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Papers on Proposed 5th Marian Dogma 

Mary as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate
in the Contemporary Roman Liturgy

                                                     by Arthur Burton Calkins

Part 2

III.  Mary as Mediatrix

            In its treatment of Mary's Motherhood with regard to the Church the Catechism of the Catholic Church cites the text of Lumen Gentium 62 that "the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix"[87] and then follows immediately with these further texts from Lumen Gentium by way of commentary:

Mary's function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power.  But the Blessed Virgin's salutary influence on men ... flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely on it and draws all its power from it [Lumen Gentium 60].  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 co-operation which is but a sharing in this one source [Lumen Gentium 62].[88]

            Although the conciliar text does not make any allusion to it, there is a striking corroboration of the analogy between the priesthood of Christ and his unique mediation and the various ways of sharing in this priestly mediation developed in Pope Leo XIII's Rosary Encyclical of 20 September 1896, Fidentem Piumque.  Let us look at the argument which he develops with the help of St. Thomas Aquinas:

Undoubtedly the name and attributes of the absolute Mediator belong to no other than Christ; for being one Person and yet both Man and God He restored the human race to the favor of the Heavenly Father.  "One Mediator of God and men, the man Jesus Christ, who gave himself a redemption for all" (I Tim. 2:5-6).

And yet, as the Angelic Doctor teaches:  "There is no reason why certain others should not be called in a certain way mediators between God and man, that is to say in so far as they cooperate by predisposing and ministering in the union of man with God" (ST III, q. 26, a. 1).  Such are the angels and saints, the prophets and priests of both Testaments, but especially has the Blessed Virgin a claim to the glory of this title.  For no single individual can even be imagined who has ever contributed or ever will contribute so much toward reconciling man with God.  To mankind heading for eternal ruin, she offered a Savior when she received the announcement of the mystery brought to this earth by the Angel, and in giving her consent gave it "in the name of the whole human race" (ST III, q. 30, a. 1).  She is from whom Jesus is born; she is therefore truly His Mother and for this reason a worthy and acceptable "Mediatrix to the Mediator".[89]

We should note that the first passage which Leo XIII quotes from St. Thomas speaks explicitly of those who "cooperate by predisposing and ministering in the union of man with God" [cooperantur ad unionem hominis cum Deo dispositive et ministerialiter].[90] Among such secondary and subordinate mediators, the pope points out, Mary is preeminent.

A.  Minister of Grace according to the Magisterium

            For quite some time I have been impressed by the convergence and mutual complementarity of the theme of Mary as a "minister of grace" in both the papal magisterium and the Masses of the Collection.  Unfortunately however, I have not found any organized exposition of the papal texts which treats explicitly of Mary's "ministering in the union of man with God".  Since I am convinced that this category of "minister of grace" is a very important way of approaching the mystery of Mary's maternal mediation, I ask the reader to bear with this exposition which, of necessity, will be proportionately more detailed than other allusions that I have thus far made to Marian themes in the magisterium which are already well documented and may be found in the indices of standard mariological references.  My hope is that this framework may also be a contribution to studies on the papal Marian magisterium.

            The argument about the ministerial nature of Mary's mediation was developed to a marked degree by Leo XIII in a number of his "Rosary Encyclicals" which he wrote every year from 1883 to 1898 to encourage this Marian devotion and teach about Mary's mediation. [91] Here is the first instance which I have found in the first of those Encyclical Letters, Supremi Apostolatus of 1 September 1883:

We consider that there can be no surer and more efficacious means to this end [to render our labors and our cares more effective] than by obtaining through devotion and piety the favor of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, the guardian of our peace and the minister to us of heavenly grace, who is placed on the highest summit of power and glory in heaven, in order that she may bestow the help of her patronage on men who through so many labors and dangers are striving to reach that eternal city.  [Hanc ad rem nihil validius potiusque iudicamus, quam religione et pietate demereri magnam Dei Parentem Mariam Virginem, quæ pacis nostræ apud Deum sequestra et cælestium administra gratiarum, in celsissimo potestatis est gloriæque fastigio in cælis collocata, ut hominibus ad sempiternam illam civitatem per tot labores et pericula contendentibus patrocinii sui subsidium impertiat.][92]

It should be noted that ministra and administra, the feminine forms respectively of minister and administer, both have roughly the same range of meanings:  subordinate, servant, attendant, assistant or minister.[93] Hence the terms are virtually synonymous.

            The following year Pope Leo wrote similarly in his Encyclical Letter Superiore Anno of 30 August 1884:

We have a confident hope that God will at length let Himself be moved and have pity upon the state of His Church, and give ear to the prayers coming to Him through her whom He has chosen to be the dispenser of all heavenly graces. [ ... in spem certam adducimur, fore et aliquando propitietur Deus, Ecclesiæque suæ miseratus vicem, audiat tandem preces obsecrantium per Eam, quam ipse cælestium gratiarum voluit esse administram.][94]

It is well known that Leo XIII was an excellent Latinist and that he had mastered the idiom to such an extent that translators often opted for a more colloquial rendition of his thought in English rather than a literal and possibly slavish translation.  It should be noted, nonetheless, that the phrase "dispenser of all heavenly graces" renders the more technical cælestium gratiarum administram.

            The ministry of Our Lady is also alluded to in Leo XIII's Encyclical Iucunda Semper of 8 September 1894 even though it disappears beneath the surface of the English translation.

If in all this series of mysteries, Venerable Brethren, are developed the counsels of God in regard to us -- "counsels of wisdom and of tenderness" -- not less apparent is the greatness of the benefits for which we are debtors to the Virgin Mother.  No one can meditate upon this without feeling a new awakening in his heart of confidence that he will certainly obtain through Mary the fullness of the mercies of God.  [Hæc omnia, Venerabiles Fratres, in quibus consilium Dei proditur, consilium sapientiæ, consilium pietatis, simulque permagna in nos merita Virginis Matris elucent, neminem quidem possunt non iucunde afficere, certa spe iniecta divinæ clementiæ et miserationis administra Maria consequendæ.][95]

The point being made rather eloquently in Latin is that those who meditate on the mysteries of the rosary can have confidence that they will obtain the divine clemency and pity through the ministry of Mary.

