Home Page for Mary,
Mother of God

Papers on Proposed 5th Marian Dogma

Marian Coredemption in the Hagiography of the 20th Century

by Rev. Stefano Manelli, F.I.

Part 1

Fr. Manelli is Founder and Minister General of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. He is internationally known for his distinguished preaching and biblical, Mariological scholarship. His biblical Mariology has recently appeared in English under the title: All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed.*

An interesting and well-documented theological essay on hagiography, recently published, has examined the living teaching of a group of twentieth century Saints on the Coredemption. It is a very timely essay and happily demonstrates that in the final century of the second millennium there has been

"a hagiographical chorus. . . which, without respite, has occupied itself in singing in unison the sweetest glory of Mary our Mother Co-redemptrix and universal Mediatrix of all graces." It concludes, and with good reason, that the teaching of the Saints is a "teaching certainly no less valid and precious than that of astute theologians and professors of theology."[1]

The teaching of the Saints is a teaching of doctrine and virtue; it is a teaching of faith lived in a testimony pushed to the very limits of heroicity; it is a complete teaching including both orthodoxy and orthopraxis, which works towards "the edification of the Body of Christ" which is the Church (Eph 4:12).

One could also say that the teaching of the Saints is the teaching with the greatest possible guarantee for our Faith. Only the Saint, in fact, possesses the sensus fidei at the level of radical maturity in the practice of heroic virtue, and principally of the theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity. Perhaps no one like the Saint lives his Christian life with fullness and totality "in the light of faith under the guidance of the Church" (in lumine fidei sub ductu Ecclesiae), to use the ancient axiom of fundamental theology standing at the very foundation of the most guaranteed teaching of the Church.[2]

If it is true that an element of great force "in the passage of an article of Faith towards its dogmatic definition," as De Maria writes, "is the role of the People of God who, with their sensus fidei constitute the platform, one might say, of the concrete orthopraxis of a truth of the Faith,"[3] then it is licit to observe how much more decisive will be the role played by that elect portion of the People of God who are the Saints. Bartman, in his time, could write that

"all the theologians speak of the sensus fidei as a valid argument, in determined conditions, for the certain discernment of divine Tradition, and was the teaching appealed to for the dogmatic definition of the Assumption."[4]

We can add that so much more is the sensus fidelium of the Saints a "valid argument" for the ecclesiastical Magisterium, that is, of those who, as affirms Miotto, offer the best guarantee of the most genuine sentire cum Ecclesia [5] and live every divine truth "with ardent and luminous, throbbing and adamant faith."[6]

It is for this reason that one ought to consider the thought of the Saints and the truth of their testimony as being of such great importance in regard to the truth of Marian Coredemption. The teaching of their sensus fidei cannot but have a theological value of the highest quality for the Church who, both instructing others and herself learning, traverses along the path of discernment and decision regarding the dogmatic definition of Marian Coredemption.

It is true that in the matter of the sensus fidelium, considered as a support of faith for the truth of Marian Coredemption, other fruitful elements are operative, such as that "geographically wide extension," remarks De Maria, "of Marian sanctuaries dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, the Co-redemptrix, located in every part of the world;"[7] such as the Liturgy and the piety of the faithful expressing the love and prayer of the People of God towards the divine Mother of Sorrows, our Co-redemptrix;[8] such as the movement Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici, originating in the United States under the guidance of Mariologist Mark Miravalle in order to gather the signatures of those supporting the request for the dogmatic definition of Marian Coredemption;[9] such as painting and architecture, musical productions and the theater, preaching, publications and popular folklore.[10]

Reflecting on all this, one well comprehends how it is "impossible," quoting De Maria yet again,

"not to recognize that devotion to the Co-redemptrix and Lady of Sorrows ab antiquo is a most precious patrimony of the living and operative faith of God's People. That faith has always spontaneously identified Our Lady of Sorrows with the Co-redemptrix, for it has been animated by that sensus fidei which gives the most secure understanding of the divine truth deep within the minds and hearts that are docile to the Spirit."[11]

In this rich patrimony of Faith, however, towering above all these elements, at the highest level of grace and of charisms, stands the teaching of the Saints on the Coredemption. They, indeed, in respect to faith, hope and charity, are the "most secure way," to borrow the expression of Vatican II, for the entire People of God and for theology, both by way of orthopraxis and orthodoxy. Miotto, on this point, well concludes his accurate study on the coredemptive doctrine of a group of Saints, saying: "The theology of Marian Coredemption could not have a better guarantee, a more exalted, precious support and confirmation than that of the hagiographical."[12]

In the light of such considerations one can understand even better the usefulness and value of the present research and synthesis on the Coredemption in hagiography, which draws on specialized studies already published, be it about a group of eight Saints and Blesseds (St. Gemma Galgani, Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, St. Pius X, St. Francis Xavier Cabrini, Bl. Bartolo Longo, Bl. Luigi Orione, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Bl. Josemaria Escrivà), [13] or be it specifically on St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe,[14] or St. Leopold Mandic,[15] Bl. Idelfonso Cardinal Schuster,[16] Bl. Pio of Pietrelcina, [17] Ven. Gabriel Allegra,[18] or Ven. James Alberione.[19]

This present essay is a work of synthesis and deals solely with the coredemptive thought of a group of Saints, Blessed and Venerable of the twentieth century. The first reason for this choice is the abundance of research and studies already done on the Saints and Blessed of previous centuries beginning with the patristic age. [20] The second reason is the significant fact that the thought of the Saints, Blessed and Venerable of the last century of Christianity's second millennium represents the maturest and most complete development of coredemptive doctrine both at the level of research and theological reflection, and of the purest and best guaranteed sensus fidei, that of the "elect" who are the most qualified among the People of God.

Obviously the research had also to be limited to a restricted number of twentieth century Saints, Blessed and Venerable and could not touch upon many other Servants of God without prolonging what is already an over-long list. "In our twentieth century," wrote Miotto, "there has been a veritable constellation of Saints and Blessed, Venerable and Servants of God, who preached and wrote, proclaimed and defended the great doctrinal patrimony of Marian Coredemption and Mediation." [21]

Within this "constellation" of twentieth century Saints, Blessed, and Venerable, the present study focuses on selected exemplars, that is, six Saints, six Blessed, and two Venerable, who of the holy People of God are the most representative and significant. Treated here are both men and women, a Pope (St. Pius X) and Cardinal (Bl. Ildephonse Schuster), seven priests and religious (Sts. Maximilian Mary Kolbe and Leopold Mandic, Bls. Luigi Orione, Pio of Pietrelcina and Josemaria Escrivà, Vens. James Alberione and Gabriel Allegra), two lay faithful (St. Gemma Galgani and Bl. Bartolo Longo), a missionary (St. Frances Xavier Cabrini) and two contemplatives (Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity and St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross); from this group two are very young (St. Gemma Galgani and Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity) and in all they represent seven different nations (St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe: Poland; St. Leopold Mandic: Yugoslavia; Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity: France; Bl. Ildephonse Schuster: Germany; St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross: Israel; Bl. Josemaria Escrivà: Spain; and the other eight: Italy).

This hagiographical representation, quite varied and extensive, even ethnically speaking, has its own particular value with regard to the affirmation of a divine truth which is part of our Faith, therefore to be upheld by all schools and currents of thought, mentalities and traditions in the Church, since they are only Catholic in so far as they united with the pilgrim Church's perennial and universal doctrine as she presses towards eternity, where every truth will be unveiled and contemplated in its most pure essence, which is God Himself.

Let us now begin our rapid examination of the thought of the six pre-selected Saints, followed by the six Blessed and then by the two Venerable, each set arranged in chronological order according to their deaths. This conference offers brief summaries of their doctrine on the Coredemption. More extensive treatment and in-depth study on the thought of each one are available in the works cited throughout this essay. Our reflections and final conclusions will serve to explain clearly, by way of synthesis, the inner credibility, consistency and constancy of the doctrine of the Coredemption in view of its importance and fecundity for the life of the Church seeking always to discover and possess "the whole truth" (Jn 16:13).

