Why do we crown images of Mary?
We read in the Gospel of Luke that when
the angel Gabriel was sent from God to
the Virgin Mary that he greeted her with
the royal greeting of a Queen by saying
“Hail, Full of Grace! The Lord is with
Thee.” (Lk. 1:26-38)
When Jesus was reigning with his crown of thorns he was likewise greeted with the royal greeting “Hail! King of the Jew’s”. Jesus was the true king of Israel though His kingdom is not of this world, it includes the whole universe. The mother of the king of Israel is given a very high place of honor in the bible. In the 1st book of Kings we read, “and the king stood up to meet her and paid her homage. Then he sat down upon his throne, and a throne was provided for the king’s mother, who sat at his right” (1Kings 2:19-20). If an earthly king of the Israel paid such honor to his mother what honor must be paid to Mary the Mother of Jesus, since He is the Lord of lord’s and King of kings. Jesus referred to his Mother with an unusual title, “Woman”. He did this not to dishonor her, but to identify her as “the Woman” of the book of Genesis whom God identified as the enemy of the serpent who’s seed would crush his head (Gn 3:15). Our Lord also did this to point out Mary as “the Woman” in the book of Revelation who is “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars”(Rev. 12:1). God took offense in the Old Testament at people who were offering incense to a false pagan deity, wrongly being called by the title of “queen of heaven”,(Jer 44:15-23) since He knew there would be a true Queen of Heaven whom He Himself would crown. God crowned Mary in heaven with a crown of 12 stars, so we do what we can to give her what little tokens of honor we can manage. It is in imitation of the example given to us by God himself that we say “Hail, Mary full of Grace!”, and crown her our Queen Mother, because Jesus is Our Lord and King.
-Fr. Matthew Keller