Dr. Mark Miravalle, S.T.D.
Professor of Theology and Mariology
Franciscan University of Steubenville
The revealed words of the Immaculate Heart possess a wisdom and articulation of the supernatural mysteries of faith and ecclesial life today that simply cannot be matched by the pen of fallen man. The Immaculate One conveys her Heart to our hearts in a way that supercedes any pedagogical method or mere transmission of intellectual knowledge alone. It is a communication of heart, hers to ours, which oftentimes leaves the head far behind, with only the hope that some day it will catch up and comprehend that which has left our human hearts burning.
The same truth applies in regards to our Mother’s effort to convey to us the revealed mystery of her unique participation with and under her Divine Son, our Eucharistic Lord, in the redemption of humanity. No human theological articulation does justice to the transcendent mystery of Marian Co-redemption, Mediation, and Advocacy whereby as the Mother of All Peoples, Our Lady suffers for us, nourishes us, and pleads for us as a “mother to us in the order of grace”
(Lumen Gentium, n.61).
It is only with a humble heart, purified from possible intellectual pride or any “puffiness” stemming from theological knowledge, against which St. Paul warns (cf. 1Cor. 8:2), that we may properly receive and assent to the supernatural revelation of our common Mother as the Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate, she who is the New Ark of the Covenant, in immaculate and motherly service to the saving and everlasting Covenant between God and man.
Gold surrounded by gold sometimes makes it difficult to appreciate fully the beauty and glimmer of an individual nugget. This is also the case regarding the messages of our Lady as received by our brother, Don Gobbi. The overall beauty and sublimity of the messages sometimes make it difficult to appreciate fully the glimmer of an individual message. It is for this reason that I wish to set apart and display only a few nuggets of our Lady’s profound teaching regarding her doctrinal roles as Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate, for truly they shine beyond any comparable theological instruction offered from the mind of man.
After pondering one principal message from our Lady for each Marian doctrinal role (coupled with a few supporting excerpts), we will examine the clear complimentarity of these messages concerning the doctrinal roles of Our Mother with the authoritiative teachings of the Papal Magisterium. It is the Papal Magisterium that first and foremost calls for our assent of divine faith, our religious assent of mind and heart to the manifest mind of the Roman pontiff, even when the Holy Father is not speaking infallibly (cf. Lumen Gentium, 25).
It is one and the same Spirit who both guides the Church in truth through the Vicar of Christ, our “Peter of today”, and who speaks to us through the Immaculate Heart of his Spouse and our Mother Mary. The infallible safeguarding of the depositumfidei (deposit of faith) and its development which derives from the public revelation of the Church through Scripture and Tradition, as safeguarded by the Magisterium, is the domain of the Spirit (cf. Dei Verbum, 8). The gift of prophecy and she who is the Queen of Prophets are also within the domain of the same Spirit. Hence it should be no surprise that the portrayal of our Lady as Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate which we receive from the Papal Magisterium and that which we receive from her own Immaculate Heart manifests a singleness in truth, a singleness in mind and heart, which reflects the divine inspiration flowing from the one and same Spirit of Truth.
Our assent of divine faith to the teachings of the Papal Magisterium and our assent of prophetic faith to Our Lady’s messages to her beloved priests find an inspired harmony in the doctrinal truth about our Mother Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate. We will also explore the present ecclesial call for the solemn definition of these Marian doctrinal roles, summarized in what Pope John Paul II calls “Maternal Mediation” (Redemptoris Mater, III), as it is alluded to in Our Lady’s messages and from the ecclesial life of the People of God today at this present pivotal juncture of human history.
Our Mother, Co-redemptrix
We begin with the principal message from the Immaculate Heart regarding her co redemptive role:
July 13, 1980 (Anniversary of the Third Apparition at Fatima), Message #203
“The Work of Co-Redemption”
“Assent to my plan, beloved sons, and allow yourselves to be formed by your Mother. Thus I am able, more and more, to associate you with my maternal work of co-redemption.
Jesus is the only Redeemer because He alone is the mediator between God and men. He has however willed to take into partnership in his redemptive work all those who have been redeemed by Him, so that the merciful work of his love may shine forth in a greater and more wonderful way.
Thus you, who have been redeemed, can co-operate with Him in his redemptive work. He in you, who are so intimately united with Him so as to form his very Mystical Body, can gather in your day the fruit of what He accomplished once for all on Calvary.
I am for you the perfect model of your co-operation in the redemptive work accomplished by my Son. In fact, as Mother of Jesus, I have become intimately associated with Him in his work of redemption.
My presence beneath the Cross tells you how my Son has willed to unite the Mother completely to all his great sufferings, at the time of his passion and his death for you.
If the Cross was his scaffold, the pain of my Immaculate Heart was like the altar on which my Son offered to the Father the Sacrifice of the new and eternal Covenant.
As Mother of the Church, I was also intimately associated with Jesus in the accomplishment of his redemptive work, which is carried out in the course of history, by offering to all men the possibility of accepting that salvation which He obtained for you at the time of his bloody immolation. Thus the more numerous they are who attain salvation, the more fully is the masterpiece of his divine love realized.
My motherly task is that of helping my children in every way to attain salvation; and today still, it is that of co-operating in a very special way in the redemption accomplished by my Son Jesus. My role as true Mother and Co-redemptrix will become manifest to all.
I want to carry out this action today through you, my beloved sons. This is why I have wanted to withdraw myself into the desert of your life, where I have set up my safe refuge.
In this way I mold you as Mother so that, through you, I may carry out the great work of co-redemption. And so, I call you to prayer, to the perfect offering of yourselves, to suffering, to self-immolation.
I lead you along the way of the cross, and gently I help you to climb Calvary in order to transform you all into sacrificial victims, pleasing to the Father, for the salvation of the world.
This is the time of my silent action. In the desert of your life, I daily work the great prodigy of transforming you more and more, that Jesus Crucified may again live in each one of you.
When this work of mine is completed, the greatness of the loving plan which I am now carrying out will become apparent to the whole Church. My merciful work of co-redemption has now become more necessary and urgent than ever.
The task which the Most Holy Trinity has entrusted to me will be acknowledged by all; I will be able to exercise my great power fully, so that the victory of my Son Jesus may shine forth everywhere, when He will restore, through you, his glorious reign of love.”
Our Lady goes on to further unveil the mystery of her exalted role as Co-redemptrix in these messages to her priests:
“Even Jesus willed to offer to the Father all his sufferings through and with me. And it was thus that, offering my Son freely to the Father, I became true Co-redemptrix.
Let these children of mine offer me all their sufferings, all their misunderstandings, all their difficulties. This is the greatest gift that they can make to me, because thus they allow me to carry out in time – in this, your time! – my task as Mother and Co-redemptrix.” (April 1, 1974, 44d)
“She will gather up all your sufferings, as beneath the Cross she did those of Jesus, because she must now carry out once again for the Church her maternal function as Co-redemptrix, and lead back to the Father all the children who have gone astray.” (March 3, 1979, 171p)
“At every moment of this offering, Jesus willed to have his Mother with Him that she, too, might suffer and offer. In this, I became co-operator with Him in his work of redemption, truly Co-redemptrix, and I am, above all, the Mother of Jesus, the Priest.” (July 5, 1984, 291e)
“I am forming you to suffering, by saying yes with you to the Heavenly Father, who is asking this of you, as your personal collaboration in the redemption carried out by my Son Jesus. In this I, your heavenly Mother, was an example and model for you, by my perfect cooperation in all the suffering of the Son, so that I became the first to collaborate in his work, through my motherly suffering.
