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Proposed 5th Marian Dogma

Mary: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate

by Mark I Miravale, S.T.D.

Chapter Two


Part 1

Because of her role as Coredemptnx with the Redeemer at the foot of the cross (cf.
Jn 19:26), Mary was given by her Son the precious gift of being the Mediatrix[107] for the People of God. For the People of God are the "brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties, until they are led into their blessed home."[108] And the Second Vatican Council teaches that after the Woman at the foot of the Cross was taken up into Heaven,

"she did not lay aside this saving office, but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation."[109]

1 Tim 2:5 - Sharing in the one Mediation of Christ

The Church of Christ clearly proclaims with St. Paul that "there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all"(lTim 2:5-6).[110] Jesus Christ, true God and true man, is the one mediator between God and the human family.

The scriptural understanding of a mediator, (Gk., mesites) constitutes a person who seeks to intervene between two parties with the purpose of reconciliation and union of the two parties.[111] And in Sacred Scripture, mediators are chosen and utilized for the purpose of uniting and reconciling God and the human family, who is not always faithful to God's covenant of love.

The Old Testament provides several examples of people who are chosen by God to serve as
mediators, as instruments of union, between Yahweh and the people of Israel. The patriarchs were chosen by God to begin a relationship between Yahweh and his chosen nation, starting with Abraham (cf. Gen 12:2; Gen 15:18). Moses was perhaps the greatest Old Testament mediator, who acted as the chosen "intermediary" (Gal 3:19) to unite Yahweh and the Israelites in the great covenant of Exodus (cf. Ex 3-40; Ex 24:8 ). The prophets were chosen by God and granted divine illumination by the Spirit of Truth to be mediators of communication between Yahweh and the people of Israel, who were oftentimes unfaithful to the covenant (cf. Is.1, Jer 2, Ez 2). And the angels fill the pages of both Old and New Testaments in their role as heavenly mediators between God and his people of faith; they are created spiritual beings who act as the messengers of the Almighty to his people (cf. Gen 3:24; Lk 1:26; Gal 3:19).

"In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers...but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things... (Heb 1:1-2).

In the New Testament of love between God and the human family, Jesus Christ is

"the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred which redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant" (Heb 9:15).

Jesus Christ is the one mediator between God and humanity in the new and everlasting covenant of his blood (cf. Lk 22:20).

But the unique mediation of Jesus Christ, precisely in its divine and human perfection, allows for others to participate and share in this One source of mediation to the Father.[112] As the Second Vatican Council teaches:

"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."[113]

As the Council points out, the unique mediation of Jesus Christ is shared, for example, in the dimension of his priesthood (in different ways by ordained ministers and laity). This not only takes nothing away from the one mediation of Christ, the great "high priest" (cf. Heb 3:1; 4:14; 5:10) but rather it manifests the power and glory of the one High Priest. For all the praise and merit gained by secondary priesthood in its varied forms returns to the one Priestly Source, upon which all other manifestations of Christian priesthood is completely and entirely dependent.[114] The same is true of the "one goodness of God," which is not diminished but rather exalted anew as it is diversely manifested among the many creatures of God, giving all the more reason for creation to praise the Creator, the divine source of all goodness.[115]

A further example of how God has called each person to share in the one mediation of Christ is the life of grace as "sons of God" (1 Jn 3:1) in the one and only begotten Son. "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation" (2 Cor 5:17). It is precisely by sharing in the one Sonship of Christ, that we become sharers in the life of grace as children of God. "See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God" (1 Jn 3:1), and we become children of God through the power of the only begotten Son in faith: "But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God" (Jn 1:12).

The Christian life of grace is a true participation in the one Christ and in his divine nature. "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me"(Gal 2:20), and to share in the life of the one Mediator is to become "partakers of the divine nature"(2 Pet 1:4) by participation.[116] Our humble sharing in the life of Christ the one Mediator, certainly does not diminish his divine nature nor his Sonship with the Father, but rather manifests its power and glory throughout creation, for we become living witnesses that "Christ is all and in all" (Col 3:11).

