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on May 2, 2001
"Where was this book 10 years ago?" That was my question as I read Hail Holy Queen, a delightful, insightful new book by Dr. Scott Hahn. Though I had been raised Catholic, I had always felt closer to Jesus than to his Mother. In fact, I feared that paying attention to Mary would detract from my relationship with the Lord. I was especially turned off by what I considered excessively pietistic expressions of devotion to Mary. Bottom line? I was a capable adult who thought I didn't need a mother. Over time, I realized my error and have since come to a much deeper understanding and love for the Blessed Mother. But I really could have used Hail, Holy Queen back then.
Hail, Holy Queen clearly and simply answers my former objections to Mary and many others. And Hahn's scriptural exegesis has also provided me with new, rich food for thought. I especially appreciated his explanations of Mary as the New Eve and as the Queen Mother, and of her God-given role in salvation history.
Though another reviewer chides Hahn for a supposed "lack of reverence" in his pun-filled subheads, I saw them as a humorous yet respectful way of helping his readers remember the important lessons in the book. (I also have it on the best authority that "Mary Had a Little Man" was a publisher error that will be corrected to "Mary Had a Little Lamb" in the next printing.) His puns, along with his highly readable style, make this THE book for anyone with questions about Mary or a desire to learn more about Our Lady. Thank you, Dr. Hahn, for making such essential theological and scriptural truths accessible to the masses!
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on August 21, 2001
"Hail, Holy Queen" is the latest offering from the indefatigable Scott Hahn, today's most popular Catholic popularizer, and the author of "The Lamb's Supper," an exposition of the Mass. Here Hahn explains the Church's teaching about Mary with scriptural arguments about her identity as Queen Mother, Ark of the New Covenant, New Eve and type of the Church.
Hahn's primary audience is Catholic, and his presentation is especially informative for those educated during the past 30 years with little exposure to the Marian doctrines, much less to the reasons why we hold them. Even supposedly well-catechized older Catholics will profit from Hahn's treatment. Nevertheless, Hahn's former Protestant brethren are also part of his target audience, whose fears of the Canaanite Queen of Heaven "Hail, Holy Queen" is meant to allay.
Hahn's final chapter summarizes current Catholic mariology as taught in the Vatican II document, "Lumen Gentium," which serves as a source of inspiration for his book. He shows that teaching the full truth about Mary won't hurt ecumenism with Protestants and Eastern Christians. Both groups may profit from Hahn's appendix on the Rosay, along with his treatment of our need for familial intimacy with God, enhanced by Mary's maternal love. As sources concerning Mary's role in the Church, Hahn invokes patristic writings, a connection that helped him in own journey to the Church. Hahn also quotes John Henry Newman and recent Church documents. Other scholarship is relegated to endnotes. Hahn's love for our Lady is warm and sincere, and "Hail, Holy Queen" is a useful guide to the Bible.
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on January 11, 2007
For any Christian trying to understand the importance of Mary in their devotion to Jesus, this is an excellent study. Not only does this book explain what Catholics mean by honoring (not worshipping) Mary, it also explains why it should fit into the lives of all Christians as an ecumenical factor.

This book will answer many bilblical questions about Mary.

