The Madonna Shrine in Orient Heights (East Boston) is the United States national headquarters of the Don Orione Order (The Sons of Divine Providence). The frontal statue of the Madonna, Queen of the Universe is a replica of the same statue in the Don Orione Center on Monte Mario, in Rome, Italy. Both statues were created by Jewish-Italian sculptor Arrigo Minerbi, as a sign of his gratitude to the Catholic Church for having protected him and his family from the Nazis during World War II.
The Shrine was inaugurated in 1954
The shrine was built by the Don Orione Fathers and inaugurated in 1954. It was founded to continue the vision of Saint Luigi Orione who wished to pair every work of charity with a work of faith. The 35 ft statue of the Blessed Mother stands on a globe and her crown tops the whole building, crowning the entire shrine and not just the statue. Indeed, her royalty takes its source in Christ's kingship and is united to that of Christ's Body.
Why is Mary "Queen" of the universe?
Mary is Queen for having loved very much, for having followed Jesus during his Passion of love:
'Mine is not a kingdom of this world;
if my kingdom were of this world,
my men would have fought to prevent
my being surrendered to the Jews.
As it is, my kingdom does not belong here.'
'So, then you are a king?'
'It is you who say that I am a king.
I was born for this,
I came into the world for this,
to bear witness to the truth;
and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.'"
(Jn 18: 36-37)
Mary is Queen of the Universe because she was made conformed to her Son who is Lord:
"The Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all guilt of original sin, on the completion of her earthly sojourn, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen of the Universe, that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and the conqueror of sin and death."
(Vatican II, L.G. 59)
This truth is found in prayer:
"Mary, Queen of Peace, Queen of All Saints, pray for us and obtain peace for the world!"
(John Paul II, Angelus, May 30, 1999)
"When will you become, O Immaculate Mother, the Queen of all and every soul in particular?"
(St Maximilian Kolbe)
Mary is Queen because Jesus is Lord. Mary leads us to Jesus and to the Eucharist. That is why it is important that Mass be offered every day in this shrine, as in all Marian shrines.