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Why do we crown?

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It has been a tradition of the Schoenstatt Family of San Antonio to crown Blessed Mother each year during the month of May which honors Mary.  The first crowning was in 1973, when she was crowned with the title “Queen of Unity”.  We crown Mary to acknowledge her Queenship as Queen of Heaven and Earth:  on her Assumption, Mary our Mother was solemnly crowned by Christ.  In the fifth glorious mystery of the Rosary – The Coronation, we pray:  You reign now in heaven as Queen and dwell in bliss with the Triune God.  With your Son you govern the world:  He has chosen you to be its Mother.  [Heavenwards, p.100]  The final prayer of the Rosary begins with the greeting:  Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy…

On October 11 of the Marian Year 1954, Pope Pius XII proclaimed Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth and instituted the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, which the Church celebrates today on August 22.

Pilar Huerta, Family Federation

Communications Editor

 

 

 Why Do We Crown?

[Excerpt from What Does it Mean to Crown the Blessed Mother?  Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign, Madison, WI]

 

A queen wears a crown.  The title and symbol belong together.  That is why children of Mary who honor her as Queen under a variety of titles also love to crown pictures and statues of Mary.  The crowns are as varied as the titles of Queenship.  Children often offer garlands of flowers to the Queen of May.  In great cathedrals and churches, crowns of gold and silver, studded with precious jewels, adorn the statues and paintings of Mary.  Ever since the apostle John saw a vision of the heavenly woman crowned with twelve stars and adorned with the sun (cf. Revelations 12:1), Christians have loved to see the Blessed Mother as a crowned Queen, beautiful, wise, tender and powerful.

 

In Schoenstatt, the age-old practice of crowning the Blessed Mother has taken on a new, deep meaning.  Fr. Joseph Kentenich, the founder of Schoenstatt, first attached a crown to the picture of the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt in the Original Shrine on December 10, 1939.  Since then Schoenstatt members have offered countless crowns, fashioned in various designs out of different materials, to the Mother Thrice Admirable, crowning her picture in the shrines, homes, work places, churches, etc.

 

Why do we crown?

Each coronation act has a subjective, timely meaning for the person or persons who offer a crown.  Sometimes the crown symbolizes an urgent petition.  At other times the motive of thanksgiving predominates.

 

A Gift of Ourselves

Every coronation, however, whether motivated by gratitude or petition, includes an act of self-surrender.  We cannot honor Mary as Queen without placing ourselves as instruments in her service.  In the deepest meaning of the word, the gift of a crown symbolizes the offering of our lives to the Blessed Mother:  “My Queen, my Mother, I give myself entirely to you….”   Depending on the depth of our relationship with our Lady of Schoenstatt, this gift of ourselves symbolized in a crown can include many things.  The symbolism of the crown typically accords with the title under which the MTA is honored as Queen.  Each crown is thus unique, depending on whether we crown Mary as Queen of Peace, Queen of Holy Hope, Queen of Unity, etc.  The variety of Marian crowns and titles matches the infinite variety of our human needs and Mary’s endless fullness of grace.

 

Mary’s Gift in Return

In Schoenstatt’s history, the practice of crowning the Mother Thrice Admirable as Queen has brought wonderful and mysterious results.  Not only does the Blessed Mother accept the self-offering of her children and act on their behalf, as Fr. Kentenich liked to put it, she always gives “a crown for a crown.”  In return for visible crowns, our Lady of Schoenstatt places invisible crowns on the heads of her children, making them “royal children” of a royal Mother.  The psychological effect of an act of coronation is typically a deeper sense of self-worth, a deeper awareness of being loved by God and others.  This affirmation, in turn, leads to greater magnanimity and selfless service.  Thus the offering of a crown to Mary not only helps to petition for her assistance in the multiple needs of our lives, it also answers the central underlying human need to love and to be loved.  In the words of Fr. Kentenich, “all love crowns,” all true love sees and honors what is good and beautiful in another person.  To crown the Blessed Mother, to honor her wonderful greatness as a Queen, opens us more and more to see her image and the features of Christ in ourselves and others.

 

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