August 22 is the Memorial of the Queenship of Mary. One week after the Feast of the Assumption, it reminds us that because Mary was an integral part of the Incarnation of Jesus, who is Christ the King, she is considered the Queen of Heaven and Earth.
Mary, as Queen, has many titles. In our church, the window portraying her queenship is our Lady, Queen of Apostles. It is the first of the series of windows in the nave of the church depicting the apostles, on the left as one faces the altar. Mary is wearing a tunic of blue, her traditional color, which also symbolizes the Divine Presence within her. Beneath the tunic is a gold robe, symbolizing holiness and royalty. She wears a veil and cloak of white, symbolizing her purity. On her head is a golden crown and in her left hand, a scepter, reminding us of the exalted position she holds in heaven.
Above Mary’s head is a circle with the Greek monogram for Jesus Christ, IHS. Thirteen rays of light extend from the circle. One shines upon Mary, and the other twelve contain the names of the twelve Apostles. Mary’s right hand gestures as if presenting these Apostles to us.
Mary is standing on a globe representing the world. It was the mission and work of the Apostles to go out to all the world and proclaim the Gospel to all people. The bishops of the Church carry out their role today. Around the globe is coiled a snake, representing Satan, who opposes the Gospel message of Jesus. Mary’s foot is upon the back of the snake’s head limiting his movement and the damage he can inflict.
A scroll with Our Lady, Queen of Apostles, winds to the bottom of the window. Extending up from the scroll is a lily with three flowers, symbolizing the purity of Mary. It is one of her attributes and is often seen in the windows with her image.
The color red is prominent in the window. We see it behind the rays with the Apostles’ names, extending down behind Mary’s halo, and behind the scroll. Red symbolizes suffering and martyrdom. All of the Apostles, except John, were martyrs, and an attempt was made to kill John, also. Mary, herself, shared in the suffering of her son as she stood beneath the cross as he died and as she received his lifeless body into her arms.
Mary was surely a support to the Apostles as they accepted their call to preach the Gospel message. From her place in heaven, Mary is a support to us also, always interceding for us before her son, Jesus, the Christ, our King and Savior. As we, too, spread the message of God’s love to those we meet in the everyday occurrences of our lives, may we remember to ask Mary to intercede for us that we might be faithful witnesses to Jesus in all that we say and do.