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Mary Co-redemptrix:



Doctrinal Questions

by Rev. Jean Galot, S.J.

Jean Galot, S.J. is a Professor of Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He is internationally known for his biblical and theological scholarship, particularly in the area of Christology. He is a frequent contributor to L'Osservatore Romano.*

The way to understand the cooperation of Mary in the re-demption has been the object of many discussions among theologians. Some have expressed repugnance or advanced objections against the terms "coredemption" and "Co-redemptrix." This current of opposition has had as a result the abstention of the Second Vatican Council, which, in its exposition of Marian doctrine, in chapter VIII of Lumen gentium (LG), avoided such terms. The Council, in fact, abstained from wishing to settle questions which did not seem sufficiently clarified and which remained sources of controversy. There is no reason to be surprised by similar controversies, which arise in many sectors of theology; in the past these characterized the development of Marian doctrine. Let it suffice to recall the title of "Mother of God," opposed by Nestorius before being proclaimed by the Council of Ephesus, and how the Immaculate Conception stirred up long and animated discussions in the course of the centuries before being defined by Pius IX in 1854.

Regarding the coredemption, some theologians maintain their reserve or state doctrinal fears. But we can affirm that, in a general manner, the cooperation of Mary in the redemptive sacrifice finds an ever greater acceptance. We would like to clarify the essential points of this doctrine, recalling the theological problems which have caused the controversies and the solution given or which it is appropriate to give them.

The Title of Co-redemptrix

The omission of the title of Co-redemptrix in the conciliar exposition of Marian doctrine is all the more significant in that a petition in favor of a definition of Mary Co-redemptrix of the human race was advanced by about fifty of the Fathers.[1] Nonetheless, while abstaining from attributing such a qualification to Mary, the Council did not at all reject the idea of a cooperation in the work of redemption. It underscored, in fact, the union of the Mother with the Son in the work of salvation, a union which "is made manifest from the time of Christ's virginal conception up to his death" (LG, n. 57). Such cooperation could be called coredemption, given that this term signifies in itself cooperation in the redemption, without further specification. The Council would have been able to use it without expressing any approval of a particular theology, as it did for the title of "mediatrix," which it introduced besides other appellations: advocate, helper, benefactress, in order not to give it precise technical meanings (LG, n. 62). Besides, it manifested a decided attachment to this title when it rejected an amendment that wanted to eliminate it because of the ambiguity which the term allowed relative to the unique mediation of Christ and to ecumenical opportuneness.[2] As compensation it rejected every use of the title Co-redemptrix.

If it avoided this title it was because the former was accused of suggesting Mary's role as too similar to that of Christ, a competition or an equality incompatible with the uniqueness of the Savior. Already in the 17th century A. Widenfeld had the Virgin say to "her indiscreet devotees": "Do not call me salvatrix or Co-redemptrix" so that nothing may be taken away from God.[3] In effect, the term "salvatrix" could stir up reservations and would require an explanation based on the nature of the Mother of the Savior; but the term "Co-redemptrix" does not allow for the same difficulty, since it clearly expresses a cooperation and does not endanger the sovereign action of Christ.

When it appeared in a hymn of the 15th century, it signaled an evolution with respect to the title of "redemptrix" which up till then was attributed to Mary as Mother of the Redeemer.[4] In this there was progress: "redemptrix" could have suggested a parallel or identical role to that of Christ, while "Co-redemptrix" indicated, in the hymn, "she who suffered with the Redeemer." At first, Mary was considered above all as the woman who gave birth to the Redeemer; by virtue of this maternity, the origin of the work of salvation was recognized in her and she was called "Mother of salvation," "Mother of the restoration of all things."[5] A more attentive doctrinal reflection had made it understood how Mary was not only the mother who had brought forth the Redeemer for mankind, but also she who had participated most especially in the sufferings of the Passion and in the offering of the sacrifice. The title of Co-redemptrix expresses this new perspective: the association of the mother in the redemptive work of the Son. One should note that this title does not challenge the absolute primacy of Christ, since it does not suggest at all an equality. Only Christ is called the Redeemer; he is not Co-redeemer, but simply Redeemer. In her role as Co-redemptrix, Mary offered her motherly collaboration in the work of her Son, a collaboration which implies dependence and submission, since only Christ is the absolute master of his own work.