Mary's Unique Sharing in the One Mediation of Christ

It is in light of this privileged sharing in the one mediation of Christ granted by the Father (cf. 1 Jn 3:1) that the Church can speak about Mary, Coredemptrix and Mother of the Mediator, and her unique and unparalleled sharing in the one mediation of Jesus Christ.[117]

Pope John Paul II, in quoting the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, refers to Mary's special and extraordinary sharing in the one mediation of Christ:

"The teaching of the Second Vatican Council presents the truth of Mary's mediation as 'a sharing in the one unique source that is the mediation of Christ himself.' Thus we read: 'The Church does not hesitate to profess this subordinate role of Mary. She experiences it continuously and commends it to the hearts of the faithful, so that, encouraged by this maternal help, they may more closely adhere to the Mediator and Redeemer.' This role is at the same time special and extraordinary."[118]

The Council also points out that Mary's unique motherly sharing in the one mediation of Christ, a sharing completely dependent on her Son, manifests the power of Christ and leads the faithful to immediate union with him:

"In the words of the apostle there is but one mediator...But Mary's function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. ..It flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely upon it and draws all its power from it. It does not hinder in any way the immediate union of the faithful with Christ but on the contrary fosters it."[119]

The sharing of the Mother of Jesus in the one mediation of Christ differs from the shared mediation of any other creature, for Mary's share in the mediation of Christ is uniquely maternal. John Paul II further explains:

"In effect, Mary's mediation is intimately linked with her motherhood. It possesses a specifically maternal character, which distinguishes it from the mediation of the other creatures who in various and always subordinate ways share in the one mediation of Christ, although her own mediation is also a shared mediation."[120]

The Mother, who shared in the Redemptive work of her Son like no other creature, rightly shares, as Mother, in the one mediation of her Son like no other creature.

"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."[121]

"Christ alone is the perfect mediator between God and man... but there is nothing to prevent others in a certain way from being called mediators between God and man in so far as they, by preparing or serving, cooperate in uniting men to God."[122]

These words of St. Thomas Aquinas explain the possibility of "others in a certain way being called mediators" through cooperating with the perfect mediation of Jesus Christ. It is for this reason that the Church invokes Mary (for example, in the teachings of the Second Vatican Council) under the title, "Mediatrix."[123] For Mary is the Coredemptrix who uniquely shares in the one mediation of Christ in accomplishing the redemption of the world and thereby, Mary uniquely shares in the one mediation of Christ in distributing to the People of God the "gifts of eternal salvation" obtained from the cross (cf. Jn 19:26). [124] Because Mary is Coredemptrix with the Redeemer, she is also Mediatnx of Graces with the Mediator.

New Testament Outline of the Mediatrix
(Lk 1:38; Lk 1:41;Jn 2:1)

Mary's role as Mediatrix with the Mediator in distributing the precious gifts of salvation[125] merited on the Cross is a gift given to the "Woman" at Calvary (cf. Jn 19:26). But her role as the Mediatrix of the graces of redemption is outlined and manifested in a gradual way in earlier passages of Sacred Scripture, where the Mother of Jesus acts as Mother and Intercessor in the Gospel mission of her Son, the Mediator of all grace and salvation.

Lk 1:38 - Mediatrix Of Christ: Source of All Graces

To the angelic invitation of divine motherhood which will provide the world its Mediator, Mary responds, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word" (Lk 1:38). As Pope John Paul II explains,

"The first moment of submission to the one mediation 'between God and man' - the mediation of Jesus Christ - is the Virgin of Nazareth's acceptance of motherhood.. ..Mary's motherhood, completely pervaded by her spousal attitude as 'handmaid of the Lord,' constitutes the first and fundamental dimension of that mediation which the Church confesses and proclaims in her regard and 'continually commends to the hearts of the faithful....'"[126]

We see the beginning of Mary's unique sharing in the salvific mediation of Christ at the Annunciation, where the free consent of the Virgin to be the Theotokos, the "God-bearer,"[127] mediates to the world Jesus Christ, Saviour and Author of all grace.

It is in virtue of Mary's yes that He who is the source and mediation of all the graces of redemption came to the human family.

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth... .And from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace" (Jn 1:14, 16).