The Saints

St. Gemma Galgani (+ 1903)

The teaching of St. Gemma Galgani on the Coredemption is expressed entirely in an ascetical-mystical context and terminology. This accords well with her character and is to be expected, given the extraordinary mystical experiences the Saint had of the mystery of Redemption, accompanied by mystical phenomena, spiritual and corporal, of the highest degree. Hers is, one might say, a soteriology eminently affective, characteristic of the so-called theologia cordis, permeated by the profoundest sensus fidei and by an intense, living, concrete suffering, united with the unspeakable sufferings which the Blessed Virgin of Sorrows must have endured in her mission as universal Co-redemptrix.

In the first place, St. Gemma clearly affirms that the Incarnation of the Word was redemptive, and that the Blessed Virgin knew well, even from the Annunciation, the whole divine plan of the Redemption linked to the Son's Crucifixion:

"Oh what great sorrow," writes the Saint to her spiritual director, "it must have been for the Mother, after Jesus was born, to think that they had to then crucify Him! What pangs she must have always had in her Heart! How many sighs she must have made, and how many times she must have wept! Yet she never complained. Poor Mother!"[22]

Her "fiat" (Lk 1:38), therefore, extends itself from Nazareth to Calvary, including within itself, operatively, even the mystery of the universal Redemption.

In the second place, and as a consequence, the Saint affirms the unity of the sufferings of the Mother with those of her Son and the impossibility of their disassociation. She writes that

"truly, then, when she sees Him being crucified... that poor Mother was transfixed by many arrows... Therefore my Mother was crucified together with Jesus." [23]

This affirmation of Our Lady's crucifixion "together with Jesus," places Mary precisely at the heart of the Redemption worked by her Son. How are we to express this intimate and personal unity with Jesus of Mary, the Virgin of Sorrows, "crucified together with Jesus," if not with the semantically and theologically simpler and more significant term Coredemption?[24]

In one of her dolorous ecstasies, moreover, St. Gemma confirms the reality of the indissoluble union between the Son and the Mother in suffering for the salvation of sinners on Calvary, when she exclaims:

"Oh wicked sinners, stop crucifying Jesus, because at the same time you are also transfixing the Mother."[25] The crucifixion of the Son and transfixion of the Mother simultaneously constitute the salvific work of the Redeemer and Co-redemptrix.

In two other marvelous, sorrowful ecstasies St. Gemma seems to take us further into the profounder and more interior area of "effecting" the Redemption by means of the sufferings of the Son and the Mother:

"Oh my Mother, where do I find you?" exclaims the Saint in ecstasy, "Always at the foot of the Cross of Jesus... Oh what pain was yours!... I no longer see one sacrifice only, I see two of them: one for Jesus, one for Mary!... Oh my Mother, if one were to see you with Jesus he would not be able to say who is the first to expire: is it you or Jesus?;"[26] and in the second ecstasy she exclaims yet again: "What compassion you show me, oh my Mother, to see you so every Saturday at the foot of the Cross!... Oh! I no longer see one Victim only, but there are two."[27]

In these two ecstasies St. Gemma could not have expressed with greater simplicity nor, at the same time, with greater force the reality of Christ's redemptive immolation and Mary's coredemptive immolation for the universal salvation: in the unity and uniqueness of the sacrificial offering, the immolation of each one appeared to the Saint as so real and concrete that she cannot claim to see "one sacrifice only" but "two of them: one for Jesus, one for Mary!...," or in such a manner that she claims not to see "one Victim only, but... two." The Mother's coredemptive immolation is, according to St. Gemma, configured by the two realities most expressive of the work of Redemption, namely the sacrifice and the Victim.

Nevertheless, we see St. Gemma climb even higher still when she exclaims:

"Oh my Mother, if one were to see you with Jesus he would not be able to say who is the first to expire: is it you or Jesus?"

This question of the ecstatic Saint is truly original, not to mention sublime. It reveals to us the enormous weight of the redemptive suffering which immolates the Son and the Mother, and which absolutely seems to precede with the Mother's sacrifice, as also the sin of Eve preceded that of Adam. Cornelio Fabro wrote well when affirming that "this can be considered a key-text"[28] for grasping Mary's coredemptive mission: an ontological mission, and not merely functional; an operative mission always subordinate to the Redeemer, obviously: "under Him and with Him," as states Lumen Gentium n. 56 linked to the "effecting" of the one and same Redemption.

With regard to the Marian mediation and dispensation of all graces to every single person to be saved, St. Gemma has also left her teaching in another letter to her spiritual director, wherein she describes one of her more ineffable Marian visions, that of the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, receiving from the Eternal Father a crown of "splendid gold, all aflame," with a special sign which indicated and glorified her who is "Dispensatrix of the treasures of Paradise."[29]

At this point we can also conclude with Miotto who writes:

"St. Gemma's teaching on the Coredemption, in its simplicity and essence, is complete: Mary Most Holy is the 'crucified victim with Jesus' (the Co-redemptrix); Mary Most Holy is the 'Dispensatrix of the treasures of Paradise' (the Mediatrix of all graces)."[30]

Pope St. Pius X (+ 1914)

It has rightly been written that

"the Pontifical doctrinal authority decorated by the halo of sanctity constitutes the maximum guarantee, in charismatic form, of pure truth suffused by the heights of charity."[31]

With St. Pius X we actually find ourselves in the school of a great Pope and Saint who taught and defended the truth of Marian Coredemption, if not in a solemn form, still in that of the ordinary Magisterium which must also be accepted with "religious respect of will and of intelligence," according to the teaching of Vatican II (L.G. 25). In this manner Pope St. Pius X not only confirms the common, perennial teaching of the Church, but does so in a systematic, fixed way, thus creating a first-class instrument for inserting the title of Co-redemptrix into the official vocabulary of the Holy See.[32]

In his encyclical letter "Ad diem illum," written to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the dogmatic definition of the Immaculate Conception, Pope St. Pius X presents the mystery of the redemptive Incarnation as strictly, inseparably bound to the Blessed Virgin Mary's maternal and coredemptive mission, to her who, the Pope affirms, would have

"the task of guarding and nourishing the Victim, and of placing Him on the altar. From this is derived that communion of life and of sorrows between Mother and Son, sorrows to which, for both of Them in equal manner, can be applied the words of the Prophet: 'My life is consumed in sorrow, my years are passed in groaning' (Ps 30:1)."[33]

Here the Pope speaks of the "communion of life and of sorrows" between Jesus and Mary stretching across the entire course of the Son's earthly existence, that is from the Annunciation to the Crucifixion, or, as St. Pius X says in his text, "from the house of Nazareth to the place of Calvary."[34] On Calvary, then, at the foot of the Cross, that communion of sorrows reaches its peak and the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Pope says, citing St. Bonaventure, "so participated in the (Son's) sufferings that, if it were possible, she would have been most happy to suffer herself all the torments which were supported by the Son."[35] In this teaching it is not difficult to grasp how Mary's coredemptive mission was ontologically united with the redemptive mission of Jesus, being always "under Him and with Him," as Vatican II precisely states (L.G. 56).[36]

The Pope's explanation then goes on to find in that

"communion of sorrows and of wills between Mary and Christ" the root of grace by which the Blessed Virgin Mary concretely "merited to become the most worthy Reparatrix of the sinful world (Eadmer, De excellentia Virginis Mariae, c.9), and therefore the Dispensatrix of all the treasures which Jesus merited for us with His bloody death."[37] This is a splendid, fundamental text.

It is important to note that Pope St. Pius X specifies the constitutive elements of the salvific mediation of Mary: namely the "reparation," equivalent to the Coredemption by which she paid the price in suffering and immolation to reacquire the grace lost by our first parents, and the "dispensation" of grace, equivalent to the universal Mediation for the distribution of every grace to each and every redeemed person to be saved. In the teaching of St. Pius X "the passage from Reparatrix to Dispensatrix," so Miotto comments, "follows the lines of antecedent and consequent: being made the Reparatrix of the human race, as a result ("atque ideo") Mary Most Holy rightly becomes the Dispensatrix of all the gifts which work toward the salvation and the sanctification of each man."[38]

On the basis of this logic, therefore, St. Pius X links orthodoxy and orthopraxis by inserting for the first time the term Co-redemptrix into three official documents of the Holy See. The first of these was issued by the Congregation of Rites, while the other two came from the Holy Office (today called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith). In all three documents Our Lady is expressly called the "merciful Co-redemptrix of the human race,"[39] "our Co-redemptrix,"[40] and the "Co-redemptrix of the human race."[41] Here is an exceptional fact surely relevant because it plainly shows that the Holy See itself found no difficulty in adopting a theological term at once binding in its implications and expressive of a Marian soteriology. Were this merely a matter of theological opinion, this would have occasioned bitter dispute, but in reality because it was common doctrine, it was peacefully accepted even in the highest ranks of the Church's hierarchy and teaching organs.

