Summary of Hail Holy Queen by Scott Hahn

Hail Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God by Scott Hahn,
Image Books: Doubleday, New York, 2001.
Chapter 1: My Type of Mother

The best approach to Mariology is through Theology. We must first understand God in order to understand Mary.

With the eyes of faith, we can see – through creation and covenants – how the Trinity does everything with “a familial purpose” (20). We are drawn into this family and Mary is revealed as our mother.

The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. 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” (CCC 234).

“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” ~ St. JP2

Chapter 2: Christmas’s Eve

Scott Hahn shows how Mary, as the New Eve, “is an ancient and sacred tradition passed – probably from the apostle John himself – down through the ages” (45) and taught by many of his disciples (Justin Martyr = Eve conceived the “word of the serpent,” while Mary conceived the Word of God” (41), St. Irenaeus = Mary’s obedience undid the knot of Eve’s disobedience). John the Apostle gave witness to this at the wedding feast of Cana.

“At Cana, then, the New Eve radically reverses the fatal decision of the first Eve. It was the woman who led the old Adam to his first evil act in the garden. It was the woman who led the New Adam to His first glorious work” (38).


Chapter 3: Venerators of the Lost Ark

In the Book of Revelation, John shows us a true apokalypsis, (“unveiling” = the moment when the bride was unveiled before her husband, just before the couple consummated their marriage (49)), when he describes the vision of the ark of the covenant in chapter 12 (the ark had been missing for 6 decades). Although rich in symbolism, John’s vision “also describes real history and real people, though from a heavenly perspective” (58).

This woman who is the ark of the covenant is “the same person Jesus calls “woman” in John’s Gospel, the reprise of the person Adam calls “woman” in the garden of Eden” (59).

Just as the old ark of the covenant was holy because it contained the covenant (word of God in stone = 10 commandments, miraculous bread from heaven = manna, priestly rod of Aaron), so the new ark of the covenant was even holier (Word of God in flesh, true Bread of Life from heaven, and eternal high priest).

Luke also gives witness to Mary as the new ark of the covenant in the visitation to Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-56), paralleling David’s journey with the ark into Jerusalem (2 Sam 6).

“The woman of the Apocalypse is the ark of the covenant in the heavenly temple, and that woman is the Virgin Mary. This does not, however, preclude other readings of Revelation 12. Scripture, after all, is not a code to be cracked, but a mystery we could never plumb in a lifetime” (65).

Chapter 4: Power Behind the Throne

In light of Davidic typology, the “woman” in Revelation was the queen mother, or geribah, who exercised real authority by acting as an advocate, chief counsel and political advisor to the king.

“She is crowned with 12 stars – representing the 12 tribes of Israel – because she will bear the Davidic king. She is threatened by the dragon because the serpent’s allies, the house of Herod, would set themselves against the reign of David’s house and David’s successors” (83).

“The Davidic monarchy finds its perfect fulfillment in the reign of Jesus Christ – and there was never a Davidic king without a Davidic queen: the king’s own mother, the queen mother” (83).

Chapter 5: From Typing to Teaching

The goal of Marian typology is to “come to know and love Mary herself as she is illuminated by her biblical types” (91).

Likewise, the goal of Marian dogmas is to enable us to encounter the real, living person – Mary. From the Immaculate Conception to the Assumption, these dogmas are further illuminated by drawing upon the Marian types, such as the New Eve, the ark of the covenant, the queen mother, etc.

Chapter 6: What about the Children?

Since we have been made brothers and sisters of Christ – adelphos, “from the same womb,” we share everything with Christ, including His mother. Jesus gave us His mother and the true mark of our sonship is through entrusting ourselves to Mary.

“A strong sense of sonship – the sense that comes with deep conversion – frees us to love our mother” (131).

“We live our sonship best by listening to Mary and loving as she does. Listening means responding when she says: “Do whatever He tells you.” Loving means standing by Christ, even to the cross. Loving means choosing Him, in every instance, over sin” (135).

“Divine motherhood is the place where Eve and the ark are fulfilled in heaven and in your home. Divine motherhood is the place where the Church’s dogmas become mother’s milk for those who wish to grow in wisdom. Divine motherhood is the place where mysticism meets theology – in our heart of hearts. Divine motherhood is the place where God wants Christians to meet Christ, their brother” (135).

Chapter 7: The Ultimate Church

Mary is the Mother and archetype of the Church – the symbol and source of all family unity (especially in ecumenical work). This is not a metaphor but a real and permanent truth that’s essential to God’s plan.

“The Book of Revelation shows us the mystical unity between the woman who labours to give birth to Christ (and His siblings) and the bride of the Lamb unveiled at the climax of history. The mother, the bride, the woman is Mary. The mother, the bride, the woman is the metropolis of the New Jerusalem: the Church” (139-140).

“The Church, too, is mother – but this is a function of its relation to Christ and Mary. The Church depends upon its intimate union with Mary, and the Church fulfills its own motherhood only insofar as it imitates and honours Mary’s virginal motherhood” (142).

We have moved from Old Testament types to New Testament realities to heavenly glories in the Book of Revelation.

“Mary is a central figure in the Apocalypse because – assumed into heaven, where she reigns – Mary is now the fulfillment of the reality of which the Church itself is merely a type. She is the Virgin and Mother, the Bride of Christ, the Heavenly Jerusalem, the metropolis that is the City of God. She is the heavenly archetype. The Church – the rest of us – must struggle toward those mystical realities during all our days on this earth” (143-4).

“The eternal reality that has been prophesied – the communion toward which human history has been moving as its dramatic conclusion – is the cosmic, corporate, human expression of what God did in Mary, making her bride, making her mother, making her the archetype of a Church that must include us all” (148).

Chapter 8: A Concluding Unapologetic Postscript

Hahn urges us to “never forget that, when you defend the Blessed Virgin, you’re defending your mother, not a quarterback, not a goal line. You should defend her only as she would want to be defended” (151). We must be humble and loving in our defense of Mary. Hahn tells the story of meeting Fr. Kilian Healy as a turning point in his life, realizing that Mary is a good mother who will give us all we need.


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