Ave Maria Meditations
You are blessed among women, Coredemptrix! Blessed One selected in preference to all who are blessed! Chosen One, singular among all who are chosen! Priceless Pearl that belongs in the treasury of God’s wisdom! Mother, you are the Glory of Mothers! We seek you, O Lady, and in all sincerity turn to you in prayer. Help us in our weakness; turn away from us all disgrace. Who is more worthy of entreating the Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ than you, blessed Mary, who live with your Son and speak with Him? Speak, Mother, for your Son listens to you; and whatever you desire you will receive. Invoke His holy name in our behalf.
– St. Bernard (+1153)
O Mary, Mary, bearer of the fire of love, and dispenser of mercy! Mary, Co-redemptrix of the human race, when you clothed the Word with your flesh, the world was redeemed. Christ paid its ransom with His Passion and you paid it with the sorrows of your body and soul.
-St. Catherine of Siena
Papal Teachings on the coredemption of Our Lady
Again it must be stated that Mary’s participation in the redemption of the human family was completely and in every way secondary and dependent to the sacrifice of Jesus the Savior. Hence, the title Co-redemptrix should never be interpreted as Mary having an equal role in the salvation of the world with Jesus.
At the same time, her truly meritorious act of giving flesh to the Redeemer and of participating uniquely in Jesus’ painful sacrifice rightly won for her the title of Co-redemptrix. The Church’s Magisterium has unquestionably confirmed the completely subordinate but authentic co-redeeming role of the Mother of Jesus.
Let us cite a few papal examples:
+ Pope Benedict XV in his 1918 apostolic letter stated: “To such extent did she [Mary] suffer and almost die with her, suffering and dying Son, and to such extent did she surrender her maternal rights over her Son for man’s salvation … that we may rightly say that she together with Christ redeemed the human race” (Inter Sodalicia).
+ Pope Pius Xl (1922-1939) referred to Mary as the co-redemptrix no less than six times in various papal documents. One papal statement Pope Pius addressed Mary in these words, “0 Mother of piety, and mercy who, when thy most beloved Son was accomplishing the Redemption of the human race on altar of the cross, did stand there both suffering with Him, as a Co-redemptrix; preserve in us the precious fruit of Redemption and of thy compassion.”
+ Pope John Paul II specifically used the title Co-redemptrix in developing the understanding of Mary’s spiritual crucifixion at the foot of the cross: Crucified spiritually with her crucified Son (c£ 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, No. 58) … 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 coredemptrix did not cease with the glorification of her Son. – Mary entered, in a way all her own, into the one mediation “between God and men” which is the mediation of the man Christ Jesus [1 Tim2:5]. [W]e must say that through this fullness of grace and supernatural life she was especially predisposed to cooperation with Christ, the one Mediator of human salvation. And such cooperation is precisely this mediation subordinated to the mediation of Christ. In Mary’s case we have a special and exceptional mediation …
(Pope John Paul II: Redemptoris Mater, No. 39).
A decree of the Holy Office praises the custom of adding after the name of Jesus that of His Mother, our Co-Redetnptrix, the Blessed Virgin Mary. The same Congregation has indulgenced (Jan. 22nd, 1914) the prayer in which Mary is addressed as Co-redemptrix of the human race. Since the word ‘co-redemptrix’ signifies of itself simple cooperation in the work of redemption, and since it has received in the theological usage of centuries the very precise meaning of secondary and dependent cooperation…there can be no serious objection to its use, on condition that it be accompanied by some expression indicating that Mary’s role in this co-operation is secondary and dependent.
Fr. Reginald Garrigou-LaGrance OP (The Mother of Our Savior and Our Interior Life)
Mary’s co-operation in the Redemption.
The title Corredemptrix= Coredemptress, which has been current since the fifteenth century, and which also appears in some official Church documents under Pius X (and other Popes) must not be conceived in the sense of an equation of the efficacy of Mary with the redemptive activity of Christ, the sole Redeemer of humanity (1 Tim. 2, s).
As she herself required redemption and in fact was redeemed by Christ, she could not of herself merit the grace of the redemption of humanity Her co-operation in the objective redemption is an indirect, remote cooperation and derives from this that she voluntarily devoted her whole life to the service of the Redeemer, and, under the Cross, suffered and sacrificed with Him.