Mary's moral and physical mediation of Christ as Mother brought into the world the Uncreated Grace from which flows every grace received in his Body, which constitutes the People of God. The Church confirms:

"From Him flows out into the body of the Church all light through which the faithful receive supernatural enlightenment, and every grace, through which they become holy, as He himself is holy...."[128]

The maternal mediation[129] of Mary in bringing to the lost world its Saviour was already prophesied in the ancient prophecy (cf. Gen 3:15), where the Woman would bring to the world as Mother the seed of victory over Satan. It is Mary, the New Eve, who by freely and physically mediating the New Adam, source of our salvation in grace, becomes "for the whole human race," as St. Irenaeus tells us, "the cause of our salvation."[130]

Lk 1:41 - Media trix in the Visitation of Graces

The sacred Word of God tells us that after the event of the Annunciation, "Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth" (Lk 1:39-40). While bearing the Source of all grace in her womb (cf. Lk 1:35,38), the humble handmaid of the Lord went to
serve her cousin Elizabeth, who was in her sixth month of pregnancy with John the Baptist (cf.
Lk 1:36; 3:2).

As soon as the physical presence of Mary, the God-bearer, was made known by her greeting to Elizabeth, "the babe leapt in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit" (Lk 1:41). We see that Mary's physical presence, the living Tabernacle of the preborn Saviour, is a mediating cause of special events of graces, both for the preborn Baptist who "leapt for joy" (Lk 1:44) in the womb of his mother, and for Elizabeth who was immediately "filled with the Holy Spirit" (Lk 1:41).

The blessed "leap" by the Baptist in the womb of Elizabeth also bespeaks the sanctifying presence of the Mediatrix with the unborn Mediator. For the Church sees in this scriptural reference to the joyful leap of the unborn John a more profound revelation of a sanctifying action through the presence of Mary, who physically mediates the presence of the unborn Christ. The Church professes that "John the Baptist was... holy, just, and filled with the Holy Spirit in the womb of his mother."[131] The presanctification of St. John the Baptist in the womb by the power of the Holy Spirit came through the mediating presence of the fruitful Handmaid of the Lord.

For both Elizabeth and her unborn child who "will be called prophet of the Most High" (Lk 1:76), the physical presence of the Mediatrix with the unborn Mediator at the Visitation was a profoundly graced event that called forth the sanctifying action of the Holy Spirit (cf. Lk 1:41 ). It is by the divine inspiration of the same Holy Spirit that both the Mediatrix and the Mediator are rightfully praised: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb" (Lk 1:42).

Jn 2:1 - Mediatrix of the First Miracle
and Public Ministry of Christ

At the Wedding of Cana (cf. Jn 2:1-11), Jesus Christ performed the "first of his signs", which "manifested his glory" (Jn 2:11) and thereby commences the public ministry of the one Mediator. But this first public manifestation of the glory of the Mediator in his adult mission of salvation was in turn mediated by his Mother.

The Gospel of John tells us that

"there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus was also invited to the marriage with his disciples" (Jn 2:1-2).

The text seems to suggest that Jesus and his disciples were invited because of their relationship to Mary and her presence at the wedding. Pope John Paul II comments,"the Son seems to have been invited because of his mother."[132] It appears that the presence of Mary was itself a mediating factor for the presence of the Saviour at this wedding occasion for his first miracle.

We read further,

"When the wine gave out, the Mother of Jesus said to him, 'They have no wine.'And Jesus said to her, 'O woman, what have you to do with me?[133] My hour has not yet come'. His mother said to the servants, 'Do whatever he tells you'" (Jn 2: 3-5).

Jesus responds to this intercessory effort of his mother by miraculously changing the water into the best wine (cf. Jn 2:10).

In calling his Mother, "Woman", Jesus identifies Mary as the Woman who was prophesied as mediating to the world the seed of victory over Satan (cf. Gen 3:15), as well as designates his Mother as the Mediatrix who will be the Woman at the foot of the Cross (cf. Jn 19:26). Mary will also experience the gift of bodily Assumption, [134] which will lead to her heavenly glory as the "'Woman' clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (Rev 12:1). And "taken up into heaven, she did not lay aside this saving office," but continues to "bring us the gifts of eternal salvation" as our "Mediatrix."[135]

