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Proposed 5th Marian Dogma

Mary: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate

by Mark I Miravale, S.T.D.

Chapter Three


"We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God,
despise not our petitions in our necessities,
but deliver us from all danger,
O ever glorious and blessed Virgin."

In this most ancient prayer to the Mother of God dating back approximately to the third century,
[255] the early Church of Christ manifested its heartfelt belief in the intercessory power of Mary to whom it called for help and protection in the midst of its dangers and trials. The Second Vatican Council tells us that from the earliest times, the Church honored Mary, "whose protection the faithful take refuge together in prayer in all their perils and needs."[256] The Council also continues the Church's ancient practice of invoking Mary under the title that bespeaks Mary's role as intercessory helper for the People of God in times of peril: "Therefore, the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the title(s) of Advocate. "[257]

The Coredemptrix, who uniquely participated with the Redeemer in obtaining the graces of redemption, continues her salvific role in distributing the graces of redemption with the Mediator and the Sanctifier. Part of this mediating role of Mary in God's dynamic drama of salvation includes the providential task of being the Advocate for the People of God. Along with mediating the graces of redemption from God to the human family, Mary also acts as the intercessory advocate for the People of God in their return to God. Mary not only mediates the graces of God to humanity as Mediatrix, but she also mediates the petitions of the human family back to God, in humble service of both. Mary intercedes to God the Father through the Son and by the Holy Spirit on behalf of humanity as our Advocate, especially in times of danger and difficulties.

Old Testament Role of the Queen Mother
(1 Kings: 2,8,15; 2 Kings: 11,24; Pro. 31:8,9)

We can see an authentic foreshadowing of the role of the Mother of Jesus as Advocate for the People of God in the Old Testament role of the Queen Mother,[258] the role and office held by the mothers of the great Davidic kings of Israel.

In the Kingdom of Israel, the mother of the king (Heb., Gebirah, literally, "great lady"[259] held the exalted office of the Queen Mother. Because the kings of Israel normally had numerous wives, the mother of the king was chosen to be the queen of the kingdom, due to her singular familial relationship with the king. The Gebirah or "Lady" of the kingdom assisted the king in the ruling of the kingdom in her noble office as the queen mother (cf. 2 Kings 11:3; 1 Kings 2:19; 1 Kings 15: 9-13; Jer 13:18,20).

The office and authority of the queen mother in her close relationship to the king made her the strongest advocate to the king for the people of the kingdom. The Old Testament understanding of an advocate is a person who is called in to intercede for another in need and particularly at court, [260] and no one had more intercessory power to the king than the queen mother, who at times sat enthroned at the right side of the king (cf. 1 Kings 2: 19-20). The queen mother also had the function of counselor to the king in regards to matters of the kingdom (cf. Prov 3 1:8-9; 2 Chr 22:2-4).[261]

The recognized role of advocate of the queen mother with the king for members of the kingdom is manifested in the immediate response of King Solomon to his mother, Bathsheba, in this queen mother's petition for a member of the kingdom:

"And the king rose to meet her, and bowed down to her; then he sat on his throne, and had a seat brought for the king's mother; and she sat on his right. Then she said, 'I have one small request to make of you; do not refuse me.' And the king said to her, 'Make your request, my mother; for I will not refuse you'" (1 Kings 2: 19~20)[262]

The Old Testament image and role of the queen mother, the "great Lady," as advocate to the king for the people of the kingdom prophetically foreshadows the role of the great Queen Mother and Lady of the New Testament. For it is Mary of Nazareth who becomes the Queen and Mother in the Kingdom of God, as the Mother of Christ, King of all Nations.[263] The Woman at the foot of the Cross (cf. Jn 19:26) becomes the Great Lady (Domina) with the Lord and King, and thereby will be the Advocate and Queen for the People of God from heaven, where she is the "woman clothed with the sun...and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (Rev. 12:1).

Rev 12:1 - Advocate and Queen for the People of God

The role of the Mother of Jesus, the Great Woman and Lady of the Lord of Lords (Rev. 19:16) spans the whole of the written Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, in her intimate union with Christ and the Church:

"...Thus the Mother of God, through the Church, remains in that mystery [of Christi as 'the woman' spoken of her by the Book of Genesis (3:15) at the beginning, and by the Apocalypse (12:1) at the end of the history of salvation."[264]

And Mary's providential office as Queen Mother and Advocate in the Kingdom of Christ, which is the Church, can be seen in the pages of the New Testament.

Queen Mother and Advocate
in the New Kingdom Of Christ
(Lk. 1:32; Lk. 1 :44;Jn. 2:3;Jn. 19:26; Rev. 12:1)

In the encyclical that teaches Mary's universal Queenship,[265] Pope Pius XII tells us: "...the first one who with heavenly voice announced Mary's royal office was Gabriel the Archangel himself."[266]

It is the angelic messenger of God that first refers to the office of the new Queen Mother and Advocate, in announcing to Mary, a young virgin from the house of David, that she will conceive a child that will receive the throne of David, and the kingdom of this new king will last forever:

"He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there will be no end" (Lk. 1:32-33).

The Queen Mother and Advocate of Christ, the New King, is acknowledged again in the words of her cousin Elizabeth to Mary: "And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Lk. 1:44). The title, "Mother of my Lord" in the court language of the ancient Israel referred to the mother of the reigning king, who was addressed as "My Lord."[267] Elizabeth, as a good Israelite and daughter of Abraham, refers to Mary's new office as Queen and Advocate through the inspiration and power of the Holy Spirit (cf. Lk. 1:41-42). Mary is acknowledged by the power of the Spirit as the new Lady of the new Lord.

The Queen Mother of the Lord manifests her role as Advocate for the people to the King at the wedding of Cana (cf. Jn. 2:1-11). At the specific need of the hosts and people of the wedding, the Lady intercedes to the Lord for the people (with a confidence beyond that of Queen Mother Bathsheba to King Solomon):

"When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, 'They have no wine.' And Jesus said to her, 'O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.' His mother said to his servants, 'Do whatever he tells you" (Jn. 2:3-5).