The coredemption assumes a unique form in Mary, by virtue of her role as mother. Nevertheless, we must speak of coredemption in a much broader context in order to include all who are called to unite themselves to the work of redemption. In this sense all are destined to live as "coredeemers," and the Church herself is a Co-redemptrix. In this regard we cannot forget the affirmations of Paul on our participation in the redemptive path of Christ: in baptism we are "buried with Christ" (Rom. 6:4); in faith we are already "raised up with" him (Col. 2:13; 3:1); "God made us alive together with Christ . . . and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:5-6). This participation results from the sovereign action of the Father, but it implies equally on our part a personal involvement. Having been made participants in the new life of Christ, we are capable of cooperating in the work of salvation. Saint Paul had a consciousness of his mission declaring: "We are God's co-workers" (I Cor. 3:9).

The affirmation is bold. The Apostle did not, however, lose his sense of divine transcendence and did not want to lay claim to an equality with God. His activity was guided by the divine design. Calling Jesus Lord, he recognized him as absolute master of his life and his activity; but this total dependence did not deprive him of the consciousness of truly cooperating with God. If all are called to be co-workers with God, according to the Pauline expression, "coredemption" assumes its broader extension. The debate stirred up over the legitimacy of the title "Co-redemptrix" helps us to better discover our own mission of coredemption.

Some have accused the Marian privileges of digging a furrow between the Mother of Jesus and us; in reality, those privileges are destined, in the divine plan, to draw Mary nearer to humanity in view of the unfolding of a more abundant grace. While with a unique character and to a level not to be equalled, Mary's cooperation in the redemption invites us to acknowledge more ardently our mission and our responsibility in a world that needs salvation. If Mary cannot be called Co-redemptrix, neither could Christians be considered as coredeemers. The condition of the whole Church in her coredeeming mission sheds light on Mary, the first model of every redemption.

The Unique Character of Coredemption

The unique character of the coredemption proper to Mary is manifested above all in the cooperation in the mystery of the Incarnation. With such cooperation Mary has exercised an influence on the entire work of salvation and on the destiny of all human beings. In her coredemption assumes a universal extension, which differentiates it from that of any other. In order to better understand such a difference, one must recall the distinction proposed by Scheeben and adopted by many theologians, between objective and subjective redemption. The first indicates the work which has acquired for mankind all the graces of salvation; such a work is accomplished with the death and glorification of Christ. In virtue of the objective redemption we can affirm that all men have been saved, even those who will be born in the future, to the end of the world. Nevertheless objective redemption concretely achieves its effect only by means of subjective redemption, that is by means of the application of the fruits of the redemptive sacrifice in individual persons. Such application is realized in the course of history, in all the men who live on earth, with the correspondence of their freedom. In Christians in particular this consists in their growth in grace which is favored by the sacraments and by the participation in the life of the Church. Redemptive grace enters into every person in order to transform him, in the measure of his openness and his responsiveness.

Mary personally cooperated in the increase of grace in her life. She likewise participated in the development of the primitive community; with her prayer, witness and action, she sustained the strength of the first disciples in their union with Christ and in their evangelizing mission. From this point of view she has been Co-redemptrix in the field of subjective redemption and her coredemption has taken the most pure and perfect form. Nonetheless, her coredemption is exercised above all in the work of the objective redemption. With her maternal cooperation in the birth of the Savior, Mary has contributed in an entirely singular manner to the gift of salvation for all mankind. She is the only creature that received the privilege of cooperating in the accomplishment of the objective redemption: her consent to the divine plan was decisive at the moment of the Annunciation.

