Pius XII honored both the Queen of Mary and her Immaculate Heart, always linking the two together.
The Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the Queen of Mary every year on August 22. Previously, this feast was celebrated on May 31, instituted by Pope Pius XII.
Pius XII also instituted the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1944, originally assigning it to August 22.
However, after the revision of the General Calendar, Pope Paul VI decided to alternate the feasts of the Immaculate Heart and the Queen of Mary. The feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary joined the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (celebrated on the Saturday following the feast of the Sacred Heart, typically in June) and the The Queen of Mary has been moved to August 22.
What is interesting is how quite appropriate this switching of feast days actually is and in keeping with Pius XII’s own writings and actions.
Consecration to the Immaculate Heart
Pius XII wrote in his encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam (On the Queen of Mary) that he wanted renew itconsecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, on the feast of the Queen of Mary!
Since we are convinced, after long and serious reflection, that great good will return to the Church if this firmly established truth shines more clearly to all, like a luminous lamp lifted up, by Our apostolic authority, We decree and establish the feast of The queen of mary, which is to be celebrated around the world annually on May 31. We also order that the same day the consecration of mankind to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary is renewed, cherishing the hope that with such a consecration a new era can begin, joyful in Christian peace and in the triumph of religion.
He saw a close connection between the Queen of Mary and her heart, the heart of a mother.
“With a heart that is truly a mother’s“, To quote again Our predecessor with immortal memory, Pius IX,” does she tackle the problem of our salvation, and does she care for all mankind; made Queen of heaven and earth by the Lord, exalted above all the choirs of angels and saints, and standing at the right hand of her only begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, she intercedes mightily for us through the prayers of a mother, obtains what it seeks and cannot be refused.
Above all, Pius XII believed that we should all go to Mary, the Queen of our Hearts, and implore her help.
May all, therefore, try to approach with greater confidence the throne of grace and mercy of our Queen and Mother, and implore strength in adversity, light in darkness, consolation in pain; above all, as they strive to free themselves from the slavery of sin and to offer incessant homage, imbued with filial fidelity, to their Queen Mother.
Even though the holidays have been reversed by a different pope, it providentially reflects a deeper spiritual truth and how the two concepts are intertwined.