Again, Mary is referred to as the Woman in her part in the redemptive mission of her Son, and the Advocate succeeds in obtaining from her Kingly Son the needs of the people (cf. Jn. 8-11). Mary is the "spokeswoman of her Son's will,"[268] and "She knows.. .she can point out to her Son the needs of mankind, and in fact, she has the 'right' to do so"[269] as Advocate.

The revelation of Mary as the Queen and Advocate for the People of God is brought to a scriptural crowning in the last book of the written Word of God.

"And a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (Rev. 12:1).

Mary is the only Woman who will bring forth Christ the King, "who is to rule all nations with an iron rod" (Rev. 12:5). She is the Woman foreshadowed in Genesis who will battle the dragon-serpent in her mission with the Saviour Son (cf. Gen. 3:15, Rev. 12:3-7). As the child (cf. Rev. 12:5) refers to the person of Jesus, so too, the woman who brought forth a child (cf. Rev. 12:5) refers to the person of Mary.[270] Pope Paul VI states at the beginning of his Marian Apostolic Letter entitled, A Great Sign:

"The great sign which the Apostle John saw in heaven, 'a woman clothed by the sun' is interpreted by the sacred Liturgy, not without foundation, as referring to the most blessed Mary, the mother of all men by the grace of Christ the Redeemer."[271]

Mary, Queen Mother and Advocate, is crowned with the twelve stars (cf. Rev. 12:1) which symbolize both the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles of the new kingdom. The Woman of Revelation is both Mary and the Church, [272] which bespeaks the intimate and organic union in type between the Daughter Zion and the new Israel. As Scheeben remarks:

"Accordingly the heavenly glory of the woman, expressed in this great sign, must in the first place be traced to Mary, who is prophesied by Isaiah as the divine sign (cf. Is. 7: 14)...The features of the vision are borrowed from Mary; Mary is not taken merely as an ordinary example or even as a prototype of the Church, but as a prototype that is organically united to the Church and radically concerns and represents it, and also works both in it and through it."[273]

And at the end of her earthly life and following her glorious Assumption into heaven, the Daughter of Zion is crowned as the Queen in the Kingdom of God, in virtue of the her participation in the conquest of the kingdom with the Redeeming Saviour at the foot of the Cross (cf. Jn 19:26).

The Second Vatican Council tells us:

"The Immaculate Virgin preserved from all stain of original sin was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, when her earthly life was over, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, The Lord of Lords (cf. Apoc. 19:16), and conqueror of sin and death."[274]

As Christ is the rightful King and Lord of all nations (cf. Rev. 5:9,10; Rev. 15:4; Rev. 19:6), Mary, Mother of the King and Coredemptrix in the conquest of the Redeemer, becomes the Queen Mother, the Gebirah, the great Mother and Lady of all nations.

But Mary's role as universal Advocate for the People of God does not cease after Mary's glorious Assumption and crowning as Queen, but rather, it definitively begins. The Council states:

"By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties, until they are led into their blessed home."[275]

Church Fathers and Mary Advocate

The Early Church was quick to confirm and utilize Mary's role as Advocate in God's drama of human salvation. By the second century, St. Irenaeus referred to Mary's advocacy to God for Eve, the first mother of the living, who through disobedience was in need of the helping intercession of another: "And whereas Eve had disobeyed God, Mary was persuaded to obey God, that the Virgin Mary might become advocate (advocata) of the virgin Eve."[276] St. Ephraem called Mary the "friendly advocate of sinners."[277]

St. Germanus of Constantinople describes the role of Mary Advocate as the greatest intercessory defender and protector of sinners after Christ:

"And who, after your Jesus, is as tenderly solicitous for our welfare as you [Mary] are? Who defends us in the temptations with which we are afflicted as you defend us? Who, like you, undertakes to protect sinners, fighting, as it were, on their behalf'?"[278]

The sixth century Saint Romanos pictures the Mother of Jesus addressing our first parents as advocate to Christ on their behalf: "Cease your lamentations, I shall be your advocate with my son. "[279]

St. Bernard of Clairvaux makes plain Mary's role as advocate to Christ for humanity by saying, "You wish to have an advocate with him [Christ]. ..Have recourse to Mary;" and also "Our Lady, our Mediatrix, our Advocate, reconcile us to your Son, commend us to your Son, represent us to your Son."[280] It is the Advocate who represents us before the Son, interceding for the human family and obtaining for us the graces of salvation, as alluded to in the great twelfth century liturgical antiphon, the Salve Regina:

"...To you do we cry out, poor banished children of Eve; to you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears; turn, then, O most gracious Advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb Jesus, O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary."[281]

Papal Teaching on Mary, Advocate for the People of God

The authoritative teachings of the Papal Magisterium continue the historical recognition and development of Mary's doctrinal role as Advocate for the People of God. From the sixteenth century onwards, the Mother of God has been repeatedly referred to by the popes as "our Advocate"[282] with Christ on behalf of the faithful.

The papal teachings of the last two centuries have most fully recognized and officially taught this scriptural and patristic role of Advocate by the Mother of Jesus for the People of God.

Pope Pius VII, at the turn of the nineteenth century, teaches Mary's unique maternal role to be advocate to her Son in the order of intercession for humanity :

"...While the prayers of those in heaven have, it is true, some claim on God's watchful eye, Mary's prayers place their assurance in a mother's right. For that reason, when she approaches her divine Son's throne, as Advocate she begs, as Handmaid she prays, but as Mother she commands."[283]

The advocacy of the Queen Mother with her Son the King truly exceeds that of all other saints.