I became true Co-redemptrix and now I am able to offer myself as an example to each one of you in the giving of your own personal sufferings to the Lord, to assist everyone in walking along the way of good and of salvation. It is for this reason that, in these bloody times of purification, my motherly task is that of forming you, above all, to suffering…
I comfort you in all sufferings, with the assurance that I am at your side, just as I was beneath the Cross of Jesus. Today, when sufferings are increasing from all sides, everyone will become aware, in an ever stronger way, of the presence of your heavenly Mother. Because this is my mission, as Mother and Co-redemptrix: to gather every drop of your suffering, to transform it into a precious gift of love and of reparation and to offer it, each day, to the justice of God.” (September 15, 1986, Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, 334fgi)
“I stood beneath the Cross of Jesus. I am beneath the cross which each of my sons is carrying. I am beneath the cross which the Church and all this poor sinful humanity is carrying today. I am true Mother and true Co-redemptrix.” (September 15, 1987, Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, Akita, Japan, 362c)
“Beloved children, today I am associating you in the great suffering of your immaculate Mother. You are the children of my motherly predilection. You have been chosen by me to form part of my victorious cohort. You are an important part of my plan as Mediatrix and Co-redemptrix.
My Son Jesus wanted me beneath the Cross, to associate my immaculate suffering with all his divine suffering. He wanted to unite my human suffering to his and He associated me intimately in the mystery of his redemption. Thus He called me to be true Co-redemptrix.
The fruit of my co-redemption is my spiritual motherhood. Beneath the Cross, through the Will of my Son Jesus, in the cradle of a very great suffering, I became your Mother, Mother of all the redeemed, Mother of the Church and of the entire human race. And I have carried out this maternal function by standing, as a true mother, at the side of all my children, during the earthly course of human history.” (September 15, 1990, Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, 432 abc)
“Because I am the Mother of Jesus, I have been intimately associated in the mystery of his work of redemption, as Co-redemptrix, and have thus become true Mediatrix of Grace between you and my Son Jesus.” (December 8, 1994, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, 533d)
Observe how our Mother begins her explanation of her mission of co-redemption withour mission of co-redemption. “He[Jesus] has however willed to take into partnership in his redemptive work all those who have been redeemed by Him, so that the merciful work of his love may shine forth in a greater and more wonderful way.” (July 13, 1980) All Christians, in virtue of our baptism, are called to be God’s “co-workers” (1 Cor. 3:9) or in the language of Pope John Paul II, “co-redeemers” with Jesus the Redeemer.
This embodies the sublime call of St. Paul to “make up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ, for the sake of his body, which is the Church” (Col. 1:24). As members of Christ’s Mystical Body, we are all called to offer spiritual sacrifices (1 Pet. 2:5), to be instruments of intercession for each other through our prayers, penance, ministries, and the patient endurance of the crosses of our daily life. The more we understand our universal Christian call and duty to be “co-redeemers” in effecting the release of grace merited by our Lord and Redeemer at Calvary, the more we will understand and appreciate the unique and unparalleled participation of our Mother in the work of Redemption as our perfect model of co-redemption.
“Of course, Mary is the Co-redemptrix! She gave Jesus his body, and the body of Jesus is what saved us.” The salient words of the late Mother Teresa capture how the fiat of Mary to become the Mother of God began her providential role as the Co-redemptrix. Hebrews 10:10 reminds us that “we are sanctified by the offering of the body of Jesus once for all,” and the body of Jesus, the very instrument of Redemption, was given to Him by his Immaculate Mother. The Virgin’s fiat, (Lk:1:38) the greatest act of abandonment in human history, gave the Father the freedom to use his daughter, created full of grace precisely for this mission, to begin her co redemptive cooperation with and under the Redeemer which would reach its fulfillment on Calvary. The prophecy of Simeon well bespeaks this co redemptive journey and climax: “…and a sword will pierce through your own heart, too” (Lk 2:35).
For it is at Calvary, as the final gift from the parched lips of the Crucified to the beloved disciple (who represents all who seek to be beloved disciples, and ultimately the entire human family redeemed by the Savior) that the Mother is given to all human hearts as the Motherof all Peoples, the Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate in the Redeemer’s proclamation, ecce Mater tua, “behold your Mother” (Jn.19:27).
Our Mother alone actively participated with our Redeemer in objective redemption, the acquisition of the graces of Calvary, as the New Eve united with the New Adam; whereas we are all called to participate in subjective redemption, the distribution of the graces merited at Calvary, as Our Lady describes in her message, “to gather in your day the fruit of what He accomplished once for all on Calvary” (July 13, 1980). The price of the Mother’s unique participation, as we shall see in the words of the Papal Magisterium, was nothing short of “spiritual crucifixion.”
Marian Co-redemption and the Papal Magisterium
Let us now witness the authoritative teachings of the Papal Magisterium of the last two centuries on Our Lady’s role of Marian Co-redemption, with careful eye to the certainty and consistency of her unique and active participation as the Woman with the Redeemer:
Leo XIII: “When Mary offered herself completely to God together with her Son in the temple, she was already sharing with Him the painful atonement on behalf of the human race. It is certain, therefore, that she suffered in the very depths of her soul with his most bitter sufferings and with his torments. Finally, it was before the eyes of Mary that the Divine Sacrifice for which she had borne and nurtured the victim, was to be finished…we see that there stood by the Cross of Jesus his Mother, who in a miracle of charity, so that she might receive us as her sons, willingly offered Him up to divine justice, dying with Him in her heart, pierced by the sword of sorrow.”
And again:” …She who had been the cooperatrix in the sacrament of man’s Redemption, would be likewise the cooperatrix in the dispensation of graces deriving from it.”
St. Pius X: “Owing to the union of suffering and purpose existing between Christ and Mary, she merited to become most worthily the reparatrix of the lost world, and for this reason, the dispenser of all the favors which Jesus acquired for us by his death and his blood. Nevertheless, because she surpasses all in holiness and in union with Christ, and because she was chosen by Christ to be his partner in the work of salvation, she merits for us de congruo, as they say, that which Christ merits for us de condigno, and she is the principal dispenser of the graces to be distributed.”
Benedict XV: “…The fact that she was with her Son crucified and dying, was in accord with the divine plan. To each extent did she [Mary] suffer and almost die with her suffering and dying Son; to each extent did she surrender her maternal rights over her Son for man’s salvation, and immolated Him – insofar as she could – in order to appease the justice of God, that we may rightly say she redeemed the human race together with Christ.”
Pius XI: “O Mother of love and mercy who, when thy sweetest Son was consummating the Redemption of the human race on the altar of the cross, did stand next to Him, suffering with Him as a Co-redemptrix…, preserve in us, we beseech thee, and increase day by day the precious fruit of his redemption and the compassion of his Mother.”
And again: “From the nature of his work the Redeemer ought to have associated his Mother with his work. For this reason we invoke her under the title of Co-redemptrix. She gave us the Savior, she accompanied Him in the work of the Redemption of mankind. And immediately beneath the Cross, at the last moments of his life, she was proclaimed by the Redeemer as our Mother, the Mother of the whole universe.”