The affirmation of the coredemption is not limited to shedding light on the maternal role which gained the Savior for humanity, but it also attributes to Mary a cooperation which has direct bearing on the redemptive sacrifice. While the greatness of the "Mother of God" has been affirmed from the first centuries, a longer time has been necessary in order to take explicitly into consideration her engagement in the redemptive sacrifice. In the East a byzantine monk at the end of the 10th century, John the Geometer, was the first to enunciate Mary's participation in the Passion with a redemptive intention.[6] In the West Saint Bernard (+ 1153) underscores with regard to the presentation of Jesus in the temple, the offering made by Mary for our reconciliation with God.[7] His disciple and friend, Arnold of Chartres (+ after 1156), in contemplating the sacrifice of Calvary discerns in the cross

"two altars, one in the heart of Mary, the other in the body of Christ. Christ immolated his own flesh, Mary her own soul," "Both equally offered to God the same holocaust." In such a manner Mary "obtained with Christ the common goal of the salvation of the world."[8]

Arnold has been called a protagonist of Marian coredemption, because he clearly expressed the most specific element that then would characterize the doctrine of the coredemption: a cooperation in the objective redemption not only with the maternity which gains the Savior for mankind (cooperation called mediate or indirect), but also with her association in the offering of the redemptive sacrifice (immediate or direct redemption).

Such cooperation in the redemptive work finds a solid foundation in the Gospel. The message of the Annunciation in fact enlightens Mary not only on the personality of her Son, but also on his messianic work, so that her consent implies a surrender to the service of this work. The presentation of Jesus in the Temple takes on a new meaning after the prophecy of Simeon, which gives Mary a glimpse of the sword destined to pierce her soul: the gesture of the offering of her Son is oriented toward a mysterious drama, to the point that one sees delineated here the first offering of the redemptive sacrifice, an offering more specifically maternal. The presence of Mary on Calvary, beside Christ crucified, manifests the will of the mother to unite herself to the intention of the Son and to share her suffering for the fulfillment of his work.

The Second Vatican Council clearly recognized such cooperation. In commenting on the response of Mary to the message of the angel, Vatican II affirmed that Mary

"devoted herself totally, as a handmaid of the Lord, to the person and work of her Son, under and with him, serving the mystery of redemption, by the grace of Almighty God" (LG, n. 56).

This places the accent on her continual union with Christ in the cooperation with his work:

"She conceived, brought forth, and nourished Christ, she presented him to the Father in the temple, shared her Son's sufferings as he died on the cross. Thus, in a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Savior in restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace" (ibid., n. 61).

Without using the term "Co-redemptrix," the Council clearly enunciated the doctrine: a cooperation of a unique kind, a maternal cooperation in the life and work of the Savior, which reaches its apex in the participation in the sacrifice of Calvary and which is oriented toward the supernatural restoration of souls. This cooperation is at the origin of Mary's spiritual maternity.

Mary Ransomed in order to be Co-redemptrix

The cooperation of Mary in the objective redemption poses with greater focus the problem of the one Savior. Jesus himself is considered as the only Redeemer, declaring that the Son of Man came to serve and "to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mk. 10:45; Mt. 20:28). There is no other ransom than his own life, no other font of salvation other than his sacrifice. This declaration finds an echo in the affirmation of the First Letter to Timothy:

"For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all" (I Tim. 2:5-6).

This last text has often been invoked in order to exclude both the coredemption and the title of mediatrix applied to Mary. Some do not cease to recall the affirmation about the unique mediator to combat the Marian doctrine. Nonetheless, as Vatican II has underscored:

"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" (LG, n. 62).