Pope St. Pius X strongly affirms Mary's role as Queen and Advocate to the throne of God on behalf of the People of God in a papal prayer he composed for the fiftieth anniversary of the papal definition of the Immaculate Conception:

"O Blessed Mother, our Queen and Advocate...gather together our prayers and we beseech you (our hearts one with yours) present them before God's throne...that we may reach the portal of salvation."[284]

Pope Pius XI speaks of Mary's roles as Mediatrix of grace and Advocate for sinners as complementary tasks given to Mary by her Son:

"...trusting in her intercession with Christ our Lord, who though sole Mediator between God and man, wished however to make His Mother advocate for sinners and the dispenser and mediatrix of grace...."[285]

Her functions as Mediatrix of all graces and Advocate for the faithful are closely bound since, as Pius XI tells us, they are both essentially linked to her relation to us as Mother:

"God alone gives grace according to the measure which, in His infinite wisdom, He foresees. But, though that grace comes from God, it is given through Mary, our advocate and mediatrix, since motherly affection on the one hand finds response in filial devotion on the other. With the renowned poet, we may say of Mary, 'He who desires grace and fails to have recourse to thee is like one trying to fly without wings.' God gives grace; Mary obtains and distributes it."[286]

Pius XI further encourages the youth, surrounded by many dangers and obstacles to God, to make Mary our true Advocate before God unto and at the hour of death:

"We must of necessity wish that the youth of today, exposed as they are to many dangers, should make devotion to Mary the predominant thought of their whole life. By persevering prayer let us make Mary our daily Mediatrix, our true Advocate. In this way we may hope that she herself, assumed into heavenly glory, will be our advocate before divine goodness and mercy at the hour of our passing."[287]

Pius XII explains the task of Mary, Advocate with her Son, in her intercessory and conciliatory role on behalf of sinners:

"Our Advocate, placed between God and the sinner, takes it upon herself to invoke clemency of the Judge so as to temper His justice, touch the heart of the sinner and overcome his obstinacy."[288]

For Pius XII, Mary is profoundly our "Queen and our most loving Advocate, Mediatrix of His graces, dispenser of His treasures!"[289]

The Second Vatican Council confirms the Church's rich Tradition by professing the rightful invocation of Mary under the title, "Advocate."[290] The Council also invokes Mary's powerful intercessory power with her Son at the end of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church for the vital and necessary goal of authentic Ecumenism and the unity of all peoples into the one People of God:

"The entire body of the faithful pours forth urgent supplications to the Mother of God and of men that she, who aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers, may now, exalted as she is above the angels and the saints, intercede before her Son in the fellowship of all the saints, until all families of people, whether they are honored with the title of Christian or whether they still do not know the Saviour, may be happily gathered together in peace and hannony into the one People of God, for the glory of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity."[291]

Pope John Paul II, along with papal confirmation of Mary's title and role of Advocate,[292] builds upon the conciliar example to recognize Mary's unique intercessory power to God on behalf of the grave contemporary need for unity of all Christians and all peoples into the one People of God. Mary's unique ability to intercede for Christian unity comes from her coredemptive role of having suffered for the Church at Calvary, as well as the intrinsic desire of a mother to unite all her children:

"Having suffered for the Church, Mary deserved to become the mother of all her Son's disciples, the mother of their unity.. ..The Church recognizes in her a mother who keeps watch over its development and does not cease to intercede with her Son to obtain for Christians more profound dispositions of faith, of hope, of love. Mary seeks to promote the greatest possible unity of Christians, because a mother strives to ensure accord among her children. There is no more ecumenical heart greater or more ardent than Mary's heart. It is to this perfect mother that the Church has recourse in all its difficulties."[293]

Truly it is only through the powerful advocacy of Mary, whom John Paul II invokes all Christians to recognize as "our common Mother," that we can hope for an authentic unity of God's children into the one Church of Christ:

"Therefore, why should we not all together look to her as our common Mother, who prays for the unity of God's family and who "precedes" us all at the head of the long line of witnesses of faith in the one Lord, the Son of God, who was conceived in her virginal womb by the power of the Holy Spirit?"[294]

It will only be through the power of the Holy Spirit, implored by the Advocate, that authentic Christian unity will be established, when all children of God can, in one voice, invoke Mary as our common Mother.

Rev. 22:17 - The Spirit and the Advocate
for the People of God Today

"The Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come" (Rev. 22:17). These inspired words from the last sentences of Sacred Scripture should enkindle a hopeful confidence in the People of God concerning the ongoing salvific work of the Holy Spirit and Mary, his Immaculate Spouse, in their contemporary mission of advocacy for the Church today.

It is noteworthy that the scriptural use of the term, advocate (Gk., parakletos, literally "called in to help" ),[295] as used by Jesus at the Last Supper, refers to the coming aid of the Holy Spirit for the future Church (cf. Jn. 15:26). The later use of the same term for Mary's intercessory help to God for humanity as treated by the Church Fathers[296] further bespeaks the intimate association of the Spirit and the Advocate in the mission of heavenly intercession as inferred by the Early Church Fathers. As Scheeben remarks, the title of Advocate

"is used almost exclusively for Mary, and not for the saints. Because of its broad import and because it is a name of Sacred Scriptures proper to the Holy Spirit, it contains also a special consecration. In this respect it is particularly appropriate to Mary, the more so since, by reason of her special relationship to Him, the Holy Spirit unites Himself to Mary's petition with inutterable sighs."[297]

The intimate union of the Holy Spirit and Mary can be seen in terms of Mary's role as Advocate, interceding from humanity back to God, just as it was evidenced in Mary's role as Mediatrix, interceding from God to humanity. [298] The contribution of St. Maximilian Kolbe provides a theological foundation for Mary's role as Advocate in interceding back to God on behalf of humanity in inseparable association with the Holy Spirit.

