The Blessed Virgin Mary Queen of Palestine
It is with great joy that the Feast of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Palestine, is celebrated in all the Lieutenancies of the Equestrian Order around 25 October – the exact date of the Feast according to the liturgical calendar.
It was Patriarch Luigi Barlassina (1920-1947), on the occasion of his solemn entry into the Cathedral Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre on 15 July 1920, and the consecration of the diocese to Mary, who invoked the title of “Queen of Palestine” for the first time.
The special relationship of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Palestine with the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre dates back to the pontificate of John Paul II. In 1983, 50 years after the institution of the Feast, Saint John Paul II – addressing the Knights and Dames of the Lieutenancies of Northern and Central Italy – urged them to be witnesses of Christ in everyday life and to continue the work of the Order in the Holy Land under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Ten years later, in 1993, the then Grand Master of the Order, Cardinal Giuseppe Caprio, asked Saint John Paul II to declare of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Palestine, Patroness of the Order. The Holy Father replied on 21 January 1994 by a decree granting the request.