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Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God

Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God

4.6 31
by Scott Hahn

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A fresh and enlightening new perspective on Mary, Mother of God, and her central importance in the Christian faith, from the author of the highly successful The Lamb's Supper.

In The Lamb's Supper, Catholic scholar and apologist Scott Hahn explored the relationship between the Book of Revelation and the Roman Catholic Mass, deftly


A fresh and enlightening new perspective on Mary, Mother of God, and her central importance in the Christian faith, from the author of the highly successful The Lamb's Supper.

In The Lamb's Supper, Catholic scholar and apologist Scott Hahn explored the relationship between the Book of Revelation and the Roman Catholic Mass, deftly clarifying the most subtle of theological points with analogies and anecdotes from everyday life. In Hail, Holy Queen, he employs the same accessible, entertaining style to demonstrate Mary's essential role in Christianity's redemptive message.

Most Christians know that the life of Jesus is foreshadowed throughout the Old Testament. Through a close examination of the Bible, as well as the work of both Catholic and Protestant scholars and clergy, Hahn brings to light the small but significant details showing that just as Jesus is the "New Adam," so Mary is the "New Eve." He unveils the Marian mystery at the heart of the Book of Revelation and reveals how it is foretold in the very first pages of the Book of Genesis and in the story of King David's monarchy, which speaks of a privileged place for the mother of the king.

Building on these scriptural and historical foundations, Hahn presents a new look at the Marian doctrines: Her Immaculate Conception, Perpetual Virginity, Assumption, and Coronation. As he guides modern-day readers through passages filled with mysteries and poetry, Hahn helps them rediscover the ancient art and science of reading the Scriptures and gain a more profound understanding of their truthfulness and relevance to faith and the practice of religion in the contemporary world.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Professor of Theology Scott Hahn is a Catholic scholar and apologist in the best sense of both terms. His mild, yet radical book, The Lamb's Supper, re-explained the Eucharist and Mass in ways that readers found both surprising and convincing. In Hail, Holy Queen, Hahn asks us to view Mary in a new light, presenting what he believes to be her essential role in Christianity's redemptive message. By turns subtle and poetic, he writes about the Marian mystery at the heart of Revelation. A serious, thoroughly accessible study.
Catholic theologian Scott Hahn explains Mary's key role in Christianity's message of redemption and examines the reasons why "Marian devotion"-- the practice of calling on Mary for help and salvation -- has waned among Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox Christians. Taking the reader through the Bible, Hahn sheds light on Mary's integral role in God's plan.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Roman Catholics have long had a reputation for their devotion to the woman known as the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Hahn, a convert to Catholicism, is uniquely qualified to both explain and justify the practice. A former Protestant minister who once condemned Marian piety as idolatrous, Hahn's theological writings (Rome Sweet Home; The Lamb's Supper) now illuminate his adopted faith for many a cradle Catholic. His treatment of the woman many consider the mother of God is accessible theology, written in the style of one who is skilled in making lofty ideas understandable and interesting. Using the Bible and scholarly sources, Hahn asserts that Mary was given by Christ to be the mother of all Christians, and that those who do not accept her as part of their family are woefully bereft. He goes on to trace the Church's high regard for Mary to the early days of Christianity, when, he writes, Mary was regarded as the "new Eve" and was identified with the "ark of the new covenant." Hahn also deals carefully with the Catholic Church's teaching on Mary's immaculate conception and assumption into heaven, and answers the objections of those who, as he once did, regard devotion to Mary as akin to goddess worship. Although he writes mainly to enlighten fellow Catholics about the basis for the Church's great reverence for Mary, Hahn's well-researched work will be instructive to anyone interested in the history of the Church's teaching on this subject. (Apr.) Forecast: Hahn's most recent book, The Lamb's Supper, has sold more than 60,000 copies for Doubleday. Given the widespread interest in Mary among Catholics, this title should do even better. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Well-known Catholic theologian and author Hahn has contributed to the immense body of Marian literature with an accessible, almost conversational treatment of the place of Mary in Roman Catholic theology. Hahn's style is persuasively easy, but the theology he expounds and champions is at times complex, and he negotiates this difficult territory well. Hahn's book is an excellent American response to the current Pope's well-known devotion to the Virgin Mary and to the fact that her status in the official Church teachings has never been higher. Highly recommended where there is a strong Catholic readership. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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Read an Excerpt

My Type of Mother


Mothers are the most difficult people to study. They elude our scrutiny. By nature and by definition, they are relational. They can be considered as mothers only in their relationship with their children. That is where they focus their attention, and that is where they would focus ours.