St. Maximilan Kolbe explains Mary's role in the action of God and its reaction by humanity in this way:

"Every action has a reaction in view. The reaction is the fruit of the action. God the Father is the primary Principle and the Last End. The Immaculata is full of grace; nothing in the way of grace is lacking to her. The path of grace is always the same: action: from the Father through the Son and by the Holy Spirit [and through] the Immaculata; then the inverse reaction: from creatures through the Immaculata [byl the Holy Spirit and [to] Christ back to the Father."[299]

Mary, therefore, is at the end of the sanctifying action of God (as Mediatrix of all graces), and at the beginning of the reaction of the human family back to God (as Advocate for the People of God). Mary is neither the end nor the starting point of God's action to humanity, but has an instrumental presence at both points because of her intimate union with the Holy Spirit.[300]

We see this unified mission of advocacy between the Spirit and the Bride at the scriptural event of Pentecost. It is the task of Mary, Advocate for the People of God, to implore the descent of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, at times of particular need for the Church. She performs the task of aiding intercession in imploring the Spirit to descend upon the early disciples of the Lord, and will continue this advocating role with the Spirit for the Church. As John Paul II points out, quoting the words of the Council:

"We see Mary (Acts 1:4) prayerfully imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation.' And so, in the redemptive economy of grace, brought about through the action of the Holy Spirit, there is a unique correspondence between the moment of the Incarnation of the Word and the moment of the birth of the Church. The person who links these two moments is Mary: Mary at Nazareth and Mary in the Upper Room at Jerusalem. In both cases her discreet yet essential presence indicates the path of 'birth from the Holy Spirit.' Thus she who is present in the mystery of Christ as Mother becomes - by the will of the Son and the power of the Holy Spirit - present in the mystery of the Church. In the Church too she continues to be a maternal presence, as is shown by the words spoken from the Cross: 'Woman, behold your son!'; 'Behold, your mother.'"[301]

Mary's role as Advocate, imploring the aid of the Holy Spirit for the Church in times of need, will continue for the Church until the second coming of Christ, the time of which "only the Father knows" (cf. Mk: 13:32). St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, singled out by John Paul II among the many witnesses and teachers for his exceptional contribution to "authentic Marian spirituality,"[302] eloquently describes the ongoing fruit of the Holy Spirit and Mary in the members of the Body of Christ, an intercessory and sanctifying action that will only cease with the end of the world:

"God the Holy Spirit...has become fruitful by Mary, whom He has espoused. It was with her, in her, and of her that He has produced His greatest masterpiece, which is God made man, and that He goes on producing daily, to the end of the world, the predestined and members of the Body of that adorable Head. This is the reason why He, the Holy Spirit, the more He finds Mary His dear and inseparable spouse in any soul, the more active and mighty He becomes in producing Jesus Christ in that soul and that soul in Jesus Christ....Mary has produced, together with the Holy Spirit, the greatest thing which has been or ever will be - a God-man; and she will consequently produce the greatest saints that there will be in the end of time. The formation and the education of great saints who shall come at the end of the world are reserved for her." [303]

John Paul II confirms Mary's vital role in the preparation of the People of God for Christ's second coming through her special intercession, and as the "mediatrix of mercy:"

"If as Virgin and Mother she was singularly united with him in his first coming, so through her continued collaboration with him she will also be united with him in expectation of the second...she also has that specifically maternal role of mediatrix of mercy at his final coming, when all those who belong to Christ 'shall be made alive'" (1 Cor. 15:26).[304]

And since Mary's role as Advocate is inseparable from the divine action of the Spirit, it will be the Spirit and the Bride who will jointly prepare the world for the glorious return of Christ the King (cf. Mt. 16:27; Mk. 13:26; 1 Thes. 4:15-17) and again say, "Come" (Rev. 22:17).

But indeed not only at Christ's second coming, but whenever the Church faces difficult times, the Spirit and the Advocate are called in to help the People of God. Clearly in our own age, the Church and the world are not without their significant dangers and trials. John Paul II has repeatedly referred to the anxious times of the contemporary Church and world, and the new threats which face contemporary humanity.[305]

The present Holy Father specifies such grave concerns for the contemporary world in his encyclical On the Mercy of God:

"Let us appeal to the love which has maternal characteristics and which, like a mother, follows each of her children, each lost sheep, even if they should number millions, even if in the world evil should prevail over goodness, even if contemporary humanity should deserve a new 'flood' on account of its sins.... [A]nd if any of our contemporaries do not share the faith and hope which lead me, as servant of Christ and steward of the mysteries of God, to implore God's mercy for humanity in this hour of history, let them at least try to understand the reason for my concern. It is dictated by love for man, for all that is human and which, according to the intuitions of many of our contemporaries, is threatened by an immense danger."[306]

Our own age, therefore, is certainly not exempt from the need to recognize and call upon Mary as our Advocate today, so that she can once again implore the renewed descent of the Holy Spirit for the spiritual revitalization of the People of God in the modern world.


Mary, in her role as Advocate for the People of God, brings to God the petitioned needs of the human family, particularly in times of dangers and difficulties. This role of helping intercession for God's People is scripturally foreshadowed in the role of the
Queen Mother, who was the pre-eminent advocate at court for the needs of the people of Israel before her son the king (cf. 1 Kings 2:19).

This Old Testament role as Queen and Advocate is fulfilled in the New Testament by Mary, the Mother of Christ the King and the rightful Queen and Advocate in the new Kingdom of God for the new Israel (cf. Lk 1: 32; Lk 1:44; Jn 2:1-11). The Great Lady of the New Testament intimately participates with the Lord in the reconquest of the Kingdom at the price of the Cross (Jn 19:26) and is, thereby, crowned as Queen of heaven and earth after her glorious Assumption into heaven (cf. Rev 12:1). As the victorious Christ is King of all nations(cf. Rev 15:3; 19:16; 1Tim 1:17; Rev 12:5), Mary is Queen and Mother of all nations (cf. Is 66:7-14; 1 Kings 2:19; Ps 87:1-5; Lk 1:32; Rev 12:1).