            A year later in his Encyclical Letter Adiutricem Populi of 5 September 1895 Leo made the following declaration:

It is impossible to measure the power and scope of her offices since the day she was taken up to that height of heavenly glory in the company of her Son, to which the dignity and luster of her merits entitle her.  From her heavenly abode, she began, by God's decree, to watch over the Church, to assist and befriend us as our Mother; so that she who was so intimately associated with the mystery of human salvation is just as closely associated with the distribution of the graces which from all time will flow from the Redemption.  [Ad hæc vero dici vix potest quantum amplitudinis virtutisque tunc accesserit, cum ad fastigium cælestis gloriæ, quod dignitatem eius claritatemque meritorum decebat, est apud Filium assumpta.  Nam, inde, divino consilio, sic illa coepit advigilare Ecclesiæ, sic nobis adesse favere mater, ut quæ sacramenti humanæ redemptionis patrandi administra fuerat eademque gratiæ ex illo in omne tempus derivandæ esse pariter administra, permissa ei pæne immensa potestate.[96]

Here let us note that Leo links the concept of Mary's ministerial service both to her previous association with Christ in the work of redemption as well as to her role in the present dispensation.  Hence, he delineates her role as associate in the redemption as sacramenti humanæ redemptionis patrandi administra while he refers to her role in the distribution of grace as gratiæ ex illo in omne tempus derivandæ pariter administra.[97]

            The concept as well as the terminology of Mary as "minister of grace" was duly adopted by Leo XIII's successor, Pope St. Pius X, in his Encyclical Letter Ad Diem Illum of 2 February 1904.

We are thus, it will be seen, very far from declaring the Mother of God to be the authoress of supernatural grace.  Grace comes from God alone.  But since she surpassed all in holiness and union with Christ, and has been associated with Christ in the work of Redemption, she, as the expression is, merits de congruo what Christ merits de condigno, and is the principal minister in the distribution of grace. ...  With these principles laid down and returning to our subject, will it not appear to all that it is right and proper to affirm that Mary, whom Jesus made His constant companion from the house of Nazareth to the place of Calvary, knew, as no other knew, the secrets of his heart, distributes as by a mother's right the treasures of His merits, and is the surest help to the knowledge and love of Christ?  [Patet itaque abesse profecto plurimum ut nos Deiparæ supernaturalis  gratiæ efficiendæ vim tribuamus, quæ Dei unius est.  Ea tamen, quoniam universis sanctitate præstat coniunctioneque cum Christo, atque a Christo ascita in humanæ salutis opus, "de congruo," ut aiunt, promeret nobis quæ Christus "de condigno" promeruit, estque princeps largiendarum gratiarum ministra. ...  His positis, ut ad propositum redeamus, cui Nos non iure recteque affirmasse videbimur, Mariam, quæ a Nazarethena domo ad Calvariæ locum assiduam se Iesu comitem dedit, eiusque arcana cordis ut nemo alius novit, ac thesauros promeritorum eius materno veluti iure administrat, maximo certissimoque esse adiumento ad Christi notitiam atque amorem?][98]

What I wish to underscore here is St. Pius X's specific reference to Mary as "the principal minister in the distribution of grace" [princeps largiendarum gratiarum ministra].  This forceful assertion is further reinforced by his insistence that Mary "distributes ... the treasures of His merits" [thesauros promeritorum eius ... administrat].  Here we find the use of the verbal form administrare, to manage, to direct, to administer, to distribute.[99] The idea is quite precise in its imagery:  the graces of the Redemption come to us through the mediation of the Mother of God. [100]

            The employment of the designation of Mary as ministra gratiarum continued with Pope Benedict XV who, in his Encyclical Letter Fausto Appetente Die of 29 June 1921 spoke thus of St. Dominic:

He knew well that while on one hand Mary is all powerful with her divine Son who grants all graces to mankind through her, on the other hand she is by nature so good and so merciful that, inclined to aid spontaneously those who suffer, she is absolutely incapable of refusing her help to those who invoke her.  [Probe enim noverat Mariam ex una parte quidem tantum auctoritate apud Filium divinum posse, ut is, quidquid gratiarum hominibus confert, illa semper administra et arbitra conferat, ex altera autem tam benignæ clementisque esse naturæ ut, cum ultro solita sit miseris succurrere, omnino nequeat opem postulantibus recusare.][101]

Let us note that the English translation we are using, while it adequately gives us the sense of the text, does not translate the word administra, very important for our analysis.  A literal rendering would clarify that "whatever graces her divine Son grants to mankind, he confers always with her as minister and mediator."

            In the reign of Pope Pius XI we find the terminology of Our Lady's "ministry of grace" in the conclusion of his great encyclical on reparation through and to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Miserentissimus Redemptor of 8 May 1928:

Trusting in her intercession with Christ our Lord, who though sole Mediator between God and man (I Tim. 2:5), wished however to make His Mother the advocate for sinners and the dispenser and mediatrix of His grace, from the bottom of Our heart as a token of heavenly favor and of Our fatherly solicitude We heartily impart to you and to all the faithful entrusted to your care Our Apostolic Benediction.  [Cuius Nos confisi apud Christum deprecatione, qui unus cum sit "Mediator Dei et hominum", suam sibi Matrem adsciscere voluit peccatorum advocatam gratiæque ministram ac mediatricem, cælestium munerum auspicem paternæque benevolentiæ Nostræ testem, vobis, Venerabiles Fratres, vestrisque curis concredito gregi universo, apostolicam benedictionem peramanter impertimus.][102]

In this case we find Mary's function with regard to the grace of Redemption delineated with two words in apposition, "dispenser and mediatrix" [ministram ac mediatricem].  We find the Pontiff employing the same language in his Letter Sollemne semper of 15 August 1932 to Cardinal Schuster of Milan:

In fact, the Mother of God, minister of heavenly graces, was placed at the zenith of power and of glory in heaven to give the help of her patronage to men searching their way on earth among many fatigues and dangers.  [Ipsa enim Dei Parens, cælestium administra gratiarum, in celsissimo potestatis gloriæque fastigio est in cælis collocata, ut hominibus per tot labores et pericula in terris peregrinantibus patrocinii sui subsidium impertiat.][103]

            The Servant of God Pope Pius XII also adopted the language of his predecessors on the Marian "ministry of grace" in the course of his pontificate.  On 21 April 1940 in an allocution to Genoese pilgrims he made a very interesting comparison between Mary's "ministry of grace" and that of Peter.

