The world mourned the death of Queen Elizabeth II alongside her subjects this past September 8. Providentially, Her Majesty died on the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Heavenly Queen. To our Blessed Lady, the Queen of the Universe, the Church entrusts the soul of Queen Elizabeth, that she may find peaceful repose through the mercy of Almighty God. Upon her death, the international community praised Queen Elizabeth’s commitment to duty and service to her people. Pope Francis went further. The Supreme Pontiff, himself a Sovereign, commended the monarch’s greatest virtue – namely, her “steadfast witness of faith in Jesus Christ and her firm hope in his promises.”
Religious piety came naturally to Elizabeth. She took her anointing as Queen in Westminster Abbey seriously. Her vow to God indebted her to Divine Mercy and laid the foundation for seventy years of selfless work in His service. During the past several Christmas addresses to her subjects, Queen Elizabeth mentioned Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World, by name. It’s astonishing that in today’s secular milieu, mentioning Christ at Christmas comes as a surprise—albeit a welcome one. Yet such unabashed worship of the Sovereign God reminds us to put first things first. Such was Her Majesty’s humility. Unlike the tyrannical regimes of the twentieth century, against which a young Elizabeth fought personally, this Queen understood her role as one servant among many in a Kingdom far greater than the realms of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. May her death reorient our gaze to that Place, where we now pray she rests in the arms of her Sovereign Lord, under the gaze of the Queen of Heaven.