The following article is an excerpt from a chapter in the recently published Marian anthology, Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons, Seat of Wisdom Books, A Division of Queenship, 2008. Fifteen international Mariology experts contributed to the text. The book features a foreword by Archbishop Raymond L. Burke and has 17 chapters divided into four parts: 1. Mary in Scripture and the Early Church; 2. Marian Dogma; 3. Marian Doctrine; and 4. Marian Liturgy and Devotion. The book will be available from Queenship Publications in mid-February.
Asst. Ed.

Even though the explicit treatment of Mary’s collaboration in the work of redemption has appeared in ever-sharper relief in the Papal Magisterium only within the past two centuries, there is well-founded reason to say that it is part and parcel of the Tradition that has come down to us from the apostles and makes progress in the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (cf. Dei Verbum 8). The indissoluble link between the “woman” and “her seed,” the Messiah, is already presented to us in the Protoevangelium (Gen 3:15) (1), where the first adumbrations of God’s saving plan pierce through the darkness caused by man’s sin.  The identification of the “woman” with Mary is already implicit in the second and nineteenth chapters of the Gospel of St. John where Jesus addresses his mother as “woman” (2) and in the twelfth chapter of the book of Revelation (3).

Mary, the New Eve

The Apostle Paul had already explicitly identified Jesus as the “New Adam” (cf. Rom 5:12-21; 1 Cor 15:21-22, 45-49) and it was a natural and logical development for the sub-Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr (+c.165), Irenaeus of Lyons (+c.202) and Tertullian (+c.220), to see Mary as the “New Eve” (4), the God-given helpmate of the “New Adam.” Virtually all of the experts are agreed that the classic presentation of Mary as the “New Eve” achieves full maturity in the writings of St. Irenaeus of Lyons. Of Irenaeus’ Eve-Mary comparison René Laurentin says:

Irenaeus gives bold relief to a theme only outlined by Justin (Martyr). With Irenaeus the Eve-Mary parallel is not simply a literary effect nor a gratuitous improvisation, but an integral part of his theology of salvation. One idea is the key to this theology: God’s saving plan is not a mending or a “patch-up job” done on his first product; it is a resumption of the work from the beginning, a regeneration from head downwards, a recapitulation in Christ. In this radical restoration each one of the elements marred by the fall is renewed in its very root. In terms of the symbol developed by Irenaeus, the knot badly tied at the beginning is unknotted, untied in reverse (recirculatio): Christ takes up anew the role of Adam, the Cross that of the Tree of Life. In this ensemble Mary, who corresponds to Eve, holds a place of first importance. According to Irenaeus her role is necessary to the logic of the divine plan. …

With Irenaeus this line of thought attains a force of expression that has never been surpassed. Later writers will broaden the bases of the comparison but to our day no one has expressed it in a way more compact or more profound (5).

Let us pause here a moment to consider why St. Irenaeus is such an important figure for our consideration. Not only is he invoked implicitly—by being included among the Fathers—in the Marian magisterium of Bl. Pius IX, but he is also referred to explicitly in that of Pius XII, Paul VI, the Second Vatican Council and most notably in that of John Paul II. The Lutheran scholar Jaroslav Pelikan provides us with a fascinating hint about the importance of the Bishop of Lyons:

When it is suggested that for the development of the doctrine of Mary, such Christian writers as Irenaeus in a passage like this (in Proof of the Apostolic Preaching) “are important witnesses for the state of the tradition in the late second century, if not earlier” that raises the interesting question of whether Irenaeus had invented the concept of Mary as the Second Eve here or was drawing on a deposit of tradition that had come to him from “earlier.” It is difficult, in reading his Against Heresies and especially his Proof of the Apostolic Preaching, to avoid the impression that he cited the parallelism of Eve and Mary so matter-of-factly without arguing or having to defend the point because he could assume that his readers would willingly go along with it, or even that they were already familiar with it. One reason that this could be so might have been that, on this issue as on so many others, Irenaeus regarded himself as the guardian and the transmitter of a body of belief that had come to him from earlier generations, from the very apostles. A modern reader does need to consider the possibility, perhaps even to concede the possibility, that in so regarding himself Irenaeus may just have been right and that therefore it may already have become natural in the second half of the second century to look at Eve, the “mother of all living,” and Mary, the Mother of Christ, together, understanding and interpreting each of the two most important women in human history on the basis of the other (6).