In summary, the classic doctrine on the Coredemption set forth in the ordinary Magisterium of Pope St. Pius X is complete. Mary's salvific mission has two phases of development: the first as Reparatrix who has coredeemed humanity with the Redeemer, the second as Dispensatrix who gives each man the graces of salvation and sanctification. The first was the historical, soteriological mission which extended from Nazareth to Calvary; the second is the metahistorical mission which will continue even to the end of time.

What has been set forth here finds a confirmation and guarantee also in the conclusion of the doctoral thesis of L. Pillet on Marian Coredemption in the teaching of St. Pius X:

"The various aspects of this doctrine expressly treated by Pius X in his magisterial documents, whether directly (especially in the encyclical Ad diem illum), or by means of the Roman Congregations, show this doctrine to be at least objectively very probable, if not indisputably certain. He is to be placed among the supporters of Marian Coredemption as understood in the strict sense. Mary, according to the Pope, through her union with the sorrows, sacrifice and salfivic intentions of Christ, actively participated in the Redemption wrought by Him: she was 'our Co-redemptrix,' 'she became with Him the Reparatrix of the fallen world,' 'she merited for us, with an inferior merit (de congruo), but on the same redemptive plane, the self-same graces which Christ merited for us de condigno.'" [42]

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (+ 1917)

This Saint, a Foundress and ardent missionary among the immigrants, has left a patrimony of pure and profound faith both by her example and her teachings. In an anthology of sayings of Mother Cabrini arranged by the perceptive theologian Giuseppe De Luca,[43] we find a harvest of simple but essential doctrine, animated by a "theological faith," notes Miotto, "lived ad intra in that most intimate dynamic of the love of the Holy Spirit, manifested and radiated ad extra in the dynamic of that labor of love translated into works of charity, into the active apostolate, into that unwearied passion for the missions even to the end."[44]

Within the patrimony of her teaching there is contained a very precious pearl, that of her teaching on Marian Coredemption. Within God's salvific design, in fact, St. Francis Xavier Cabrini points out the centrality of Mary's presence who, given to us by Christ, "is the Mediatrix between God and men, our most amiable Mother."[45] With a very pertinent biblical reference, she defines Blessed Mary as the "New Eve, true Mother of the living,"[46] as the one "chosen by God to be Co-redemptrix of the human race."[47] From Eve to Mary, from the sinful mother to the Mother Co-redemptrix: these passages are explicit and enlightening. Mary's salvific mission is rooted in Genesis 3:15, that most celebrated biblical prophecy which presents the Mother and Son indissolubly united in the work of Redemption.

To this biblical reference, furthermore, Mother Cabrini wisely unites the reference to the Pontifical teaching which gives a sure basis and guarantee as infallible truth. In her times Pope St. Pius X was the principal Master in the Faith, and to him she expressly appeals when she explains the mystery of the Marian Coredemption, writing that

"if the glory of giving life to our Redeemer pertained to her, then also, as our Holy Father said so well, the office of guarding and preparing the Sacred Victim of the human race for sacrifice pertained to her as well. Mary was not only the Mother of Jesus in the joys of Bethlehem, but even more so on Calvary,... and there she merited to become our most worthy Co-redemptrix."[48]

This too is a splendid page of doctrine and faith, exemplary by its simplicity of expression and by its essentially theological content. Mother Cabrini, with her strong and profound sensus fidei, sees Mary's salvific mission as Co-redemptrix as most strictly united with that of her divine Son. She sees the divine Mother as entirely consecrated, for the whole span of her life, to her Son's redemptive work for the salvation of the human race, she herself preparing "the Sacred Victim" to be offered on Calvary in a co-immolation so interior and personal, so real and matter of fact as to merit her becoming "the most worthy Co-redemptrix."

In these affirmations of Mother Cabrini the truth of the Marian Coredemption is presented clearly and firmly in its substance, linked to its biblical roots, nourished by the Church's Magisterium, espoused to the serenity and security of faith which does not encounter any obstacles in believing and transmitting a doctrine which forms part of the Church's grand, perennial patrimony of Faith. From St. Frances Xavier Cabrini's teaching it is obvious she had no need to defend the truth of the Marian Coredemption. Quite the contrary. There was nothing to defend. She writes and speaks of this most precious truth of our Faith with the maternal concern of recommending to the Mother Co-redemptrix the entire work of the apostolate and of evangelization which she and her daughters were engaged in throughout the world.

Miotto writes in fact that for Mother Cabrini our Blessed Lady

"is the Mother Co-redemptrix, united and inseparable from her Redeemer Son in her cooperation with the accomplishment and completion of the universal plan for salvation, always 'serving towards the mystery of Redemption under Him and with Him,' as Vatican II summarizes it (L.G. 56). This is the substance of a most genuine Marian soteriology, all in the key of the Coredemption, which we discover in the saintly Mother Cabrini's intrepid and ardent life of faith, who sailed forth without rest across oceans from one continent to another."[49]

St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe (+ 1941)

Pope Paul VI placed St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe "among the great Saints and enlightened spirits who have understood, venerated and sung the mystery of Mary"[50] and Pope John Paul II set in relief the prophetic vision and great value of St. Maximilian's life and Mariology for the Church today.[51] Consequently, St. Maximilian's Mariological doctrine has already been the subject of studies at the highest level of systematic research and scholarship.[52] With regards to his doctrine on the Marian Coredemption, in particular, there exists a detailed study by L. Iammorrone.[53]

The coredemptive thought of St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe is of great value for several reasons. He was our contemporary, and more importantly was a great mystic and Marian theologian, besides being such an extraordinary apostle and missionary of the Immaculate, called the "Fool of the Immaculate,"[54] and defined by the Ven. Fr. Gabriel Allegra, his contemporary, as "Apostle of the end times,"[55] thus recalling the thought of St. Louis Mary Grignon de Montfort.[56]

First, it must be stated that St. Maximilian not only spread and defended the truth of the Blessed Virgin Mary's universal Mediation, but wrote, prayed, and ardently longed for the solemn dogmatic definition of Mary as Mediatrix of salvation (= Co-redemptrix) and Mediatrix of all graces (= Dispensatrix). As a matter of fact, as soon as he knew that Pope Pius XI had named three commissions to study the definibility of Marian Mediation, he wrote an article in which he exhorted all to pray "so that our Most Holy Mother might hasten the moment of the Solemn proclamation of this her privilege."[57]

In addition to the eternal predestination of Mary with Christ according to the celebrated Franciscan thesis,[58] St. Maximilian also based the Holy Virgin Mary's coredemptive and distributive Mediation on the biblical-patristic foundation of Mary as the New Eve. Reflecting thus on the original fall of Adam and Eve, our first parents, St. Maximilian maintains that

"from that moment God promised a Redeemer and a Co-redemptrix saying: 'I will place enmities between thee and the Woman, and thy seed and her Seed; She shall crush thy head.'"[59] "The Fathers and Doctors of the Church," the Saint writes elsewhere, "proclaim that She, the second Eve, repaired that which the first had ruined; that She is the channel of the divine graces, She is our hope and our refuge; that we receive the grace of God through Her."[60]

One easily discerns here the equivalence between the reparation and the Coredemption, in the contrast between the devastating action of the Eve of old and the salvific action of the New Eve: both Eves presented as protagonists, respectively, in the fall and ruin of humanity (the first Eve), and in their ransom and salvation (the second Eve).