Far from ceasing her role as Queen and Advocate for the People of God after her glorious Assumption, Mary definitely begins her role as Advocate in heaven, interceding at the heavenly throne of her Son for the needs and wants of humanity. Mary's role as Advocate is inseparably linked to the Holy Spirit, the promised Paraclete of the Saviour (cf. Jn 15:26), to whom the Advocate interceded on behalf of the early disciples of the Lord at Pentecost (cf. Acts 1:4).

The united intercession of the Spirit and the Advocate (cf. Rev 22:17) for the Church will continue until the second coming of Christ the King (cf. Mk 13:7) and is particularly needed in our own critical hour of human history which, according to Pope John Paul II, is in fact surrounded by dangers and difficulties.

Let us join our present Holy Father in invoking the aiding intercession of Mary, Advocate for the People of God, through what might be considered a type of modern Sub Tuum, to implore the Holy Spirit for a "renewed outpouring" upon the faithful and the world today:

O Most Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of Christ and of the Church....
Open our hearts
to the great anticipation
of the Kingdom of God
and the proclamation of the Gospel
to the whole of creation.
Your mother's heart
is ever mindful of the many dangers
and evils which threaten
to overpower men and women
in our time....

O Virgin full of courage,
may your spiritual strength
and trust in God inspire us,
so that we might know
how to overcome all the obstacles
that we encounter
in accomplishing our mission.
of the world
with a real sense of Christian responsibility
and a joyful hope
of the coming of God's Kingdom, and
of a "
new heavens and a new earth."

You who were gathered in prayer
with the Apostles in the Cenacle,
awaiting the coming
of the Spirit at Pentecost,
implore his renewed outpouring
on all the faithful, men and women alike,
so that they might more fully respond
to their vocation and mission....

O Virgin Mother,
guide and sustain us
so that we might always live
as true sons and daughters
of the Church of your Son.
Enable us to do our part
in helping to establish on earth
the civilization of truth and love,
as God wills it,
for his glory.



Mary Coredemptrix as Contemporary
Model for the Church

Every revealed truth about Mary, Mother of Jesus, bears profound meaning for the salvific journey of the Pilgrim Church. The Second Vatican Council tells us:

"By reason of the gift and role of her divine motherhood, by which she is united with her Son, the Redeemer, and with her unique graces and functions, the Blessed Virgin is also intimately united to the Church." [308]

Mary is the pre-eminent model of the Church, and as virgin and mother, the Mother of Jesus embodies an immaculate and perfect example that the People of God seek to imitate in their quest "to conquer sin and increase in holiness."[309]

Thereby, we can see that the doctrinal revelation of Mary as Coredemptrix with the Redeemer, along with her consequential roles as Mediatrix of all graces and Advocate for the People of God, manifests an important ecclesial model for the Church, which is seeking to become more like Mary, her "lofty type."[310]

Concerning the relation between Mary and the Church, the Council states:

"But while in the Blessed Virgin the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she exists without spot or wrinkle (cf. Eph. 5:27), the faithful still strive to conquer sin and increase in holiness."[311]

A similar distinction holds true regarding Mary's coredemptive role with Christ in relation to the Church. No other creature can claim to have intimately participated in the acquisition of the graces of redemption by having

"faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, associated herself with his sacrifice in her mother's heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim which was born of her."[312]

In this sense, there is only one Coredemptrix with the Redeemer in the reconquest of the graces of Redemption (cf. Lk. 1: 38; Jn 19:26).

But as model and type, the Coredemptrix holds out a profoundly rich example to the People of God in their continual "seeking after the glory of Christ" and the ongoing pursuit of progressing in "faith, hope, and charity, seeking and doing the will of God in all things."[313]

Cf. Col 1:24, 1 Cor 3:6 - "Co-redeemers in Christ"

The Marian model of Coredemptrix offers a particular richness to the People of God with regard to the Christian call and mission to become "co-workers," or co-redeemers in Christ (cf. 1 Cor 3:6) This constitutes God's sublime invitation to the faithful through St. Paul to "make up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ, for the sake of the body, that is, the Church" (Col 1:24).

Mary's life as Coredemptnx, in imitation of her Redeemer Son, is the dynamic personal statement and proof that in the Christian life suffering is redemptive. More than all the faithful, it is Mary Coredemptrix who answers by anticipation the Christian call to make up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of his Body, the Church. Pope Pius XII says of Mary's coredemptive life in his encyclical on the Mystical Body:

"It was she, the second Eve, who, free from all sin, original and personal, and always most intimately united with her Son, offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father for all the children of Adam, sin-stained by his unhappy fall, and her mother's rights and her mother's love was included in the holocaust. Thus she who, according to the flesh, was the mother of our Head, through the added title of pain and glory became, according to the Spirit, the mother of all His members. She it was who through her powerful prayers obtained that Spirit of our Divine Redeemer, already given at the Cross, should be bestowed, accompanied by miraculous gifts, on the newly founded Church at Pentecost; and finally, bearing with courage and confidence the tremendous burden of her sorrows and desolation, she, truly the Queen of Martyrs, more than all the faithful 'filled up those things that are lacking in the sufferings of Christ...for His Body, which is the Church.'" [314]

John Paul II confirms that Mary
has the right to claim a special title because of her unique contribution to the Gospel of suffering for the good of the Church:

"As a witness to her Son's passion by her presence, and as a sharer in it by her compassion, Mary offered a unique contribution to the Gospel of suffering, by embodying in anticipation the expression of St. Paul...She truly has a special title to be able to claim that she 'completes in her flesh' - as already in her heart - 'what is lacking in Christ's afflictions."[315]

But the People of God also, in following the meritorious example of Mary Coredemptrix, are called upon to participate generously in and contribute to "making up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the good of Christ's mystical Body" (Col 1:24).