In her role of cooperation, Mary does not in any way enter into competition with Christ and neither does she become another fount of grace next to him. She receives from the unique Redeemer her aptitude to cooperate, hence Christ remains the unique fount. The Council enunciates more precisely this truth, which is essential for understanding the doctrine of the coredemption: the influence of the Virgin on the salvation of 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" (LG, n. 60).[9]

In the Letter to Timothy, clearly the principle of the oneness of the mediator does not exclude participated mediations, since the author recommends prayers and intercessions for all men, which is to say a mediation of intercession founded on the mediation of Christ. Further, it is appropriate to recall that the affirmation of the unique mediator who offers himself as a ransom for all simply transfers into terms consonant to the Greek language the word of Jesus about the Son of Man who has come to give his own life as a ransom for many.[10] Now, while enunciating his mission as that of the unique Savior, Jesus desired that his disciples share his attitude of service and sacrifice. In this sense he wanted their participation in his mission. It was not at all his intention to exclude any participation.

Nevertheless, the doctrine of participation in the objective 9 On this participation in the mediation of Christ according to the doctrine of the Council, cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Mater, n. 38. redemption had to face another objection. How could Mary contribute to the objective redemption when she herself needed to be redeemed? If she cooperates in such a redemption, it is because without her redemption is not yet accomplished. But in the case in which such redemption is not yet accomplished, she herself cannot benefit from it. The coredemption would suppose at the same time that the redemption is in the act of being accomplished and that it is already realized, something which is contradictory. The contradiction disappears when one understands the particular nature of the foreseen redemption which pertains to the Co-redemptrix. It is very true that Mary had to be ransomed in order to be able to collaborate actively in the work of salvation. One must also add that this condition of being ransomed contributes to give a sense to her cooperation: Mary is distinguished from Christ in her contribution to the work, not only because she is a simple creature and because she is a woman, but also because she has been ransomed. Her example helps us to understand better that even those who need to be redeemed are called to a collaboration in the work of redemption. In Mary, nevertheless, there is something unique: according to the Bull of the definition of the Immaculate Conception, she has been ransomed "in a more sublime manner."

This more elevated distinctiveness consists above all in the fact that Mary was ransomed before the redemption of all mankind was effected and in order that it be effected with her cooperation. The first intention of the redemptive sacrifice was concerned, according to the divine plan, with the ransom of Mary, accomplished in view of our ransom. Christ first ransomed his own mother, then with her collaboration the rest of mankind. Thus, while she was associated in the sacrifice of Calvary, Mary already benefited, in advance, from the fruits of the sacrifice and acted in the capacity of a ransomed creature. But she truly cooperated in the objective redemption, in the acquisition of the graces of salvation for all of mankind. Her redemption was purchased before that of other human beings. Mary was ransomed only by Christ, so that mankind could be ransomed by Christ with the collaboration of his mother. Hence there is no contradiction: coredemption implies the foreseen redemption of Mary, but not the foreseen fulfillment of the redemption of mankind; it expresses the unique situation of the mother who, while having received a singular grace from her own Son, cooperates with him in the attainment of salvation for all.

The Maternal Offering

How does one qualify exactly the attitude of Mary in the drama of Calvary? The first upholders of the coredemption in the West, Saint Bernard and Arnold of Chartres, defined this attitude as an offering: Mary offered her own Son or offered with her own Son one single holocaust. But it seems that at the time of the Council the affirmation of one offering provoked some resistance. In the draft submitted to the Council Fathers it said that Mary offered the victim whom she had brought forth, with Christ and through him; the revised text, however, was limited to saying that Mary consented with love to the immolation of the victim, because Vatican II did not wish to decide on a question which had been the object of recent discussions.

Even more particularly, some theologians preferred to speak of acceptance rather than offering. A German theologian, H. M. Köster, had published a work which had recalled to attention and presented the cooperation of Mary as a simple acceptance of the redemptive work accomplished by Christ.[11] Taking his point of reference from a theology of the Covenant, he recognized the necessity of consent in the work of salvation and affirmed that, as the representative of humanity, Mary had accepted the work accomplished by Christ, but without having associated herself actively. He wished to avoid the attribution to Mary of an action that would have been able to take away from Christ his property as being the unique Savior; hence he limited himself to the affirmation of a receptive causality.