It is clear from the writings of St. Maximilian that for him the most certain truth, the most secure and unquestionable doctrine, and therefore the least in need of demonstration, was that of the Marian Coredemption; both because of the very clear reference to the devastating work of the first Eve neutralized by the reparative work of the second Eve (Mary), or because of the very life of Our Lady utterly bound up with, spent, and consumed in an unbreakable union with that of her divine Son in the work of the universal Redemption from beginning to end, that is from the Annunciation to the Crucifixion, from Nazareth to Calvary.

On the other hand, it seemed to St. Maximilian that the doctrine most in need of in-depth theological elaboration was that of the Marian Mediation involved in the distribution of all graces, a doctrine consequent on the Coredemption and which he links above all with the mystery of the ineffable union between the Holy Spirit and the Immaculate Virgin, a spousal union creating a perfect collaboration in the distributive economy of all graces for the salvation and sanctification of men.[61]

Nonetheless, St. Maximilian did take into account the complex theological discussions surrounding Marian Coredemption then in the process of being clarified and developed. He wrote that,

"Clearly, our relationship with Mary Co-redemptrix and Dispensatrix of graces in the economy of Redemption was not understood from the beginning in all its perfection. But in these, our times, faith in the Blessed Virgin Mary's mediation continues to grow more and more each day."[61]

As for his thought specifically on the Coredemption, we can say in summary that St. Maximilian, in his reflections, profoundly grasped both the expressly Christological value of the Marian Coredemption and the pneumatological value of Mary's mediation of all graces; he affirms that "Mary, as Mother of Jesus the Savior, becomes Co-redemptrix, while as Spouse of the Holy Spirit she takes part in the distribution of all graces."[63] According to the Mariological thought of St. Maximilian it was the plan of God "that His own Mother, the Immaculate," so writes Fr. Domanski, "should take part in the work of the Redemption, as she had likewise taken part in the work of the Incarnation."[64] And the demonstration which St. Maximilian took from a study of Bittremieux affirms that

". . . as the first Eve, by truly free choices, contributed to our ruin, in that she exercised a real influence, so also Mary, by her own actions, collaborated in the reparation. . . : in this is contained, in the proper sense of the term and presently in a perfectly evident manner, an authentic mediation."[65]

The doctrine of St. Maximilian shows itself logical and luminous in the solidity of its method and development:

"In the thought of Fr. Kolbe," writes Fr. Iammarrone, "Christ is the only universal Mediator between humanity and the Father... Mary is chosen by God as Mother of the Son and thus Mediatrix of grace because she must accompany Him inseparably in the realization of the Redemption. Son and Mother labor together in originating the life of grace (Redemption and Coredemption) and in distributing that life to men."[66]

Always retaining the complete subordination of the Mother with respect to the Son, the biblical-patristic reference to the first Eve with the first Adam once again pointedly and precisely delineates the opposing operations: that is, the operation of our ruin, which had as its absolute and primary effector the first Adam, with the first Eve as his relative and dependent co-operator and the operation of our salvation, which had as its absolute and primary Effector the second Adam, Jesus, with the second Eve, Mary, as His relative and dependent Co-operator.

This, according to St. Maximilian, is the plan of God.

"In the divine plan of salvation," writes again Fr. Iammorrone, "Mary is the New Eve who collaborates together with the New Adam, Jesus her Son, in the Redemption of man. In Fr. Kolbe's thought Mary's cooperation is subordinate to that of Christ the Redeemer, but it is immediate and proximate, active and direct... Mary, in the thought of Fr. Kolbe, participated in the Redemption in the objective sense (that is, in the acquiring of salvation with her own, proper activity united and associated to that original activity of the Son) and she participates in the Redemption in the subjective sense, that is, in the distribution of the graces of salvation to each person in the course of time right up to the coming of the Lord in glory," and in this way "Mary fully realizes her maternity with her maternal compassion on Calvary."[67]

From his thought taken as a whole, it is obvious that for St. Maximilian such doctrine on Mary's coredemptive and distributive mediation of grace is well founded and solid. As regards his personal experience, it cannot be considered anything less than superlative, when one remembers his terrible martyrdom in the death camp of Auschwitz, assimilating him in an extraordinary way to the coredemptive offering of the Blessed Mother. No one, in fact, is so close and so similar to the Co-redemptrix as the martyr. The supreme glory of the Co-redemptrix, in truth, is precisely that of being the Queen of the Martyrs. In this St. Maximilian has left us his orthodoxy (the doctrine on the Co-redemptrix) perfectly united with his orthopraxis (the most concrete imitation of the Co-redemptrix, in shedding one's own blood).

Master and Model of the doctrine and spirituality of Marian Coredemption: this is St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe.[68] Consequently, concerning the coredemptive and distributive mediation of Mary, one can say that, according to St. Maximilian, there is not so much to discuss, as there is much need to pray so that the Immaculate "might hasten the moment of the solemn proclamation" of this dogma on the part of the Church.

St. Leopold Mandic (+ 1942)

It has been written that St. Leopold Mandic "had a special attention to, a living interest in, and, one could add, a true and thoroughly personal passion for Mary Most Holy as 'Co-redemptrix of the human race'."[69] In effect, one could say that St. Leopold's life presents itself entirely in a coredemptive key, especially the forty years he spent exercising the ministry of Reconciliation. If indeed the Co-redemptrix co-operated in the reconciliation of humanity with God, then St. Leopold, as a confessor, did nothing else but "reconcile" men with God, freeing them from guilt, filling them anew with grace.[70]

And if it is true that the study of Our Lady, as one biographer writes, "was his favorite field of study throughout his life,"[71] and that he had it much at heart to "affirm the theological fundamentals of his Marian devotion," as writes another biographer, and sought to show himself always "theologically austere in his motivations,"[72] it is also true that his own particular passion for the mystery of Mary Co-redemptrix reached such a degree of fervor that he proposed writing a whole book or treatise on the truth of the Marian Coredemption. Further, one biographer specifies that St. Leopold "longed throughout his life to achieve this intention of writing a book on Our Lady to show her Co-redemptrix of the human race, the channel of every grace from the Lord."[73]

From these assertions of his biographers it is clear, then, "
how important it is to recognize the grounding of St. Leopold's thought in Marian Coredemption," writes Fr. Stemman, "considered in actu primo, that is, in the acquisition of saving grace, and considered in actu secundo, that is, in the distribution of grace to individual persons. One could also speak of Mary's coredemptive Mediation through the acquisition of grace, and Mary's distributive Mediation through the distribution of that grace."[74]

Unfortunately St. Leopold was unable to write the proposed book on Our Lady as Co-redemptrix. The continuous flow of penitents to his confessional rendered vain every desire and effort to recollect and concentrate himself in the study needed for writing. "It was truly a sin," writes one biographer, "because with his acute intelligence and his ardent love for Our Lady we would most certainly have been given a work of great value."[75]

At any rate, there is sufficient material to know St. Leopold's thought on the Coredemption. There are two volumes of the Saint's letters and writings wherein he maintains and confirms repeatedly the truth of Marian Coredemption.[76] It is enough to state that he repeats the expression "Co-redemptrix of the human race" thirteen times in his writings; at one point he even calls her "our Redemptrix";[77] and also at other times he uses equivalent expressions. And the basis of the Marian Coredemption, for St. Leopold, too, is found in the biblical-patristic thesis of the New Eve (Mary) and the New Adam (Jesus) who together restore that which the first Eve and first Adam together had destroyed: "I believe," writes St. Leopold, "in this dogma of the Catholic Faith: the most Blessed Virgin Mary is a second Eve, just as we believe that Christ the Lord is a second Adam."[78] And on Calvary, in the act of accomplishing the universal Redemption, the New Eve, the Co-redemptrix, is proclaimed by the Redeemer to be Mother of all men gathered to form the one Church, the new People of God, and this "according to the mandate given by the Son dying on the Cross."[79]

However, his passionate effort to maintain the truth of Marian Coredemption had two particular and admirable goals: the first goal was that of "cooperating in some fashion," writes Fr. Bernardi, "in circling our beloved Mother's forehead with a new crown, that of the dogmatic proclamation: Mary universal Mediatrix of all graces."[80] How the true sons of Mary cannot but desire to glorify their divine Mother ever more and more!

