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Regina Coeli

Living Easter with the Heart of Mary

Queen of Heaven, Rejoice! Alleluia!
The Son whom you were privileged to bear, Alleluia!
Has risen as he said, Alleluia!

Regina Coeli (Latin for Queen of Heaven) is one of the most popular Marian antiphons in the Catholic West. This splendid prayer dates back to the 12th century and its author is unknown. The first to pray it were the Franciscans who inserted it in their breviary. When the Popes began to make it universal and official, it began to spread quickly. Like the Hail Mary and the Salve Regina, it is part of the genre of greetings to the Virgin.

The Regina Coeli makes us contemplate the two fundamental mysteries of our faith: the incarnation of Jesus and his death and resurrection. In the expression "he rose as he had promised" (cf. Mt 28:6; Mk 16:6; Lk 24:6) we relive the encounter of the angel with the women before the empty tomb.

Mary's faith
As we invite Mary to rejoice over her risen Son, we praise in her the faith with which she awaited the event of the Resurrection, unique among the disciples and followers of Jesus. Mary, with her unshakable faith, has allowed the mystery of salvation to be fulfilled. Before God's plan she did not turn back in the time of trial. She became not only a physical womb, but especially a spiritual womb, so that God could find the necessary space to reveal his face. Slowly, through a path that was sometimes tiring and uphill, Mary sought the path of the Father within daily events, and she did so by paying attention to his Word and to life, to what events showed her and indicated to her as further occasions for understanding. The joy of the Resurrection, which according to the Fathers of the Church she was first to experience, was the culmination of a journey that we know well, and which brought her into the mystery of innocent death. The Regina Coeli is therefore a contemplative prayer, which brings us into the mystery of Mary and her active collaboration in the donation of her Son. For us too there is a message, a strong invitation to choose and re-choose joy always and again as the indelible mark of Jesus' resurrection, in which everything that we are and do finds meaning and a future.
Mother who intercedes
In the midst of the antiphon, believers turn to the Mother and say to her: "Pray to the Lord for us." We have not yet reached our goal, we are pilgrims of faith and life, journeying towards the encounter with God. That is why we turn to Mary, the mother who intercedes for all our needs. This is the time of commitment, of tenacious prayer, of spiritual combat, to grow in love. Therefore, help is needed from the mother, to make the "risen" seed that Jesus put in us on the day of his baptism bear fruit.
Monica Reale
(taken from Missione Maria)

With joy born of faith and hope in the risen Lord, we wish you and your families a blessed Easter Season, 

The Missionaries