Hahn has put an excellent theological study at the fingertips of every common person. It is easy to read and understand.
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on August 19, 2001
Scott Hahn's "Hail, Holy Queen" may well be the definitive book on Mary for the lay Catholic, or any other lay Christian, for that matter. In his usual methodical manner, Hahn takes the reader through the Bible to demonstrate step-by-step, passage-by-passage, verse-by-verse what he sees as the proper place of Mary in Christian thought.
Reflecting St. Augustine's premise that the New Testament is concealed in the Old and the Old is revealed in the New, Hahn looks carefully at the Garden of Eden story, the role of the Ark of the Covenant in Israel's history, the function of the Queen Mother in the Davidic monarchy (including not just David but his successors as well), the Gospels, the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and the book of Revelation.
Over and again, he arrests the reader with astonishing insights, parallels that most believers--even those who consider themselves relatively familiar with Scripture--might never see on their own. Hahn uses a number of the Church fathers to support his argument, but as always his strength is his use of Scripture.
His weakness--and this is really a petty point--is his affection for puns. This little idiosyncrasy was noticeable in the title of one of his first books, "Rome Sweet Home." But he reaches new heights of punning is this latest work with section titles such as "Maternity Warred," "Mary, Mary Reliquary," and "Cutting the Unbiblical Cord."
This book is relatively easy reading, relatively short and relatively inexpensive. The text is just 175 pages, with another 15 pages of "Sources and References" to assist the reader in finding documentation and further discussion in Scripture, and other church writings and even secular documents.
As always, Hahn's enthusiasm for the Bible and all things Catholic is evident. Coming into full communion with the Catholic Church as an adult, this former Presbyterian minister, scholar, and renowed apologist loves the Bible, the Church, Jesus and Mary. While this book is not intended to be a devotional book, it cannot help leading the reader to a closer relationship with the Blessed Mother.
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on March 13, 2002
Scott Hahn has been explaining Catholic beliefs to Catholics, as well as to non-Catholics, for the past decade. In this 2001 work he addresses a key area of Catholic belief that often confuses and scandalizes many Protestant Christians and maybe no few Catholics as well. His subject is, of course, Mary and the major dogmas surrounding her (i.e. Perpetual Virginity, Mother of God, Immaculate Conception, Assumption into Heaven, Queen and Mother to all Christians). He roots much of his approach in a typological understanding of Scripture texts but does not ignore literal meanings either. It is thus in keeping with the methodology of early Christian writers and a modern eye-opener to deeper understandings of Revelation. In this he takes serious Pope John Paul II's call for Scripture students to study the Fathers. His style and material are written at a level easily accessible and enjoyable to the general public. No average reader should fear this book as being "beyond" their understanding. While his text is serious but not heavy in content, Mr. Hahn continues his playful practice from other works of making corny puns with chapter and section headings. For example: "I Dream of Geneology" introduces his short excursion into the geneologies of Matthew and Luke. "Fetal Attraction" introduces a section on the Annunciation and the reason for her title as Mother of God. One final example, "Mary Had a Little Man" leads into part of his examination of Revelation 11-12 and Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant. They can seem a bit irreverent but do add levity to things. As a faithful general introduction to the scriptural roots of Catholic Marian beliefs this book is a must. It deals with all the main dogmas but in a largely non-polemical way. This makes it a safe book for a Catholic to lend to a Protestant inquirer. For a more in-depth, challenging, and polemical examination of the same issues I would recommend Robert Payesko's "The Truth About Mary" in three volumes. It is virtually a definitive work.
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on May 4, 2001
I finally get it. Mary is Christ's masterpiece. This book is incredible. It taught me how to discover Mary in Scripture by showing me how to read the Bible "typologically", the same way that Jesus and the New Testament writers and the Church Fathers interpreted the Old Testament. Hahn presents the truth about Mary so clearly and beautifully that I found myself praying the Rosary for the first time in my life as soon as I finished the book. Pretty wild for a Bible-believing Protestant like me. By the way, I really enjoyed the puns.
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VINE VOICEon April 17, 2003
When I first started to gravitate toward the Catholic Church (from a Protestant denomination), Mary was one of the biggest stumbling blocks on that journey. While I'm not entirely there yet, it is only waiting to begin RCIA in the fall that holds me back (not that the journey ever ends in any case)--and not an objection to Marian devotion. For that, I can thank Scott Hahan and his marvelous little book. In addition to prayer and reflection, of course, but Hahn gave me much on which to pray and reflect.
Hahn writes in a lucid, conversational style; it's almost as though, in reading the book, you were having a one-on-one talk with him. He places Mary in the context of the entire Bible, in "types" from Eve onward, and shows that regarding her as Mother is not unusual (though it IS extraordinary--in a good way, that is). On this latter point, Hahn makes a particularly insightful argument about family and the Holy Family--surely God did not intend for us to be without a mother.
For those not so well versed in the Bible, I would suggest having one at your side. Hahn makes frequent biblical references, and after reading one of his points, you just want to read the original text. And that's one of the beauties and joys of this book--that it fills the reader with a desire to return to the Word and meditate on its richness and meaning.
The book is not long and can be read quickly if you want. But go slowly and spend some time with it. The experience is truly rewarding.
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on May 16, 2005
This is one of my favorite books on the Blessed Mother. It is not a theological or apologetic sourcebook; although it is explanatory in nature it's much more devotional and can be used effectively in one's prayer and meditation. Even so, many scripture verses are provided, references to the fathers and the councils are also to be found in large number.

Maybe I like this book so much because Dr. Hahn seems to agree with me that Marian devotion and Marian theology cannot be separated. You have to know a woman to love her (theology), you have to love a woman to want to know her better (devotion). Knowledge of Mary is theological in nature because of her close relation to God the blessed Trinity. This relation is one of deep love - Bishop Sheen named his popular book on Mary "The world's first Love" - so don't expect a thorough treatment of Our Lady from a "purely theological" viewpoint.

Dr. Hahn includes his own very humbling experiences in this book to demonstrate how the Lord whom he had served as a Protestant was literally dying to introduce him to his mother: "Behold thy Mother." This book makes a great gift, especially for those ignorant OR truly curious about the Church and it's teachings about Mary.
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on April 18, 2001
In his inimitable sparkling style Scott Hahn serves up a feast of Scripture, theology and spirituality for Christians--Catholic and Protestant alike--for understanding the role of Mary in God's purposes.
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on May 12, 2014
I was raised Catholic but departed from the church shortly after my confirmation. God would eventually grab a hold of me at 21 years of age but as it happens he didn’t intend for me to return to the Church of my childhood. Instead I’ve been serving in Pentecostal churches for the past dozen years. And still, there are plenty of things about Catholicism that I miss, most notably liturgical worship and that inexplicable feeling that comes from knowing that yours is an ancient tradition.

