Review by Dr Pravin Thevathasan
All Catholics can agree that Mary has an unparalleled role in the saving work of Jesus Christ. The Second Vatican Council said so several times. Her role is "with" and "under" Jesus. This is what is meant by Marian co-redemption. The title says it all: "with Jesus". Never alongside or equal to Jesus. Not only the Second Vatican Council but Pope John Paul promoted this teaching on many occasions.
The key to understanding what we mean is with the prefix "co." It means "with." Jesus is the world's sole redeemer. Mary's role as co-redemptrix in no way dilutes this teaching. Just as I can act as mediator by praying for someone. But there is only one mediator: Jesus Christ.
In order to support his claims, the author turns to scripture, the Fathers and the saints. St Paul refers to Christians as "co-workers with God." We are also "co-heirs" with Christ. We become sons and daughters of God by Grace. But Jesus is the only Son of God. Obviously, we do not claim to be equal to Jesus. Again and again, we are called to remember that liturgically speaking and biblically speaking, "co" means "with."
No one shared more closely in the redemption than Mary, the mother of God. As the Immaculate Conception, her fulness of grace enables her to be the perfectly sinless co-worker in the plan of redemption. She co-operates in a unique and sublime way with the one Redeemer from the moment she said "yes" to the Incarnation.
As co-redeemer, she is our mother. All graces come because of Jesus and through Mary. She is the Mediatrix of all graces.
"She is the mother to whom we should turn with every fibre of our heart in eternal gratitude" for the suffering she underwent. The co-redemptrix title "identifies Mary's singular and and unparalleled sharing with her son in the restoration of grace for the human family." She is utterly with the Redeemer. St Bernard referred to the "compassion" of Mary. She co-suffers with Jesus on Calvary. How many saints meditated on the profound sufferings of Mary. They include St Gemma Galgani and Saint Maximilian Kolbe.
This is a well argued case for the fifth Marian
dogma: Mary as co-redemptrix, mediatrix and advocate.