And another place: “She brought forth Jesus the Redeemer, fed Him, offered Him as a victim at the cross, by her hidden union with Christ, and an altogether singular grace from Him, was likewise the Reparatrix…”
Pius XII: “It was she [Mary] who, always most intimately united with her Son, like a New Eve, offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father, together with the sacrifice of her maternal rights and love, on behalf of all the children of Adam, stained by the latter’s shameful fall.”
And again: “For having been associated with the King of Martyrs in the ineffable work of human redemption, as Mother and cooperatrix, she remains forever associated with Him, with an almost unlimited power, in the distribution of graces which flow from the Redemption.”
Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, n. 58: “Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, associated herself with his sacrifice in her mother’s heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim which was born of her. Finally, she was given by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross as a mother to his disciple, with these words: ‘Woman, behold thy son’ (Jn. 19:26-27)”.
Regarding the present pontificate of John Paul II, truly this Vicar of Christ merits the title beyond all his generous papal predecessors, of being the “Pope of Marian Co-redemption”. Not only has our Holy Father used the explicit term “Co-redemptrix” more than any other pontiff (clearly on six occasions), but he has also elucidated the dignity and efficacy of our Lady’s coredemptive role beyond any other successor of Peter. Let us glimpse at just a few examples by our Holy Father:
In her [Mary], the many and intense sufferings were amassed in such an interconnected way that they were not only a proof of her unshakable faith, but also a contribution to the Redemption of all…It was on Calvary that Mary’s suffering, beside the suffering of Jesus, reached an intensity which can hardly be imagined from a human point of view, but which was mysteriously and supernaturally fruitful for the Redemption of the world. Her ascent of Calvary and her standing at the foot of the cross together with the beloved disciple were a special sort of sharing in the redeeming death of her Son.
Mary, though conceived and born without the taint of sin, participated in a marvelous way in the sufferings of her divine Son, in order to be Co-redemptrix of humanity.
To Our Lady—the Co-redemptrix—St. Charles [Borromeo] turned with singularly revealing accents.
Birgitta [St. Bridget of Sweden] looked to Mary as her model and support in the various moments of her life. She spoke energetically about the divine privilege of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. She contemplated her astonishing mission as Mother of the Savior. She invoked her as the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Sorrows, and Co-redemptrix, exalting Mary’s singular role in the history of salvation and the life of the Christian people.
One of John Paul II’s greatest discourses on our Mother Co-redemptrix was his January 31, 1985 Address at the Marian shrine in Guayaquil, Ecuador:
Mary goes before us and accompanies us. The silent journey that begins with her Immaculate Conception and passes through the “yes” of Nazareth, which makes her the Mother of God, finds on Calvary a particularly important moment. There also, accepting and assisting at the sacrifice of her son, Mary is the dawn of Redemption;…Crucified spiritually with her crucified son (cf. Gal. 2:20), she contemplated with heroic love the death of her God, she “lovingly consented to the immolation of this Victim which she herself had brought forth” (Lumen Gentium, 58)…In fact, at Calvary she united herself with the sacrifice of her Son that led to the foundation of the Church; her maternal heart shared to the very depths the will of Christ “to gather into one all the dispersed children of God” (Jn. 11:52). Having suffered for the Church, Mary deserved to become the Mother of all the disciples of her Son, the Mother of their unity….The Gospels do not tell us of an appearance of the risen Christ to Mary. Nevertheless, as she was in a special way close to the Cross of her Son, she also had to have a privileged experience of his Resurrection. In fact, Mary’s role as Co-redemptrix did not cease with the glorification of her Son.
The Holy Father also underscores our universal Christian call in co-redemption as a means of understanding our Mother’s privileged role in this General Audience:
Moreover, when the Apostle Paul says: “For we are God’s fellow workers” (1 Cor 3:9), he maintains the real possibility for man to co-operate with God. The collaboration of believers, which obviously excludes any equality with Him, is expressed in the proclamation of the Gospel and in their personal contribution to its taking root in human hearts.
However, applied to Mary, the term “co-operator” acquires a specific meaning. The collaboration of Christians in salvation takes place after the Calvary event, whose fruits they endeavor to spread by prayer and sacrifice. Mary, instead, co-operated during the event itself and in the role of mother; thus her co-operation embraces the whole of Christ’s saving work. She alone was associated in this way with the redemptive sacrifice that merited the salvation of all mankind. In union with the Christ and in submission to Him, she collaborated in obtaining the grace of salvation for all humanity…
And further: “…The Blessed Virgin’s role as co-operator has its source in her divine motherhood. By giving birth to the one who was destined to achieve man’s redemption, by nourishing Him, presenting Him in the temple and suffering with Him as he died on the Cross, “in a wholly singular way she co-operated … in the work of the Savior” (Lumen Gentium, n. 61). Although God’s call to co-operate in the work of salvation concerns every human being, the participation of the Savior’s Mother in humanity’s Redemption is a unique and unrepeatable fact.
Truly the Spirit is one in truth. How obvious is the complimentarity between the words of Our Lady to her Beloved Priests and the inspired words of the recent popes, and in particular, those of our present Totus Tuus Vicar of Christ, (he who truly is entirely hers), regarding our Lady’s Co-redemption. She is the Co-redemptrix, the Mother Suffering, who continues to suffer today in the inner recesses of her Immaculate Heart for the salvation of her earthly children, surrounded by ubiquitous dangers and difficulties.
But as Pope John Paul II points out, “her role as Co-redemptrix does not cease with the glorification of her Son.” After the acquisition of the graces of redemption with and under our Redeemer, Our Lady Co-redemptrix continues her salvific work for the Church as the Mediatrix of all graces, spiritually nourishing humanity in the distribution of the inestimable graces of Calvary.
Our Mother, Mediatrix of All Graces
Our Lady’s principal message describing her role as Mediatrix unveils the heights and depths of the supernatural life of grace, Jesus Christ as the one Mediator between God and man, and her own sublime role as Mediatrix of graces between her Son and all humanity, explained as only she can.
July 16, 1980 (Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel), Message #204
“Mediatrix of Graces”
“Beloved children, I am the Mediatrix of Graces. Grace is the very life of God which is communicated to you. It springs from the bosom of the Father and is merited for you by the Word who, in my virginal womb, became man to share with you that same divine life, and for this He offered Himself as a ransom for you, becoming thus the one and only Mediator between God and all humanity.
From the bosom of the Father, grace, in order to reach you, must therefore pass through the divine Heart of the Son, who communicates it to you in his Spirit of Love. Just as a ray of light, which passes through a window, assumes its shape, color and design, so too divine grace, merited by Jesus, can come to you only through Him, and it is for this reason that it reproduces in you his own image, the very same image which shapes you ever more and more to his own person.
Divine life can reach you only in the form of Jesus, and the more this increases in you, the more you are assimilated to Him, in such a way that you can really grow as his little brothers.
By means of grace, the Father communicates Himself to you ever more and more, the Son assimilates you, the Holy Spirit transforms you, bringing about a relationship of life with the Most Holy Trinity, which becomes ever increasingly strong and active. Within souls who are in grace, it is the Most Holy Trinity Itself which takes up its dwelling place there.
