In his 1954 encyclical “Ad Coeli Reginam”, Pope Pius XII instituted today’s feast day. At first it was celebrated on May 31 to coincide with the May crowning tradition, but in the 1960’s it was moved to the eighth day after the Solemnity of her Assumption. According to the Second Vatican Council document “Lumen Gentium” #59, “The Immaculate Virgin … was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory when her earthly life was over, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16) and conqueror of sin and death.” Let us now turn to our Queen and Mother and ask her to intercede for the Body of Christ her Son. May the young people of our world be rooted and built up in Christ and may Western Christians be open to the action of the Holy Spirit as Mary was. Our reflection is from the beginning of Pope Pius XII’s encyclical.
From the earliest ages of the Catholic Church a Christian people, whether in time of triumph or more especially in time of crisis, has addressed prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven. And never has that hope wavered which they placed in the Mother of the Divine King, Jesus Christ; nor has that faith ever failed by which we are taught that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, reigns with a mother's solicitude over the entire world, just as she is crowned in heavenly blessedness with the glory of a Queen.
Following upon the frightful calamities which before Our very eyes have reduced flourishing cities, towns, and villages to ruins, We see to Our sorrow that many great moral evils are being spread abroad in what may be described as a violent flood. Occasionally We behold justice giving way; and, on the one hand and the other, the victory of the powers of corruption. The threat of this fearful crisis fills Us with a great anguish, and so with confidence We have recourse to Mary Our Queen, making known to her those sentiments of filial reverence which are not Ours alone, but which belong to all those who glory in the name of Christian.