Nevertheless, even a simple acceptance could not be assimilated to a pure passivity or receptivity. The acceptance of the message of the angel implied for Mary a commitment in the redemptive work. Further, the attitude of Mary was not limited to acceptance: in the presentation of Jesus in the temple she offers her own son knowing that this offering exposes her to the sword of sorrow. On Calvary she shows, with her deliberate presence next to the cross of her Son, that she wants to share in his sacrifice. Jesus himself accepts this intention to participate in his work conferring on her a new maternity.

While abstaining from speaking of offering, in order not to side with one theological opinion to the detriment of the other, the Council describes the participation of Mary in the drama of the Passion declaring that, in keeping with the divine design,

"she suffered profoundly with her only begotten Son and associated herself with his sacrifice in her mother's heart" (LG, n. 58).

The consent of love to the immolation of the victim afforded for her the deepest union with the redemptive sacrifice, meaning participation in the offering.

There is no reason to fear the affirmation of this offering, which is not a useless repetition of the offering of Christ nor in competition with it. It does not put in question the uniqueness of the sovereign offering of the Redeemer, rather it receives its reality from it. Mary does nothing but to offer her own Son and to offer herself and her personal pain only through her own Son. More particularly, the offering with which Mary is united with the redemptive sacrifice is not a priestly offering, which would imply for the mother participation in the priesthood of Jesus. It is a motherly offering, which has its particularity which differentiates it from the priestly offering. Having a maternal character, it is not a copy of the offering of Christ and has its own raison d'être. It offers a specific contribution to the human aspect of the drama of the Passion. This also clarifies the position of woman with regard to the priesthood. Mary is not engaged in the priestly ministry, but, in her capacity as woman, she plays an important and indispensable role in the work of salvation. She is profoundly engaged in the redemptive sacrifice by maternal right and offers a cooperation so necessary to the priestly work of Christ that the Father, in his sovereign design, required this feminine presence in order to grant salvation to the world.

Coredemptive Merit

Wholly associated with the redemptive sacrifice, Mary is united to the merit of Christ. With his offering the Redeemer merited the salvation of mankind. The maternal oblation of the Co-redemptrix has equally had a universal meritorious value, but a value which cannot diminish the proper effect of the priestly sacrifice of Christ. The Savior obtained for all men a superabundance of grace which admits of no deficiency and which cannot need a complement. Hence the problem: if Christ has merited all graces, what can be the object of the coredemptive merit of Mary?

The doctrinal studies which admit a sort of fusion between the cooperation of Mary and the redemptive activity of Jesus avoid the problem, so that the Mother and the Son form only one principle of salvific efficacy without it being necessary to distinguish between the part of the one and part of the other.[12] But such a radical way of conceiving of the association of Mary in the work of Christ is very debatable because it cannot recognize Christ as the unique Redeemer of mankind and because it tends to make of Mary a redemptrix united to the Redeemer.

The majority of theologians who have reflected on the coredemption have sought that which could distinguish the merit of Mary from that of Christ. They affirmed that Mary merited by virtue of congruous merit [di convenienza], what Christ merited by condign merit [di condignità].[13] Condign merit is based on a proportion between the meritorious action and its object. Having the power of Savior, Jesus merited in strict justice (de condigno) the salvation of mankind since there is a proportion between the value of his redemptive offering and the benefits which revert to mankind. According to many theologians, however, Mary's merit could only be of congruity [di convenienza]: while not being proportioned to the salvation of mankind, it has been nevertheless elevated by divine intervention to a superior level of efficacy; thus Mary was able to contribute to meriting eternal salvation. The principle is often enunciated: "All that Christ merited in strict justice (de condigno), Mary merited by congruity (de congruo)," a principle adopted also in an encyclical of Pius X, with a slight modification of perspective.[14] Sometimes Mary's merit has also been called "supercongruous" by virtue of its exceptional excellence.[15]