To Mary, who reigns in heaven "humble yet higher than any creature," near His Throne, God grants the custody of the treasures of His manifold graces.  She is, moreover, their minister and generous dispenser. ... While Peter has the keys of heaven, Mary has the key to God's heart; while Peter binds and looses, Mary also binds with the chain of love and looses with the gift of pardon.  While Peter is the guardian and minister of indulgences, Mary is the generous and wise treasurer of God's favors.  [Maria, che regna nei cieli, «umile ed alta più che creatura», a cui presso il suo trono Dio concesse la custodia dei tesori della multiforme sua grazia, ne è pure ministra e dispensiera generosa. ... Se Pietro ha le chiavi del cielo, Maria ha le chiavi del cuore di Dio; se Pietro lega e scioglie, anche Maria lega, con le catene dell'amore; anche essa scioglie, con l'arte del perdono.  Se Pietro è il custode e il ministro dell'indulgenza, Maria è la munifica e sapiente tesoriera dei divini favori][104].

            Pius used the occasion of a radio broadcast to the Shrine of Fatima for the coronation of the statue of Our Lady on 13 May 1946 to set forth the doctrinal foundations of Our Lady's Queenship, a matter he would take up with even greater solemnity eight years later in his Encyclical Ad Cæli Reginam.  In the Portuguese transmission, widely publicized and commented upon, he said:

He, the Son of God, gave His heavenly Mother a share in His glory, His majesty, His kingship; because, associated as Mother and Minister to the King of martyrs in the ineffable work of man's Redemption, she is likewise associated with Him forever, with power so to speak infinite, in the distribution of the graces which flow from Redemption.  [Ele o Filho Deus, reflecte sobre a celeste Mãe a glória, a majestade, o império da sua realeza; -- porque associada, como Mãe e Ministra, ao Rei dos mártires na obra inefável da humana Redenção, lhe épara sempre associada, com cum poder quasi imenso, na distribuiçao das graças que da Redenção derivam.][105]

As in many other papal texts we note here a description of Our Lady in her capacity as both Coredemptrix and Mediatrix.  In the first role she is described as "Minister to the King of martyrs in the ineffable work of man's Redemption" and in the second as "associated with Him forever ... in the distribution of the graces which flow from Redemption".  Here the term "minister" refers explicitly to the coredemptive phase of Mary's activity, while the mediatorial phase is characterized as "the distribution of graces".  However, one could hardly deny that this too might be described as a "ministry".

            A reference in his letter to the Polish Episcopate on 8 December 1955 is a little less specific about Our Lady as "minister of grace", but the idea is not altogether absent.

Furthermore, to dispel anxiety, you must lift your eyes to the Mother of God, your Queen, in a renewal of devotion; having crushed the infernal serpent under her heel, she is the mediatrix and dispenser of reward for your every conquest.  [Præterea ut omni perturbatione vacetis, vestri convertendi sunt oculi novo pietatis studio ad Dei Genetricem Reginam vestram quæ, cum virgineo pede infernum inimicum calcaverit, cuiuslibet intemeratæ victoriæ est ministra et auctrix.][106]

Here she is literally described as the "minister and authoress of untainted victory", but the victory is always undeniably one of grace.

            Although the term ministra gratiarum does not occur in the body of the Second Vatican Council's explicit treatment of Our Lady in the eighth chapter of Lumen Gentium, it is not because it was not proposed.  The history of its proposal is interesting and illuminating.  The late Father Karl Balic, O.F.M., founder of the Pontifical International Marian Academy and one of the Council's chief Marian experts[107], together with his colleagues of the Academy drafted the first schema of a Marian document for the Council.  That draft, [108] quickly rejected, dealt with the theme of Mary's mediation in a way that was both more reflective of the previous papal magisterium on this matter and consequently more developed than what one presently finds in Lumen Gentium #60 and 62.

            Unfortunately, the climate at the Council was not auspicious for the full assimilation of the doctrine on Mary's mediation which had already been well established.[109] The story of the conflicts in the Council on the Marian chapter in general, on Our Lady's mediation in particular and the fear of offending Protestants is now well documented[110]. What are of particular interest to us here are three facts:  (1) the first schema spoke explicitly of Mary as the "minister and dispenser of heavenly graces" [gratiarum administra et dispensatrix] [111]; (2) in 1964, prior to the final vote on chapter eight of Lumen Gentium, 37 Council Fathers proposed adding to the second sentence in #62 "minister and dispenser of all graces" [omnium gratiarum administra et dispensatrix] and, of that number, 35 wished to explain "because she was associated with Christ in acquiring them" [eo quod Christo sociata fuit in illis acquirendis] further stating that this is the "common doctrine" of the Church [hæc dicunt pertinere ad communem doctrinam], to which the Doctrinal Commission responded simply that these proposed additions implied theological explanations which the text did not deal with [Implicant tamen explicationes theologicas, de quibus textus non iudicat]; [112] (3) these words are nonetheless inserted in the final conciliar text by virtue of their inclusion in footnote 16 which illustrates the modest statement that "the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix."  In the full Latin texts of the footnotes of Lumen Gentium chapter eight published in Marian Studies one finds the words of St. Pius X's Ad Diem Illum that Mary is the "dispenser of all gifts" [universorum munerum dispensatrix] and the closing lines of Pius XI's Miserentissimus Redemptor which refer to Mary as the "minister and mediatrix of grace" [gratiæque ministram ac mediatricem].[113]

            Perhaps as a delicate way of reasserting the tradition, the Servant of God Paul VI made use of the ecumenically contested but nonetheless well-established terminology in his Encyclical Letter Mense Maio of 29 April 1965.  In the context of his exhortation to fervent prayer because of world conditions he said:

Even if the grave sins of men provoke God's justice and merit His just punishments, we must not forget that he is "the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort," that He has appointed Mary most holy as the generous steward of His merciful gifts.  [Quodsi gravia hominum delicta Dei iustitiam lacessunt, eiusque iustas merentur poenas, nihilominus hoc etiam obliviscendum non est, ipsum esse Patrem misericordiarum et Deum totius consolationis, ac donorum misericordiæ suæ Mariam sanctissimam generosam administram eum constituisse.][114]

He gives as perennial reasons for hope that God is the Father of mercies and that he has made Mary the "generous steward of his merciful gifts" [donorum misericordiæ suæ generosam administram], hence one may conclude quite correctlyl the "minister of his grace".

            Paul VI further highlighted Mary's ministry in his Apostolic Exhortation Signum Magnum of 13 May 1967.

