A lot has happened since the first crowning and, in fact, this little crown, although still precious, has lost a few of its gems. And so, this year, it was finally time to crown the Blessed Mother anew. The second, larger crown, purchased in Austria this May, was placed over the first one.
According to Fr. Mark Niehaus, shown here with us in 2003 (one son not pictured), "the crowning is a particularly beautiful process and a most 'moment-oriented' practice. [For the crowning] a lot depends on what an individual or family is living at the moment and what needs to be entrusted to the Blessed Mother, for her to rule over as Queen"...
The book "Full of Grace, Crowned Madonnas from the Vatican Basilica" (right), documents the crowning of over 89 public Marian images. In the book's introduction, Angelo Card. Comastri reflects on Marian crowning. He asks "when did devotion to Mary begin?
...It began in Nazareth, and the first devotee of Mary is the Angel Gabriel, who, as he presents himself in her little house, says to her, 'Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you.' We can say that this is the first crowning of Mary: in the Angel's words, Mary is recognized in her greatness, the crown of beauty offered to her directly by an Archangel sent by God, as the Evangelist Luke writes (Luke, 1.28).
The second crowning, or, if we may, the second expression of Marian devotion, comes shortly after, when Mary, who alone knows of the Angel's stirring message, at the end of a long trip from Galilee to Judea, reaches the house of Elizabeth, who greets her with these words of rare beauty and power 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears the infant in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed are you that have believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to you by the Lord' (Luke 1, 42-45). This is also a crowning!"
We are most grateful to Michael Fuchs, a very, very talented artist, for taking us to the Schoenstatt Center Vienna-Kahlenberg where we found our beautiful second crown (top) and a little piece of heaven- not only at the Center but in the warm welcome that the Fuchs family extended to our family while in Vienna.
"The Mother of God is a city that is created by God;
a city that is equipped by God, in an endlessly rich way…
The Eternal Father created a paradise for
people - here on earth;
a paradise for the saints and that is heaven;
and he created a paradise for himself and that is the Mother of God.
She is an expression and confirmation of what we want… to be... a city of God,
[and] what does that mean?
To be a city, built by the good God, a city in which the good God reigns, a city through which the Divine [radiates] more and more."
(post from website source no longer available.)