Pope John Paul II has provided a particularly rich magisterial teaching on the significanceof Mary's role as a motherly "Mediatrix" at Cana. [136] John Paul explains:

the description of the Cana event outlines what is actually manifested as a new kind of motherhood according to the spirit and not just according to the flesh, that is to say, Mary's solicitude for human beings, her coming to them in a wide variety of their wants and needs. At Cana in Galilee there is shown only one concrete aspect of human need, apparently a small one of little importance ('They have no wine'). But it has symbolic value: this coming to the aid of human needs means, at the same time, bringing those needs within the radius of Christ's messianic mission and salvific power."[137]

It is at Cana that we see the first public manifestation of both the messianic power of Christ, the one Mediator, and also of Mary's extended motherhood of the spirit, her motherly intercession for the needs of her spiritual children. Mary's new motherhood of the spirit includes in its full extension and capacity includes the entire human family.[138] And the goal of this new motherly intercession for the human family by Mary is to bring the needs (great and small) of the human family into communion with the salvific mission and power of Christ, the one Mediator.

For this reason, John Paul II professes Mary as the "mediatrix," who in her position as Mother has the right to intercede for mankind:

"Thus there is a 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. Her mediation is thus in the nature of intercession: Mary 'intercedes' for mankind."[139]

But Mary's role as Mediatrix at Cana is also directed to her Son, the Mediator, and his salvific mission:

"As a mother she also wishes the messianic power of her Son to be manifested, that salvific power of his which is meant to help man in his misfortunes, to free him from the evil which in various forms and degrees weighs heavily upon his life."[140]

All the actions of the Mediatrix are first and foremost Christological, for she knows that she can only fulfill her God-elected role as Maternal Mediatrix for humanity by mediating to her earthly family the saving power of Christ. Mary's words, "Do whatever he tells you" (Jn 2:5) reveal that

"The Mother of Christ presents herself as the spokeswoman of her Son's will, pointing out those things which must be done so that the salvific power of the Messiah may be manifested. At Cana, thanks to Mary...Jesus begins 'his hour.'"[141]

In mediating the first public miracle and the public ministry of her Son (cf. Jn 2:11), the Woman of Cana also begins the public revelation of her own role as Mediatrix. The intercession of the Mother of Jesus at Cana constitutes "a sort of first announcement of Mary's mediation, wholly oriented towards Christ and tending to the revelation of his salvific power."[142]

The role of Mary as the Mediatrix with the Mediator as revealed in the pages of the New Testament is outlined in a developmental way, from her hidden mediation of the Source of all grace at the Annunciation (cf. Lk 1:38); to her physical mediation of the unborn Saviour to Elizabeth and the unborn Baptist in the distant hill country at the Visitation (cf. Lk 1:41); to her public mediation of the Messiah at Cana (cf. Jn 2:1). In the words of the great German theologian, M. J. Scheeben:

"Not only Mary's whole position as Mediatrix, but also her preceding mediatorial functions are entirely designed for a universal mediation of grace, and condition the communication of all grace without exception. For all Mary's functions as mediatrix form mutually one organic whole, in which the later ones are based on the preceding and make their influence felt...."[143]

But if Mary's role as maternal Mediatrix is "outlined" in these earlier passages of the Word of God, it is "clearly stated and established"[144] at the foot of the cross.

Jn 19:26 - The Establishment of the Mediatrix of Graces

"Woman, behold your son. ...son, behold your mother" (Jn 19:26-27). These words of the dying Saviour to the Woman at the foot of the cross bring forth the establishment of Mary as the motherly mediatrix of graces for the human family.

Leo XIII tells us:

"Now in John, according to the constant mind of the Church, Christ designated the whole human race, particularly those who were joined with him in faith."[145]

And at Calvary, the whole human race receives the one who is appointed by the Mediator to be the spiritual "mother to us in the order of grace"[146] in definitively becoming for us the "Mediatrix of Graces."[147]

At the very moment when the redemptive sacrifice for all humanity was being completed (cf. Jn 19:26-28), Jesus speaks these words to the Woman who once was known only as Mary of Nazareth: "Woman, behold your son" (Jn 19:26). And then to the beloved disciple, who represents all who seek to be beloved disciples of the Lord,[148] Jesus says, "son, behold your mother" (Jn 19:27).