This life of grace has also a relationship with your heavenly Mother.
As I am truly the Mother of Jesus and your Mother, my mediation is exercised between you and my Son Jesus. This is the natural consequence of my divine motherhood.
As the Mother of Jesus, I am the means chosen by God by which my Son can reach you. In my virginal womb this first act of mediation of mine is carried out.
As your Mother, I was the means chosen by Jesus that through me all of you may reach Him.
I am truly the Mediatrix of Grace between you and my Son Jesus. My task is that of distributing to my little children that grace which flows out from the bosom of the Father, is merited for you by the Son and is given to you by the Holy Spirit.
My task is that of distributing it to all my children, according to the particular needs of each one, which the Mother is very good at knowing.
I am ever carrying out this duty of mine. However I can carry it out fully only in the case of those children who entrust themselves to me with perfect abandonment. I am above all able to carry it out in respect to you, my favorite sons who, by your consecration, have entrusted yourselves completely to me.
I am the way which leads you to Jesus. I am the safest and shortest way, the necessary way for each one of you. If you refuse to go along this way, you run the danger of being lost in the course of your journey.
Today many have wished to put me aside, considering me an obstacle in reaching Jesus, because they have not understood my function as Mediatrix between you and my Son.
And so, never before as in these present times, are so many of my children running the risk of not being able to reach Him. The Jesus whom they meet is often only the result of their human research, and corresponds to their aspirations and desires; he is a Jesus formed according to their measure: he is not Jesus, the Christ, the true Son of God and of your Immaculate Mother.
Entrust yourselves to me with confidence, and you will remain faithful, because I will be able to carry out fully my work as Mediatrix of Graces. I will take you each day along the way of my Son, in such a way that He may increase in you to his fullness.
This is my great work, which I am still carrying out in silence and in the desert. Under my powerful action as Mediatrix of Graces, you are ever more transformed into Christ, that you may become fit for the task which awaits you. Forward then, with courage, along the way traced out by your heavenly Mother…”
In several other messages to her priests, our Mother has reiterated her role as Mediatrix of graces in this powerful action of sanctification for human hearts:
“Sons, let yourselves be transformed by my powerful action as Mother, Mediatrix of graces and Co-redemptrix. Do not fear, because in the desert of your heart I have taken refuge and have set up my permanent dwelling place.” (June 14, 1980, Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, 201n)
“My powerful function as Mediatrix between you and my Son Jesus is exercised above all in obtaining for you in superabundance, from the Father and the Son, the Spirit of Love.”
(June 7, 1981, Solemnity of Pentecost, 226b)
“Beloved children, today I am associating you in the great suffering of your immaculate Mother. You are the children of my motherly predilection. You have been chosen by me to form part of my victorious cohort. You are an important part of my plan as Mediatrix and Co-redemptrix.” (September 15, 1990, Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, 432a)
“Jesus consigns this key, which represents his divine power, into my hand because, as his Mother, Mediatrix between you and my Son, there is entrusted to me the task of conquering Satan and all his powerful army of evil. It is with this key that I am able to open and shut the door to the abyss.” (October 7, 1992, Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, 479m)
“Because I am the Mother of Jesus, I have been intimately associated in the mystery of his work of redemption, as Co-redemptrix, and have thus become true Mediatrix of Grace between you and my Son Jesus.” (December 8, 1994, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, 533d)
Through her fiat to the invitation of Abba Father, Mary mediates to the world Jesus Christ, Source and Author of all graces (Lk. 1:38). In virtue of this unparalleled mediation alone in being the only creature who physically, morally, literally gave the Word flesh, Our Lady rightly merits the title, “Mediatrix of all graces,” in bringing into the world the Author of all grace. But her maternal mediation, as our Holy Father terms it, continues.
At the Visitation, she mediates the presence of the unborn Christ to Elizabeth and the unborn Baptist, effecting occasions of grace for both (cf. Lk. 1:41,1:44). At Cana, she mediates the Source of all graces to the world anew by mediating his first public miracle and his very public ministry with the christological song, “Do whatever He tells you” (Jn. 2:5). And at Calvary, the Maternal Mediatrix is given to all peoples at the command of her Son, “Behold your mother” (Jn. 19:27). The fruits of her maternal mediation are also manifest in the Upper Room, where in a pre-eminent way the mediational prayer of the Bride to the Spirit leads to the Spirit’s descent at Pentecost (cf. Acts 1:14).
The perpetual fruitfulness of our Mother’s mediation on our behalf is well articulated by the Second Vatican Council:
This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up into heaven, she did not lay aside this saving office, but continues by her manifold intercession to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. (Lumen Gentium, 62)
Mediatrix of Graces and the Papal Magisterium
Let us now observe a sampling of how the Papal Magisterium of the last two centuries authoritatively teaches this Marian doctrine of Mediatrix of graces, with special attention to the repeated insistence by the popes that it is all the graces of the redemption that come to us through the mediation of the motherly Mediatrix:
Benedict XIV: “Our Lady is like a celestial stream through which the flow of all graces and gifts reach the soul of all wretched mortals.”
Pius VII: “Dispensatrix of all graces.”
Pius IX: “For God has committed to Mary the treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through her obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation.”
And again: “…with her only-begotten Son,[Mary is] the most powerful Mediatrix and Reconciler of the world…”
Leo XIII: “…through whom [Christ] has chosen to be the dispenser of all heavenly graces.”
And again: “It is right to say that nothing at all of the immense treasury of every grace which the Lord accumulated – for “grace and truth come from Jesus Christ” (Jn 1:17) — nothing is imparted to us except through Mary…”
St. Pius X: “[Mary is the] dispensatrix of all the gifts acquired by the death of the Redeemer.”
Another place: “…she became most worthily the reparatrix of the lost world’ and dispensatrix of all the gifts that our Savior purchased for us by his death and his blood.”
And again: “For she is the neck of our Head by which He communicates to his Mystical Body all spiritual gifts.”
Benedict XV: “For with her suffering and dying son, Mary endured suffering and almost death…. One can truly affirm that together with Christ she has redeemed the human race…For this reason, every kind of grace we receive from the treasury of the redemption is ministered as it were through the hands of the same sorrowful Virgin…”
Pius XI: “…the Virgin who is treasurer of all graces with God….”
And again: “…We know that all things are imparted to us from God, the greatest and best, through the hands of the Mother of God.”
Pius XII: “…it is the will of God that we obtain all favors through Mary,’ let everyone hasten to have recourse to Mary.”
And again: “She teaches us all virtues; she gives us her Son and with Him all the help we need, for ‘God wished us to have everything through Mary.’”
Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 62: “Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. By her maternal charity she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties, until they are led into their blessed home. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.”
Particularly rich, once again, is the contribution of our present Holy Father to the understanding of our Lady’s role as Mediatrix. In fact, the Maternal Mediation of Mary is the subject of the entire third part of His Holiness’ 1987 encyclical, Redemptoris Mater (Mother of the Redeemer). From his sole Marian encyclical, he explains our Mother’s mediating role:
Thus there is mediation: Mary places herself between her Son and mankind in the reality of its wants, needs and sufferings. She puts herself “in the middle”, that is to say, she acts as a mediatrix not as an outsider, but in her position as mother. She knows that, as such, she can point out to her Son the needs of mankind and in fact, she “has the right” to do so.