The second admirable goal was that of obtaining, specifically from the Co-redemptrix, the longed for reunification or reconciliation between the Church of Rome and the Christian Oriental Churches, thus putting an end to the painful schism due to the work of Photius and Caerularius which for nearly a millennium has been tearing apart "the seamless garment" of Christ. This ecumenical intention of St. Leopold is truly novel, not to mention extremely precious. Some today would say that the truth of Marian Coredemption shows itself altogether anti-ecumenical, and therefore is better left aside or any further discussion of it dropped. Such a rationale, however, appears particularly grotesque confronted by the goal of St. Leopold and therefore is shown to turn the truth of the matter upside-down.

St. Leopold actually maintained that if the Co-redemptrix is she who, in union with the Redeemer-Son "under Him and with Him," as Vatican II states (L.G. 56) has been made the Mother of reconciliation, then she always continues to be the Mother of every reconciliation, including that of the schismatic Churches. The Co-redemptrix is she who "mystically generated us at the foot of the Cross," writes St. Leopold, "by way of the most dreadful martyrdom that a mother's heart could ever know. We are truly sons of her tears." "One grasps intuitively," reflects Fr. Stemman, "that for St. Leopold Marian Coredemption, far from separating us, serves rather to reunite all the redeemed even more and better in the one absolute Redeemer and Mediator, Jesus Christ (cf. II Tim 2:5)."[81] "The fruit of the Coredemption, in fact, has been our reconciliation with God in Christ."[82] Fr. Stemman then continues his commentary on the thought of the Saint:

"From whom, in fact, come the graces of reconciliation if not from the Co-redemptrix - Mediatrix of all the graces of Christ's Redemption? Coredemption and reconciliation are always correlated. One cannot forget this. By traveling any other path one reaches a dead-end."[83]

St. Leopold was so thoroughly convinced of this truth that, in order to obtain the miracle of union of the Oriental Churches with Rome, he wanted to offer his entire self and life as victim in deference to the Co-redemptrix. He literally writes in his own hand:

"In truth, before God and the Blessed Virgin, confirming all by oath, I myself am obliged, in deference to the Co-redemptrix of the human race, to exert all my life's strength, in accord with the obedience I owe my superiors, for the redemption of all the dissident Oriental peoples from schism and error."[84] And in 1927, above one of his images, he wrote this precious thought: "I, friar Leopold Mandic Zarevic, firmly believe that the most Blessed Virgin, insofar as she was Co-redemptrix of the human race, is the moral fountain of all grace, since we have received all from her fullness."[85]

Fr. Stemman comments:

"Here St. Leopold specifies logically and with brilliant lucidity the difference between the Coredemption and the Mediation of graces. Our Lady is Co-redemptrix, as St. Leopold understood it, and therefore is the 'moral fountain of all graces'; that is to say, because the Immaculate was Co-redemptrix of humanity ('insofar as she was Co-redemptrix of the human race' ), she has rightly become the 'fountain', the spring of grace and the Distributrix of all graces; she has become Our Lady of graces, and in this way is very dear to the People of God."[86]

The teaching of St. Leopold on the Coredemption appears like a work of art which is as attractive as it is ardent in his passion to suffer for the reunification of the separated Churches. The essential elements of the coredemptive and distributive Mediation stand out clearly and are well-defined in the Saint's thought. He "firmly believes" in the truth of Mary as "Co-redemptrix of the human race." May his "I firmly believe" be also our own.

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (+ 1942)

(Edith Stein)

One of the richest and most significant spiritual works of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, that is, of this "illustrious daughter of Israel," as Pope John Paul II defined her in his beatification discourse of Edith Stein at Cologne on May 1st, 1987, is the theological essay on St. John of the Cross entitled "Scientia Crucis."[87]

The title alone of this work suggests a program of life illuminated and signed by the Cross, a title which promises to be an exposition, or more precisely, the exposition of that supreme science which gives the possession of the greatest love: love crucified, love which spurs and carries one to immolation: "Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (Jn 15:13).

One could well say that the life itself of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross was a book, a complete text on the "Scientia Crucis." One biographer of Edith Stein could not have profiled her life of suffering "from the University to the camp of Auschwitz"[88] any better than he did by following the dramatic series of persecutions and flights, tortures and imprisonments endured by Edith Stein up to her death in that camp of horrors, Auschwitz.

But the "Scientia Crucis" immediately calls to mind the mountain of the Cross, Calvary, and transports the soul, almost by impulse, to the foot of that Cross upon which was nailed our divine Redeemer, Jesus Christ. And there, at the feet of Jesus Crucified the soul finds her, the Lady of SorrowsCo-redemptrix, Mary Most Holy, the Mother concrucified in Heart with her adorable Son. She is, one could say, the personification of that most elevated "Scientia Crucis," that which called in theology "Marian Coredemption."

"As Co-redemptrix," wrote Fr. Miotto, "Mary Most Holy, transfixed and concrucified with Christ on Calvary, is a mirror of light especially for the victim souls who have conformed their life and death to Christ Crucified, 'renewing in themselves His death.' St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, daughter of the Hebrew people, was one of these victim souls, chosen and beloved by God, to relive the mystery of the Passion of Christ, prolonging in herself the compassion of the divine Mother and universal Co-redemptrix."[89]

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, who achieved the highest levels of philosophical formation, never treated of Marian Coredemption directly. But she did know the doctrine and left some traces of it here and there in her writings which touch upon it thematically, sometimes even theologically and spiritually. From the more significant texts we have one which speaks expressly of Mary Co-redemptrix engaged in the work of the universal Redemption together with Christ her Son, with whom she is bound "uno eodemque decreto," that is, "by one and the same decree," according to the formula adopted by Pope Pius IX, or "by a close and indissoluble bond," as it is expressed by Vatican II (L.G. 53).

The brief text of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross is this: "Mary leaves the natural order and is placed as Co-redemptrix alongside the Redeemer." These few words are theologically dense and luminous. They present Mary in the superior light of the mind of God and of His loving plan. Mary, a human creature and daughter of Adam by nature, nevertheless leaves "the natural order"; in other words she surpasses and transcends it because, one could say, she belongs more to Christ than to Adam, more to the second than to the first Adam.

Catholic theology, as a matter of fact, teaches us that the Blessed Virgin Mary, and only she, in as much as she is Mother of the Word Incarnate, belongs to the order of the hypostatic union: "Mary Most Holy," writes the mariologist Domenico Bertetto, "pertains, in the divine plan, to the hypostatic order, that is, to the divine economy which gives us the hypostatic or personal union of the divine Son with a human nature and which is the supreme manifestation of the merciful liberality of God, over and beyond that divine economy, which gave us the status of nature elevated in our first parents, and in us the status of nature fallen and redeemed."[90]

The Blessed Virgin Mary, therefore, "leaves the natural order," says St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, and is inserted into a new order, an exceptional order, "an order unto herself (a sé)," states Fr. Miotto, "which constitutes her as the hinge between the natural and supernatural, as a 'theandric' being because she is the Mother of the Word Incarnate."[91]

In this new order of the hypostatic union, our Blessed Lady is associated with Christ the Savior with the mission of "Co-redemptrix alongside the Redeemer." This is how St. Teresa literally describes it, and her words also bring to light with sufficient clarity that Marian Coredemption, like the divine Maternity, does not pertain to the natural order; instead, the Coredemption being one with Mary is elevated with her into the order of the hypostatic union, placed therefore "alongside the Redeemer." And since there is only one Co-redemptrix, the Co-redemptrix is truly unique: the divine Mother Mary.

