In this episode of No Apologies Fra Joseph takes a look at the Marian titles of Coredemptrix and Mediatrix. Mary most uniquely participated with her Son in bringing about the redemption of man. This is why she is honored with the title Coredemtrix.

Ave Maria!

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  1. I remember reading that John Paul II said, while Mary was highly venerated, we should not make “too much” of her. Recognizing her as Mother of God and accepting the Assumption make sense, but I, as a Catholic, think calling her “Co-Redemptrix” is too much.

    I love Mary, but Jesus is the Redeemer. It should be more clearly stated that the Church holds no official position on the “Co-Redemptrix” title.

    • Acceptance of Mary as Coredemptrix is not exactly necessary for salvation, so it’s somewhat ok to reject it. However, it’s very helpful for salvation, so it’s best to try to accept it.

      Jesus said he didn’t come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. As a result, we’re able to look through all of scripture to find that Jesus is “the new Adam” or “the new Moses” and so on. If that’s so, Mary can also clearly be seen as “the new Eve” and “the new Marian”. For example, if Jesus is the new David, King of Israel, then Mary is the new Queen of Israel. Solomon, although he had so many wives and concubines, chose his mother to be his queen. The kings of Israel after him all followed suit, so if Jesus is our King then Mary is our Queen. She’s always right there with him.

      An apologist once said that a good argument for the veneration of Mary is that Jesus–as God and as a good Jew–would follow the commandment Honor thy Mother. As God, he can do that in some very unique and powerful ways. Because Mary is our mother also, we need to honor her to the best of our own abilities.

      Finally, the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception wasn’t on the books until the First Vatican Council in 1870, after Our Lady appeared to Bernadette at Lourdes. Throughout the history of the Church, Our Lady had always been considered The Immaculate Conception, but it didn’t need to be officially declared as dogmatic because no one had questioned it too hard. Just because it wasn’t declared dogmatic until 1870 doesn’t mean it wasn’t always true.

      Likewise, just because the Church hasn’t officially declared Our Lady as Coredemptrix or Mediatrix doesn’t mean the Church doesn’t hold it to be absolutely true.

  2. Yes, but although Mary may bear the title Coredemtrix, Jesus would not be given a title to match it. Mary is only the Coredemtrix by her participation in the redemption brought about by Jesus. He is the Redeemer, she is his queen mother.

    It would be necessary though, to catechize clearly what the title means so there wouldn’t be any scandal done to the laity. Its the whole idea of wounding the weaker consciences of your brothers and causing them to stumble (if you’re familiar with 1 Corinthians Ch 8). Which likely is why John Paul II said what he did.

  3. I’m confused by your explanation of Mediatrix. Where is the supporting evidence that Our Lady distributes Graces? I thought the Holy Spirit did that?

  4. Mary was a great support to Jesus during His earthly life “Whatsoever He says to you, do it.” John 2:5. However, she is not omnipresent, all-powerful, and has not existed from eternity. Therefore, she is not God, but a created being. She can and should be given the deepest respect that it is appropriate for a created being to receive, but the Bible states clearly in the First Commandment that we must “have no other gods” except for Him.

    • Mary is not considered a god by Catholics, but as a partipant in God’s graces. We all participate as dispensers of God’s grace, but we honor Mary as one of the greatest of saints much like Elijah was to the Jews.

  5. If Mary nourished Jesus in her womb then she was giving Him what He needed to live and survive. Jesus wasn’t a sycophant merely drawing strength from Her. Rather Mary gave strength to her son through her choice to bear Him. Jesus as God chose to be born of Mary. In her acceptance she became a participant in the manifestation of the God Head. She’s not a ‘baby-mama’ In the same way she continues to nourish the church through her prayers but also by her substance. Jesus as fully man drew life from Mary seeing as God and Man are inseparable within Jesus Mary is also the Mother of God. This is a major point. She is the Theotokos in eastern rite language. She ‘brings forth God’ . As such as one who has been given the grace to have Jesus she imparts grace in every aspect of her life. She is the tabernacle that houses the Eucharist. In our tradition the tabernacle is a really nice box. Mary participates in the creation of the Eucharist in the most direct way possible. Her participation is at once a result of her will and the grace given to her by God… Mary helped create Jesus by her body through grace given to her by God, but that role is not minimal. She did more than give Jesus a place to sleep. Rather she is part of his life.


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