In our Holy Father’s October 1, 1997 Wednesday Audience, he states that the role of Mediatrix is implicit, is contained within, her role as Spiritual Mother of all peoples:
“We recall that Mary’s mediation is essentially defined by her Divine Motherhood. Recognition of her role of Mediatrix is moreover implicit in the expression ‘our Mother,’ which presents the doctrine of Marian mediation by putting the accent on her Motherhood.”
We must thereby keep in mind that the role of Our Lady as Mediatrix of graces is anything but a new doctrine, but rather constitutes the consistent doctrinal teaching of the Papal Magisterium.
What is to be made of the perennial objection to Marian mediation that is attempted to be drawn from the classic Pauline text of 1 Tim 2:5: “For there is one God, and there is one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”?
Even though the overall context of the passage in which the verse occurs highlights the value of human “supplications, prayers, intercessions” from the faithful (cf. v. 1-4), nonetheless the “one Mediator” reference is interpreted by some in the sense of “exclusivity”, as a mandate prohibiting any other subordinate mediation within, and in service to, the one mediation of Jesus Christ.
The proper understanding of the “Christ the one Mediator” text of 1 Tim 2:5 presupposes a critical and fundamental distinction: that the one and perfect mediation of Jesus Christ does not prevent or prohibit, but rather provides and calls for a sharing and participation by others in a subordinate and secondary fashion in this one perfect mediation of the Lord. The Council explains the legitimacy of subordinate mediation as a participation in the perfect mediation of Jesus Christ, while confirming the fruit of subordinate mediation as a manifestation of that which is uniquely true and dependent upon the “one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (cf. 1 Tim 2:5):
No creature could ever be counted along with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer; but just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source.
(Lumen Gentium, n. 62)
How then does the Mother of Jesus uniquely participate in the one Mediation of the Lord? Pope John Paul II explains:
Mary’s maternal mediation does not obscure the unique and perfect mediation of Christ. Indeed, after calling Mary ‘Mediatrix’, the Council is careful to explain that this ‘neither takes away anything from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficacy of Christ the one Mediator’ (Lumen Gentium, n.62)….In addition, the Council states that ‘Mary’s function as Mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power’
(Lumen Gentium, n.60).
Therefore, far from being an obstacle to the exercise of Christ’s unique mediation, Mary instead highlights its fruitfulness and efficacy….In proclaiming Christ the one mediator (cf. 1 Tim 2:5-6), the text of St. Paul’s Letter to Timothy excludes any other parallel mediation, but not subordinate mediation. In fact, before emphasizing the one exclusive mediation of Christ, the author urges ‘that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all men’ (2:1). Are not prayers a form of mediation? Indeed, according to St. Paul, the unique mediation of Christ is meant to encourage other dependent, ministerial forms of mediation. By proclaiming the uniqueness of Christ’s mediation, the Apostle intends only to exclude any autonomous or rival mediation, and not other forms compatible with the infinite value of the Saviour’s work.
In fact, ‘just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold co-operation which is but a sharing in this one source’ (Lumen Gentium, n.62) ….In truth, what is Mary’s maternal mediation if not the Father’s gift to humanity?
Therefore, the Blessed Virgin Mary shares like no other creature, angel or saint, in the one mediation of Jesus Christ, and thus is rightly and uniquely referred to as the Mediatrix of graces. Our Mother in a way all her own, beyond all other creatures, participates in the role of Christ the one Mediator because of her unique co redemptive participation in the acquisition of grace with and under Jesus as the New Eve, which thereby results in her unique mediatorial task in the distribution of the graces of Calvary.
Her mediation of graces is also manifest in a new title given to her by our present Holy Father in his Marian encyclical in regarding her mediation of the graces of Divine Mercy: “[Mary] also has the specifically maternal role of Meditarix of Mercy at his final coming.
The perennial papal teaching on Our Mother’s role as Mediatrix has already entered the Twenty-first Century. At one of his first Wednesday audiences of the Third Millenium, the Totus Tuus Pope brought the new millenium in with a profound witness to and defense of the Motherly Mediatrix of graces:
He [the Father] Himself willed Mary’s presence in the history of salvation. When He decided to send his Son into the world, He willed that He should come to us by being born of a woman (cf. Gal. 4:4). Thus He willed that this woman – the first to welcome his Son, should communicate Him to all humanity. Therefore, Mary is on the road that goes from the Father to humanity, as the mother who gives everyone her Savior Son. At the same time, she is on the road that men must take to go to the Father through Christ in the Spirit (cf. Eph. 2:18).
In order to understand Mary’s presence in the journey toward the Father, with the whole Church we must acknowledge that Christ is “the way, the truth and the life” (Jn. 14: 6) and the only Mediator between God and men (cf. 1 Tm 2:5). Mary is inserted in Christ’s unique mediation and is totally in his service. Consequently, as the Council emphasized in Lumen Gentium, “Mary’s function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power” (no. 60). We are very far from assigning a role to Mary in the life of the Church outside of Christ’s mediation or next to it, as though it were a parallel or concurrent mediation…
Mary’s mediation appears as the highest fruit of Christ’s mediation and is essentially oriented to making our encounter with Him more intimate and profound. “The Church does not hesitate to profess this subordinate role of Mary, which it constantly experiences and recommends to the heartfelt attention of the faithful, so that encouraged by this maternal help they may the more closely adhere to the Mediator and Redeemer (Lumen Gentium, n.60).
In fact, Mary does not wish to draw attention to her person. She lived on earth with her gaze fixed on Jesus and the Heavenly Father. Her strongest desire is to make all turn their gazes in the same direction. She wishes to promote a look of faith and hope in the Savior sent to us by the Father…
With this gaze of faith and hope, Mary encourages the Church and believers to always do the Father’s will, manifested by Christ.
The words spoken to the servants at the miracle of Cana reecho in every generation of Christians: “Do whatever He tells you” (Jn 2:5). Her advice was followed when the servants filled the jars to the brim. Mary makes the same request of us today. It is an exhortation to enter into the new period of history with the determination to do all that Christ has said in the Gospel in the Father’s name, which at present is inspired in us through the Spirit who dwells in us. If we do what Christ asks us to do, the millennium that is approaching will be able to have a new face, more evangelical and more genuinely Christian, and so respond to Mary’s most profound aspirations…
As Mediatrix with the Mediator, as Spouse and human instrument of the Sanctifier, both divine and prophetic revelation testify that all salvific graces of the Redeemer and the Sanctifier come to the human heart only through the Immaculate Heart of the Mother.
Our Mother, Advocate
The Marian title, “Advocate” is one of her most ancient (second century) and captures her role of intercession, speaking to her Divine Son on behalf of the human family. An advocate is one who “speaks on behalf of another” (Latin, advocare), and the greatest advocate the human family possesses is our Mother and Queen who, beyond any other intercessor, brings our petitioned needs to the throne of Christ the King on our behalf. Let us listen to our Lady’s self-explanation of her intercessory role:
December 31, 1988, Message #396
“Mother of Intercession and of Reparation”
“Gather together in prayer with me, beloved children, at the end of this year which has been particularly dedicated to me. I am your heavenly Mother.
I am the Mother of Intercession and of Reparation.