"Christ did not conceal from his listeners the need for suffering,"[316] John Paul II tells us, and "Those who share in the sufferings of Christ preserve in their own sufferings a very special particle of the infinite treasure of the world's Redemption and can share this treasure with others."[317]

In the great mysteries of the Redemption and the Mystical Body of Christ, we find an authentic redemptive meaning and merit for the Church through an appropriate Christian response to human suffering. John Paul further explains:

"For, whoever suffers in union with Christ ...not only receives from Christ that strength already referred to but also 'completes' by his suffering 'what is lacking in Christ's afflictions.' This evangelical outlook especially highlights the truth concerning the creative character of suffering. The sufferings of Christ created the good of the world's Redemption. This good in itself is inexhaustible and infinite. No man can add anything to it. But at the same time, in the mystery of the Church as His Body, Christ has in a sense opened His own redemptive suffering to all human suffering. Insofar as man becomes a sharer in Christ's sufferings-in any part of the world and at any time in history - to that extent he in his own way completes the suffering through which Christ accomplished the Redemption of the world. Does this mean that the Redemption achieved by Christ is not complete? No. It only means that the Redemption, accomplished through satisfactory love, remains always open to all love expressed in human suffering."[318]

This is part of the sublime Christian call to be co-redeemers in Christ in following the meritorious example of the Coredemptrix. Pope Pius XII exhorts the faithful to do our part (as co-redeemers with the one Redeemer), in releasing the graces of Redemption to the human family:

"Our zealous love for the Church demands it, as does our brotherly love for the souls she brings forth in Christ. For although our Saviour's cruel passion and death merited for His Church an infinite treasure of graces, God's inscrutable providence has decreed that these graces should not be granted to us all at once; but their greater or lesser abundance will depend in no small part on our good works, which draw down on the souls of men a rain of heavenly gifts freely bestowed by God."[319]

Although the faithful cannot participate in the acquisition of the graces of Redemption as did the Redeemer and the Coredemptrix, our God has given us the sublime invitation and privilege of becoming co-redeemers in Christ by participating, through our meritorious sufferings, good Christian works, and acts of charity, in the application of these heavenly graces to the People of God and to the world, which is presently in such grave need of the generous graces of redemption.

Mary Coredemptrix constitutes for the People of God a rich model of the redemptive value of Christian suffering and good works, and a personal motherly invitation in the name of her Redeeming Son to answer the exalted invitation to become a coredeemer in Christ for the sake of the Church today. Especially in an era in which the Church could experience significant trial and suffering, [320] the revealed truth of Mary Coredemptrix offers the Church a lofty type for reminding the People of God that all human suffering and acts of Christian charity can be redemptive, and that the Cross of the Redeemer must again be implanted in the midst of the world and carried by the faithful for the world's salvation and sanctification.

Final Statement

The exalted roles of Mary, Mother of Jesus, as Coredemptrix with the Redeemer, Mediatrix of all graces with the Mediator and Sanctifier, and Advocate for the People of God, are providential roles performed by the Immaculate Mother of God and are firmly present in Sacred Scripture and Apostolic Tradition, as authoritatively and consistently taught by the Church's Magisterium.

In the Introduction to the Second Vatican Council's treatment on the Blessed Virgin Mary,[321] the Council Fathers place the following self-expressed limitation to their chapter on our Lady

"It [this sacred synod] does not, however, intend to give a complete doctrine on Mary, nor does it wish to decide those questions which the work of theologians has not yet fully clarified. Those opinions therefore may be lawfully retained which are propounded in Catholic schools concerning her, who occupies a place in the Church which is highest after Christ and also closest to us."[322]

Not only were the Marian roles of Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate taught and propounded throughout the world in Catholic universities and seminaries during the time preceding the Council, [323] but the Council Fathers further refer to a greater doctrinal completion concerning the nature and role of the Mother of Jesus in her providential role in God's drama of human salvation.

With the profound contribution of our present Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, to the understanding of the mediating mystery of Mary with Christ and the Church; with the added clarity offered by theologians, such as St. Maximilian Kolbe, to the crucial role of the Holy Spirit in the person and role of Mary in the Church; with a renewed gaze into the firm scriptural and patristic bases for these Marian roles as inspired by the Second Vatican Council; and in light of the repeated and consistent teachings of the Church's Magisterium on these Marian roles, there is only one final action that remains in bringing the Marian roles of Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate, providential roles obediently fulfilled and wondrously ordained by the perfect will of God, into the fullest acknowledgment and ecclesial life of the People of God: that our Holy Father, in his office as Vicar of Christ on earth and guided by the Spirit of Truth, define and proclaim the Marian roles of Coredemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces, and Advocate for the People of God, which in truth constitutes one fundamental coredemptive role with the Redeemer and Sanctifier under its various aspects, as Christian dogma revealed by God, in rightful veneration of the Mother of Jesus, and for the good of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church of Christ. Then, and only then, will the Church have courageously and definitively proclaimed the whole truth about Mary, Mother of Christ and of the Church. Such a papal definition of Mary as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate, if it be God's will, would be an ecclesial fulfillment of Mary's own self-prophecy, given by the power of the Holy Spirit: "For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed" (Lk. 1:48).

Let us conclude with the inspired Old Testament prayer from the Book of Tobit which prophesies of the glories of the new Jerusalem. As Mary is always the pre-eminent example and model of the Church,
[324] this Old Testament canticle can be applied in the fullest extent to the Mother of Jesus, who is the first member of the new Jerusalem, the great Tabernacle of the Lord, the exalted Daughter of Zion, the chosen Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate for the People of God:

A bright light shall shine
to all the ends of the earth.
Many nations from afar shall come to you,
from all the ends of the earth,
to dwell close to the holy name of the Lord God,
with gifts in their hands for the King of heaven.
Within you, generation after generation
shall proclaim their joy,
and the name of her who is Elect shall endure
through the generations to come.