From that moment [of her consent at the Annunciation], she consecrated all of herself to the service not only of the heavenly Father and of the Word Incarnate, who had become her Son, but also to all mankind, having clearly understood that Jesus, in addition to saving his people from the slavery of sin, would become the King of a messianic Kingdom, universal and eternal. ... It can be asserted that the whole life of the humble handmaid of the Lord, from the moment when she was greeted by the Angel, until her assumption in body and soul to heavenly glory, was a life of loving service.  [Ex quo tempore totam se ministerio devovit non solum Patris cælestis et Verbi incarnati, quod Filius ipsius factum est, sed etiam universi hominum generis. ... tota humilis Ancillæ Domini vita ex quo tempore ab Angelo est salutata ad tempus usque, quod ex hisce terris ad cælestium gloriam anima et corpore est evecta, amantis ministerii vita fuisse dicenda est.][115]

One wonders why the National Catholic Welfare Conference English translators chose to render both occurences of the word ministerium as service instead of ministry.  The latter term is not only the literal translation but also connotes better, it seems to me, the very distinctive function and office which Mary carried out.  It was indeed a specific ministry.  Father Calabuig points out that Paul VI was here already developing and refining the text of Lumen Gentium #56.[116]

            Finally let us note how the present Pontiff has continued to speak of Our Lady's ministry.  In his allocution to the Roman Curia of 22 December 1987 he said

The Marian Year, in fact, prepares us to approach Christ in this Advent of the third millennium in order to relive the mystery of his Incarnation, following Mary who precedes us in this journey of faith.  She was the first "minister" of the Word.  [L'Anno Mariano, infatti, ci prepara ad andare incontro a Cristo, in questo Avvento del terzo Millennio, a rivivere il mistero della sua incarnazione, seguendo Maria che ci precede in questo cammino di fede.  Ella è stata la prima "ministra" del Verbo.][117]

            In his Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus of 1 May 1991 he wrote in #62:

Mary, the Mother of the Redeemer, constantly remained beside Christ in his journey towards the human family and in its midst, and she goes before the Church on the pilgrimage of faith.  May her maternal intercession accompany humanity towards the next Millennium, in fidelity to him who "is the same yesterday and today and for ever" (cf. Heb. 13:8), Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name I cordially impart my blessing to all.  [Redemptoris Mater Maria, Christo continenter adhærens in via ad homines cumque hominibus atque Ecclesiam in fidei peregrinatione antecedens, hominum genus materna sua prosequatur precatione proximum ad Millenium, fidissima ipsius administra qui «heri et hodie idem, et in sæcula» est Iesus Christus, Dominus noster, cuius demum nomine singulis ex animo benedicimus Nos.][118]

Unfortunately, fidissima ipsius administra is not rendered in the official English translation and the phrase "in fidelity ..." gives the impression of modifying humanity rather than Mary.  A more literal translation of the part of the text of immediate interest to us would be:

May Mary, the Mother of the Redeemer, ... accompany humanity by her maternal prayer to the next Millennium, she, the most faithful minister of him who "is the same yesterday, today and forever", Jesus Christ our Lord ...

In considering this final text let us note first that the attribution of the term administra to Mary is a testimony to a magisterial tradition which, as we have seen, stretches back well over a hundred years from the pontificate of Leo XIII into this one.  Secondly, we notice that this rich, precise and evocative term has simply disappeared in the English translation, sacrificed, evidently for a smoother, more idiomatic presentation, but perhaps also because the translator was unaware of its doctrinal resonances.  When one knows something of the associations of the word and its magisterial usage, however, the implications are much the richer and signal a more emphatic reference to Mary's mediation of grace.

            It is also to be noted that the final three texts which we have cited do not speak explicitly of Mary's mediation of grace, but rather of her ministry in a more general context.  These texts do not in any way exclude her role of being minister or dispenser of grace, but rather situate it in a more comprehensive framework.  These references harken back to the description of Mary given in Leo XIII's Encyclical Adiutricem Populi as "minister of the mystery of human redemption" [sacramenti humanæ redemptionis patrandi administra] and are in full harmony with the description which we have already seen in the Preface of the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Presentation of the Lord as "minister of the plan of salvation" [salvificæ dispensationis ministra].

            By way of concluding our consideration of the magisterial statements about Mary as "minister of grace", I would like to cite the words of Father Armand J. Robichaud, S.M. on Our Lady as "Dispensatrix [dispenser] of all graces".  Although I have limited this analysis to instances of the term "minister of grace" (with the three exceptions noted above) because of the parallel liturgical usage which we will see, it is obvious that the terms dispensatrix and ministra are virtually equivalent and that his statement, which takes into consideration many other papal texts on Mary's mediation, also serves as an excellent summary of the doctrine which we have been considering.

When we assert that Our Lady is the Dispensatrix of all graces we mean that she actually obtains them for us, through some true causality on her part ...  By "all graces" we mean sanctifying grace, the infused theological and moral virtues, the gifts of the Holy Ghost, all actual graces, the charismatic gifts, and even temporal favors having a bearing on our supernatural end.  In brief, everything which produces, conserves, increases, or perfects the supernatural life of man.  This universally extends likewise to the beneficiaries of Mary's mission, for it affects all human beings of all times, including the souls in purgatory.[119]

B.  Minister of Grace according to the Liturgy

            Coming to the concept of Mary's ministry from the perspective of Lumen Gentium #56 which speaks of Mary's "serving the mystery of the redemption" [mysterio redemptionis inserviens] and from Paul VI's Apostolic Exhortation Signum Magnum [120] which we have seen above, Father Ignacio Calabuig Adán, O.S.M. says that the term ministry [ministerium] predicated of Mary seems to add to the term service [servitium] a note of stability and organic unity which thus implies an office or mission [munus].[121  He cites St. Peter Chrysologus' application of the term minister of salvation [ministra salutis] to Mary already in the fifth century[122] and cites with approval the reapplication of this term to Our Lady once again in the postconciliar Roman liturgy. [123]  (We are already aware of the precedent in the pontifical magisterium of the past hundred years.)  He says that

Mary carries out, first on earth and then in heaven, the task which God in his mercy has assigned to her (= «ministra dispensationis salvificæ», «ministra pietatis», in view of the salvation of the human race («ministra redemptionis»).[124]

Let us consider carefully what he is expounding.  Mary's ministry, both on earth and in heaven, he says, is a service to the salvific plan of God.  Because this is so, she is fittingly described in the Preface of the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Presentation of the Lord [Sancta Maria in Præsentatione Domini] as "minister of God's saving plan" [ministra dispensationis salvifica] [125] and in that of Our Lady of Ransom [Beata Maria Virgo de Mercede] as "minister of our redemption".[126]

            Both of these designations may be considered as encapsulated in the term ministra pietatis.  I leave this term in Latin for the moment because of the difficulty facing the translator who wants to render it with a simple English phrase.  The basic meaning of pietas is dutifulness.  To an ancient Roman its meaning would have been supplied by its point of reference:  pietas directed to the gods meant piety or devotion; pietas directed to one's parents or elders meant respect or deference; pietas directed to one's country meant patriotism; pietas on the part of the gods meant benevolence, compassion and mercy.[127] As we will recognize from the discussion of Mary as "the minister of God's saving plan", it is this final denotation which best renders this word for our purposes.  Mary is indeed the minister of God's mercy, compassion, tenderness and loving kindness.[128]  I submit that it is this range of meaning which is the most faithful to the Latin liturgical texts with which we will now deal.