Nature keeps mother and child so close as to be almost indistinct as individuals through the first nine months of life. Their bodies are made for each other. During pregnancy, they share the same food, blood, and oxygen. After birth, nature places the child at the mother's breast for nourishment. The newborn's eyes can see only far enough to make eye contact with Mom. The newborn's ears can clearly hear the beating of the mother's heart and the high tones of the female voice. Nature has even made a woman's skin smoother than her husband's, the better to nestle with the sensitive skin of a baby. The mother, body and soul, points beyond herself, to her child.

Yet as close as nature keeps us to our mothers, they remain mysterious to their children. They remain as mysteries. In the words of G. K. Chesterton's Father Brown, "A thing can sometimes be too close to be seen."

As the Mother of God, Mary is the mother par excellence. So, as all mothers are elusive, she will be more so. As all mothers give of themselves, she will give more. As all mothers point beyond themselves, Mary will to a much greater degree.

A true mother, Mary considers none of her glories her own. After all, she points out, she is only doing God's bidding: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word" (Lk 1:38). Even when she recognizes her superior gifts, she recognizes that they are gifts: "All generations will call me blessed" (Lk 1:48). For her part, Mary's own soul "magnifies" not herself but "the Lord" (Lk 1:46).

How, then, are we to approach this elusive subject, if she must always be relational? How can we begin to study this woman who always deflects attention away from herself and toward her Child?

Let's Get Metaphysical

To understand the Mother of God, we must begin with God. All Mariology, all Marian devotion, must begin with solid theology and firm credal faith. For all that Mary does, and all that she is, flows from her relationship with God and her correspondence to His divine plan. She is His mother. She is His spouse. She is His daughter. She is His handmaid. We cannot begin to know her if we do not, first, have clear notions about Him--about God, His providence, and His dealings with His people.

And that's not as easy as some people would lead us to believe. We, after all, are dependent upon language that engages our imagination, that makes invisible things understandable by comparing them to things that we see: God is boundless, like the sky; He is illuminating, like a fire; He is everywhere, like the wind. Or we contrast God's qualities with our own: we are finite, but He is infinite; we are limited in our power, but He is all-powerful.

Analogy and contrast are as far as most people go in their consideration of God--and these are true, as far as they go. Yet they don't go far enough. God is pure spirit, and all our earthly analogies fall far short of describing Him as He really is.

Theology is the way we approach God on His terms rather than our own. Thus, though there's no easy way of going about it, we can't go deep in our faith unless we're willing to take on the task of theology to some degree.

The ultimate truth about God cannot be dependent on anything other than God. We cannot define God in terms of something contingent, as in analogies with creation. God does not depend upon creation for His identity. So even His title of creator is something relative and not absolute. Though He is eternal and He is the creator, He is not the eternal creator. Creation is something that takes place in time, and God transcends time. So, though creation is something God does, it does not define Who He is. The same goes for redemption and sanctification. Though God is redeemer and sanctifier, these titles do not define His eternal identity, but rather certain of His works. The terms "creator," "redeemer," "lawgiver," and "sanctifier" are all dependent upon the world--upon something that needs to be created, redeemed, ruled, and sanctified.


Then how can we know God as He is? Primarily because He has revealed Himself to us. He has told us His eternal identity. His name. At the end of Saint Matthew's gospel (28:19), Jesus commands His disciples to baptize "in the name" of the Blessed Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Notice that He does not speak of these as three titles, but as a single name. In the culture of ancient Israel, one's name was equivalent to one's identity. This single name, then, reveals Who God is from all eternity. He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Now, you might reasonably object, those titles are dependent on creation. Are not "Father" and "Son" mere analogies with earthly familial roles?

No. In fact, that's precisely backwards. Rather, the earthly roles of father and son are living metaphors for something divine and eternal. God Himself is, somehow, eternally, perfectly a family. Pope John Paul II expressed this well: "God in His deepest mystery is not a solitude, but a family, since He has in Himself fatherhood, sonship, and the essence of the family, which is love."

Did you catch that? God, then, is not like a family; God is a family. From eternity, God alone possesses the essential attributes of a family, and the Trinity alone possesses them in their perfection. Earthly households have these attributes, but imperfectly.

Divinity Is As Divinity Does

Yet God's transcendence does not leave creation completely without a clue. Creation does tell us something about its creator. Artwork always reveals a hint of the character of the artist. So we can learn more about Who God is by observing what He does.

