Mary as Queen of Hell & Purgatory

A university student in York, England, asked if we can place the quote, “Mary Queen of Hell.”

“I am a postgraduate student in history of art working on early Christian iconography and was wondering if you could please let me know where the quotation pertaining to Mary as ‘queen of hell’ comes from? Have tried to find this reference for a while and am tying myself in knots! Many many thanks, Becky, University of York, UK.”

She found it on our website’s Mary as Goddess & Queen page. That page was compiled in 1999 by our good friend Luna Blanca in California and also calls Mary the Queen of Purgatory. The Queen of Hell title is based on Barbara Walker’s work, The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths & Secrets, p. 603. The question might be where does Barbara Walker get it from… going now to consult my copy…

Okay. Walker’s “Encyclopedia” says Mary is called Empress of Hell (not Queen, but they’re close enough, so we won’t quibble). Walker cites a 16th century book by Reginald Scot called Discoverie of Witchcraft, which says in Chapter 13, “Queene of Heaven, Empresse of Hell, and Ladie of all the World.”

You can read Scot’s 400-year-old book and the Empress of Hell quote online in the Esoteric Archives.

Queen of Purgatory is verified by the official handbook of the Legion of Mary which says:

“Purgatory forms part of the realm of Mary…. St. Vincent Ferrer, St. Bernardine of Sienna, Louis de Blois, as well as others, explicitly proclaim Mary to be Queen of Purgatory; and St. Louis-Marie de Montfort…–(Lhoumeau: LaVie Spirituelle a l’Ecole de St. Louis-Marie de Montfort), in The Official Handbook of the Legion of Mary, by Concilium Legionis Mariae (1959), p 128

And don’t forget to visit our Mary as Goddess and Queen page which lists all these Mary titles and more:


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Katia is a consecrated independent sacramental bishop. She directs the online Esoteric Mystery School and Interfaith Theological Seminary. Check it out at

4 thoughts on “Mary as Queen of Hell & Purgatory”

  1. St Alphonsus Ligouri wrote:

    Not only is the most Blessed Virgin Queen of heaven and of all the saints, but she is also Queen of hell and all evil spirits: she overcame them valiantly by her virtue. From the very beginning God foretold the victory and empire that our Queen would one day obtain over the serpent.

    This passage is quoted with extensive commentary in this article:

    in which the Image of the Virgin Mary is seen as a return to Western consciousness of the Universal Creatrix.

  2. Annya is right. It is Saint Alphonsus Liguori, a Doctor of the Church, that gives her the title Queen of Hell.

    Basic Catholic teaching states that as Queen of Heaven her Son gave her dominion over all that He has dominion over…thus Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, Earth… the entire universe.

  3. There’s also a manuscript in the Sloane collection (3884) that cites Mary as Empress of Hell. It was written around the same time as Scot’s “Discourie of Witchcraft,” although possibly a little later. (The manuscript is not precisely dated)

  4. You can push it back a little further, too. The title “Empress of Hell,” gets used in chapter 79 of the book of Margery of Kempe, so it was in use by at least the fifteenth century.

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