With the expression "alongside the Redeemer" one could perhaps be led to think of a complementarity between the Redeemer and the Co-redemptrix in the work of salvation. However, St. Teresa Benedicta well understands, to the contrary, that Marian Coredemption is a direct and immediate cooperation on the part of Mary, but as a result of being a co-operation it is always said to be subordinate and dependent on the sole Operator, Jesus, the only, absolute Redeemer. In another place, as a matter of fact, the Saint calls Mary the "Collaboratrix of Christ the Redeemer."[92]

Furthermore, in relation to the Blessed Mary's spiritual Maternity St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross offers a precious clue in which Marian Coredemption is intimately united to the spiritual Maternity with a connatural interdependence in the sense that her spiritual Maternity springs forth precisely from the Coredemption, and her Virginity, fecundated by the Cross, becomes the Maternity of grace (in harmony with Vatican II which calls Mary precisely "Mother in the order of grace": (L.G. 61). Here is the Saint's text, which is as brief as it is brilliant and dense in content: "Under the Cross the Virgin of virgins became the Mother of grace."[93] Virginity, Coredemption, Maternity: it is a marvelous triptych, a truly unique and splendid diamond with three faces. St. Teresa Benedicta presents to us "the Cross and grace," writes Miotto, "the Coredemption and Maternity: these are the coordinates of our regeneration in Christ and Mary."[94]

The Blessed

Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity (+ 1906)

It has been rightly said that Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity "gazes upon Mary essentially with the eyes of a contemplative soul."[95] Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, being an extraordinary contemplative soul, looked upon and spoke about the mystery of the Co-redemptrix in a transfigured light, in a mystical key, which enters into the interior, which penetrates profoundly. "The knowledge of Mary Most Holy as Co-redemptrix beside the Redeemer," writes Miotto, "has a particular characteristic in Bl. Elizabeth, a characteristic most congenial to a contemplative soul like hers. This is the characteristic of most profound interiority, of most silent hiddenness."[96]

Bl. Elizabeth preferred to call Mary at the foot of the Cross the Mother of Sorrows and Queen of the Martyrs, and with her contemplative eyes she observes:

"This Queen of Virgins is also the Queen of Martyrs, but it is always 'into her Heart' that the sword passes. In her everything happened from within!... How beautiful it is to contemplate her during her long martyrdom, so serene in her majesty who at the same time breathes strength and sweetness... She remains there, nearby, at the foot of the Cross, strong and heroic."[97]

The holy and elderly Simeon had predicted to Mary in the temple: "And thy own soul a sword shall pierce" (Lk 2:35). Bl. Elizabeth fixes her gaze on that "sword" which penetrates deep within the Heart, which transfixes Mary's soul, and almost in ecstasy she cries out: "In her everything happened from within!" The Gospels actually say very little about the inexpressible sufferings of the Queen of Martyrs. But they do let us know, however, with the words of the aged Simeon, that truly all would transpire in the interior, in her soul transfixed by the sword of sorrow. As a result Bl. Elizabeth desires to scrutinize the deep recesses of the Heart of the Co-redemptrix and Mother of Sorrows, and yet she knows well that Our Lady "lived within her Heart with such profundity that the human gaze cannot follow her."[98] Nonetheless, Bl. Elizabeth "does not stop at the superficial aspects of this mystery," writes Fr. Philipon, "but penetrates the interior of Mary's soul... and seeks, within the hiddenness of her own soul, to reach into the very depths of the mystery of Mary."[99]

In this way Bl. Elizabeth helps us to understand and to discover that the mystery of Marian Coredemption unfolds and is consummated above all "from within" the soul of Mary,

"in the solitude of the Virgin's soul," reflects Fr. Philipon, "in conversation with God alone, without doubt with the active participation proper to the life of men. But in order to accomplish a divine work the soul of the Co-redemptrix was ever more assimilated with the Soul of Christ, whether in the solitary places in the evening, on the mountain, or in the Garden of Gethsemani."[100]

In the mission of Mary Co-redemptrix, Bl. Elizabeth grasps also the mission of Mary's divine Maternity with regard to man, that is to say "the providential and unique function of Mary in the economy of salvation," as writes Fr. Philipon, in that she is "associated with the Omnipotent in His redemptive work" which develops during the earthly phase of His life until its consummation in the mystery of the Cross on Calvary. And in that she is associated "with the Son who now abides in glory and with the Holy Spirit, cooperating with Them to 'form Christ' in the souls of the baptized" during the heavenly phase until the end of history with His coming in glory.[101]

Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity also deals with the extent of Mary's Maternity in relation to the God-Man, Jesus, and to all men, brothers of Christ. She distinguishes two phases of the Holy Virgin Mary's maternal mission: the earthly phase connected to the work of Redemption by her "effective" role (viz. the acquisitive Coredemption acquiring grace), and the heavenly phase connected to the work of Dispensation of redemptive grace in order to "form Christ" in every single person in the world (viz. the distributive Coredemption). In brief, the first is Mary's coredemptive Mediation, the second is Mary's distributive Mediation of saving and sanctifying grace.[102]

Bl. Elizabeth experienced and received fully of the fruits of Mary's maternal mission in both its coredemptive and distributive aspects. As Fr. Ragazzini wrote in a perceptive essay on Bl. Elizabeth and St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe,[103] the purification and elevation of the soul in the mystical life of Bl. Elizabeth are the fruit of Mary's coredemptive and distributive Mediation, since

"Our Lady, in the soul, is the active Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Dispensatrix of graces, because she is the Mother. . . And as such, with Christ, she communicates the spiritual life which, if it is true that that life necessarily comes from the fullness of Christ, then it also comes from the fullness of Mary. Grace is, therefore, Christian (of Christ), but is also Marian."[104]

That Bl. Elizabeth was entirely filled with Marian graces and, in particular, Mary's coredemptive grace, she herself offers a proof when, towards the end of her life, she rejoices because she finds herself assimilated to the Co-redemptrix in cooperating with Christ for the salvation of many. And she writes to her mother, exhorting her to rejoice because

"the Master has deigned to choose your daughter, the fruit of your womb, to associate her in His great work of Redemption."[105] During her last retreat, leaving us breathtaking "teachings on the image of the Mother of Sorrows,"[106] she herself writes again, saying: "With Jesus Christ I am nailed to the Cross... I suffer in my body that which is wanting to the Passion of Christ, for His Body which is the Church. . . The Queen stands at 'your right'. . . She walks along the way of Calvary, at the right of her Crucified King... He wants to associate His spouse in His work of Redemption."[107]

Truly Bl. Elizabeth, who, thinking of her Crucified Spouse, said that she endured "within herself a prolongation of His Passion,"[108] could have said as well that she endured a prolongation of the "compassion" of the Mother Co-redemptrix. "Only mystical contemplation," writes Fr. Miotto, "translates the truth into living experience. In the most secret, interior depths, as was the case for Bl. Elizabeth regarding Marian Coredemption... this meant to live out the content of the mystery of Mary, prolonging it in her own humanity."[109]

Part 2


* Reprinted with permission from Mary at the Foot of the Cross. Acts of the International Symposium on Marian Coredemption (Ratcliffe College, Leicester, England, February 2000, translated from the Italian.

1. S.M. MIOTTO, La voce dei Santi e la "Corredentrice", in Maria Corredentrice, Frigento, IT 2000, vol. III, pp. 189-223.

2. On this point Gherardini notes precisely: "When theology is truly conducted in 'lumine fidei sub ductu Ecclesiae', one could consider and define it as the laboratory of the ecclesiastical Magisterium" (B. GHERARDINI, La Corredentrice nel mistero di Cristo e della Chiesa, Rome, IT 1998, p.12). On the theme of the sensus fidei in Vatican II cf. LG 12, 35; PO 9; GS 52.

3. M. DE MARIA, Il "sensus fidei" e la "Corredentrice", in AA.VV., Maria Corredentrice, Frigento, IT 2000, vol. III, p.8. This brief, yet interesting historical-theological essay is useful in pointing out the current positive situation regarding the definibility of Marian Coredemption.

4. B. BARTMANN, Teologia Dogmatica, Alba, IT 1958, p. 88

op, cit., p. 191

6.Ibid., p.219. Cf. also F. OCARIZ, Teologia Fondamentale, Rome, IT 1997, p. 113.

7. M. DE MARIA, op. cit., p. 12

8. Cf. A.B. CALKINS, Mary as Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate in the Contemporary Roman Liturgy, in Mary Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate. Theological Foundations, S. Barbara, CA, vol. I, pp.45-118; A. TRIACCA, Maria "Corredentrice" dalla Liturgia Romana?, in Maria Corredentrice, Frigento, IT 1998, vol. I, pp. 221-281.