When Jesus gives John to Mary, and Mary to John, the Mother of Jesus is now established as the new spiritual and universal mediatrix in the order of grace. Christ's gift of the role of mediatrix of graces is at once a gift of sublime dignity to his coredeeming Mother ("Woman, behold you son") and at the same time is a sanctifying gift for the fallen human family ("son, behold your mother"). John Paul II confirms:

"With the redeeming death, the maternal mediation of the handmaid of the Lord took on a universal dimension, for the work of redemption embraces all of humanity. Thus there is manifested in a singular way the efficacy of the one and universal mediation of Christ 'between God and man.'"[149].

She who was once known only as Mary is now publicly established by the dying Saviour as the Woman, the Mother, and the Mediatrix of the graces of redemption. The Mediator granted his Mother the gift of Mediatrix of graces as a fruit of his dying sacrifice for humanity and of her coredemptive participation. Again, she is the Mediatrix of graces because she was first the Coredemptrix.[150]

The Fathers [151] and the Mediatrix of Graces

Beyond its implicit presence in the Patristic understanding of the New Eve as the "cause of salvation for herself and the whole human race,"[152] Mary's role as Mediatrix of the graces of redemption gradually comes to a fuller light in the mind of the Fathers of the living Church.[153]

At the Council of Ephesus (431 A.D.), St. Cyril of Alexandria manifests a profound understanding of Mary's function as Mediatrix "through whom" the works of salvation are accomplished, in one of the greatest Manan sermons of antiquity:

"Hail Mary Theotokos, venerable treasure of the whole world. ..it is you through whom the Holy Trinity is glorified and adored, . ..through whom the tempter, the devil is cast down from heaven, through whom the fallen creature is raised up to heaven, through whom that all creation, once imprisoned by idolatry, has reached knowledge of the truth, through whom holy baptism has come to believers.. .through whom nations are brought to repentance...."[154]

Another Father of the Council of Ephesus, Antipater of Bostra, addressed Mary as the Mediatrix who intercedes for the human family: "Hail you who acceptably intercede as a Mediatrix for mankind."[155] Ancient Marian prayers also manifested a confidence in Mary's power of maternal intercession in difficult times for her spiritual children in faith.[156]

The Eastern Fathers excelled in their more explicit understanding of the role of Mary Mediatrix. St. Andrew of Crete referred to Mary as the "Mediatrix of the law and grace," and also stated, "She is the mediation between the sublimity of God and the abjection of the flesh."[157] St. John Damascene spoke of Mary's fulfilling of the "office of Mediatrix."[158] St. Germain of Constantinople profoundly expressed Mary's function as universal Mediatrix of salvation and mercy:

"No one is saved except through you, O Theotokos; no one secured a gift of mercy, save through you....in you all peoples of the earth have obtained a blessing..."[159] The Mother of Jesus was rightly understood by the early Eastern Fathers as "truly a good Mediatrix of all sinners,"[160] and "the Mediatrix of all who are under Heaven."[161]

In the West, St. Peter Damian offers the principle of Mary's mediation as a mediating action that begins with Christ and should be imitated by humanity: "As the Son of God has designed to descend to us through you [Mary], so we also must come to him through you."[162] "In your hands", St. Peter Damian says of the Mother of Jesus, "are the treasures of the mercies of God."[163]

With St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the great Marian Father of the Church, we have a rich and explicit understanding of Mary's role as the Mediatrix of the graces of redemption. St. Bernard tells us: "God has willed that we should have nothing which would not pass through the hands of Mary;" [164] and also: "This is the will of Him who wanted us to have everything through Mary."[165] These classical expressions of Mary's role as universal mediatrix of all graces by St. Bernard have been used by several twentieth century popes in the official Marian teachings of the Magisterium.[166]

St. Bernard further explains that any grace, hope, or salvation found in the human family has flowed through Mary, whom God has given every good:

"God has placed in Mary the plenitude of every good, in order to have us understand that if there is any trace of hope in us, any trace of grace, any trace of salvation, it flows from her."[167]

The teachings of St. Bernard can be recapitulated in the expression, "It is the will of God that we obtain all favors through Mary."[168]

St. Bernardine of Siena sums up the wisdom of the Fathers with the following explanation of the distribution of graces and Mary's role as Mediatrix:

"This is the process of divine graces: from God they flow to Christ, from Christ to his Mother, and from her to the Church....I do not hesitate to say that she has received a certain jurisdiction over all graces... .They are administered through her hands.... "[169]

The exposition of Mary as universal mediatrix of all graces of redemption continued in voluminous fashion by numerous Church doctors, mystics, saints, and writers throughout the Middle Ages up to the Modern Period.[170] Particular mention should be made of the outstanding contribution of St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort in his classic work, True Devotion to Mary, which has received numerous papal endorsements and indulgences by twentieth century pontiffs.[171]

St. Louis Marie echoes the teachings of St. Bernard regarding Mary's role as the channel or aqueduct of the graces of redemption, but with an even greater clarity:

"God the Son has communicated to his Mother all that he acquired by his life and his death, his infinite merits and his admirable virtues; and He has made Her the treasurer of all that His Father gave Him for his inheritance. It is by her that He applies His merits to his members, and that He communicates his virtues and distributes his graces. She is his mysterious canal; she is his aqueduct, through which He makes his mercies flow gently and abundantly."[172]

For St. Louis Marie, Mary's role as Mediatrix of all graces was the theological foundation for the personal act of total consecration to Jesus through Mary, in which the Christian gives the Mediatrix full intercessory power to help him to be true to his baptismal promises.[173]

Also deserving special mention is the later contribution of St. Alphonsus Liguori, Marian Doctor of the Church. St. Alphonsus succinctly sums up the universal character of the distribution of all graces by Mary:

"God, who gave us Jesus Christ, wills that all graces that have been, that are, and will be dispensed to men to the end of the world through the merits of Jesus Christ, should be dispensed by the hands and through the intercession of Mary."[174]


107. Cf Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 62.

108.Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n.62.

109 Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 62.

110. Cf. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 60; Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 38.

111. For more commentary on the scriptural understanding of the "mediator", cf. Gerhard Kittel and Gerhard Friedrich, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament: Abridged Volume, Michigan, 1985, p. 585-586; Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible, v.3, New York, p. 311; Becker, New International Dictionary of the New Testament Theology, 1972, Michigan, p. 372.

112. The Greek word used for "one" in the Pauline text of 1:Tim. 2:5 is "heis"which means "one", "first", or "primary". There is another Greek word that St. Paul could have used if he wanted to refer to Christ's mediation as completely exclusive, namely "monos", which means "sole", "only", or "exclusive one". As O'Carroll, C.S.Sp, notes, "The practice of addressing Mary as Mediatrix was not and need not be impeded by the Pauline text. The use of 'one' (heis not monos) emphasizes Christ's transcendence as a mediator, through the unique value of his redemptive death," cf. Theotokos, A Theological Encyclopedia of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Dublin, 1982, p. 238.

I13. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 62.

114. Cf. Council of Ephesus, 431, D 122; Council of Trent, D 938; Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 10.

115. Cf. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 62.

116. The Patristic understanding being "partakers in the divine nature" (2 Pet:1:4):
to share in the divine nature, not in the order of being but in the order of participation. Hence the Fathers spoke of being "
divinized": "The Word became man, so that we might become God", cf. St. Athanasius, Or de Incarn. Verbi 54.

117. Cf. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 38.

118. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 38.

119. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 60.

120. Pope John Paul II, Redernptoris Mater, n. 38.

121. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 39.

122. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, III, Q. 26 a. 1.

123.Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 62.

124. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 62.

125. Cf Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 62.

126. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater,, n. 38.

127. Cf. Council of Ephesus, 431, D 113.

128. Pius XII, Encyclical Letter, Mystici Corporis, 1943.

129. Cf. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, Ch. III, entitled "Maternal Mediation."

130. Cf. St. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, 1,3, c. 22, n. 4; PG 7, p. 958-959.

131.Pope Innocent XIII, Profession of Faith of Durandus of Osca, 1208, D 421:
"Ioannemque Baptismam ab eo missum esse sanctum et iustum
et in utero matris
suae Spiritu Sancto repletum

132. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 21.

