June 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – On May 26, there took place in Rome an unmistakably beautiful and solemn procession with a statue of Our Lady Queen of the Apostles, presided over by Archbishop Georg Gänswein, the Prefect of the Papal Household and personal secretary of Pope emeritus Benedict XVI. After processing on her Patronal Feast with a large statue of Our Lady to the sanctuary Santa Maria Regina degli Apostoli in Montagnola – the Queen of Apostles – Archbishop Gänswein encouraged the faithful to venerate Mary as the “Mediatrix of all graces.”
LifeSiteNews received a description of this beautiful procession that was conducted in the rain and the subsequent welcome of Mary as she was carried into the church itself. Rose petals showered down as she entered.
Archbishop Gänswein, upon LifeSiteNews' request, shared a transcript of his homily.
Archbishop Gänswein explained why the Catholic Church gives the title to Our Lady “Queen of the Apostles.” He noted that the title Queen implies that somebody “is above all others.” “But how can one say that Mary is superior to all Apostles?” the German prelate asked. For this, one first needs to understand the specific “characteristics of the Apostle.” Besides many disciples, he added, Jesus chose some men whom He formed and then “sent them to preach the Gospel; Apostle means to be 'sent.'”
“It is clear,” continued Gänswein, “that one will be more so an Apostle the more one is united to Christ” and makes others more acquainted with the Good News. For him, Christ was “the first Apostle, the Father's Apostle.” Even though, in the end, His disciples abandoned Jesus and He had “apparently failed,” according to Archbishop Gänswein, Our Lord was still the Apostle of the Faith, “because in Him, there is to be found union with God and the reaching out to souls for their salvation,” and in a perfect way.
Comparing this perfect union with Our Lady's union with Christ, the German prelate said that “Our Lady is united to Christ in the closest way because she is His Mother; a stronger bond than motherhood is not conceivable.” Next to this physical bond, he added, there is also a “perfect spiritual bond.” Gänswein pointed out that Scripture repeatedly says that Mary “listened to the words of Jesus and meditated on them. That is, Our Lady deeply lived the mysteries of her Son.”
Archbishop Gänswein outlined the crucial role of Our Lady in salvation history when he stated: “she cooperated in the sacrifice at the Cross that is the source of our salvation. Mary is the Mediatrix of all Graces: salvation comes from God, but through Mary's hands.”
“Mary is the Queen of the Apostles,” he concluded, “because she is united to Christ in an exceptional way and because she is the Mediatrix of all graces.”
Further asking how Our Lady is now “exercising her royalty of service and love,” the archbishop said that she does so by “watching over us, her children; the children who turn to her in prayer,” asking her for maternal protection, perhaps “after losing the way, oppressed by pain or anguish from the sad and troubled vicissitudes of life.”
“In the darkness of our existence,” he added, “we turn to Mary entrusting ourselves to her motherly intercession, because she may obtain from her Son all the necessary graces and mercy” which we need on our pilgrimage “on the roads of the world.”
We Catholics turn confidently “to the one who holds the world and holds the destiny of the universe in her hands: to the Virgin Mary,” Archbishop Gänswein explained. For centuries, she has been called upon in the Litany as the Queen of the Apostles, “but also as the Queen of the Patriarchs, Prophets, Martyrs, Confessors, Virgins, of all saints and families.”
“These ancient invocations and prayers help us to understand that the Blessed Virgin, as our Mother, is the one next to her Son Jesus in the glory of Heaven, who is with us in our own everyday life, always, day by day.” Thus, said Archbishop Gänswein, this title of Our Lady is a “title of trust, of joy, and of love.” She who has “in her hand, in part, the fate of the world” is “good, loves us and helps us in our difficulties.”
The German prelate's words are a reminder to all Catholics of the important role of the Mother of God in their lives, especially also in their spiritual lives. “Devotion to Our Lady is an important element of the spiritual life,” he said. “Mary will not fail to intercede for us before her Son.” From her, we can learn to “imitate faith, to be fully available in love, and to give a generous welcome of Jesus.” We “learn to live” from her. Mary, Queen of the Apostles, “is the Queen of Heaven close to God, but she is also the mother close to each one of us, who loves us and listens to our voice.”
Archbishop Gänswein's words come as a welcome reminder amidst the turmoils of the world and the crisis within the Church that Catholics always have a heavenly mother to turn to. Our Lady, Help of Christians, pray for us!