Ordinary Time: August 22nd
Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Other Commemorations: St. Timothy of Rome and St. Symphorian, martyrs (RM); St. Philip Benize, priest (RM)
The faithful, under the guidance of an unerring Catholic instinct, have ever recognized the queenly dignity of the Mother of "The King of kings and Lord of lords": the Fathers, the Doctors of the Church, Popes, down through the centuries, have given authoritative expression to this truth and the crowning testimony to this common belief is to be found clearly expressed in the wonders of art and in the profound teaching of the liturgy. In their turn theologians have shown the fitting nature of this title of Queen as applied to the Mother of God, since she was so closely associated with the redemptive work of her Son and is the Mediatrix of all graces. Pius XII, by his encyclical letter of October 11, 1954, granted the unanimous desire of the faithful and their pastors and instituted the feast of the Queenship of Mary, giving sanction thus to a devotion that was already paid by the faithful throughout the world to the sovereign Mother of heaven and earth.Before the reform of the General Roman Calendar this feast was celebrated on May 31 and today was the feast of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary which is now celebrated on the Saturday following the Second Sunday after Pentecost. It was also the commemoration of Sts. Timothy, Hippolytus and Symphorian. St. Timothy is a Roman martyr put to death in 303 or 306 during the last persecution. His body lies at St. Paul's-Outside-the-Walls, near that of the great Apostle. The history of St. Hippolytus, martyred at Ostia, near Rome, remains extremely obscure; it is probably in error that he is called bishop of Porto. St. Symphorian was a martyr of Autun, put to death while still a young man in the second or third century. He is one of the great saints of Gaul and several churches were built in his honor. His Acts appear to be genuine.
Queenship of Mary
With the certainty of faith we know that Jesus Christ is king in the full, literal, and absolute sense of the word; for He is true God and man. This does not, however, prevent Mary from sharing His royal prerogatives, though in a limited and analogous manner; for she was the Mother of Christ, and Christ is God; and she shared in the work of the divine Redeemer, in His struggles against enemies and in the triumph He won over them all. From this union with Christ the King she assuredly obtains so eminent a status that she stands high above all created things; and upon this same union with Christ is based that royal privilege enabling her to distribute the treasures of the kingdom of the divine Redeemer. And lastly, this same union with Christ is the fountain of the inexhaustible efficacy of her motherly intercession in the presence of the Son and of the Father.
- From the MOST Theological Collection read the Queenship of Mary.
- Read more about the Queenship of Mary here and here.
- Read Our Beautiful Queen: Lessons on the Queenship of Mary.
- Pray this short devotional Litany of the Queenship of Mary.
Sts. Timothy; St. Symphorian
Saints Timotheus and Symphorian, martyrs whose feast is observed on August 22. During the pontificate of Melchiades (311-314), St. Timotheus came from Antioch to Rome, where he preached for fifteen months and lived with Sylvester, who later became pope. The prefect of the city, Tarquinus Perpenna, threw him into prison, tortured, and finally beheaded him in 311. A Christian woman named Theon buried him in her garden, This is related in the legend of Sylvester. The name of Timotheus occurs in the earliest martyrologies.
- Read this reflection on St. Symphorian.
- Read Butler's life of Symphorian.
- View The Martyrdom of Saint Symphorien, by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.
- St. Timothy's relics are located in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.
St. Philip Benize (or Benozzi)
St. Philip had special talents for leadership and organization; he was the second founder of the Servites and a great missioner. Of him the Breviary says: "His love and sympathetic consideration for the poor was truly remarkable. On one occasion he gave his own clothing to a destitute leper at Camiliano, a village near Siena, and immediately the poor, sick beggar was healed. The report of the miracle spread far and wide, and many of the cardinals who had assembled at Viterbo after the death of Clement IV (1268) for the election of Christendom's chief shepherd were minded to choose Philip, whose angelic life and mature wisdom were universally acknowledged. But as soon as the saint became aware of this, he went into hiding upon a hill until Gregory X (1271-1276) had been elected; for he sought to be spared that burdensome dignity."
- In the former Collect for St. Philip, the Church focused attention upon humility as our saint's most noteworthy virtue: "In the life of St. Philip You have provided for us a splendid example of humility." The manual from which he learned this virtue was the Crucifix. Say the Prayer Before A Crucifix and spend a little time meditating on Our Lord's humility.
- See information about St. Philip's statue in St. Peter's Colonnade.
- Read more about the Order of Servites and Servants of Mary.