133. Note: In the New Vulgate, this passage is "Quid mihi et tibi, mulier" (Woman, what [is this] to me and to you?), which does not possess the possibility of seeing the response of Jesus as a rebuke or a rebuttal. And yet in many other scholarly translations, the exchange does include the sense of challenge. But we see several instances in Scripture of this type of exchange initated by God to evoke from humanity a proper response in the midst of the darkness of faith, for example with Abraham in regards to Issac, cf. Gen. 22:7-14. The fact of Jesus' favor with Mary's actions is clear in any case by Christ's positive response in giving the desired assistance sought by Mary's words. Cf. Bibliorum Sacrorum Nova Vulgata Editio, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1986, p. 2007.

134. Cf. Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, 1950.

135. Cf. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 62.

136. Cf. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, ns. 21-22.

137. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 21.

138. Mary obviously has a special relationship of spiritual motherhood with those baptised into the life and faith of Jesus Christ, in a more general way, Mary is spiritual mother of all humanity, since the redemptive efforts of Christ and her own coredemptive participation were for the salvation of all in the human family. In complementary fashion, Pope Leo XIII identifies John at the foot of the cross as representing all humanity in general and, in special fashion, those joined to Christ by faith: "Now in John, according to the constant mind of the Church, Christ designated the whole human race, particularly those who were joined with him in faith," Encyclical Letter, Adjutricem populi, 1895.

139. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 21.

140. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 21.

141. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 21.

142. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n.22.

143. M.J. Scheeben, tr. by T. Geukers, Mariology, v. II, St. Louis, 1947, p. 265.

144. Cf. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 23.

145. Pope Leo XIII, Adjutricem populi, 1895.

146. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 61.

147. The consisent papal teaching on Mary as Mediatrix of graces will follow shortly
in the text. For a more recent papal usage of the term, see Pope John Paul II,
is our Way, Mary our Sure Guide
, Papal Address at Orte, Italy, September 17,
L'Osservatore Romano, October 2, 1989, p. 3.

148. Cf. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 45.

149. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 40.

150. The Coredemptnx-Mediatrix relation of sequence is consistently taught by the Magisterium; for example, Pope Leo XIII: "she who had been the cooperatnx in the sacrament of man's Redemption, would be likewise the cooperatrix in the distribution of graces deriving from it" (ASS 28, 1895-6, p. 130). More on this relationship of Coredemptrix-Mediatrix roles will be discussed in the treatment of papal statements on Mediatrix of Graces to follow shortly.

151. The Patristic treatment of Mediatrix of graces will be discussed here, but without the conclusion that all Patristic uses of the term "Mediatrix" necessarily refer to a commentary on Jn 19:26. Many Patristic texts are either unspecified or unclear by context as to whether they immediately refer to Calvary (Jn 19:26) or to the Annunciation (Lk 1:26-38). Later Fathers are oftentimes more specific in their references to Mary as the mediatrix of the graces of redemption at Calvary, rather than more generally the mediatrix of the Author of graces at the Annunciation. Nonetheless, one must remember that the Fathers avoided a complete distinction between the Incarnation at the Annunciation and the Redemption at Calvary, but saw rather the Incarnation as the "Redemption anticipated and begun" in the unified act of salvation performed by the Incarnate Saviour. This could also effect a more singular and unified idea concerning the role of the Mediatrix.

152. Cf St. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses III, c.22,n.4: PG 7, 959; V, C. 19, n. 1:
PG 7,1175; St. Epiphanius, Haer. 78, 18: PG 42, 728; St. Jerome, Epist. 22, 21:
PL 22, 408; cf. St. Augustine, Serm. 51, 2, 3: PG 38, 335; St. Cyril of
Catech. 12, 15: PG 33, 741; St. John Chryostom, In Ps. 44,7: PG 55,

153. For a more comprehensive treatment of the gradual understanding of Mediatrix of graces in Patristic thought, cf. J. Bittremieux, De meditatione universali B. M.
Virginis quoad gratias
, Brugis, 1926, p. 194; A. Robichaud, SM., Mary,
Dispensatrix of All Graces
, Mariology, v. 2, p. 442; M. O'Carroll, C.S.Sp..
Mediation,Theotokos, p. 239; G. Roshini, S.M., Maria Santissima Nella Storia
Della Salvezza
, v. II, p. 208.