            There is one final preliminary observation to be made before we begin to consider the liturgical texts themselves.  The English translators have consistently rendered the words ministra and administra as "handmaid".  This word, indeed, has a long and distinguished history as rendering the Latin word ancilla in Mary's response to the angel Gabriel:  "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord" (Lk. 1:38).  I believe that Manuel Miguens, O.F.M. has made an excellent case for translating the original Greek word doule, rendered in the Latin Vulgate as ancilla, with the stronger word servant [129] which in Latin would be serva.  Be that as it may, I think that it weakens the sense of the Latin text in each instance considerably to translate the word ministra as handmaid.  Father Calabuig and Doctor Barbieri justly argue that the word ministerium adds to the word servitium the connotation of stability and implies a munus [office].[130] So it does also in English.  A woman serving as a prime minister or holding a cabinet level post as minister of finance would rightly balk at being called the "first handmaid" or the "handmaid of finance".  While the term ancilla is still a fully appropriate description of Our Lady in her littleness and is used as such in the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary, [131] I submit that it notably diminishes the role attributed to Mary as salvificæ dispensationis ministra [132] and redemptionis ministra [133] to render it respectively as "the handmaid of your plan of salvation" and "the handmaid of our redemption" as is done in the vernacular typical edition of the Collection published for use in the United States.

            Much stronger and more faithful to the original Latin typical edition, it seems to me, is to denominate Mary as "minister of God's saving plan" and "minister of our redemption".  True, she is not the principal minister who is always Christ.  But "under and with him" [sub Ipso et cum Ipso], she has no equal in "serving the mystery of the redemption" [mysterio redemptionis inserviens].[134]   Hence, while I will continue to cite the English translation approved for use in the United States in each citation, I wish to register my dissatisfaction with it in this regard and in commenting I will provide my own translation when it seems appropriate.  I find it rather ironic that in this era when the word minister and ministry seems to be so consistently over-used, one who has a special claim to this title should be denied it.

            In the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary the word administra only occurs once,[135] in the Prayer over the gifts of the first Mass of Mary at the Foot of the Cross [Beata Maria Virgo iuxta Crucem Domini, I]:

Lord, graciously receive the offerings of your family and make them the sacrament of our redemption, which Mary faithfully served at the altar of the cross.  [Oblationes familiæ tuæ, Domine, clementer assume, et in sacramentum humanæ redemptionis converte, cuius generosa Virgo, in ara crucis exstitit administra.[136]

The word administra is not identifiable in the English translation; the closest reflection of it is in the verb "served".  The relevant portion might be rendered literally thus:  "make them the sacrament of human redemption of which the generous Virgin stood as a minister at the altar of the cross."[137] What is stated here obviously testifies to the doctrine of the coredemption:  Mary stood as a minister at the altar of the cross.  But there is at least a further implication, even if it is not developed:  she who shared in the ministry of Christ on the altar of the cross shares also in the application of the gifts of the redemption.

            The term ministerium is attributed to Our Lady in the Preface of the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Epiphany of the Lord [Beata Maria Virgo in Epiphania Domini]:

Through the ministry of the Blessed Virgin you draw the families of all peoples to faith in the Gospel.  [Quia per Beatæ Virginis ministerium ad fidem Evangelii cunctas attrahis familias populorum ...][138]

Here, according to Manlio Sodi, we have an image of the Virgin holding the infant Jesus in her arms and presenting him to the Magi who represent all peoples.  But is this reflection limited strictly to the past?  In the liturgy of the Church these words take on a trans-temporal significance.  They may also be seen as referring to Mary's heavenly ministry and that is indisputably a ministry of grace.  Thus Mary is acknowledged as having a ministry of drawing all families of peoples to the faith.

            The word ministra itself occurs six times in the Collection[139] and we have already dealt at some length with two of them:  "minister of God's saving plan" [ministra dispensationis salvifica] [140] and "minister of our redemption" [redemptionis ministra].[141] It need only be added here that both of these descriptions are ways of speaking about Mary's mediation and, while they do not speak explicitly of her mediation of grace, they definitely imply it because both the concept of God's saving plan and that of redemption necessarily include the saving grace won for us by Christ.

            Next, there are three instances of the term ministra pietatis.  The first of these is to be found in the Preface of the Mass of Holy Mary, Handmaid of the Lord [Sancta Maria, Ancilla Domini]:

In the Blessed Virgin Mary you were especially pleased, for by embracing your plan of salvation she gave herself wholeheartedly to the work of your Son as a faithful servant of the mystery of redemption.  She who gave great service to Christ was given great honor by you, his Father.  She who saw herself as your lowly handmaid was raised up by you to reign as queen in glory in the presence of your Son, where she intercedes for us in her goodness as the servant of your love.  [Quia in beata Virgine tibi singulariter complacuisti:  illa enim, salvificam voluntatem tuam complectens, operi Filii tui totaliter se devovit, mysterio redemptionis fideliter inserviens; unde eam, quæ multum Christo ministravit, multum honorificasti; et quæ humilem ancillam tuam se dixit, eam gloriosam apud Filium tuum exaltasti reginam, ubi, pietatis ministra, pro nobis intercedit benigna.][142]

First let us note that the text of Lumen Gentium #56 is being quoted directly here on Mary's serving the mystery of the redemption.  Next we recognize the coredemptive dimension:  Mary ministered greatly to Christ [multum Christo ministravit] which led to her glorification.  Hence she now reigns as Queen with Christ the King "where she intercedes for us as the benevolent minister of divine mercy."  The official Italian translation further supports our interpretation by speaking of Mary "exalted as the glorious queen at the side of the throne of your Son where she intercedes for us as minister of mercy and grace."[143]

            The Preface of the Mass of Holy Mary, Queen and Mother of Mercy [Sancta Maria, Regina et Mater Misericordiæ] also provides us with an important instance of Mary as ministra pietatis:

