Sister Lucia and Mary Co-redemptrix
Dr. Mark Miravalle, S.T.D.
After the inspired Word of Sacred Scripture and the doctrinal grace of the Catholic Catechism, I believe the third book that every Fatima devotee should have close at hand is the new book of Sister Lucia which has been recently released in English, Calls From the Message of Fatima. A work truly directed by the Holy Spirit through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Calls From the Message of Fatima constitutes a veritable Marian catechism of faith and life, written in a down-to-earth mode, which can be grasped by all members of the Faith and all people of good will. I have no personal doubt that Sister Lucia's recent masterpiece will eventually become a spiritual classic, rightfully identified as the fruits of a mystic and of a saint.
This veritable Fatima catechism which includes inspired treatments on "In the Presence of God" (Part 1); "Calls From the Message of Fatima" (Part 2); "The Ten Commandments" (Part III) and "The Rosary" (Part IV), provides so many spiritual insights that the only true danger is to overlook some of the individual pearls amidst the overall treasure.
It is for this reason that I would like to isolate one of the foundational pearls of Sister Lucia's great work for its deserved appreciation, namely her predominant mariological theme of Our Lady as the "Co-redemptrix of the human race." Second only to the Marian title of "The Immaculate Heart of Mary," Mary Co-redemptrix is the most often cited and principal Marian theme presented by Sister Lucia throughout the book. Our Lady's coredemptive role with and under Jesus Christ in the accomplishment of Redemption is explained and expounded upon throughout the text, and always in ways which bring new appreciation to the unique role of the Mother of Jesus, as the New Eve with and under the New Adam, in the accomplishment of our Redemption.
Just as Pope John Paul II has used the title Co-redemptrix for Our Blessed Mother on six occasions during his pontificate,  so too Sister Lucia on six occasions refers to the doctrinal title of Our Blessed Mother as our Co-redemptrix with and under Jesus, both from the perspective of Our Lady's unique participation in restoring supernatural life to souls and as the perfect exemplar for each of us in our call to offer our daily sacrifices.
Pope John Paul II has also, on three occasions, called all Christians to be "co-redeemers"  with Jesus Christ in distributing the graces of Redemption to today's world, and Sister Lucia likewise accentuates Our Mother's Fatima call for redemptive sacrifice as a foundational principal of living the message of Fatima.
In deference to the poetic beauty and the theological profundity of Sister Lucia's formulation, I would like to present her own inspired teachings on Co-redemptrix, rather than any theological summation of it, as beautifully articulated in Calls From the Message of Fatima.
In her commentary on the "Call to Share in the Eucharist" (Chapter 10), Sister Lucia explains how each Christian is called to contribute to the work of salvation through our prayers and sacrifices with Mary Co-redemptrix as our perfect model:
Mary's Role as Co-Redemptrix
The Fatima visionary further explains in her treatment of "The Call to Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary" (Chapter 13), how the entire work of our Redemption began in the Heart of Mary, the inseparable union of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary and why her role as Co-redemptrix manifests the union of their Two Hearts:
Mary as a Faithful and Devoted Wife
Part of the genius of Sister Lucia's treatment of Our Lady's role as Co-redemptrix is its concrete application to the Christian call to holiness which should convict the heart of every Christian and, especially, every son and daughter of the Fatima message. In her section on "The Call to Holiness" (Chapter 21), the author offers the example of Our Lady in her example of holiness as a devoted wife in the fulfillment of all the duties of her state in life:
Many non-Catholic Christians today have difficulty with the Church's teaching of Our Lady as "Mediatrix of All Graces,"  in their perceiving any mediation other than that of Jesus to be "competitive," or on a level of equality with the one Mediator (cf. 1 Tim. 2:5). But the Catholic Church also rejects all forms of parallel mediation that would seek to place any creature on the level of equality with Jesus Christ, the one Mediator between God and man. At the same time, the Church clearly teaches Mary's unique and subordinate participation in the one mediation of Jesus Christ in the role of salvation.
As the Second Vatican Council teaches,  the unique participation of Mary in the one mediation of Jesus Christ only adds to the glory of Christ the one Mediator in bringing to all humanity the "gifts if eternal salvation,"  a distribution of grace from the Immaculate Heart of Mary that seeks to unite every human heart with the Heart of Jesus. As popes teach and people believe, every grace of Redemption merited by Jesus our Redeemer at Calvary comes to us through the intercession of Our Mother Mary (cf. Jn. 19:26-27).