The process works in reverse as well. We can learn more about creation, redemption, and the works of God by studying them in the light of His self-revelation. Because the Trinity reveals the deepest dimension of Who God is, it also reveals the deepest meaning of what God does. The mystery of the Trinity is "the central mystery of Christian faith and life," says the Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 234). "It is the mystery of God in Himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them." Thus, our understanding of God as family should also profoundly affect our understanding of all His works. In everything that exists, we may discern--with the eyes of faith--a familial purpose, what the theological tradition calls "the footprints of the Trinity."

Reflection on the mystery of God and the mysteries of creation, then, becomes mutually enhancing. Says the Catechism: "God's works reveal Who He is in Himself; the mystery of His inmost being enlightens our understanding of all His works. So it is, analogously, among human persons. A person discloses himself in his actions, and the better we know a person, the better we understand his actions" (no. 236).

Traces of Love, Long Ago

We catch glimpses of God not just in the world but also--and especially--in the scriptures, which are uniquely inspired by God to convey His truth. The Catechism goes on to explain that God has revealed "His Trinitarian being" explicitly in the New Testament, but also left "traces . . . in His Revelation throughout the Old Testament" (no. 237).

The whole of the scriptures, then, can be viewed as the story of God's preparation for, and completion of, His greatest work: His definitive self-revelation in Jesus Christ. Saint Augustine said that the New Testament is concealed in the Old, and the Old is revealed in the New. For all history was the world's preparation for the moment when the Word was made flesh, when God became a human child in the womb of a young virgin from Nazareth.

Like Jesus Christ, the Bible is unique. For it is the only book that can truly claim to have both human authors and a divine author, the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is the Word of God incarnate, fully divine yet fully human--like all of us, except without sin. The Bible is the Word of God inspired, fully divine yet fully human--like any other book, except without error. Both Christ and scripture are given, said the Second Vatican Council, "for the sake of our salvation" (Dei Verbum 11).

So when we read the Bible, we need to read it on two levels at once. We read the Bible in a literal sense as we read any other human literature. But we read it also in a spiritual sense, searching out what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell us through the words (see Catechism, nos. 115-19).

We do this in imitation of Jesus, because this is the way He read the scriptures. He referred to Jonah (Mt 12:39), Solomon (Mt 12:42), the temple (Jn 2:19), and the brazen serpent (Jn 3:14) as "signs" that prefigured Him. We see in Luke's gospel, as our Lord comforted the disciples on the road to Emmaus, that "beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He interpreted to them what referred to Him in all the scriptures" (Lk 24:27). After this spiritual reading of the Old Testament, we are told, the disciples' hearts burned within them.

What ignited this fire in their hearts? Through the scriptures, Jesus had initiated His disciples into a world that reached beyond their senses. A good teacher, God introduced the unfamiliar in terms of the familiar. Indeed, He had created the familiar with this end in mind, fashioning the persons and institutions that would best prepare us for the coming of Christ and the glories of His kingdom.

Learning to Type

The first Christians followed their Master in reading the Bible this way. In the letter to the Hebrews, the Old Testament tabernacle and its rituals are described as "types and shadows of heavenly realities" (8:5), and the law as a "shadow of the good things to come" (10:1). Saint Peter, in turn, noted that Noah and his family "were saved through water," and that "this prefigured baptism, which saves you now" (1 Pt 3:20-21). Peter's word translated as "prefigured" is actually the Greek word for "typify," or "make a type." The apostle Paul, for his part, described Adam as a "type" of Jesus Christ (Rom 5:14).

So what is a type? A type is a real person, place, thing, or event in the Old Testament that foreshadows something greater in the New Testament. From "type" we get the word "typology," the study of Christ's foreshadowing in the Old Testament (see Catechism, 128-130).

Again, we must emphasize that types are not fictional symbols. They are literally true historical details. When Saint Paul interpreted the story of Abraham's sons as "an allegory" (Gal 4:24), for example, he was not suggesting that the story never really happened; he was affirming it as history, but as history with a place in God's plan, history whose meaning was clear only after its eventual fulfillment.

Typology unveils more than the person of Christ; it also tells us about heaven, the Church, the apostles, the Eucharist, the places of Jesus' birth and death, and the person of Jesus' mother. From the first Christians we learn that the Jerusalem temple foreshadowed the heavenly dwelling of the saints in glory (2 Cor 5:1-2; Rev 21:9-22); that Israel prefigured the Church (Gal 6:16); that the twelve Old Testament patriarchs prefigured the twelve New Testament apostles (Lk 22:30); and that the ark of the covenant was a type of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Rev 11:19; 12:1-6,13-17).

