Regina Caeli (Regina Coeli)

Regina Caeli (Regina Coeli) image

The praying of the Angelus at 6 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m. is a treasured Catholic custom. In 1742, Pope Benedict XIV asked for the praying of the Regina Caeli prayer in place of the Angelus during the Easter season.

The Regina Caeli is one of four traditional antiphons prayed at the end of Night Prayer (Compline). The others are the Salve Regina (Ordinary Time), Ave Regina Caelorum (Lent), and Alma Redemptoris Mater (Advent/Christmas).

In 1964, Pope St. Paul VI began the custom of praying the Angelus or the Regina Caeli publicly in St. Peter’s Square and giving a short address along with it. This papal practice continues to this very day.

Maybe you’re asking about the title “Queen of Heaven” which we give to Our Lady.

“What then does it mean for Mary to be the Queen of Heaven? In the Old Testament monarchy the Queen of the Davidic Kingdom was the Queen Mother. The Kings, for reasons of state and human weakness, had many wives, none of whom fittingly could be called Queen. That honor was reserved for the mother of the King, whose authority far surpassed the many ‘queens’  married to the King. We see this is the role Bathsheba played with respect to King Solomon and the occasions when the Queen Mother acted as regent on behalf of juvenile successors to the throne.

“The role of the Queen Mother, therefore, is a prophetic type of the Kingdom role of Mary, just as the role of the Davidic King is a prophetic type of the Kingdom role of Jesus. Jesus inherited the Kingdom promised to David, who was told that one of his descendants would rule forever. The angel Gabriel revealed this fact to Mary at her Annunciation:

“‘Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end’ (Luke 1:31-33).

“Aside from the prophetic types present in the Kingdom of Judah, there is also the text of Psalm 45:6-11, which when speaking of the Kingdom of God also speaks of its Queen….

“That Kingdom ruled by God is the same as the Kingdom ruled eternally by the Son of David. It is not an earthly kingdom, though it is present on earth in the Church, but a heavenly kingdom, the Kingdom of God. The Queen of that Kingdom is the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of the Lord God Jesus Christ” (Colin Donovan, ST.L., Vice-President of Theology, EWTN).

Regina Caeli (Queen of Heaven)

This prayer replaces the Angelus during the Easter season.

Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.
Has risen as He said, alleluia.
Pray for us to God, alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Let us pray. O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

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