There are also things, that at this point in my life, would keep me from returning, most notably the filioque clause in the Western version of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed and the Marian Dogmas. I doubt I’ll ever be able to accept the filioque but I’m open to the things that the Catholic Church teaches about Mary. I’ve never been one of those Protestants who took pleasure in denigrating the mother of our Lord Jesus just to avoid the possibility of worshipping her!

So with this in mind I began reading through Scott Hahn‘s Hail, Holy Queen in order to see if he could convince me that the Marian Dogmas had more support than I had previously thought. In his usual conversational style, which marks all of his popular writing, Hahn makes the case for Mary’s Immaculate Conception (not to be confused with the virginal conception of Christ); her Divine Motherhood (i.e., her being the Theotokos – Mother of God); Perpetual Virginity; and Bodily Assumption.

But before turning to these Dogmas themselves, Hahn teaches the reader a bit about biblical typology. He presents Mary as the “New Eve” receiving grace where the first Eve rejected it; succeeding where the first Eve failed. Mary is also the “New Ark of the Covenant” who carried the Word of God made flesh; the true Bread from heaven; and the eternal High Priest. And just as every Davidic king had a “queen mother,” Mary is the Queen Mother par excellence, receiving due reverence even in the presence of her Son who is her superior.

In all of this Hahn exhibits a keen knowledge of Scripture and is able to reveal subtle allusions amidst some glaringly obvious types and shadows, and all of this with an eye on John’s Apocalypse and what it says about the woman clothed in the sun (Rev. 12). He also takes the reader through the Catechism of the Catholic Church and what the Fathers of the Church have had to say about Mary throughout the centuries. I’ll admit that he presents an impressive case for the antiquity of many of these Dogmas.

He also helped to clear up some things that I had always taken issue with, namely the idea of Mary as the “New Eve” to Jesus’ “New Adam.” How could Jesus’ mother also be his wife (especially in light of the fact that the Church is called the Bride of Christ)? He responds with reference to Isaiah 62:4-5, which actually makes sense, at least as far as I’m concerned. It’s funny, but one of his least sophisticated arguments in the book, a recounting of a homily delivered by a priest for the feast of the Immaculate Conception, really hit home. In short, the priest asked who would preserve their mother from sin if they had the power. The answer is everyone, of course, and yet none of us have that power. But Jesus does, and he used it (158-59)! Simple yet profound.

There were times when I thought that Hahn was reaching. For example, he goes through the standard objections to Mary’s Perpetual Virginity and notes the appeal to the place in the Gospels where Jesus’ mother is said to be outside with his brothers and sisters. Hahn’s response is that the Greek word for brother (adelphos) was used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament to refer to not only brothers, but also cousins or kinsman more generally, and that in Hebrew and Aramaic, which would have been spoken by Jews in first century Palestine, there was no distinct word for cousin so the word for brother would have been used (104).

I’m left to wonder exactly how the Gospel writers could have communicated that these people were in fact Jesus’ brothers and sisters then. What could they have possibly said, other than what they did say, to indicate such? I’m also curious about the use of adelphai (sisters) in Mark 6:3 and the longer reading of Mark 3:32. Did the feminine form of the word have the same range of meaning, and if so, where do we see this attested? I’m also be interested to learn why adelphai is set beside adelphoi in Mark 12:31-32 and adelphos in Mark 6:3 when there are many instances where adelphoi has “brother and sisters” as the intended meaning.

I was also underwhelmed by Hahn’s arguments for the Bodily Assumption, which is not mentioned in Christian writings until the sixth century. He points to Mary being found in heaven in body and spirit in Revelation 12, but that simply assumes what has to be proven, namely that Revelation 12 is about Mary in the first place. There is good reason to believe that it is about Israel. The appeal to there being established feast days when we do first read about the Bodily Assumption does nothing to show when they were established. Likewise, his anecdotal evidence about encountering a priest who wrote the one book on the subject just when he needed him most, does not an argument for the Assumption make.

In the end Hahn failed to convince me of the truth of all the Marian Dogmas but he did show me that there’s more to them than I had previously thought. He also offers one of the best explanations for praying the rosary that I’ve ever read and he demonstrates how focused meditation is far from vain repetition (without denying that it could turn into such). His is an intriguing study that shows the devotion of a son who truly loves his mother and we can all take a page out of Hahn’s book on that point.

"I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review."
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