In addition to Old Testament types explicitly discussed in the New Testament, there are many more that are implicit but obvious. For example, Saint Joseph's role in the early life of Jesus clearly follows the patriarch Joseph's role in the early life of Israel. The two men share the same name; both are described as "righteous," or "just"; both receive revelations in dreams; both find themselves exiled to Egypt; and both arrive on the scene in order to prepare the way for a greater event--in the patriarch Joseph's case, the exodus led by Moses, the Deliverer; in Saint Joseph's case, the redemption brought about by Jesus, the Redeemer.

Marian types abound in the Old Testament. We find Mary prefigured in Eve, the mother of all the living; in Sarah, the wife of Abraham, who conceived her child miraculously; in the queen mother of Israel's monarchy, who interceded with the king on behalf of the people of the land; and in many other places, in many other ways (for example, Hannah and Esther). The type addressed most explicitly in the New Testament, the ark of the covenant, I will discuss in greater detail in its own chapter. Here I will merely point out that, as the ancient ark was made to bear the old covenant, so the Virgin Mary was created to bear the new covenant.

Family Affairs

It is that new covenant, borne into the world by the Blessed Virgin Mary, that has made all the difference in our lives--in my life and yours--and in human history. For covenants mark all the decisive encounters between God and man. God's relationship with Israel was defined by a covenant, as were His relationships with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David. Jesus Himself spoke of His redemptive sacrifice as the new covenant in His blood (Lk 22:20).

We hear those words in the Eucharistic prayer at every Mass, but do we ever pause to ask: what is a covenant? This is a most crucial question, one that brings us to the heart of Christian faith and life. In fact, it brings us to the very heart of God.

What is a covenant? The question leads us back to the primal reality we discussed earlier in this chapter: the family. In the ancient Near East, a covenant was a sacred kinship bond based on a solemn oath that brought someone into a family relationship with another person or tribe. When God made His covenants with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David, He was gradually inviting a wider circle of people into His family: first a couple, then a family, then a nation, and eventually the world.

All of those covenants failed, however, because of man's unfaithfulness and sin. God remained constantly faithful; Adam did not, and neither did Moses, neither did David. In fact, sacred history leads us to conclude that only God keeps His covenant promises. How, then, could mankind fulfill the human end of a covenant in a way that would last forever? That would require a man to be sinless and as constant as God. Thus, for the new and everlasting covenant, God became man in Jesus Christ, and He established the covenant by which we become part of His family: the family of God.

This means more than mere fellowship with God. For "God in His deepest mystery is . . . a family." God Himself is Father, Son, and the Spirit of Love--and Christians are drawn up into the life of that family. In baptism we are identified with Christ, baptized in the Trinitarian name of God; we take on His family name, and thus we become sons in the Son. We are taken up into the very life of the Trinity, where we may live in love forever. If God is family, heaven is home; and with Jesus, heaven has come to earth.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Meet the Author

Scott Hahn, an internationally renowned Catholic lecturer and apologist, is a professor of theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. His books include A Father Who Keeps His Promises; Rome Sweet Home, the bestselling story, coauthored with his wife, of their conversion to Catholicism; and, most recently, The Lamb's Supper. He lives in Steubenville, Ohio.

