Queen of Peace

by Pope Benedict XV

Message Delivered to the Consistory of Cardinals, December 24, 1915.

The scene of Jesus' birth is complete through the presence of Mary. The faith of her believers and her children's love consider her not only God's Mother, but also the Mediatrix with God.

Mother of the Prince of peace, Mediatrix between rebellious man and the merciful God, she is the dawn of peace shining in the darkness of a world out of joint; she never ceases to implore her Son for peace although His hour is not yet come (John 2:4); she always intervenes on behalf of sorrowing humanity in the hour of danger; today she who is the mother of many orphans and our advocate in this tremendous catastrophe will most quickly hear our prayers.

In view of these considerations and the better to direct Christian thought and trust in the most powerful intercession of the Mother of God We, in answer to the requests of many children far and near, consent that they address the Blessed Virgin in the Litany of Loreto with the invocation, "Queen of Peace." And will Mary, who is Queen of a kingdom of peace and not of wars and disasters, reject the desires and prayers of her trusting children?

On this holy night in which the prophetic promises of the golden age and of blessed times were fulfilled and on which the very Author of peace gave us the heavenly child, will she not smile on hearing the voices of innocent children called by the Episcopate and by Us to the Eucharistic Table on this lovely solemnity?

When man has hardened his heart and hate has overrun the earth, when fire and sword convulse the world and make it resound with clash of arms and of wailing, when human plans have proved misleading, and when all social well-being is upset, faith and history point to Mary as the only refuge, the all powerful intercessor, the Mediatrix of all grace… therefore, let us say with sure trust: Queen of Peace, pray for us!

Papal Letter, May 5, 1917

…And since all the graces which God deigns to bestow in pity upon men are dispensed through the most holy Virgin, We urge that more than ever in this terrible hour, the trusting petitions of her most afflicted children be directed to the august Mother of God.

Hence we direct Your Eminence to make known to all the bishops of the world that it is our fervent desire that mankind turn to the Sacred Heart of Jesus—the Throne of Grace—and that recourse to this Throne be made through Mary. Accordingly We ordain that beginning with the first day of June this year, there be placed in the Litany of the Blessed Virgin the invocation: Queen of Peace pray for us….

From every corner of the earth—from the majestic churches and the humble chapels; from the mansions of the rich as well as from the huts of the poor; from wherever dwells a faithful soul; from the bloodstained battlefields and war swept seas, may this pious and ardent invocation arise to Mary, the Mother of Mercy who is all-powerful in grace! To Mary may be brought each anguished cry of mothers and wives, each tear of innocent children, each longing of generous hearts! May her loving and most merciful solicitude be moved to obtain for this convulsed world the peace so greatly desired! And may the ages yet to come remember the efficacy of Mary's intercession and the greatness of her blessings to her suppliants!

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