For a short month, February has felt awfully long. Of course, January felt long too so perhaps it’s a winter thing. There has been much going on personally and professionally for me, and I was grateful for the long holiday weekend to rest and recharge. I’ve been reading some spiritual books and trying my best to pick up some read-for-fun books. But I’ve once again found myself in the dreaded reading slump that tends to come around this time of year. To be honest, February seems to bring an all-around slump for me, likely due to the continuing cold and dark days. But we’ve been experiencing warmer temps here and there, and the abundant sunshine we’ve seen in recent days gives me hope that spring will arrive soon!
Spiritually, a new liturgical time period is right around the corner, with Lent arriving next week. I’m excited for Ash Wednesday and the chance to grow closer to the Lord during the coming weeks as we prepare to remember our Lord’s sacrifice and celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord at Easter. I will continue my journey with the Blessed Mother and the Saints during Lent, and I hope you’ll check back in to share the journey with me. For February, I will be sharing about the Blessed Mother under the title Queen of Angels. What is Mary’s association with angels? Why do we call her Queen?
Catholics often refer to Mary as Queen of Angels. This is because of the honor we show her as the Mother of Jesus the King. Mary is essentially the Queen Mother. She reigns in heaven with her Son, who is King of the Universe. Also in heaven are angels, God’s creatures who serve as messengers and guardians of humans. When people think of angels, they often think of radiant beings, full of goodness and light who help bring about God’s will and bring blessings and miracles. Now imagine that Mary is even greater than the angels! What a remarkable woman she must be! It was Mary’s faithful “yes” to God’s plan of salvation that made possible the conception of Jesus in her womb and ultimately brought about our salvation through her Son’s death and resurrection. Angels are servants of God while Mary is the mother of God the Son. So while we don’t worship her the way we worship Jesus, we do honor her and believe she is in heaven with her Son, interceding on our behalf. Catholics do believe Mary is greater than even the angels, which is why she has such a place of honor in heaven under the title Queen of Angels.
In addition, there are two different paintings of the Blessed Mother from Mexico, both titled Our Lady of the Angels. These paintings were from around the 16th and 17th centuries. Although both paintings over time were exposed to the elements and severely damaged by flood, they remained in tact. Countless miraculous healings and spiritual graces have been attributed to the paintings. Today, one painting remains in the Church of Our Lady of the Angels in Mexico City. The other painting can be seen in Our Lady of the Angels parish in Tecaxic, State of Mexico. What is interesting about the painting in Tecaxic, is that it is painted on a tilma, a cotton-like cloak, very similar to that of Our Lady of Guadalupe, another widely known miraculous image of Our Lady in Mexico.
Our Lady of the Angels (Mexico City)
Our Lady of the Angels (Tecaxic, State of Mexico)
For my February church honoring Mary as Queen of Angels, I visited Queen of Angels parish in Lackawanna, New York. The building was beautiful, with angels depicted everywhere, particularly St. Michael the Archangel. I believe this parish was once named St. Michael’s but after merging with other nearby parishes became Queen of Angels. There is a large statue of St. Michael on the outside of the building and beautiful images of him on stained glass inside. There is also a lovely little chapel dedicated to the Blessed Mother.
The Feast of Our Lady of the Angels is celebrated every year on August 2.
Mary, Queen of Angels, pray for us!
Pics from Queen of Angels Parish: