Hail, Holy Queen

“Hail, Holy Queen”
A reflection on 1 Kings 2:19-20 and Luke 1:26-38
Memorial of the Queenship of Mary
©️2023 Gloria M. Chang

So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. And the king rose to meet her and bowed down to her. Then he sat on his throne and had a seat brought for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right. Then she said, “I have one small request to make of you; do not refuse me.” And the king said to her, “Make your request, my mother, for I will not refuse you.”

1 Kings 2:19-20 (ESV)

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Luke 1:26-38

Queen Mother

The tradition of a queen mother seated at the right hand of the king endured for centuries in ancient Near Eastern monarchies. Adopting the customs of his age, King David’s heir, Solomon, enthroned his mother Bathsheba as queen. In the first Book of Kings, Solomon rises to meet her, bowing in deference. Mediating for suppliants, Bathsheba presents their requests to the king.

Similarly, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the “Son of the Most High,” who is heir to “the throne of David,” intercedes on our behalf. Jesus’ public ministry began with his mother’s invocation, “They have no wine,” at the wedding feast at Cana. Through Mary’s intercession—“Do whatever he tells you”—the servants obeyed her Son, who transformed water into wine as the first sign of his glorious kingdom (John 2:1-11).

Coronation of the Virgin, Fra Angelico (c. 1435)

Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen)

Since the Middle Ages, Christians have been singing and praying the Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen) with piety and supplication, which also concludes the Holy Rosary.

Latin

Salve, Regina, Mater misericordiæ,
vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve.
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevæ,
Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
in hac lacrimarum valle.

Eia, ergo, advocata nostra, illos tuos
misericordes oculos ad nos converte;
Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria.

English

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry,  poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.

Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Queen Mother, seated at your Son’s right hand,
We praise you, from here to the Promised Land.

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