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Hail, Holy Queen 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dr. Scott Hahn, a Professor from Franciscan University in Steubenville and a noted convert from the Presbyterian Church, has written a valuable books on the Blessed Mother and how sacred scripture supports Catholic/Eastern Orthodox views on her role in humanity's salvation. He gives many examples in the Old Testament that foreshadow her role in slavation history (These are called 'Types'; like how passsages from the Book of Psalms foreshadow the crucifixion of Crhist). For example, one of Mary's titles is Ark of the Covenant, which is an Old Testament type. She is also compared to such Biblical women as Sarah (who had a miraculous birth when she was very old), Hannah, and Esther. Dr. Hahn also gives many personal anecdotes on his journey to Catholicism and clears up Protestant misconceptions on Catholic/Orthodox (and even Anglican) venertation of the greatest saint of all time. He himself use to believe it was all Mary worship. The book ends with an appropriate discussion on the Rosary, one of Catholicism's favorite devotions for the 'Theotokos' or God Bearer. A must for all Marian devotees and as well as our Protestant brothers who may not understand Catholic devotion to Our Mother, who the Lord gave to his disciples. Enjoy and God Bless!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a recent convert to Catholicism, I would highly suggest this book to Catholics and non-Catholics alike. The down-to-earth, easy to read language used in this book can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dr. Hahn has truely captured the wonderful gift that Our Heavenly Father has given us in Our Blessed Mother. The way Kings of the Old Testament had their mother as their Queen is exactly the way Jesus, Our King, has His own Mother, our Mother, as Queen of Heaven and earth. Whether she is acknowleged or not she does care for us and loves us very, very much. Our Lord has blessed Dr. Hahn and his family for their conversion to Catholicism and toward Our Blessed Mother. A must read for those who've know Her all their lives, for those who long to know Her, and for all the rest of Her children too. She loves all of us!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Scott Hahn reminds us early in HAIL, HOLY QUEEN that according to the Second Vatican Council both Christ and Scripture were given to us by God for the sake of salvation. The author also agrees with Saint Augustine that the New Testament is concealed in the Old Testament which is in turn revealed in the New Testament. For instance there are many parallels which can be drawn between Genesis and the Gospel of John. Hahn shows us one way to look at Scripture is as the story of God's preparation for and completion of His self-revelation in Jesus Christ. Mary's role is an integral part of this story. Jesus Christ is the New Adam and Mary is the New Eve. Hahn's books are much easier to appreciate if we are already familiar with the Bible as a whole in addition to the separate readings we absorb as part of the Mass. The book ends with a concise history of the rosary and an explanation of its enduring value in the prayer lives of Catholics.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Scholarship pairs beautifully with acessiblilty. This book will persuade those inclined to love Mary as the Mother of God, but may have some hesitations based upon misinfomation about proper devotion due to Mary as Mother of Jesus and Mother of us as well. Dr. Hahn's glee in rediscovering the joy of finding Mary as mother is kept just below the surface, permitting clear and logical exposition based upon historical context and theological Tradition.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you ever wondered why Mary said 'all generations shall call her blessed' and why the angel addressed her as 'full of grace', then you will enjoy this book. You will see why Catholics call Mary their 'spiritual' Mother. Dr Hahn explains how Mary's queenship is directly related and dependent upon Jesus' kingship. I recommend this book for Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this splendid work of Scott Hahn. I believe that so many people will find 'Hail, Holy Queen' very helpful in discovering and rediscovering Mary. The book's style is simple and elegant. It's message, in fidelity to Vatican II, is crystal-clear in concentrating our attention on Mary, the Mother of God, in her relationship to Christ and His Church.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Raised in a Protestant church Mary was not spoken of much. Probably because our ministers did not want to sound Catholic and to them Catholic reverence for Mary bordered on idolatry. After reading Scott Hahn's book I see how unfortunate that was. This is an absolute must read Christians, Protestants and Catholics alike. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This man may very well be the next Dr. of the Church! My husband & I love how he explains things so beautifully so that a novice can understand even the most complicated of concepts. His research is complete and he delivers a fantastic understanding of Mary. I heartily recommend this book to Christians of all denominations, especially Catholics who long to know Our Lady and understand why we honor (not worship) her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent and easy read for Protestants and Catholics searching for answers to the Marian question. Hahn, being a Catholic convert from evangelical Protestantism understands and explains the topic of Mary: who she is, what she means to the church, biblical defense for Mary, and why she is important to our lives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hail, Holy Queen: A Summary With perspicuous language and poetic rhythm, Scoot Hahn delivers a beautiful portrayal of our Queen Mother, Mary. Scott’s educational insight illuminates the darkness of Marian fallacy, and he defines how to be truly devoted to Mary’s ever magnificent glorification through Christ. This book is the beginner’s preeminent study of Marian apologetics, with personal anecdotes, that brings definition to who Mary truly is and how we, an ecumenical body, need to venerate Mary and never be reticent in our love for her. My favorite quote from the book is a description of God that enlightens the voice of transcendence: “Though He is eternal and He is creator, He is not the eternal creator. Creation is something that takes place in time, and God transcends time. So, though creation is something God does, it does not define who He is.” The reason I personally favor this quote begins with rational discourse. Our human language can never describe the irrationally ineffable, however, because God rationally incarnated himself, through the ever Virgin Mary, Jesus became a way for humanity to describe the Trinitarian God; Jesus described God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Therefore, although our language may bloviate and verbosely ramble on, we may conclude that Scott’s quote defines a reality in such a linguistically unsubordinated way. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit raises the level of superiority to impossibility, however, because one women acquiesced to God we can therefore proclaim our Trinitarian God as King, and Mary as Queen, of Heaven. The ultimate declaration is given to the fact that this book examines Mary, the Mother of God, the great Theotokos, and the mediatrix, and Gods greatest creation. Moreover, after reading this book you will grasp the meaning of Immaculate Conception. I highly recommend reading Scott Hahn’s material.
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LittleBearDara More than 1 year ago
Explaines how Mary is venerated by Catholics.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written and thorough with a good emphasis on Mary not liking to see her children fighting over her.
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