— My maternal task is that of interceding each day for you, before my Son Jesus. As an attentive and concerned Mother, I am asking for all the graces that you have need of in order to walk along the road of goodness, of love and of holiness.
For my sinful children, I obtain the grace of repentance, of a change of heart, of return to the Lord. For my sick children, I grant the grace of understanding the meaning of every suffering, of accepting it with docility, of offering it with love, of carrying one’s own cross with trust and with filial obedience to the Will of the Lord. For my good children, I obtain the gift of perseverance in good. For my priest-sons, I intercede that they may be holy ministers and faithful to Jesus and to his Gospel.
Each new day that opens out corresponds to a new act of prayer on the part of your heavenly Mother, to help you to walk forward, in the desert of your time, along the road of love and of the faithful fulfillment of the Will of God, which must be accomplished by you with filial docility.
— My maternal task is also that of offering reparation for the great evil which, still today, is being committed in the world. I unite myself with each Holy Mass which is celebrated, to offer to the Heavenly Father the precious blood of his Son Jesus, who is still immolating and sacrificing Himself for you on every altar of the earth. It is only his divine blood, shed for you, that can wash away all the evil, the sin, the hatred, the impurity, the iniquity that covers the world. Thus, in a spirit of maternal reparation, I unite to the blood of Christ all the sufferings which I gather together, each day, along your pathway.
I unite to the blood of Jesus, the blood poured out by millions of babies still being killed in their mothers’ wombs and of all the victims of hatred, of violence and of wars.
I unite to the blood of Jesus, all the sufferings of the sick, especially those who are stricken with grave, humiliating and incurable maladies.
I unite to the blood of Jesus, the agonies of the dying, the sufferings of the poor, of the marginalized, of the little, of the exploited, of the persecuted.
I unite to the blood of Jesus, each suffering of the good, of those consecrated, of the priests.
I unite to the blood of Jesus, the great cross which the Church must carry today for the salvation of all humanity.
At the close of this year, which has been particularly entrusted to me, I want to associate you also in my maternal task of interceding and of making reparation for all my children.
And even so, in the darkness and the coldness which still surrounds the world, I urge you to live in hope and in great trust, because I am ever praying and making reparation in order to obtain, for all, new days of peace and salvation.”
Other references to our Mother’s most powerful advocacy in intercession for us in her messages to her priests include:
“During this year which is about to end, I have been able to hold back the chastisement because of the prayers and sufferings of many of my children. Your yes has enabled me to add strength to my action of maternal intercession on your behalf.” (December 31, 1977, 142g)
“My Immaculate Heart is the golden doorway through which this divine Spirit passes to reach you. And so I invite you to repeat often: ‘Come, Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well-beloved Spouse.’ ” (June 7, 1981, Solemnity of Pentecost, 226k)
“If you do what I am asking of you today, you put in my hands a powerful force of intercession and of reparation. And thus I am able to present myself before the throne of the Lord, great and terrible, just and holy, to implore for you his divine mercy: ‘Pardon, O Lord, the iniquity of your people, whom You have acquired at the price of your most precious Blood.’ ” (February 17, 1988, Ash Wednesday, 374j)
“I have held in my motherly hands the prayers and the sufferings of all my children and I have deposited them in the open chalice of the divine and merciful Heart of my Son Jesus. Thus I have been able to carry out, in a powerful way, my work of mediation between you and my Son, and, as your sorrowful and merciful Mother, I have interceded before Him for all.” (December 31, 1989, 416b)
“The times will be shortened, because I am Mother of Mercy, and each day I offer, at the throne of Divine Justice, my prayer united to that of the children who are responding to me with a ‘yes’ and consecrating themselves to my Immaculate Heart.” (September 29, 1995, Feast of the Holy Archangels, 553c)
In the great Davidic kingdoms of the Old Testament, the mother of the king traditionally held the office of the “Queen Mother” (or “Gebirah” in Hebrew, literally meaning “the Great Lady”, cf. 1Kings 2:11,19). The principal role of the Queen Mother was to serve as advocate or intercessor on behalf of the people of Israel to her son the King.
In the New Testament, with the announcement of the new and eternal King and Kingdom of God (cf. Lk. 1:32-33), so too humanity receives a new Queen Mother, as principal advocate for the people of God in presenting their needs to Jesus Christ, the King of Kings. Her advocacy is clearly manifest at Cana, interceding on behalf of those without physical wine, but ultimately for the spiritual and Eucharistic wine of her Son (Jn.2:1-10). At Calvary, the Crucified King presents his Mother and Queen to the world as gift to all in his Kingdom (Jn. 19:27). And in Revelation, the new Queen Mother in the universal and everlasting Kingdom of Christ is crowned with twelve stars (Rev. 12:1), as she, in battle array, continues her life and death advocacy for humanity against the spiritual warring of the Dragon-Adversary.
Advocate and the Papal Magisterium
The Papal Magisterium has constantly taught the dynamism of our Lady’s Advocacy in intercession for humanity, with a particular linking of her Advocacy with her Queenship (in line with the tradition of the Old Testament):
Pius VII: “…While the prayers of those in heaven have, it is true, some claim on God’s watchful eye, Mary’s prayers place their assurance in a mother’s right. For that reason, when she approaches her divine Son’s throne, as Advocate she begs, as Handmaid she prays, but as Mother she commands.”
St. Pius X: “O Blessed Mother, our Queen and Advocate…gather together our prayers and we beseech you (our hearts one with yours) present them before God’s throne…that we may reach the portal of salvation.”
Pius XI: “…trusting in her intercession with Christ our Lord, who though sole Mediator between God and man, wished however to make his Mother advocate for sinners and the dispenser and mediatrix of grace…”
And another place: “God alone gives grace according to the measure which, in his infinite wisdom, He foresees. But, though that grace comes from God, it is given through Mary, our advocate and mediatrix, since motherly affection on the one hand finds response in filial devotion on the other. With the renowned poet, we may say of Mary, ‘He who desires grace and fails to have recourse to thee is like one trying to fly without wings.’ God gives grace; Mary obtains and distributes it.”
And again: “We must of necessity wish that the youth of today, exposed as they are to many dangers, should make devotion to Mary the predominant thought of their whole life. By persevering prayer let us make Mary our daily Mediatrix, our true Advocate. In this way we may hope that she herself, assumed into heavenly glory, will be our advocate before divine goodness and mercy at the hour of our passing.”
Pius XII: “Our Advocate, placed between God and the sinner, takes it upon herself to invoke clemency of the Judge so as to temper his justice, touch the heart of the sinner and overcome his obstinacy.”
And again: “Queen and our most loving Advocate, Mediatrix of his graces, dispenser of his treasures!”
Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 62: “By her maternal charity she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties, until they are led into their blessed home. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the title[s] of Advocate…”
Our present Holy Father’s attestation to our Mother’s most powerful Advocacy is confirmed in these words from his Papal Address:
The Church recognizes in her a mother who keeps watch over its development and does not cease to intercede with her Son to obtain for Christians more profound dispositions of faith, of hope, of love…It is to this perfect Mother that the Church has recourse in all its difficulties.
Our Mother’s Advocacy for humanity now, at this present critical moment of human history, is no less dramatic than that portrayed in Revelation in the great battle between the Woman and the Dragon (cf. Rev. 12:1). Rather it is, in some real sense, the very living out of the battle between the Woman-Advocate and the Dragon in our midst.