Nevertheless such a solution which has been commonly proposed in order to indicate the distinction between the merit of Christ and that of Mary, encounters a fundamental difficulty: is not a merit which consists in obtaining by a lesser title what another merit has already obtained superfluous? Why should one want to merit what has been acquired by the merit of others? All which was merited by Christ in the redemptive work must not and cannot constitute the object of another merit. The difficulty can be overcome only if one considers with greater attention in what consists the merit of Christ. Christ has merited with his sacrifice his glorious triumph; the first object of his merit is his resurrection. Meriting his own glorification, he merited for mankind the grace which is communicated by means of the power of the glorified Savior. The merit of Mary must be understood in the light of this merit of Christ. With her participation in the redemptive sacrifice, the Mother of Jesus merited her maternal power to collaborate in the distribution of grace. She merited the redemption under a particular aspect: the grace which reaches men by means of her maternal mediation. Here is the specific object of her merit. Mary properly merits the modality in virtue of which grace assumes a maternal aspect in order to be communicated to mankind. Thus is affirmed the difference which exists between her role and that of Christ.

From the Coredemption to the Motherhood of Grace

Recognizing the universal motherhood of Mary in the order of grace as the proper object of her merit in the cooperation in the redemptive sacrifice, one avoids every affirmation of a superfluous merit or something added over and above and is led to discern the value of the contribution of Mary to the work of salvation. More precisely it becomes possible to propose a solution which answers the doctrinal conflict on the nature of the merit, the conflict between those who limit themselves to attributing to Mary a congruous merit [di convenienza], by underscoring more clearly the primacy of Christ, and those who do not hesitate to affirm a condign merit [di condignità].

On the other hand, it is important to admit the proper congruity of the coredemptive activity of Mary. For the redemption of mankind such activity was not necessary, and the divine plan of salvation would have been able to foresee uniquely the redemptive action of the Son of God made man, without requiring the collaboration of his mother. In virtue of the redemptive sacrifice, mankind would have received in abundance the graces of salvation merited by Christ. But the divine plan provided for the maternal cooperation of Mary, assigning to the woman an essential role in the work of salvation. There was here a congruity with the divine intention of conferring on the woman all her dignity and to commit her fully in the undertaking of the restoration of the world. Such an intention was manifested in the oracle of the Protogospel, with the announcement of the struggle between the woman and the powers of evil. It was appropriate that to the association of the man and the woman in the drama of the fall there should correspond an association of the new Eve with the new Adam. From this perspective the coredemptive merit of Mary can be qualified as merit of suitability.

From the other side, in order to appreciate the value of that merit, it is also important to consider the conditions in which it reached its proper objective. One must ask above all if the property characteristic of the merit of strict justice [di condignità] verifies the proportion between the meritorious activity and the effect obtained. This proportion exists in Mary by virtue of her role as Mother of God, which permits her to acquire the role of mother of all men in the order of grace. As Mother of God, Mary possesses a motherhood open on the infinite, and precisely this motherhood becomes, with the coredemption, a universal motherhood for the distribution of grace. This universal motherhood it is right to underscore this is not simply the immediate consequence of the divine motherhood, but is the fruit of the sacrifice. The same is said in the first place for Christ, who did not become the Head of saved mankind solely n virtue of the Incarnation: it is in humiliating himself in the obedience of the cross that he merited his glorious power as Savior. Analogically, she who became the Mother of God in the mystery of the Incarnation merited, with her obedience and her maternal offering, the spiritual motherhood over all men. Jesus himself gives us to understand this truth when he pronounces the words on Calvary: "Woman, behold your son" (Jn. 19:26). Giving to Mary as son the beloved disciple, he asks her to accept the fulfillment of the sacrifice: Mary must accept losing her own only Son in order to receive another son. As the fruit of her union with the redemptive sacrifice, Mary becomes mother of the disciple, in a new motherhood which typifies a universal motherhood.