154. St. Cyril of Alexandria, Hom. in Deiparam, PG 65, p. 681.

155. Antipater of Bostra, In S. Joannem Bapt PG...., 1772C.

156. One of the most ancient Marian prayers, the Sub Tuum (c. 250-300), manifests this confidence of the Early Church in the power of maternal intercession granted by Christ to his Mother for humanity: "We fly to your patronage, O holy Mother of God, despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us from all danger, O ever glorious and blessed Virgin" (common Latin translation); cf. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 66.

157. St. Andrew of Crete (d. 740), In Nativ. Mariae, Semi I. and Semi. IV, PG 97, 808, 865. The role of Mary's mediation is also found in the writings of St. Ephraem (d. 373) or the school of St. Ephraem, S. Ephraem, Syri opera graeca et latine, ed., Assemani, v. 3, Romae, pp. 525, 528-9, 532.

158. St. John Damascene, Hom. I in Dorm., PG 96, 713A.

159. St. Germanus of Constantinople, Hom. in Dorm. II, PG 98, 321, 352-3.

160. St. Germanus or Pseudo-Germanus, Oratio V in Ann. SS. Deiparae, PG 93, 322 BC.

161. St. Tarasius of Constantinople (d. 806), In SS. Deiparae Praesentationem, PG 98, 1499. Also cf. St. Modestus of Jerusalem (d. 634) or Pseudo-Modestus, : "The human race has been saved in you [Mary], and through you it has received favors and everlasting blessings from Him," PG 86, 3306; and "[Mary]...through whom we have been mystically recreated and made the Temple of the Holy Spirit...through which we have received forgiveness of all our sins," PG 86bis, 3293; and later, the great contribution of Theophanes of Nicaea (d. 1381): "It cannot happen that anyone, of angels or men, can come otherwise, in any way whatsoever, to participation in the divine gifts flowing from what has been divinely assumed, from the Son of God, save through his Mother," S. in SS. Deiparam, ed. M. Jugie, A.A., Lateranum, Nova Series, Rome, 1935,1,51.

162. St. Peter Damian (d. 1072), Serm. 46, PL 144, 761B.

163. St. Peter Damian, Serm. 44, PL 144,740.

164. St. Bernard of Clairvaux (d. 1153), Hom. III in vig. nativit., n. 10, PL 183, 100.

165. St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Hom. in nativit. B.V.M., n. 7, PL 183,441.

166. For example, cf. Pope Pius XII, Superiore anno, AAS 32, 1940, p. 145; and Mediator Dei, 1947. These will be treated more explicitly in the following section on the papal commentary of Jn 19:26 and Mediatrix of graces.

167. St Bernard of Clairvaux, Hom. in nativitat. B.V.M., n. 6, PL 183,441.

168. Cf. Pope Pius XII, Superiore anno, MS 32, 1940, p. 145.

169. St. Bernadine of Siena (d. 1440), Sermon V de nativiate B.M.V., cap. 8; op. omn., v. 4, (Lugduni, 1650), p.96. See also St. Bonventure (d. 1274), sermo VI de rnaternitate B.M. Virginis, op. omn., V. 9 (Quaracchi, 1901), pp. 720-1; and St. Albert or Pseudo-Albert, Mariale, q. 164; op. omn., ed. Borgnet, v. 37, Parisiis, 1898, p. 241.

170. For more comprehensive treatments of the great volume of writings on Mary as
Mediatrix of all graces throughout the Medieval up to the modern period, cf. J.
De meditatione universali B. M. Virginis quoad gratias, Brugis,
1926, p.201; A.Robichaud, S.M.,
Mary, Dispensatrix of All Graces, Mariology, v.
2, p. 445; M. O'Carroll, C.S .S p.,
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.

171. For example, cf. Pope St.Pius X, AAS 2, 1910, p. 185; 5, 1913, p. 485; Pope Benedict XV, AAS 8, 1916, p. 172; Pope Pius XII, AAS 37, 1945, p. 328; AAS 39, 1947, p. 331; AAS 39, 1947, pp.410-411; John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 48.

172. St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (d. 1716), True Devotion to Mary, n. 24.

173. Cf. St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary, ns. 83-86, 120-123; Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n.48.

174. St. Alphonsus Liguori (d. 1787), The Glories of Mary, Ch. 5.

The above section first appeared in Mary: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate by Mark I Miravale, S.T.D. and is reproduced with the kind permission of Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici.

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