She is the gracious queen who has herself uniquely known your loving kindness and stretches our her arms to embrace all who take refuge in her and call upon her help in their distress.  She is the mother of mercy, always attentive to the voice of her children, seeking to win your compassion for them, and asking your forgiveness for their sins.  She is the handmaid of your love, never ceasing to pray for us to your Son, that he may enrich our poverty with his grace and strengthen our weakness with his power.  [Hæc est regina clemens, quæ misericordiam tuam singulariter experta, omnes ad eam confugientes recipit, ac de tribulatione clamantes exaudit.  Hæc est mater misericordiæ, ad preces filiorum semper inclinata, ut eis indulgentiam obtineat et veniam impetret peccatorum.  Hæc est ministra pietatis, quæ Filium tuum pro nobis indesinenter exorat, ut sua gratia nostram ditet paupertatem, sua virtute nostram roboret infirmitatem.][144]

This is a strikingly beautiful and expressive Preface, a true paean of praise to God for the great things that he has done in Mary as well as a celebration of her as Queen and Mother of Mercy.  Pope John Paul II tells us in his Encyclical Dives in Misericordia that by virtue of her preventive redemption, her Immaculate Conception, she has "obtained mercy in an exceptional way" [more extraordinario misericordiam experta][145] and this duly echoed in the words "she ... has herself uniquely known your loving kindness" [misericordiam tuam singulariter experta].  The final sentence cited above is a beautiful description of the effects of Mary's intercession:  as minister of divine mercy[146] she intercedes for us with her Son so that he may enrich us with his grace and strengthen us with his power.  Whereas in the first part of this Preface Mary's ministry of receiving sinners is described, at the end her ministry of intercession is emphasized, an intercession which wins us grace.

            The Preface of the Mass of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Divine Providence [Beata Maria Virgo, Divinæ Providentiæ Mater] affords us a third opportunity to study the meaning of ministra pietatis:

In Cana of Galilee, when she interceded with her Son for the bridegroom and bride, he gave the first of his signs:  water turned into wine, the wedding guests rejoiced, and the disciples believed in their Master.  Now enthroned as queen at her Son's right hand, she provides for all the needs of the Church as the handmaid of your love and as a mother who cares for each of her children, entrusted to her by Christ Jesus while he hung upon the cross.  [In Cana Galilææ pro sponsis Filium rogavit, qui initium fecit signorum:  unda rubescit, lætantur convivæ atque in Magistrum credunt discipuli.  Et nunc, regina sedens ad dexteram Filii, cunctis Ecclesiæ necessitatibus succurrit, atque unicuique nostrum, quos Christus Iesus a cruce illi commendavit, ministra pietatis adest ac provida mater.][147]

The texts of this Mass are taken largely from the Proper Mass of Our Lady of Divine Providence, first granted to the Clerics Regular of St. Paul (Barnabites) by Pope Benedict XIV in 1744 and later to several other religious institutes.[148]  The formulary found in the Proper of Saints for Certain Places and assigned to the Saturday before the Third Sunday of November in the former Roman Missal (RM 67) as well as the one found in the Collection both provide for this celebration the Gospel of the wedding feast of Cana (Jn. 2:1-11).  Hence the apposite reference to the Cana scene in the new proper Preface.  The section which concerns us particularly may be rendered literally thus:

And now as queen seated at the right hand of her Son, she comes to the aid of all the needs of the Church, and to each one of us whom Christ Jesus entrusted to her from the cross she is present as a minister of divine mercy and provident mother.[149]

Thus this Preface manages to emphasize both dimensions of the title of the Mass:  Mary's spiritual motherhood and her provident care for each member of the faithful as a minister of God's loving kindness.

            Finally, in the Preface of the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Mediatrix of Grace [Beata Maria Virgo, Mater et Mediatrix Gratiæ] we find the fullest elaboration of the meaning of Mary's role as ministra pietatis.  This euchological text describes her as ministra gratiæ, an office which follows from her relationship with the Redeemer as Mother and Associate and derives from his unique mediation:

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Truly God and truly human,[150] he was chosen by you as the one mediator between you and the human family, always living to make intercession for us.  In your wisdom and goodness the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother and companion of the Redeemer, was to have a maternal role in the Church:  of intercession and pardon, of prayer and grace, of reconciliation and peace.  The love that she bestows as a mother is entirely the gift of Christ, the one mediator, from whom alone she receives her power.  Her children, in their trials and fears, turn with confidence to the Blessed Virgin, calling to her as mother of mercy and handmaid of grace.  [Vere dignum et iustum est, æquum et salutare, nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere, Domine, sancte Pater, omnipotens æterne Deus, per Christum Dominum nostrum.  Quem, verum Deum et hominem verum, unum inter te et homines constituisti mediatorem, semper vivum ad interpellandum pro nobis.  Sed tuæ bonitatis consilio statuisti ut beata Virgo Maria, Redemptoris mater et socia, munus in Ecclesia exerceret maternum:  intercessionis et veniæ, impetrationis et gratiæ, reconciliationis et pacis.  Quæ maternæ caritatis dispensatio tota ex unica Christi mediatione pendet totamque ex illa haurit virtutem.  Unde fideles, in angustiis et periculis versantes, ad beatam Virginem fidentes confugiunt, quam matrem misericordiæ invocant et gratiæ ministram.][151]

At the very outset it should be recognized that this Preface is the most developed and comprehensive statement of Mary's mediation of grace to be found in the Roman liturgy insofar as this author is aware.  It reproduces an important clarification about the relationship of Mary's mediation to that of Christ which is taken directly from Lumen Gentium #60 and #62.[152] Moreover, in my opinion, it manages to situate Mary's mediatorial role more successfully than does the conciliar text, in a way which does not minimize it, but shows it to be a real maternal office or mission in the Church [munus maternum in Ecclesia] which she exercises by divine design [tuæ bonitatis consilio].

            Before continuing the analysis of this capital text, it should also be noted that this Mass of Mary, Mother and Mediatrix of Grace, replaces the original Mass of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces [Beatæ Mariæ Virginis omnium gratiarum Mediatricis], [153] which was granted by Pope Benedict XV at the request of Cardinal Désiré Joseph Mercier, Archbishop of Malines-Brussels, Belgium.[154] As all the Marian Masses of the former Roman Missal used the same Marian Preface, we can say that this new Preface, as all the Prefaces which we have been analyzing, represents a genuine enrichment of the liturgical cultus of Our Lady.  More specifically, we can say that it presents the doctrine of Mary's mediation of grace in the context of worship as it has never been previously presented.  Here I would like to propose my own fairly literal translation of a part of this magnificent Preface in order to highlight Mary's maternal mission, especially her mission as "minister of grace":

In the design of your goodness you ordained that the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Associate of the Redeemer, should exercise a maternal mission in the Church:  of intercession and pardon, of pleading and grace, of reconciliation and peace.  The carrying out of this mission of motherly love derives entirely from the unique mediation of Christ and draws all its power from it.  Wherefore the faithful, entangled in trials and dangers, fly trustingly to the Blessed Virgin, whom they call upon as the Mother of mercy and the minister of grace.

