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My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

You have come to the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe as a pilgrim, a pilgrim seeking God in a world which sometimes seems Godless.  You have come here to rest amid the grace of the arched canopy reaching to the heavens.  You have come to offer your weariness to the God of all mercy.  You have come to sit with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.  You have come to pray in the light of the Daystar Chapel.  You have come to lean on the intercession of Mary, the mother of Jesus, our Savior . . . Emmanuel, God with us.  You have come to adjoin her heart to yours for the sake of her Son.  We sing with gladness that you have come.  

Our Blessed Mother does not flaunt the title of Queen of the Universe.  This humble handmaid of the Lord conceived, brought forth and nourished Christ. She presented Him to the Father in the temple, and was united with Him by compassion as He died on the Cross. She was the first disciple by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Savior. She is Queen because of her grace, because of her servitude to God.  

This Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe is dedicated to this humility.  Like her Son, she is not a queen in the human sense.  She is queen, the best servant possible.  She adjoins us to this servitude as you have come to pray, to sit, to be strengthened in the imitation of Christ and in faithful service to that King whom “to serve is to reign”.  

Welcome!  We are joyous that you have arrived.  May we strive to increase in holiness by turning our eyes to Mary who shines forth to the whole community as the model of virtues.

Most Reverend John Noonan
Bishop of Orlando