about Mary is a reflection of what we believe about her Son, Jesus. In essence, we celebrate Mary’s Queenship as a way of bringing attention to Jesus’ Kingship. In my book, Under the Influence of Jesus: The Transforming Experience of Encountering Christ, I talk about what it means to be a king.

In their book King, Warrior, Magician, Lover, authors Douglas Gillette and Robert Moore help us to see how priceless a true king is. According to Moore and Gillette, the archetypal king

  • is centered and centering. The king is the geographic and spiritual center of his realm, bringing order in the midst of chaos. His role is to unify.
  • is decisive. The king represents firm and unchanging principles, and his decisions flow from these principles and are in the best interests of his people.
  • lives with integrity. His role is to embody integrity and virtue and to consistently use these qualities to mend relationships, represent truth, and keep his word.
  • protects his realm. The king safeguards his realm from danger and threats. This includes providing for the needs of the poor and vulnerable.
  • provides order. The king represents and enforces the law to establish order and to ensure that fairness and justice reign.
  • creates and inspires creativity in others. The king uses his influence to empower others to achieve their full potential.
  • blesses the lives of others. The king recognizes and honors others for their achievements and extends his favor to them.
  • leaves a legacy. The king leaves behind a gift to remind future generations of his enduring greatness.

Benevolent kings of the past who lived up to these responsibilities were hailed by their subjects, who eagerly and loyally identified with them. The same is true of God and of us. When Jesus proclaims that the kingdom of God is in our midst, he is telling us that God has intervened in our lives to

  • bring order to our lives;
  • unify his people;
  • do what is best for us;
  • mend relationships;
  • convey the truth;
  • fulfill his word;
  • protect us from danger;
  • provide for order and justice;
  • inspire us to live to our full potential;
  • affirm us; and
  • be with us forever.

In short, the presence of the kingdom is a guarantee of our security. This is the kind of king that people desired instead of the tyrants who gave in to the shadow side of the king archetype and ruled narcissistically. To celebrate the Queenship of Mary is to be reminded that her Son, our King, has our best interests in mind and that we should invite him to plant his flag in the center of our lives and to do what he does best for our benefit and the benefit of others.

All praise to our King! We honor our Queen! And Happy Birthday, Mom!

About Joe Paprocki 2345 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

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