The Solemn Definition of our Mother, Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate
What then of a solemn papal definition of the roles of our Mother Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces, and Advocate? In what way would a papal definition of these Marian doctrinal roles as dogma be fruitful for the Church and ultimately for the entire world? Does our Mother make any possible allusion to this official and universal acknowledgment of her Marian titles and her subsequent roles in her messages to her beloved priests?
Let us ponder a few of her statements:
“Until I am acknowledged there where the Most Holy Trinity has willed me to be, I will not be able to exercise my power fully, in the maternal work of co-redemption and of the universal mediation of graces. For this reason, as the battle between me and my Adversary entered its decisive phase, he tried by every means to obscure the mission of your heavenly Mother.”
(June 14, 1980, Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, 201f)
“My role as true Mother and Co-Redemptrix will become manifest to all.” (July 13, 1980, Anniversary of the Third Apparition of Fatima, 203h)
“When this work of mine is completed, the greatness of the loving plan which I am now carrying out will become apparent to the whole Church. My merciful work of co-redemption has now become more necessary and urgent than ever.
The task which the Most Holy Trinity has entrusted to me will be acknowledged by all; I will be able to exercise my great power fully, so that the victory of my Son Jesus may shine forth everywhere, when He will restore, through you, his glorious reign of Love.” (July 13, 1980, Anniversary of the Third Apparition of Fatima, 203mn) (all emphasis the author’s).
Our Mother repeatedly refers to the fact that until she is acknowledged in her God-given roles, that “I will not be able to exercise my power fully, in the maternal work of co-redemption and the maternal mediation of graces” (June 14, 1980). Why is it that the full exercise of her roles as Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate are conditional upon the official ecclesial acknowledgement of these Marian titles?
In the great mystery of providence and free will, God has willed that certain actions will take place only through the free cooperation of man. God respects our freedom, and does not force his graces upon us. And as God awaited the free “fiat” of a young woman to bring us our Redeemer (Lk 1:38), so now the same Woman, respecting our freedom, awaits the free “fiat” of a man, our beloved Vicar of Christ on earth, to release a great abundance of supernatural graces upon the Church and the world. But as John the beloved disciple welcomed Mary “into his home” (Jn. 19:27), our Holy Father must likewise “welcome” Mary into the homes and the hearts of the human family by papally proclaiming her as the Mother of all Peoples on the highest Church level of authority and truth.
We have reached a point of historical climax in this universally designated “Age of Mary”. Our hearts all long for the fulfillment of our Lady’s great Fatima prophecy that “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph” (July 13,1917). The papal proclamation of our Lady as Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces, and Advocate by the Vicar of Christ is the free invitation in the name of humanity which allows our Spiritual Mother to “exercise fully”, as she explains, her great intercessory powers through her maternal roles of co-redemption and mediation in bringing her earthly children the heavenly graces so critically needed for the contemporary Church and world.
As such, this fifth and final Marian Dogma, will initiate the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Her titles are her works, her functions for the Church, and the papal proclamation of the full truth about our Mother Mary and her sanctifying works for the Church and the world “frees her” to use her full power of motherly intercession for the grave needs for contemporary humanity.
Our Mother also referred to this salvific role given to her by the Most Holy Trinity for this age when she said at Fatima Apparitions, “God wishes to establish devotion to My Immaculate Heart”; appeared as our “Mother of Sorrows” on the day of the great solar miracle (October 13,1917); and pleaded with the world to respond to her call because “only she can save you” (July 13, 1917).
During the 1920’s, the great Belgian prelate, Cardinal Mercier, with the complementary enthusiasm and pen of St. Maximilian Kolbe, began an ecclesial petition for this fifth Marian Dogma. Presently there is an international Catholic movement of prayer and petitioning known as Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici , (“Voice of the People for Mary Mediatrix”) seeking to support our beloved “Totus Tuus” Holy Father in papally defining the doctrinal roles of the Mother of All Peoples, Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces, and Advocate as Church dogma. Over five hundred and fifty bishops, including forty-two cardinals, and over six million Catholics from the five continents (including the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta), have prayed and petitioned that this great Marian pope will soon honor our Blessed Mother with this great dogmatic crown, and thus give definitive initiation to the Triumph of her Most Immaculate Heart.
The Immaculate Heart tells her priests: “The task which the Most Holy Trinity has entrusted to me will be acknowledged by all; I will be able to exercise my great power fully, so that the victory of my Son Jesus may shine forth everywhere.” (July 13, 1980) The cry of Triumph victory rings in these words of our Mother. She will indeed be freed by this final Marian dogma to intercede for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart, and the glorious Eucharistic Reign of Jesus upon the world, through a new release of the Holy Spirit, a New Pentecost, in the words of our Holy Father, a “New Springtime” for the Church and world.
Let us each do our part for the fulfillment of this victorious Triumph cry, that the Mother of all Peoples, Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate may soon be acknowledged by all. Let us pray for our beloved Holy Father, the “masterpiece of the Triumph”, for the expedient proclamation of the fifth Marian Dogma, and for a greater preaching and teaching on these Marian titles to the faithful entrusted to our care, thereby preparing their hearts for this upcoming truth and grace. For all of this, the Triumph, the Dogma, the Eucharistic Victory of the Son, and the New Pentecost are contained in the prayer and petition supernaturally revealed from the Immaculate Heart to each of our own hearts through Don Gobbi:
“Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved Spouse”.
1 For an excellent discussion on the distinction between “Divine Faith” and “Prophetic Faith” concerning the proper assents in regards to public revelation and private revelation, Fr. Joseph De Sainte-Marie, O.C.D., Professor of Theology at the Roman Teresianum, in Reflections on the Act of Consecration at Fatima, Augustine Publishing, Devon, 1982, summarized in the following excerpt: “ It is a fact, as we have seen: Leo XIII, Pius XII, Paul VI and John Paul II, to cite only these, have performed acts with a universal ecclesial range or directions which came to them by the prophecy which shows its place in the economy of the New Covenant, that is to say, in the governing of the Church by the hierarchy. That, it must be confessed, is a question still insufficiently elucidated. In general we content ourselves with a distinction between the one ‘Public Revelation’, that of the gospel, and the many ‘private revelations’, lumping together in the second category all the supernatural communications made to the ‘mystics’. And we usually add that only the first is of obligation; the second at the most being allowed to be accepted and held as true with a purely human faith.
“Two very simple considerations show that that view is faulty. The first is that, among the supernatural communications being given to some at present, we must distinguish those whose immediate object is the good and the management of their soul and those made to them to be communicated by them to the Church. That is the case at Fatima, at Lourdes and all the great Marian apparitions of modern times. The second reflection is that if it is true that the nature of the act of faith is determined by the motive on which the act rests, we should conclude that a human faith is one resting on human testimony, and that, inversely, where a supernatural testimony of divine origin appears, the act of faith required will also be marked with a supernatural character. It will be theological faith which, by definition, can be demanded and founded only by the evangelical Revelation proposed by the Church. But neither will it be a purely human faith, left to each one’s free choice. To put it in simple terms: from the moment it is established that God is speaking to us, by Himself or by a messenger, his word justifies an act of faith which belongs in a certain manner to the supernatural order. His word is the basis of it and demands it: there is an obligation to believe and therefore to obey.
