Mary Coredemptrix in Sacred Scripture
Evidence for Mary’s role as Coredemptrix abounds in Sacred Scripture from Genesis all the way through Revelation. Particular attention must be paid to the prophecies of Genesis 3:15 and Isaiah 7:14; the Annunciation, Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, and Finding of Jesus in the Temple in the Gospel of St. Luke; the Wedding at Cana and Calvary in St. John’s Gospel; and the vision of the Woman in Revelation 12.
Genesis 3:15 – A Prophecy of Mary Coredemptrix
The parents of the human race had just committed the first sin. They had turned their backs on God, seeking knowledge that was not theirs to have. Tricked by the serpent, Adam and Eve ate from the tree and suddenly knew that they were naked and that they had done wrong. They hid from God, but of course, He knew exactly what they had done, and He sought them out both to punish them, for they certainly deserved it, and to offer them words of hope, a prophecy of a Savior. Speaking to the serpent, God announced, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heal.” (48) Since the earliest days of the Church, theologians have identified this passage as the Protoevangelium, maintaining that it prophesies the coming of a Redeemer, One Who would be at enmity with the serpent, Satan, and would, as other translations read, crush his head. The prophecy does not, however, announce only a Redeemer; it also predicts a Woman who would have complete enmity, total opposition, and absolutely no association with Satan and would even share in the victory of her Offspring, her Redeemer Son. Some translations clarify this shared victory by replacing the “He” in “He will strike at your head” or “He will crush your head” with “She or “They.” No matter which pronoun is used, however, the Woman, the mother of the Redeemer, is to share in her Son’s enmity with and victory over Satan. She, too, will crush the enemy’s head, bringing salvation to the human race. This Woman of the Protoevangelium is, according to many Scripture scholars and theologians, a prophetic type of Mary, mother of Redeemer and Coredemptrix. (49) Such an interpretation is magisterially confirmed by Pope Pius IX in his Encyclical Ineffibilis Deus. He writes, “…the most holy Virgin, intimately and indissolubly united to Christ, became with Him the everlasting enemy of the venomous serpent, and thus shared with Her Son His victory over the serpent, crushing as she did the serpent’s head with her virginal foot.” (50) Further, the Fathers of the Church claimed for Mary the title of the New Eve, who cooperated with the New Adam, Jesus Christ, in reversing the fall of humanity. (51) This point will be explored in greater detail later in this study. For now, suffice it to say that Mary is indeed the Woman of Genesis 3:15, Woman with the Redeemer, the one who would share in crushing the enemy’s head.
Isaiah 7:14 – Another Old Testament Prophecy of Mary Coredemptrix
In Isaiah 7:14 the prophet predicts a great sign, “the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel,” which means “God with us.” (52) This Child, born of the virgin, would, according to the prophet, become the famed “Suffering Servant,” the One Who would be “pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins.” (53) Who could possibly claim that the virgin mother of the Suffering Servant would not suffer alongside her Son? Who could possibly claim that Mary, the virgin Mother of Jesus, the divine Suffering Servant, did not suffer alongside her Son? In the midst of those incredible sufferings, Mary, the virgin of Isaiah 7:14, carried out her role as Coredemptrix. (54)
48. Gen. 3:15 NAB (New American Bible).
49. Most,146-150; Miravalle, “Foundational Presence,” 247-249; Manelli, 71-76; Miravalle, “With Jesus”, 18-23; Calkins, “Proposed Marian Dogma,” 15-16.
50. Miravalle, “With Jesus”, 22.
51. Most, 152; Miravalle, “Foundational Presence,” 248; Manelli, 76-80.
52. Is. 7:14, NAB.
53. Is. 53:5, NAB.
54. Most, 150; Miravalle, “Foundational Presence,” 249.