This makes clearer the proportion which characterizes the merit of the Co-redemptrix. Mother of God, Mary consented to lose her own Son, the Son of God, and received in exchange, as sons, all men destined to share the divine filiation of Jesus. She did not merit grace in its fundamental reality, but in the motherly modality with which it is communicated to mankind. Hence her coredemptive merit, while being condign merit [di condignità], has only a secondary value with respect to the merit of Christ. Christians cannot forget that, if they receive the affection and maternal help of Mary, they owe these to the sacrifice offered on Calvary by the Mother of the Redeemer. Mary paid a very high price, that of the coredemption, the motherhood which makes the Christian life more confident and more exultant.


*Originally printed in the Italian in Civilta Cattolica, 1994; translated and reprinted with permission of the author.

1. Cf. A. Perego, "Aperture conciliari per i titoli mariani di corredentrice e di mediatrice" in Divus Thomas 78 (1975) 364.

2. 61 Fathers had requested that the term "mediatrix" be omitted; cf. Acta Synodalia Concilii Vaticani Secundi, vol. III, 8, 163, s.

3. A. Widenfeld, Monita salutaria B. V. Mariae ad cultores suos indiscretos, Gand, d'Erckel, 1673, 8-9, monitum 10.

4. Cf. R. Laurentin, Le titre de Corédemptrice. Étude historique, Paris, Nouvelles Éditions Latines, 1951, 39 [and in Marianum 13 (1951) 395-452].

5. Severinus of Gabala, Or. 6 de mundi creatione 10 (PG 54, 4); Saint Anselm, Or. 52, 7 (PL 158, 956 B); cf. J. Galot, Maria la donna nell'opera di salvezza, Roma, PUG, 1984, 362-364.

6. Cf. ibid., 266-269.

7. Saint Bernard, Sermo 3 in Purif., 2 (PL 158, 370).

8. Id., De septem verbis Domini in cruce, 3 (PL 158, 1.694); Id., De laudibus B. M. V. (PL 158, 1.726 s).

10. Cf. A. Feuillet, "Le logion sur la rançon," in Revue des Sciences Philosophiques et Théologiques 51 (1967) 374 s.

11. H. M. Köster, Die Magd des Herrn. Theologische Versuche und Überlegungen, Limburg an der Lahn, Lahn, 1954.

12. Cf. J. Lebon, "Comment je conçois, j'établis et je défends la doctrine de la médiation mariale" in Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses 26 (1939) 655-744; R. Javelet, L'unique médiateur Jésus et Marie, Paris, OEIL, 1985.

13. Translator's note: In rendering the terms merito di convenienza and merito di condignità into English, I have chosen to follow the convention of speaking of "congruous" and "condign" merit respectively, following the Latin rather than the Italian terminology; cf. the explanation of these terms in William G. Most, Mary in Our Life (New York: P. J. Kennedy & Sons, 1954) 24, n. 9 & 262. I have, however, indicated in brackets [] the original Italian terms of the author for the sake of accuracy.

14. Pius X, Encyclical Letter Ad diem illum (2 February 1904) [Denz.-Schönm. 3370]: the present tense used to refer to Mary's merit (promeret) would seem to refer more than to the acquisition, to the distribution of grace.

15. De supercongruo, an expression proposed by C. Dillenschneider, Pour une Corédemption mariale bien comprise, Rome, Marianum, 1949, 152.

The above paper first appeared in Mark Miravalle (ed.), Mary Co-redemptrix: Doctrinal Issues Today (Goleta, CA: Queenship Publishing, 2002)

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Version: 12th April 2003


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