Mary Is Co-Redemptrix: Part II

News: Commentary
by Raymond de Souza, KHS, KM  •  •  March 30, 2021   

Saints and popes weigh in

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Read Part I

Let us continue to cite the early Fathers of the Church, saints and popes on the teaching of the co-redemption to help remind His Holiness Pope Francis of his seminary learning, as presumably in Argentinian seminaries they did teach dogmatic theology.

  • St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church: "Mary is called 'the cooperator in our justification; for to her God has entrusted all graces intended for us'; and, therefore, St. Bernard affirms 'that all men, past, present and to come, should look upon Mary as the means and negotiator of the salvation of all ages.' ... And shall we scruple to ask her to save us, when 'the way of salvation is open to none otherwise than through Mary?' ... And before him, St. Germanus had said the same thing, speaking of Mary: 'No one is saved but through thee.' ... And as we have access to the Eternal Father, says St. Bernard, only through Jesus Christ, so have we access to Jesus Christ only through Mary: 'By thee we have access to the Son, O blessed finder of grace, bearer of life and mother of salvation, that we may receive Him by thee, Who through thee was given to us'" (The Glories of Mary).
  • Pope Leo XIII: "She was not only present in the mysteries of the Redemption, but she was also involved with them. ... Nothing of the vast treasure of all graces ... is given to us without Mary" (Parta humano generi).
  • Pope St. Pius X: "since Mary carries it over all in holiness and union with Jesus Christ, and has been associated by Jesus Christ in the work of redemption, she merits for us de congruo, in the language of theologians, what Jesus Christ merits for us de condigno. ... The Redeemer of mankind is almost invariably presented to us as united with His mother. ... Now the Blessed Virgin did not conceive the Eternal Son of God merely in order that He might be made man, taking His human nature from her, but also in order that by means of the nature assumed from her He might be the Redeemer of men."

    "Moreover, it was not only the prerogative of the Most Holy Mother to have furnished the material of His flesh to the Only Son of God, Who was to be born with human members, of which material should be prepared the Victim for the salvation of men; but hers was also the office of tending and nourishing that Victim, and at the appointed time presenting Him for the sacrifice. ... When the supreme hour of the Son came, beside the Cross of Jesus there stood Mary His Mother, but rejoicing that her Only Son was offered for the salvation of mankind, and so entirely participating in His Passion, that if it had been possible, She would have gladly borne all the torments that her Son bore. And from this community of will and suffering between Christ and Mary, she merited to become most worthily the Reparatrix [Co-Redeemer] of the lost world and Dispensatrix of all the gifts that Our Savior purchased for us by death and by His blood ... (Ad Diem Illum).
  • Congregation of the Holy Office: The Sources of Catholic Dogma, Denzinger: "In the decree of the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office (section on indulgences), Sunt quos amor, June 26, 1913 (AAS 5, 1913, 363), he [Pope Benedict XV] praises the custom of adding to the name of Jesus the name of 'His Mother, our Co-Redemptrix, the blessed Mary' and "Mary is truly our Co-Redemptrix" (A.A.S., Aug. 12, 1913).  Also, the prayer enriched by the Holy Office with an indulgence, in which the Blessed Virgin Mary is called 'Co-Redemptrix of the human race'" (Jan. 22, 1914; AAS 6 [1914] 108).
  • Pope Benedict XV: "she sacrificed her Son ... so that one may say justly of her that she redeemed the human race with Christ" (Inter Sodalicia).
  • Pope Pius XI: "The Virgin participated with Jesus Christ in the very painful act of the redemption. ... The Mother of Sorrows was Jesus Christ's companion in the work of Redemption" (Explorata res, 1923).

    "This noble virgin, conceived without original sin, was chosen as Mother of Christ so that she might be His partner in the redemption of the human race" (Auspicatus profecto, 1933).

    "In the very nature of things, the Redeemer could not help but associate His Mother in His work; and therefore, we invoke her under the title of Co-Redemptrix. She has given us the Savior; she raised Him for the work of Redemption unto the Cross, sharing in the suffering and death by which Jesus accomplished the Redemption of all men" (ibid., Dec. 1933).

    "O loving and merciful Mother, who when thy beloved Son was consummating the redemption of the human race on the altar of the Cross didst stand by him in compassion as Co-Redemptress ... preserve in us, we pray, and increase from day to day the most precious fruits of the redemption and of thy union with Him in pain" (Osserv. Rom., Prayer of PP XI, "Radio Message to Lourdes," April 29, 1935, p.1).
  • Pope Pius XII uses his favored expression of "associate" of the Redeemer in referring to the Mother's share in Redemption. He cites the 17th century Jesuit Mariologist Suarez in attesting to her unique cooperation in Redemption: "Just as Christ, because He redeemed us, is by a special title our King and our Lord, so too is Blessed Mary (our Queen and our Mistress) because of the unique way in which she cooperated in our redemption" (Encyclical on Our Lady's Queenship, Ad Caeli Reginam, 1954).
  • Pope St. John Paul II: "Having suffered for the Church, Mary deserved to become the Mother of all the disciples of her Son ... in fact Mary's role as Co-Redemptrix did not cease with the glorification of her Son" (Guayaquil, Ecuador, 1985, "Inside the Vatican," July 1997, p. 23).

    Mary is "Co-Redemptrix of humanity" (General Audience, Sept. 8, 1982; Inseg. V/3, 1982, 404).

    "Mary co-operated ... in the role of mother ... She alone was associated in this way with the redemptive sacrifice that merited the salvation of all mankind ... Rome says Mary is Co-Redeemer, mediator, advocate." (Way of Life).

It is impossible to believe in a comment made in passing by Pope Francis when placed against such an array of popes, saints and Doctors of the Church, from the early centuries to Pope St. John Paul II — all of whom clearly disagree with Francis.

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Let us hope and pray fervently that no further scandalous comments about our Faith will be uttered from the chair of the bishop of Rome, who has recently abdicated the "historical title" of vicar of Christ.

This noble virgin, conceived without original sin, was chosen as Mother of Christ so that she might be His partner in the redemption of the human race.

We may do well in offering acts of reparation to the Blessed Virgin Mary for the suggestion that it is "foolishness" for the laity to ask for the proclamation of the dogma of Mary as "Co-Redemptrix" for the greater glory of God.

Raymond de Souza, KHS, KM, is a knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, and a fourth-degree Knight of Columbus. A speaker on pro-life and apologetics issues, he is the delegate for international missions of Human Life International. He has visited 38 countries of the six continents as part of conferences held in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese and has speaking ability in Italian and Afrikaans. He is available to address Catholic audiences anywhere in the free world to defend the Gospel of life and the purity of Catholic doctrine, counting on the recommendation of bishops and priests in New Zealand, Australia and the United States. He has been a radio broadcaster in New Zealand and Australia and, today, writes a syndicated column for the weekly national Catholic paper, The Wanderer.
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