Since the month of May, the month specially dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, is just around the corner, I will begin posting a series on Mary as Coredemptrix. Each post will be a section from an academic paper I wrote for the class "Mary in the Modern World" taught by Dr. Mark Miravalle at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Please feel free to comment or ask questions, but most of all enjoy learning about our Mother Mary, who loves all of us as her daughters and sons.
From the earliest days of Christianity, Mary of Nazareth, Mother of Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, perpetual Virgin, immaculately conceived, and assumed body and soul into Heaven, has won the hearts of the Christian people. (1) She has been the object of countless prayers and devotions, theological reflections, spiritual meditations, and artistic creations. Christians have constantly turned to her for guidance, protection, and love, identifying her as their beloved Mother and counting on her to unite them ever more closely with their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Many of these devout clients of Mary, however, do not realize or understand the vital role their Mother plays in attaining and distributing the graces of their salvation. Indeed, Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Church’s Magisterium have all clearly identified Mary as the Maternal Mediatrix who cooperates intimately yet subordinately with her Son both in uniting humanity to God and in acquiring and dispensing redemptive graces to the human family. She does so through three specific subsidiary roles, Coredemptrix, Mediatrix of All Graces, and Advocate. (2) This study will examine the first of these roles, Coredemptrix, in order to 1. offer a theological definition of Coredemptrix; 2. analyze Scriptural evidence revealing Mary as the Coredemptrix; 3. summarize the presentation and development of Mary Coredemptrix in Sacred Tradition; and 4. explore the copious teaching on Mary Coredemptrix provided by the ordinary Magisterium, or teaching office, of the Catholic Church. Ultimately, a deeper and richer understanding of Mary’s role as Coredemptrix should lead Christians, and ideally all human beings, to an ever greater love and gratitude towards their Mother, who with her Son, Jesus, obtained for them their eternal salvation.
1. Mark I. Miravalle, Introduction to Mary (Goleta, Calif.: Queenship Publishing, 2006), 51. Note: The four points listed here refer to the four Marian dogmas, Mary, Mother of God; Mary’s perpetual virginity; the Immaculate Conception; and the Assumption, each of which was solemnly defined by an ecumenical council or ex cathedra by the Holy Father.
2. Mark I. Miravalle, introduction to Mary: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate Theological Foundations Towards a Papal Definition?, ed. Mark I. Miravalle (Santa Barbara: Queenship Publishing, 1995), x; Arthur Burton Calkins, “Mary as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate in the Contemporary Roman Liturgy,” in Mary: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate Theological Foundations Towards a Papal Definition?, ed. Mark I. Miravalle (Santa Barbara: Queenship Publishing, 1995), 45.