Cursed be any who speak harshly to you,
cursed be any who destroy you,
who throw down your walls,
who overthrow your towers
who burn your houses!
Blessed forever all who build you up!
Then you will exult and rejoice
over the sons of the upright,
for they will have been gathered in
and will bless the Lord of the ages.

Happy are those who love you!
Happy those who rejoice over your peace!
Happy those who have mourned
over all your afflictions!
For they will rejoice within you,
witnessing all your blessedness in the days to come.
Tobit 13:10-14).


255. Sub Tuum Praesidium, cf. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 66 and footnote 21; for dating and more original reconstructions other than the common Latin translation cited, cf. Sub Tuum in O'Carroll, Theotokos, 1982, p. 336.

256. Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 66.

257. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 62.

258. For a more comprehensive treatment of the Queen Mother Tradition in the Old
Testament, as well as its Marian fulfillment in the New Testament, cf. Barnabas
The Mother of the Messiah, Marian Studies, Dayton, 12, 1961, p. 28; H.
Art und Herkunft des Amtes der Koningsmutter im Allen Testament,
Festschrift J. Friederich, Heidelberg, 1959,p. 101; H. Cazelles,
La mère du RoiMessie dans l'Ancien Testament, Maria et Ecclesia, 5, 1959, p. 51; George
Montague, S.M.,
Our Father, Our Mother, Franciscan University Press,
Steubenville, 1990, p. 92; George Kirwin,
The Nature of the Queenship of Mary,
Catholic University of America, 1973, p. 297.

259. Cf Roland de Vaux, Ancient Israel, New York, 1961, p. 117; G. Kirwin, The Nature of the Queenship of Mary, Catholic University of America, 1973, p. 297.

260. Cf. G. Kittel and G. Friedrich, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abr. v., Grand Rapids, 1990, p. 782-3.

261. Cf Kirwin, The Nature of the Queenship of Mary, Catholic University of America, p.310.

262. The clear manifestation of the advocating role of the Queen Mother Bathsheba is not lessened because of Solomon's killing of Adonijah, as the possession of the king's concubine was an indication of the usurpation of the throne (cf.
2 Sam. 16:20-23)

263. Cf Pius XII, Ad Caeli Reginam, 1954.

264. John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 24.

265. Cf. Pope Pius XII,
Ad Caeli Reginam, 1954.

266. Pope Pius XII,
Ad Caeli Reginam, 1954, MS 46, p.633.

267. Cf Barnabas Ahern, The Mother of the Messiah, Marian Studies, 12, 1961, p. 28; Kirwin, The Nature of the Queenship of Mary, Catholic University or America, p. 28; cf. also references of footnote 4.

268. Cf. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 21.

269. Cf. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 21.

270. Cf. St. Epiphanius,
Ad. Haer. 78,11, PG 42,71 6C; Quodvultdeus, De Symbolo 3, PL 40,661; John Henry Newman, Letter to Pusey, London, 1866; M.J. Scheeben, Mariology, tr. Geukers, 1946; v. 1, Ch. 1, p. 15; A. Schaefer, The Mother of Jesus in Holy Scripture, tr. F. Brossart, V.C., New York, 1913; B. le Frois, S.V.D., The Woman Clothed With the Sun, (Apoc 12); Individual or Collective?, Rome, 1954; and The Woman Clothed With the Sun, American Eccleslastical Review, 126, 1952, p. 161; St. Pius X, Ad diem illum, 1904: "Everyone knows that this woman signified the Blessed Virgin Mary, the stainless one who brought forth the Saviour"; Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, 1950, AAS 42, p. 763. Note: This is not to diminish the rich ecclesial meaning of the Rev. 12:1 passage, cf. Newman: "Of course I do not deny that under the image of the woman, the Church is signified; but what I would maintain is this, that the holy Apostle would not have spoken of the Church under this particular image, unless there had existed a blessed Virgin Mary...," Letter to Pusey, Difficulties of Angelicans, London, 1866.

271. Pope Paul VI, Apostolic Letter, Signum Magnum, 13 May 1967, p. 1; cf. Epistle of Mass for the feast of the Apparition of Mary immaculate, Feb.11.

272. Cf B. le Frois, S.V.D., The Woman Clothed With the Sun, (Apoc 12); Individual or Collective?, Rome, 1954; and The Woman Clothed With the Sun, American Ecclesiastical Review, 126, 1952, p. 161.

273. M.J. Scheeben, Mariology, v. 1, p. 15.

274. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 59.

275. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 62.

276. St Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses V, c. 19, 1; Harvey, ed., Cantabrigiae, 1857, 2,
PG 7, 1175-6; cf. G. Jouassard, Etudes Mariales, Bulletin de la Société,
française d'Etudes Mariales, Paris, 16, 1959, p. 57.

277. St. Ephraem, S. Ephraem Syri testim. de B.V.M. mediatione, Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses, IV, fasc. 2, 1927.

278. St. Germanus of Constantinople, Hom, in S. Mariae zonam, PG 98, 3306.

279. St. Romanos the Singer, Hymn on the Nativity, II, Sources Chrétiennes, Lyons,110, 100. For a more comprehensive treatment of Patristic and historical references to Mary as Advocate, including St. John Damascene, St. Modestus of Jerusalem, Theoteknos of Livia, etc., cf. E. Eustriades, The Theotokos in Hymnography, Paris, 1930, 64; O'Carroll, Advocate, Theotokos, 1982, Dublin, p.6; G. Alastuary, Tratado de la Virgen Santisima, Editorial Catolica, Madrid, 1952, tr.
M.J. LaGiglia,
The Blessed virgin Mary, St. Louis, Herder, 1964, v. II, ch. 4, p.159.