Following the lead of Father Calabuig, I wish to underscore that the word munus has acquired a very specific meaning in ecclesiastical Latin refering to an office or mission which a person is designated to carry out.  One speaks, for instance, of the munus episcoporum or the office of Bishops.  It is not incorrect to translate this word as role or function -- and, indeed, "maternal role" may seem to be a more natural phrase than "maternal mission".  What I wish to emphasize in this Preface is the clear assertion that by God's explicit design Mary exercises a unique maternal office which includes the mediation of grace.  The faithful rightly call upon her as Mother of mercy and minister of grace i.e., the one who ministers grace, the one through whom grace comes.  A final word:  just as I find "handmaid of love" a weak rendition of ministra pietatis, so I find "handmaid of grace" equally innocuous in interpreting ministra gratiæ, which is a strong proclamation of Mary's mediation of grace.

            The Preface which we have just considered is beautifully complimented by another, this one from the Mass of Mary, Mother of the Lord [Sancta Maria, Mater Domini].  The term which I wish to highlight this time is totally complementary to ministra gratiæ, namely dispensatrix gratiæ.  We have already met this term in the papal magisterium and have noted that during the Council the Theological Commission acknowledged as "common doctrine" that "Mary is the minister and dispenser of all graces [omnium gratiarum administra et dispensatrix] because she was associated with Christ in acquiring them".  Here we have the liturgical confirmation of that doctrine:

In the mother of your Son you showed the wonders of your power and through her you still continue to accomplish in us our salvation.  In your wisdom and love she fulfills a mother's role in the household of the Church and is entrusted with the distribution of grace.  Through her words you instruct us, through her example you draw us to follow her Son, through her prayers you grant us forgiveness.  [Qui in Filii tui Genetrice magna fecisti et per eam salutem in nobis operari non desinis:  ipsa enim, tuo providenti consilio, materno in Ecclesia fungitur munere ac gratiæ tuæ dispensatrix exsistit fidelis; cuius verbis nos admones, exemplis ad Christi attrahis sequelam, precibus nobis indulges.] [155]

            This beautiful prayer formula taken from the Proper Masses of the Mercedarians [156] strongly accentuates Mary's mediation, particularly her mediation of grace.  Let us consider some of its major features by looking at another partial literal translation of the text.

You do not cease to work out our salvation through her:  for in your providential plan she carries out a mother's mission in the Church and stands forth as the faithful dispenser of grace.  By her words you admonish us; by her example you attract us to the following of Christ; by her prayers you pardon us.

It is truly a categorical affirmation to declare that God does not cease to work out our salvation through Mary, but this statement is also measured against the Church's millennial experience of the efficacy of Mary's maternal intercession and her gradual growth in recognizing it under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  The Church's belief in her agency as a "minister of our redemption" is made clear by these strong assertions:  "By her words you admonish us; by her example you attract us to the following of Christ; by her prayers you pardon us."

            Such lapidary statements give eloquent testimony to Mary's mediation and it is precisely in this context that Mary is called "the dispenser of grace" [dispensatrix gratiæ].  This term has been used to describe Our Lady's mediation and specifically her role in the distribution of grace in the papal magisterium since at least 24 January 1806 with the Apostolic Constitution Quod Divino Afflata Spiritu of Pius VII.[157] To my knowledge the appearance of this term in the Collection is the first instance of its liturgical use in a Missal intended for use throughout the Roman Rite.

            I would now like to add a word about the extent of Mary's role as dispenser or minister of grace.  The title of the original Mass granted by the Congregation of Rites at the request of Cardinal Mercier was The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces [Beatæ Mariæ Virginis omnium gratiarum Mediatricis] which  obviously indicates that all graces without exception come through the mediation of Our Lady.  This concept is also attested to by the first Entrance Antiphon proposed for the Mass formulary which is the successor to that original one:  Hail, holy Mary, rich fountain of love, treasure-house of all graces, ...  [Ave, sancta Maria, fons pietatis, omnium gratiarum referta ubertate, ...].[158] Finally, there is this testimony from the Postcommunion of the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Miraculous Medal [Beatæ Mariæ Virginis Immaculatæ a sacro Numismate] provided in the Proper of Saints for Certain Places in the former Roman Missal for 27 November:

O Lord God Almighty, it is your will that we possess everything through the immaculate Mother of your Son ...  [Domine Deus omnipotens, qui per immaculatam Genetricem Filii tui omnia nos habere voluisti ...].[159]

As Monsignor Lebon pointed out, [160] the wording of this prayer is a direct allusion to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux's famous statement in his sermon on Our Lady's Nativity (commonly referred to as the sermon on the aqueduct) that "it is God's will that we have everything through Mary" [quia sic est voluntas eius, qui totum nos habere voluit per Mariam]. [161]  Just as these words of St. Bernard are echoed in this oration, they have been cited repeatedly by Supreme Pontiffs in speaking of Mary's mediation of grace.[162]

Part 3



87. CCC 969.

88. CCC 970.

89. ASS 29 (1896-1897) 206 [OL #194].

90. For commentary on the Marian application of this text cf. Gherardini 307-309.

91. Cf. Theotokos 218-219.

92. ASS 16 (1883) 113; [OL #81].

93. Cf. Cassell's 16, 373.

94. ASS 17 (1884) 49 [OL #97].

95. ASS 27 (1894-1895) 179 [OL #154].

96. ASS 28 (1895-1896) 130 [OL #169].

97. For commentary on this text cf. Schug 61-62.

98. ASS 36 (1903-1904) 454-455 [OL #234-235].

99. Cf. Cassell's 16.

100. For commentary on this text cf. Schug 66-67; Perrella 143-144.  On the distinction between meriting de condigno and de congruo cf. Theotokos 246; Gherardini 311-318; William G. Most, Mary in our Life (New York:  P. J. Kenedy & Sons, 1954) 21, 24.

101. AAS 13 (1921) 334 [OL #275].

102. AAS 20 (1928) 178 [OL #287].

103. AAS 24 (1932) 376 [OL #317].

104. Domenico Bertetto, S.D.B. (ed.), Il Magistero Mariano di Pio XII (Roma: Edizioni Paoline, 1956) #46-47 [OL #361, 365].