9. Cf. Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici. International Update/Newsletter, Ohio. In a few years the movement for the Coredemption Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici has already gathered the support of over 6 million of the faithful, 40 Cardinals, and around 500 Bishops from every continent. This is certainly a social fact of notable importance and value.

10. Illuminating and pointed is the article prepared by a Marian study group, signed by NELLO CASTELLO, Maria SS. Corredentrice. Una verità in cammino, in Palestra del Clero, 76 (1997) 759-766.

11. Op. cit., p. 13.

12. S.M. MIOTTO, op. cit., p. 220.

13. Ibid. pp. 192-218.

14. L. IAMMARRONE, Il mistero di Maria Corredentrice in San Massimiliano Maria Kolbe, in AA.VV., Maria Corredentrice, Frigento, IT 1999, vol. II, pp. 219-256.

15. P. STEMMAN, Il mistero di Maria "Corredentrice" nella vita e negli insegnamenti di San Leopoldo Mandic', in AA.VV., Maria Corredentrice, Frigento, IT 1999, vol. II, pp. 257-276.
P.M. SIANO, Maria SS. "Corredentrice" nel pensiero del Beato Ildefonso card. Schuster, in AA.VV., Maria Corredentrice, Frigento, IT 2000, vol. III, pp. 137-161.

17. S.M. MANELLI, Maria SS. Corredentrice nella vita a negli scritti di Padre Pio da Pietrelcina, in AA.VV., Maria Corredentrice, Frigento, IT 1999, vol. II, pp. 293-314.

18. L. MURABITO, La Corredenzione di Maria nel pensiero del Venerabile Padre Gabriele M. Allegra, in AA.VV., Maria Corredentrice, Frigento, IT 1999, vol. II, pp. 293-314.

19. S.M. MANELLI, Il mistero di Maria Corredentrice nel Venerabile Giacomo Alberione, in AA.VV., Maria Corredentrice, Frigento, IT 2000, vol. III, pp. 163-188.

20. For an overall vision cf. J.B. CAROL, De Corredemptione Beatae Virginis Mariae, Vatican City, 1950, 643 pages. For the Franciscan school in particular cf. the recent, magnificent volume: AA.VV., Maria Corredentrice, Frigento, IT 1998, vol. II, 318 pages. Regarding the Dominican school, the coredemptive thought of St. Louis M. Grignon and St. Alphonsus M. de Liguori, cf. AA.VV., Maria Corredentrice, Frigento, 2000, vol. III, pp...

21. S.M. MIOTTO, op. cit., p. 190. With regard to the Servants of God, "in order to recall, even if only in passing, some of the great number of Servants of God," writes Miotto, "we can point out Sr. Maria Mantonani, Cofoundress of the Little Sisters of the Holy Family, (+ 1934), who speaks expressly in accents of a most ardent faith of the 'most merciful Co-redemptrix' and 'Queen of the Martyrs'; and Fr. Mariano of Torino, OFM Cap., (+ 1972), the celebrated preacher and catechist who speaks of Mary Most Holy who 'does not add to the Redemption, but enters into the constitution of the Redemption itself...: she is the Co-redemptrix of the human race'" (ibid. 219-220).

22. S. GEMMA GALGANI, Lettere, Rome, IT 1979, p. 106.

23. ibid.

24. There are some who want to battle for the substitution of the term co-redemptrix with that of associate (cf. E.DAL COVOLO, Maria SS.: "associata" a Cristo o "corredentrice"?, in Palestra del Clero, 78 (1999) 607-612). But the fact that the term associate in modern usage disguises precisely Mary's own specific role in her most personal and unique cooperation in the Redemption immediately leaves the reader perplexed. Calling Mary Most Holy the "Associate" effectively says little or nothing in contrast with the title Co-redemptrix. The word associate is a word entirely generic, weak and dull (associate: to whom? to what? why? and in what manner?...), when one does not want to explain every time the term is used what he intends by it, the substantial content which the word co-redemptrix by itself and immediately makes clear, that is, that Mary Most Holy has been the associate of the Redeemer ("under Him and with Him" LG 56) as active and immediate cooperatrix (in actu primo) in the very "effecting" of the Redemption and that this entails the "acquisition" of salvific grace then to be distributed (in actu secondo) to each redeemed soul. But precisely this clarification in its entirety Dal Covolo does not mention, reducing thereby the association of Mary in the Redemption to a merely intenser and fuller participation than that of other men. As a result she is called redeemed sister in the first place. But from this, however, no clue is given as to how and for what reason she is also called "Mother."

25. S. GEMMA GALGANI, Estasi, Diario, Autobiografica, Scritti vari, Rome, IT 1988, p. 24.

26. ibid. p. 30
ibid. p.34

28. C. FABRO, Gemma Galgani, Rome, IT 1987, p. 104.

29. S. GEMMA GALGANI, Lettere, op. cit., pp. 214-215.

30. S.M. MIOTTO, op. cit., p. 195.

31. ibid. p.200.

32. It is important to note that as early as 1951 there was published a specific doctoral thesis in Marian theology on the coredemptive doctrine of Pope St. Pius X: L. PILLET, La Corredenzione mariana nel magistero del beato Pio X, Torino, IT 1951.

33. AAS 36 (1903-1904) 453.

34. ibid. pp. 454-455.

35. ibid.

36. Gherardini comments incisively on this text of St. Pius X, speaking of "a 'communion' so perfect that it reaches the utmost limits of identification in the 'same suffering and will', joining Christ to Mary in effecting the same salvific work, precisely by designating Mary, as Mother of the Word Incarnate, and therefore in virtue of Him and subordinate to Him, able to merit together with Him that infinite treasure of redemptive grace. In virtue of this, as He is said to be Redeemer, so she can be said to be Co-redemptrix. With Him who repairs, so she is the Reparatrix. With Him who reconciles, so she is the Reconciliatrix. With Him who redeems, so the Co-redemptrix." B. GHERARDINI, La Corredentrice in Cristo e nella Chiesa, Rome, IT 1998, p. 116.

37. Ibid. pp. 453-454.

38. op. cit., p. 201. See above, footnote 32, a specific study on the coredemptive thought of St. Pius X.

39. AAS 41 (1908) p. 409.

40. AAS 5 (1913) p. 364.

41. AAS 6 (1914) p. 108.

42 L. PILLET, op. cit., p. 60.

43. G. DE LUCA, Parole sparse della Beata Cabrini, Rome, IT 1938.

44. S.M. MIOTTO, op. cit., p. 203. Very interesting is the rich biblical-symbolic intonation of Cabrini's thought (cf. ibid. p. 204, nt.40).

45. Parole sparse della Beata Cabrini, edition cited, p. 164.

46. Ibid. p. 169.

47. Ibid. 1.c.

48. Ibid. p. 170. Pope St. Pius X wrote as follows: "Not only is praise due to the most holy Mother of God for having formed 'the material of the flesh of the only Son of God who had to be born with human members', and not only for having as such prepared a victim for the salvation of men, but she also had the task of guarding and nourishing the Victim, and of placing Him on the altar on the day established" (AAS 36 1903-1904, 453).

49. Op. cit., pp. 205-206.

50. Insegnamenti di Paulo VI, Rome, IT 1971, vol. IX, p. 909.

51. Cf. Osservatore Romano 8-9, XII, 1982.

52. It is sufficient to refer to the weighty volume of the Acts of the International Congress held at Rome in 1984: La Mariologia di san Massimiliano M. Kolbe, Rome, IT 1985.

53. This is one of the conferences given at the International Mariological Symposium "Maria Corredentrice. Storia e Teologia," celebrated at Castelpetroso, IT Sept. 8-12, 1997, where twenty theologians coming from every part of the world participated (cf. S.M. Manelli, Cronistoria del Simposio con rilievi, spunti e riflessioni, in Corredemptrix. Annali Mariani 1966, Castelpetroso, 1997, pp. 133-171). The conference of Fr. L. IAMMORRONE, Il mistero di Maria Corredentrice in san Massimiliano Maria Kolbe, is found in AA.VV., Maria Corredentrice, Frigento, IT 1999, vol.II, pp. 219-256.