280. St Bernard of Clairvaux, De Aqueductu 7, ed. Leclerq. V, 279; PL 183, 43C.

281.Antiphon of the Divine Office, Roman Liturgy of the Hours.

282. Pope Leo X, Papal Bull, Pastoris Aeterni, 6 October l520, cf. Documentos
, Madrid, 76; cf. also Pope Sixtus V. Papal Bull, Gloriosae 8 June 1587;
Pope Clement IX, Sincera Nostra, 21 October 1667; Pope Clement XI,
, Commissi Nobis, 8 December 1708; cf. Documentos Marianos, 93, 115, 124.

283. Pope Pius VIIApostolic Constitution, Tanto studio, , 19 February 1805, Aur 7, 511.

284. Pope St. Pius X, Virgine sanctissima, Papal Prayer on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the definition of the Immaculate Conception, 8 September 1903; A.A. 1, p.97.

285. Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Letter, Miserentissimus Redemptor, 8 May 1928, AAS 20. 185.

286. Pope Pius XI, Papal Allocution to French Pilgrims present for reading of decree "de tuto" (Canonization of Blessed Antida Thouret, 15 August 1933, L'Osservatore Romano, 16 August 1933; cf. Dante, Paradiso, Canto 33, 14, 15.

287. Pope Pius XI, Papal Allocution to French Pilgrims present for reading of "de tuto," (Canonization of Blessed Antida Thouret, 15 August 1933, L' Osservatore Rornano, 15 August 1933.

288. Pope Pius XII, Papal Allocution at the Canonization of Blessed Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, 21 July 1947, AAS 39,408.

289. Pope Pius XII, Radio Message to Fatima, 13 May 1946, AAS 38, 264.

290. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 62.

291. Vatican Council II,
Lumen Gentium, n. 69.

292. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 40.

293. Pope John Paul II, Papal Address,
Mary's Motherhood Acquired at the Foot of the Cross, General Audience, 11 May 1983, L' Osservatore Romano, 16 May 1983, p.1.

294 Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 30.

295. Cf Gerhard Kittel and Gerhard Friedrich,Theological Dictionary of the New Testament: Abridged Volume, Michigan, 1985, p. 782-3; cf. Scheeben, Mariology, v. II, p. 262.

296. Cf St. Irenaeus in J.H. Newman, Letter to Pusey, Anglican Difficulties, London, 1866. n.37: St. John Damascene. Serm. Dorm. II. PG 96. 733D: cf. O'Carroll. Advocate, Theotokos, p. 6.

297 M.J. Scheeben, tr. Geukers, Mariology, v.11, p. 262.

298. Cf. Chapter II of this work, section, The Holy Spirit and the Mediatrix of All Graces.

299. St. Maximilian Kolbe, Notes, 1938, ed. Manteau-Bonamy, tr. Arnandez, The Immaculate Conception and the Holy Spirit, Marian Writings of Fr Kolbe, 1977, Franciscan Marytown Press. p. 39o

300. Cf. Manteau-Bonamy, The Immaculate Conception and the Holy Spirit, Marian Writngs of St. Maximilian Kolbe, 1977, p. 39-40.

301. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 24; cf. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 59.

302. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 48.

303. St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, tr., F. Faber, True Devotion to Mary, ns. 20,35; cf. also ns. 21,25.

304. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 41.

305. For example, cf. Pope John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis, 1978, ns. 15-17; Encyclical Letter, Dives in Misericordia, 1980, n. 15; Apostolic Exhortation, Christifideles Laici, ns. 3-7.

306. Pope John Paul II, Dives in Misericordia, 1980, n. 15.

307. Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation, Christifideles Laici, 1988, n. 64.

308.Vatican Council II,
Lumen Gentium, n. 63.

309. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium. ns. 63,64: cf. St. Ambrose. Expos. Lc. II. 7: PL 15, 1555.

310. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 65.

311. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 65.

312 Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 58.

313. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 65.

314. Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Letter, Mystici Corporis, 1943, n. 110.

315. Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter,
Salvifici Doloris, 11 February 1984, n. 25.

316. Pope John Paul II, Salvifici Doloris, n. 25.

317. Pope John Paul II,
Salvifici Doloris, n. 27.

318. Pope John Paul II, Salvifici Doloris, n. 24.

319. Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, 1943, n. 106.

320. Cf John Paul II, Dives in Misericordia, n. 15; Christifideles Laici, ns. 3-7; Redemptor Hominis, n. 15-17.

321. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 54.

322. Vatican Council II,
Lumen Gentium, n. 54.

323. For evidence of the universal and ubiquitous teachings, writings, conferences, etc. on the Marian roles of Coredemptnx, Mediatrix, and Advocate in the decades preceding and leading up to the Council by theologians in Catholic schools, cf. the voluminous entries during the 1940's, 1950's, and early 1960's on these Marian roles in the internationally known Marian publications of the Rome-based,
Marianum; the Madrid-based, Ephemerides Mariologicae, the Paris-based Etudes Mariales, Bulletin de la Société francaise d'Etudes Mariales, the Dayton, Ohio-based Marian Studies. For international episcopal approval of Coredemptrix in this time, cf. Carol, De Corredemptione Beatae Virginis Mariae, Civitas Vaticana, 1950, p. 608; and for Magisterial acknowledgement of the universal theological acceptance of Mediatrix of all graces, cf. Sacred Congregation of Rites under Pius XII, Miracles for the Canonization of Louis M. Grignion de Montfort, AAS 34, 1942, p.44: "Gathering together the tradition of the Fathers, the Doctor Mellifluus [St. Bernard] teaches that God wants us to have everything through Mary. This pious and saluatary doctrine all theologians at the present time hold in common accord [emphasis author's]."

324. Cf. Vatican Council II,
Lumen Gentium, ns. 63, 65.

The above section first appeared in Mary: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate by Mark I Miravale, S.T.D. and is reproduced with the kind permission of Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici.

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