105. AAS 38 (1946) 264 [OL #407, 413].

106. AAS 48 (1956) 75 [OL #770].

107. Cf. Theotokos 68.

108. Acta Syn 92-97; notes 98-121.  The body of the text is also supplied together with an English translation by James T. O'Connor in Marian Studies 37 (1986) 197-211.

109. Cf. Totus Tuus 184-185.

110. Cf. Theotokos 242-245, 354-356; Michael O'Carroll, C.S.Sp., "Mary's Mediation:  Vatican II and John Paul II," in Virgo Liber Verbi:  Miscellanea di Studi in Onore di P. Giuseppe M. Besutti, O.S.M. (Roma:  Edizioni «Marianum», 1991) 543-559; ibid., "Still mediatress of all graces?" Miles Immaculatæ 24 (1988) 121-126; Thomas Mary Sennott, O.S.B., "Mary mediatrix of all graces, Vatican II and Ecumenism," Miles Immaculatæ 24 (1988) 151-167.

111. Acta Syn 93, lines 25-26; Marian Studies 37 (1986) 202-203.

112. Modi 15; cf. Carlos Balic, O.F.M., "El Capitulo VIII de la Constitución «Lumen Gentium» comparado con el primer esquema de la B. Virgin Madre de la Iglesia," Estudios Marianos 27 (1966) 178.

113. Marian Studies 37 (1986) 232-233.

114. AAS 57 (1965) 357 [TPS 10:223].

115. AAS 59 (1967) 469-470 [St. Paul Editions 5-6].

116. Calabuig 217-218.

117. Inseg X/3 (1987) 1481 [ORE 1021:6].

118. Inseg XIV/1 (1991) 1023 [ORE 1189:15].

119. Robichaud 427.  Cf. also the summary of the magisterial teaching on Mary as Mediatrix of all graces which the author has made based on the observations of the late Canon Bittremieux, ibid. 435.  Father Schug's book, Mary, Mother 54-91 and passim can also be profitably consulted for magisterial texts on Mary's mediation.  His specific thesis is to prove that "Mary is a physical instrumental cause in the distribution of all grace" (8), a matter beyond the scope of our present enquiry, but even without entering into this specific argument, his book is a gold mine of references.

120. AAS 59 (1967) 469-470 [St. Paul Editions 6-7].

121. Calabuig 218; Cal-Barb 616-617.

122. Calabuig 219, footnote 75.

123. Calabuig 219.

124. Calabuig 220 (my trans.).

125. Col #7.

126. Col #43.

127. Cf. Cassell's 449.

128. This is also in perfect conformity with the medieval Latin usage well established in the Church.  J. F. Niermayer, in his Mediæ Latinitatis Lexicon Minus:  A Medieval Latin - French/English Dictionary (Leiden:  E. J. Brill, 1976), 796 furnishes the following meanings of pietas:  1.  goodness, charity, beneficence, alms; 2.  divine mercy; 3.  pity, compassion.

129. Cf. Manuel Miguens, O.F.M., Mary "The Servant of the Lord":  An Ecumenical Proposal (Boston:  St. Paul Editions, 1978) esp. 11-55; ibid., «Servidora del Señor,» MSS IV:73-110.

130. Calabuig 218; Cal-Barb 617.

131. Cf. PFS 655-656.

132. Col #7 Preface.

133. Col #43 Preface.

134. Lumen Gentium #56.

135. PFS 652.

136. Col #11.

137. Cf. Joncas 109 where he translates this:  "change [them] into the sacrament of human redemption, of which the noble Virgin, at the altar of the cross, showed herself the female servant."

138. Col #6.

139. PFS 722.

140. Col #7.

141. Col #43.

142. Col #22.

143. ... esaltata come regina gloriosa accanto al trono del tuo Figlio, dove intercede per noi ministra di pietà e di grazia, PMM 208.

144. Col #39.

145. Inseg III/2 (1980) 1511 [St. Paul Editions 31].

146. Interestingly, the Italian renders ministra pietatis here as "dispenser of grace" [la dispensatrice di grazia], PMM 359.

147. Col #40.

148. Cf. introduction to this Mass in Col.

149. The Italian text gives here "as an attentive mother and dispenser of grace" [come madre premurosa e dispensatrice di grazia], PMM 366.

150. This is an instance of a translation accommodated to feminist ideology in order to avoid the literal translation "True God and true man".  Further instances of this may be found in the Prayer after Communion of the Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Resurrection of the Lord [Beata Maria Virgo in Resurrectione Domini] (Col #15) and of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Cause of Our Joy [Beata Maria Virgo, Causa Nostræ Lætitiæ] (Col #34).  For an analysis of the issues involved, cf. Helen Hull Hitchcock (ed.), The Politics of Prayer:  Feminist Language and the Worship of God (San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 1992).

151. Col #30.

152. Cf. Sodi 142-144.

153. RM 67 in Propers of the Saints for Certain Places under the date of 8 May.  The original date chosen by Cardinal Mercier was 31 May.  When this day was designated as the Feast of the Queenship of Mary by Pope Pius XII in 1954, this observance was transferred to 8 May.  Cf. J. Lebon, "A propos des textes liturgiques de la fête de Marie Médiatrice," Marianum 14 (1952) 122-128.

154. Cf. Theotokos 245-246.

155. Col #19.

156. Col #19 Introduction.  Strangely the English edition attributes it to the Proper Masses of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (Pallottines).

157. Summa Aurea 7:546 [OL #14].  Cf. the documentation offered in Robichaud 428-435.

158. Col #30.

159. RM 67.

160. Cf. Lebon 124.

161. Sermo de Aquæductu, #7 in J. Leclercq, O.S.B. and H. M. Rochais (eds.), Sancti Bernardi Opera (Rome:  Editiones Cistercienses, 1968) V:279.

162. Cf. Pius IX, Encyclical Ubi Primum [Acta Pii IX I:164; OL #23]; Leo XIII, Encyclical Iucunda Semper [ASS 27 (1894-1895) 183-184; OL 163]; Pius XI, Ingravescentibus Malis [AAS 29 (1937) 375; OL #338]; for instances of Pius XII, cf. Robichaud 434-435.

The above paper first appeared in Mark I. Miravalle, S.T.D., (ed.),Mary Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate, Theological Foundations: Towards a Papal Definition? (Goleta, CA: Queenship Publishing Company, 1995)

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