Monday, August 30, 2010

The Queen of Poland

The Polish people often call the Blessed Virgin « Mother of my heart » (serdeczna Matke), but this tender love never becomes an indiscreet familiarity. The Mother of Hearts never ceases for a moment to enjoy in the people’s consciousness the unutterable prerogatives of her divine motherhood. She is “our mother” only because she is first of all the “Mother of God” (Matka Boska).

For a long period of time, in some provinces, this respect kept people from naming their daughters after Mary. By antonomasia they would be named Maria-Anna. While negotiating the marriage of Marie of Gonzague with the Polish King Ladislas IV, the French ambassador, Count of Brégyn, wrote in July 1645: “The royal fiancée will have to change her name during the celebrations of the coronation, because the Polish do not admit any other Queen Mary beside the One whose protecting vision sometimes protects their army from on high beyond the clouds.”

Later, Maria-Josephina of Saxony just refused the title of Queen of Poland in the rite of coronation, saying that “this title belongs only to Mary, the Queen of Heaven.” The attribution of that royalty must have been quite exclusive to force royal princesses and their spokespersons to think twice about claiming it! Indeed, from times immemorial, the Polish people recognize only one “Queen of Poland,” Mary, and they jealously ensure that no one usurps this title.

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