As Pope Pius XII says in the Encyclical “Mystici Corporis” (1943): She offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father together with the holocaust of her maternal rights and her motherly love like a new Eve for all children of Adam As “The New Eve” she is, as the same Pope declares, in the Constitution” Muniticentissimus Deus” (1950), “the sublime associate of the Redeemer”.
Dr. Ludwig Ott (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma)
Dr. Mark Miravalle : Introduction to Mary, Advocate, Mediatrix and Coredemprix
Mary’s role as Mediatrix with Jesus, the one Mediator, has two fundamental expressions in the order of grace. First, Mary uniquely participated with Jesus Christ in reconciling God and man through the Redemption. For this role she has been called “Co-redemptrix” (meaning a secondary and subordinate participator in Jesus’ Redemption of the world).
Secondly, Mary gave birth to Jesus, source of all grace, she distributes the graces merited by Jesus on Calvary to human family. This role of Mary as the person responsible the distribution of graces is referred to as “Dispenser of all grace” or oftentimes by the more general title, “Mediatrix of graces”.
When the Church calls Mary the “Co-redemptrix,” she means that Mary uniquely participated in the Redemption of humanity with her Son Jesus Christ, although in a completely subordinate and dependent manner to that of her Son. Mary participated in Jesus’ reconciliation of the human family God like no other created person. Mary’s unique participation in the Redemption was scripturally foreshadowed in the prophecy of Simeon: “A sword shall pierce your own heart also.” (Lk. 2:35)
Mary is our Co-redemptrix with Jesus. She gave Jesus his body and suffered with him at the foot of the Cross.
Mary is the Mediatrix of all grace. She gave Jesus to us, and as our Mother she obtains for us all his graces.
Mary is our Advocate who prays to Jesus for us. It is only through the Heart of Mary that we come to the
Eucharistic Heart of Jesus. The papal definition of Mary as Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate will bring
great graces to the Church. All for Jesus through Mary. God bless you.
Letter of Endorsement for the Papal Definition of Mary Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate ,
Mother Teresa of Calcutta, August 14, 1993.
PRAYER to Mary, Mediatrix and Co-redemptrix
O Mary, Mother of God, I believe that as mediatrix with Jesus you share also in His sovereign dominion over the universe. You are Queen because you are the Mother of the Word Incarnate. Christ is universal King because He rules all creatures by His personal union with the Divinity. You brought Him into the world that He might be King, according to the words of the archangel, “His reign will be without end.”
You are Queen also because you are coredemptrix. Jesus reigns over us not only by natural right, but also by the right of redemption. As cooperator with your Son in that work of redemption, you also acquired the right to reign with Him.
God chose you to be His Mother and by that very choice has associated you with Himself in the work of the salvation of men. Since you had your place beside Jesus when there was question of ransoming us and meriting for us all the graces necessary for our salvation, you must in like manner have your place beside Him now, when there is question of securing for us by your prayers in heaven the graces prepared for us in view of the merits of Christ. This is my hope: that you will be a mother to me and obtain for me the grace I need to save my soul.
My Son, could I have climbed this hill for You,
How willingly had I endured each stone:
Yet, I too struggled up steep Calvary;
You have not climbed alone!
Could I have borne the monstrous cross for You,
I would have carried it unto my death.
Though I could not, still I have felt its weight,
My Son, with every breath!
Oh, could I pluck these nails from Your loved flesh,
And driving them through mine, make them a part
Of my own body’s pain, I would! But Son,
I wear them in my heart!
Virginia Moan Evans
St. Anthony Messenger
Join the discussion 2 Comments
Bernard quote …
Brothers, God bless you for this post today. I hope all is well with the Franciscans of the Immaculate. Where did this St. Bernard quote come from? I did not know that he called Our Lady the Co-redemptrix.
Thank you and God bless!
In the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart,
Thank you for asking. This quote comes from Fr. Lawrence Lovasik,SVD and his book “The Complete Marian Prayerbook”.
It was published by Catholic Book company and has both a nihil obstat and an imprimatur!
Sr. Joseph-Mary FTI