August contains two special days to honor the Blessed Mother, the Assumption and the Queenship of Mary. At the end of Mary’s earthly life, she was assumed into heaven and upon entering she became Queen of Heaven. By looking into the Scriptures, how can we deduce these things? Many non-Catholics strongly disagree with these declarations about Mary, because it isn’t explicitly stated in the Bible, but these events are not hard to see if we observe how God has worked with His people here on earth.
First, it would be hard to deny that Mary was the most faithful follower of Jesus. She was willing to be stoned or scorned or left destitute just by agreeing to conceive Jesus. Then she faithfully sacrificed her own life to raise Him in poverty, even at one point fleeing to Egypt to save her son’s life. She faithfully observed the Laws of Moses and raised Jesus in faith. The list can go on and on, but the question to ask is, how did God reward other people for faithfulness?
Two men mentioned in the Bible were “assumed” into heaven for their faithfulness: Enoch (Hebrews 11:5: Genesis 5:21-24) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:9-13). God chose to bring them to heaven without experiencing death, so it is not unprecedented to be assumed into heaven. The gospels end before the death of any of the Apostles except for James, and so we rely on oral tradition to fill us in on what happened to them. The same goes for the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was the most faithful follower of Christ and certainly deserving to be taken to heaven as her reward. By understanding the ways of God, we can also understand the teachings of the Church.
The Blessed Mother as Queen
Second, it is completely undeniable that Mary is the mother of Jesus, the King of Kings, and therefore the queen mother (Tweet this). The position of the queen mother is well documented in the history of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah in 1 and 2 Kings. One familiar example is Bathsheba, wife of King David and mother of Solomon. When Solomon became king, Bathsheba played a role in his kingdom as an advocate (1 Kings 2:12-22). King Solomon also had a seat for her at his right side. Obviously, the mother of the king was honored and respected in the earthly kingdom.
When we look at the heavenly kingdom of Jesus, we see an obvious parallel. Once there were twelve tribes, now there are twelve Apostles, all of whom also reign with Christ on thrones (Matthew 19:28-30). Once there was a queen mother, now there is the Queen of Heaven. It only makes sense that Jesus would honor his blessed mother in his kingdom. So much of Jesus’ teaching on earth was about the Kingdom of God, so we must realize that this kingdom was real and important to Him. Why would he create a kingdom and invite everyone to come and then look at his mother and say “you aren’t any more special than all the others, so you can’t be Queen.” Nonsense! She is Queen of Heaven by the mere fact that she is the mother of Jesus, but beyond that, she is deserving and qualified for the position as well.
Ways to Honor Mary’s Queenship
- In honor of the Queenship of Mary, bring her your petitions believing she will intercede for you.
- Pray a decade of the Rosary, the Coronation of Mary, when she is crowned Queen of Heaven.
- Chose a picture of Mary in your home and set a bouquet of flowers before it to honor her.
Hello, Emily. My Jesuit professors explained that Elijah was not assumed into heaven, body and soul, like the Blessed Mother. The BVM is the only human being who has that distinction, along with being born without Original Sin and never having sinned during her life on earth. And why not? She is the mother of God. The rules don’t apply to her.
Elijah is another story. He was just a human being, sin and all. Scripture does not say that Elijah was taken into Heaven with a capital “H.” Remember, at the fall of Adam and Eve, Heaven was closed until the Resurrection of the Messiah. Plus, Scripture says that all men must die a physical death. (See Hebrews 9) So, Elijah, who was just a man, could not have been taken, body and soul, in to Heaven. While no one knows for sure, of course, the best explanation that I have heard (a Jesuit one, of course!) is that Elijah was transported by a whirlwind, through the heavens (small “h”) to some other location at which he ultimately died and his soul joined those of everyone else who died, including Adam and Eve, waiting for the coming of Christ.
A similar fate was experienced by Noah’s great grandfather, who was transported (or God took him) and it is written that he did not taste death but this could mean that he did not taste death at the time he was taken by God and transported to some other place. She’ol? Kansas? Who knows?
Why would God do this? Maybe Elijah had to move on so Elisha could take up his mission without confusing the people. God might have wanted to clear the decks so Elisha could do his thing but God didn’t want Elijah to die quite yet. God may have had another job for Elijah. Taking him somewhere else to do this would be a good solution. Same thing might apply to Enoch.
An example of what God might have wanted to avoid is having people who love Pope Benedict take Pope Francis less seriously than they should. If we were living before the coming of the Messiah, perhaps God would have transported Pope Benedict away so Pope Francis could do his thing. But, since we are living in the end times, Pope Benedict just stepped down in favor of the successor.
The only thing for sure is that Elijah and Enoch (and Moses, for that matter) died. (Moses and Elijah appeared at the Transfiguration but in a VISION.) Some people believe that Moses never really died since the Hebrews left a living Moses behind when they followed Joshua into the Promised Land and use his appearance at the Transfiguration to support this. Being only a man, like Elijah and Enoch, Moses died. Only the BVM was assumed into Heaven, body and soul, because she is the Mother of God.
As you know, in Scripture, as well as in common use, the term “heaven” can mean the earth’s atmosphere or the sky we see; the firmament of heaven (aka outer space) where the stars, planets and other “heavenly bodies” are; and the Heaven described in Revelation, where the Throne of God is, aka Paradise. Since the mode of transport for Elijah was a whirlwind, it is reasonable to assume that the heaven to or through which he was taken had an atmosphere. There is no wind in outer space and the eternal Heaven as no need of natural phenomena like wind.
So, net, while I loved your piece on the Queenship of Mary, I’m not comfortable with lumping her in with Elijah and Enoch (and Moses by extension). Mary is not one member of group of 3 or 4 who bypassed death and were assumed into Heaven; she is the only human being to be so favored…and for good reason.