54. One can profit by reading the life of this apostle synthesized by S.M. MANELLI, "Folle dell'Immacolata", Frigento, IT 1990, 120 pages.

55. G. ALLEGRA, Apostolo degli ultimi tempi, in Miles Immaculatae 18 (1982) 156-162.

56. ibid. p. 160, 162.

57. ST. MAXIMILIAN MARY KOLBE, Scritti, Rome, IT 1997, n.1029 (quotations abbreviated: Scritti and the margin number).

58. "The participation of Mary in the redemptive work of her Son," writes Fr. Iammarrone, "is founded, according to Fr. Kolbe, in the eternal decree of Mary's predestination together with her divine Son.": L. IAMMARRONE, op. cit., p. 221; cf. also pp. 223-247.

59. Scritti 1069.

60. Scritti 1029.

61. Cf. H.M. MANTEAU-BONAMY, La dottrina mariana di p. Kolbe. Lo Spirito Santo e l'Immacolata, Rome, IT 1977; G. BARTOSIK, Rapporti tra lo Spirito Santo e Maria come principio della mediazione mariana, negli ultimi scritte (1935-1941) di s. Massimiliano Kolbe, in Miles Immaculatae 27 (1991) 244-68.

62. Scritti 1229.

63. Ibid.

64 G. DOMANSKI, Il pensiero mariano di P. Massimiliano M. Kolbe, Rome, IT 1971, p. 38.

65. J. BITTREMIEUX, De Mediatione universale B.M.V., in Scritti, 1.c.

66. op. cit., p. 237.

67. Ibid. pp. 244,245,246.

68. Very little has been written on the coredemptive spirituality of St. Maximilian, coredemptive insofar as he was a martyr and one who suffered (illness of tuberculosis and always generous in sacrifices without limit). Much indeed would have to be discovered and written in order to grasp deeply the vital bond uniting the Holy Martyr to the mystery of the Immaculate in her universal, coredemptive mission, and in order to make our own the school of life and its Marian spirituality in the coredemptive key which he has left us, and that so we might be ever more intimate and faithful children of her whom Jesus gave us on Calvary, not only as Mother, but also as Co-redemptrix, or, even better yet, as Mother Co-redemptrix, that is, who has left the Co-redemptrix as our very own Mother.

69. P. STEMMAN, Il mistero di Maria "Corredentrice" nella vita e negli insegnamenti di san Leopoldo Mandic', in AA.VV., Maria Corredentrice, Frigento, IT 1999, vol.II, p. 259.

70. It is a significant fact that the title of the first biography of the Saint reads as follows: P.E. BERNARDI, Leopoldo Mandic'. Santo della riconciliazione, Padua, IT 1990; and Fr. STEMMAN could write that "it seems licit, therefore, to affirm the most intimate and vital proximity between Mary Co-redemptrix, Mother of Reconciliation, and St. Leopold, minister of reconciliation. " (op. cit., p. 262).

71. P.E. BERNARDI, op. cit., p. 117.

72. LORENZO DA FARA, Leopoldo Mandic'. L'umanità. La santità, Padua, IT 1987, pp. 181,182.

73. P.E. BERNARDI, op. cit., p. 118.
74. P. STEMMAN, op. cit., p. 261.

75. P.E. BERNARDI, work cited, p. 119.

76. P. TIETO, (care of), Suo umile servo in Cristo, vol.I, Lettere, vol.II, Scritti, Padua, IT 1992.

77. Scritti, vol.II, p. 117.

78. Ibid. p. 179.

79. Ibid.

80. op. cit., 1.c.

81. P. STEMMAN, op. cit., p. 269.

82. Ibid., p. 274.

83. Ibid., p. 275.

84. Ibid, p. 269. The original text of St. Leopold in Latin is this: "Vere coram Deo et Deiparae Virgini, interposita sacramenti fide, me obstrinxi in obsequium Corredemptricis humani generis, disponendi omnes ratione vitae meae iuxta oboedientiam meorum superiorum in redemptionem Orientalium Dissidentium a schismate et errore" (Scritti, vol.II, p. 97). Such an offering to the Co-redemptrix he repeated many times (Cf. Scritti, pp. 142, 150, 165).

85. Here is the original text written by the Saint in Latin: "Ego frater Leopoldus Mandic Zarevic credo et teneo Virginem Beatissimam Mariam, eo quod Corredemptrix humani generis, esse fontem moralem totius gratiae, nam ex plenitudine ipsius omnes nos accepimus" (Scritti, vol. II, p. 124).

86. op. cit., p. 273.

87. BL. EDITH STEIN, Scientia Crucis su San Giovanni della Croce, Rome, IT 1996. This work remained unfinished in its final part, but it has rightly been pointed out: "Edith Stein could be said not to have written the conclusion of her book La Scienza della Croce, but to have lived it profoundly, dying for the Cross": Sr. MARIA FRANCESCA PERILLO, Edith Stein. Ebrea, carmelitana, martire, in Palestra del Clero 78 (1999) 695.

88. E. DE MIRIBEL, Edith Stein. Dall'università al lager di Auschwitz, Milan, IT 1987.

89. S.M. MIOTTO, op. cit., p. 212.

90. D. BERTETTO, Maria la Serva del Signore, Napoli, IT 1988, p. 221. "Something that is ontologically new in Mary," writes Ragazzini, "is her being elevated - by reason of her Divine Maternity - to participate in a new order of being: that of the Hypostatic Order, superior to that of the order of grace, not to mention that of the natural order. Mother of Christ, subject of the Order of the Hypostatic Union, Mary herself really makes up part of that new and exceptional Order" (S. RAGAZZINI, La Divina Maternità di Maria, Frigento, IT 1986, p. 215; one should consult the entire, lengthy chapter: pp.214-238).

91. Op. cit., p. 213.

92. EDITH STEIN, Beata Teresa Benedetta della Croce, Vita, Dottrina, Testi inediti, Rome, IT 1997, p. 110.

93. Text reported by R. GIRARDELLO, Edith Stein. "In grande pace varcai la soglia", Rome, IT 1998, p. 277.

94. op. cit., p. 214.

95. R. MORETTI, Introduzione a Elisabetta della Trinità, Rome, IT 1984, p. 158.

96. op. cit., p. 197.

97. BL. ELIZABETH OF THE TRINITY, Scritti, Rome, IT 1967, p. 660 (cited here as: Scritti).

98. Scritti, p. 659.

99. M. PHILIPON, L'inabitazione della Trinità nell anima, Rome, IT 1966, p. 144.

100. M. PHILIPON, La dottrina spirituale di Suor Elisabetta della Trinità, Brescia, IT 1968, p. 162. Fr. M. Philipon, a great student of Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, has also authored a book of Marian theology, Il vero volto della Madre di Dio (Rome, 1952), containing marvelous pages on the mystery of Mary Co-redemptrix (ibid., pp. 63-82).

101. Cf. M. PHILIPON, L'inabitazione della Trinità nell'anima, edition cited, 1.c.

102. In both the earthly and heavenly phases, Bl. Elizabeth enjoyed the living and operative presence of Mary Most Holy who "appeared to her," writes again Philipon, "humble and faithful, associated with Christ, involved in the entire economy of salvation by the will of God" (op. cit., 1.c.).

103. S. RAGAZZINI, Due grandi mistici mariani del nostro secolo: la Beata Elisabetta della Trinità e San Massimiliano, Castelpetroso, IT 1995.

104. Ibid., p. 25. Cf. also the pages wherein is described the maternal action of Mary on Bl. Elizabeth's path of purgation and elevation (ibid., pp. 34-35, 40-41, 46-47, 50-51, 54-55, 60-61, 66-71).

105. Scritti, p. 456.

106. So writes E. LLAMAS, Messaggio mariano di Sr. Elisabetta della Trinità, AA.VV., L'esperienza mistica di Elisabetta della Trinità, Napoli, IT 1987, p. 184.

107. Scritti, p. 642.

108. Scritti, pp. 456-7.

109. Op. cit., p. 199.

Part 2

Copyright ©; 2002 Mark I Miravalle, S.T.D. All rights reserved

Version: 13th April 2003


Home Page for Mary,
Mother of God

Papers on Proposed 5th Marian Dogma