“For several years a certain number of theologians have felt obligated to move in that direction, which is certainly licit as there is no text of the Magisterium forbidding it. So Mgr. R. Graber denounces the “frightening minimalism” which allows everyone to believe or not believe the word of God thus revealed by the prophetic route. Similarly Fr. Balic, though he goes too far when he demands theological faith for apparitions of the Blessed Virgin and others after them. Perhaps we could talk of ‘prophetic faith’, seeing it as subordinate or subsidiary to theological faith.”
2 Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Interview of August 14, 1993 with the author, Missionaries of Charity Motherhouse, Calcutta, India.
3 Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical letter, Jucunda Semper, 1894, Acta Sanctae Sedis (ASS) v. 27, p. 178.
4 Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter, Adjutricem populi, 1895, ASS, v. 28, p. 130.
5 Pope St. Pius X, Encyclical Letter, Ad diem illum, 1904, ASS. V. 36, 1903-1904, p. 453.
6 Pope Benedict XV, Apostolic Letter, inter Sodalicia, 1918, ASS 10, 1918, p. 182.
7 Pope Pius XI, Prayer of the Solemn Closing of the Redemption Jubilee, April 28, 1935, L’Osservatore Romano, 29-30 April 1935, p. 1. For other papal statements in relation to the doctrine of Coredemptrix by Pius XE, see L’Osservatore Romano, 1 November 1933; ASS, v. 15, 1923, p. 105; v. 20, 1928, p. 178; Papal Address to Pilgrims from Vicenza, 30 Nov. 1933, L’Osservatore Romano, 1 Dec. 1933.
8 Pope Pius XI, Papal Allocution to Pilgrims of Vicenza, 30 November 1933, L’Osservatore Romano, 1 Dec. 1933.
9 Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Letter, Miserentissimus Redemptor, ASS 20, 1928, p. 178.
10 Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Letter, Mystici Corporis, 1943, ASS 35, 1943, p. 247.
11 Pope Pius XII, Radio Broadcast to Pilgrims at Fatima, 13 May 1946, ASS 38, 1946, p. 266.
12 Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, no. 58.
13 Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, Salvifici Doloris, n. 25
14 Pope John Paul II, Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, I , V/3, 1982, 404, 8 September 1982.
15 Pope John Paul II, Inseg VII/2, 1984, 1151 [ORE 860:1], Angelus Address.
16 Pope John Paul II, Anniversary of canonization of St. Bridget of Sweden, 6 October 1991.
17 Pope John Paul II, Papal Address, Guayaquil, Ecuador, 31 January 1985.
18 Pope John Paul II, General Audience Address, 9 April 1997.
19 Pope John Paul II, Wednesday Audience of April 9, 1997, L’Osservatore Romano, April 16, 1997, Weekly ed. It is noteworthy that the eminent Roman theologian, Msgr. Bruno Gherarandi, in his 1998 scholarly text on Our Lady Co-redemptrix entitled, La Correndentrice testified that during the actual delivery of the April 9 audience by the Holy Father in Italian, that the Pope explicitly used the title, “Co-redemptrix” on repeated occasions during the audience. Unfortunately, the L’Osservatore Romano re-translated the term “Co-redemptrix” as “co-operator” in the published version of the Papal address.
20 Cf. Papal Address at Guayaquil, 1995, op cit.
21 Pope Benedict XIV, Op. Omnia, v. 16, ed., Prati, 1846, p. 428.
22 Pope Pius VII, Ampliatio privilegiorum ecclesiae B.M. Virginis ab angelo salutatae in coenobio Fratrum Ordinis Servorum B.M.V. Floretiae, A.D., 1806; in J. Bourasse, Summa aurea…, V. 7. Paris, 1862, col. 546.
23 Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Letter, Ubi Primum, 1849.
24 Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, 1854.
25 Pope Leo XIII, Jucunda semper, 1883.
26 Pope Leo XIII, Octobri Mense, 1891.
27 Pope St. Pius X, addiem illum, AAS 36, 1904, p.453.
28 Pope St. Pius X, Ad diem illum, 1904;cf., Eadmer, De Eccellentia VirginisMariae, c.9.
29 Pope St. Pius X, Ad diem illum, 1904.
30 Pope Benedict XV, Apostolic Letter, Inter Sodalicia, AAS 10, 1918, p. 182; Mass and Office of Mediatrix of all Graces approved 1921.
31 Pope Pius XI, Apostolic letter, Cognitum sane, AAS 18, p. 213.
32 Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Letter, Ingravescentibus malis, AAS 29, 1937, p. 380.
33 Pope Pius XII, Superiore anno,AAS 32 1940, p. 145. For usage of same expression by Pius XII, cf., AAS 45, 1953, p. 382.
34 Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei, 1947.
35 John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 21.
36 For a more comprehensive treatment of Mediatrix of all graces in the Papal Magisterium, see: Miravalle, “Mary, Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate: Foundational Presence in Divine Revelation,” and Arthur Calkins, “Mary as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate in the Contemporary Roman Liturgy,” Mary Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate: Theological Foundations, Towards a Papal Definition?, Queenship Publishing, Santa Barbara, CA, 1995; A. Robichaud, S.M., “Mary, Dispensatrix of All Graces,” J.B. Carol, Mariology, v. 2, p.445; J. Bittremieux, De meditatione universali B. M. Virginis quoad gratias, Brugis, 1926, p.201; M. O’Carroll, C.S.Sp., “Mediation,” Theotokos, p. 241; G. Roschini, S.M., Maria Santissima Nella Storia Della Salvezza, v. II, p.224; J. B. Carol, De Corredemptione Beatae Virginis Mariae, p.152.
37 Pope John Paul II, Wednesday Audience of 1 Oct. 1997.
38 John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, 41.
39 Pope John Paul II, Wednesday Audience, 12 January 2000.
40 Further references, 1Kings 15:9; Jer. 13:18; Kirwin, Nature of the Queenship of Mary, Catholic University of America, 1973.
41 Pope Pius VII, Apostolic Constitution, Tanto studio, 19 February 1805, Aur 7, 511.
42 Pope St. Pius X, Virgine sanctissima, Papal Prayer on the Fifth Anniversary of the definition of the Immaculate Conception, 8 September 1903; A.A. 1, p. 97.
43 Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Letter, Miserentissimus Redemptor, 8 May 1928, ASS 20. 185.
44 Pope Pius XI, Papal Allocution to French Pilgrims present for reading of decree “de tuto” (Canonization of Blessed Antida Thouret, 15 August 1933, L’Osservatore Romano, 15 August 1933.
45 Pope Pius XI, Papal Allocution to French Pilgrims present for reading of “de tuto,” (Canonization of Blessed Antida Thouret, 15 August 1933, L’Osservatore Romano, 15 August 1993.
46 Pope Pius XII, Papal Allocution at the Canonization of Blessed Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, 21 July 1947, AAS 39, 408.
47 Pope Pius XII, Radio Message to Fatima, 13 May 1946, AAS 38, 264.
48 Pope John Paul II, General Audience, 11 May 1983.
49 For more information on materials in several languages from the international organization, Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici, please contact Vox Populi headquarters at 313 High Street, Hopedale, OH 43976 (U.S.A.) Tel: 740-937-2277