In her commentary on "A Remarkable and Powerful Prayer" (Chapter 34), Sister Lucia beautifully explains this powerful intercessory role of Our Lady, which takes place by reason of her prior participation in the mission of Jesus as the Co-redemptrix:
Our Lady and the Rosary
In seeking to assist us in a deeper penetration into the bottomless mysteries of the Rosary, our Fatima visionary guides the soul through a meditation on the Fourth Joyful Mystery, The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple (Chapter 35, Contemplation of the Joyful Mysteries). Here she explains that the Mother of Jesus does not simply offer her Son to the perfect will of the Father, but she offers herself with Christ to God, and specifically as the Co-redemptrix with Christ for the salvation of all humanity:
Co-Redemptrix of the Human Race
In her later meditation on Our Lady's Assumption into Heaven (Chapter 37, Contemplation of the Glorious Mysteries), the Fatima author connects the victory of Mary's glorious Assumption with the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 where, from the beginning, this Woman was predestined by God to share in the battle against satan and to give Christ the human nature that would ultimately defeat the serpent on Calvary, thereby meriting her title "Co-redemptrix of the human race:"
Simplicity and Truth
The sublimity of Sister Lucia's treatment of Our Lady's role of Co-redemptrix reminds us once again that saints, far more than theologians, are able to articulate the deepest mysteries of our Holy Faith due to sanctity's constant companions: simplicity and truth.
It is no accident that Sister Lucia repeatedly calls the reader to understand in mind and heart Our Lady's role as Co-redemptrix of the human race. Every child of Fatima is called to recognize the glorious role of the Mother of All Peoples (see page 12) in the work of Redemption, as well as to imitate our coredemptive Mother by offering our daily sacrifices, and by understanding that every daily cross, great or small, is one designated by God for the redemption of souls and our own sanctification. Indeed we are all called to "make up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of his body, which is the Church" (Col. 1:24).
The recognition and acknowledgment of Mary Co-redemptrix is indeed a central part of the Fatima message, as testified by Sister Lucia in Calls From the Message of Fatima and constitutes in itself an essential component of the fulfillment of the Fatima messages in our own time.
Our beloved Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, is presently discerning the worldwide petition for the solemn definition of Our Lady as Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces and Advocate, as submitted by over 500 cardinals and bishops, nearly 7 million Catholic faithful spanning 145 countries, and including such contemporary lights as the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Mother Angelica, the late John Cardinal O'Connor, and the late John Haffert, co-founder of the Blue Army. Let us join our prayers and sacrifices to this petition, that the entire Church and world will soon officially acknowledge that which Sister Lucia conveys to us in Calls From the Message of Fatima: that Mary is, with and under Jesus our Divine Redeemer, the Co-redemptrix of the human race. Let us daily pray that Our Lady can be "released" by the solemn proclamation so that she may be able to fully intercede for all the graces necessary for the Triumph of her Most Immaculate Heart, and hence to bring ultimate fulfillment to her quintessential Fatima promise, that
1. John Paul II, Greetings to the Sick Following General Audience (Sept. 8, 1982); Angelus Address (Nov. 4, 1984), L'Osservatore Romano, 860: 1; Palm Sunday Address at Alborada, Guayaquil, Ecuador (Jan. 31, 1985), L'Osservatore Romano, 876: 7; Palm Sunday and World Youth Day Address (March 31, 1985), L'Osservatore Romano, 880: 12; Address to Federated Alliance of Transportation of Sick to Lourdes (March 24, 1990); Address Commemorating Sixth Centenary of Canonization of St. Bridget of Sweden (Oct. 6, 1991), L'Osservatore Romano, 1211: 4.
2. Insegnamenti IV/1 (1981), 896; V/1 (1982), 91; XI/2 (1988), 1216.
3. Calls From the Message of Fatima, Chapter 13, p. 114.
4. Calls From the Message of Fatima, Chapter 13, p. 137.
5. Calls From the Message of Fatima, Chapter 21, p. 195.
6. Cf. papal uses of that title by Bl. Pius IX, Encyclical Ubi Primum, (Feb. 2, 1849); Leo XIII, Octobri Mense (Sept. 22,1891), ASS 24, 1891; St. Pius X, Ad Diem Illum (Feb. 2, 1904), ASS 36, 1903-1904; Benedict XV, Apostolic Letter Inter Sodalicia (March 22, 1918), AAS 10, 1918, p. 182; Pius XI, Encyclical Ingravescentibus Malis, (September 29, 1937), AAS 29, 1937, p. 380; Pius XII, Mediator Dei, (Nov. 29, 1947), AAS 39, p. 541.
7. LG 60, 61.
8. LG 62.
9. Calls From the Message of Fatima, Chapter 34, p. 266.
10. Calls From the Message of Fatima, Chapter 35, p. 279.
11. Calls From the Message of Fatima, Chapter 37, p. 295.