Put simply, Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of the Apostle John. There is every reason, then, to believe that what he transmits to us about Mary as the “New Eve” is an integral part of “the Tradition that comes to us from the apostles” (7).

This datum of the tradition has come into ever-clearer focus through the teaching of the popes in the course of the past 150 years, most notably in Bl. Pope Pius IX’s Bull of 1854, Ineffabilis Deus (8), Pius XII’s Apostolic Constitution of 1950, Munificentissimus Deus (9), and his encyclicals Mystici Corporis of 1943 (10) and Ad Cæli Reginam of 1954. In the last-mentioned document the Holy Father spoke in these explicit terms:

From these considerations we can conclude as follows: Mary in the work of redemption was by God’s will joined with Jesus Christ, the cause of salvation, in much the same way as Eve was joined with Adam, the cause of death. Hence it can be said that the work of our salvation was brought about by a “restoration” (St. Irenaeus) in which the human race, just as it was doomed to death by a virgin, was saved by a virgin.

Moreover, she was chosen to be the Mother of Christ “in order to have part with him in the redemption of the human race” (Pius XI, Auspicatus profecto).

“She it was who, immune from all sin, personal or inherited, and ever most closely united with her Son, offered him on Golgotha to the eternal Father together with the holocaust of her maternal rights and motherly love, like a New Eve, for all the children of Adam contaminated through this unhappy fall” (Mystici Corporis)…

From this we conclude that just as Christ, the New Adam, is our King not only because he is the Son of God, but also because he is our Redeemer, so also in a somewhat similar manner the Blessed Virgin is Queen not only as Mother of God, but also because she was associated as the Second Eve with the New Adam (11).

We may note that with the clarity which characterized all of his dogmatic statements the great Pontiff insists on Mary’s active, but subordinate role in the work of our salvation and in doing so invokes the authority of St. Irenaeus, the “father of Catholic dogmatic theology” (12).

The theme of Mary as the “New Eve,” with explicit references to St. Irenaeus, was duly cited in chapter eight of the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium 56 thusly:

Rightly, therefore, the Fathers see Mary not merely as passively engaged by God, but as freely cooperating in the work of man’s salvation through faith and obedience. For, as St. Irenaeus says, she “being obedient, became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.” Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert with him in their preaching: “the knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by Mary’s obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith.” Comparing Mary with Eve, they call her “Mother of the living,” and frequently claim: “death through Eve, life through Mary.”

In his Professio Fidei of June 30, 1968, Paul VI, expressly citing Lumen Gentium 56 as a source, called Mary the “New Eve” (13), and Pope John Paul II without a doubt made more references to Mary as the “New Eve” and examined the implications of this title more than all of his predecessors combined (14). Here is one of his last such references, which occurs in his Letter to the Men and Women Religious of the Montfort Families for the 160th Anniversary of the Publication of True Devotion to Mary:

St. Louis Marie contemplates all the mysteries, starting from the Incarnation which was brought about at the moment of the Annunciation. Thus, in the Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, Mary appears as “the true terrestrial paradise of the New Adam,” the “virginal and immaculate earth” of which he was formed (n. 261). She is also the New Eve, associated with the New Adam in the obedience that atones for the original disobedience of the man and the woman (cf. ibid., n. 53; St. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, III, 21, 10-22, 4). Through this obedience, the Son of God enters the world. The Cross itself is already mysteriously present at the instant of the Incarnation, at the very moment of Jesus’ conception in Mary’s womb. Indeed, the ecce venio in the Letter to the Hebrews (cf. 10:5-9) is the primordial act of the Son’s obedience to the Father, an acceptance of his redeeming sacrifice already at the time “when Christ came into the world” (15).

In this case there is a graceful reference which links St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort to St. Irenaeus of Lyons, while at the same time linking the reparation accomplished by the “New Adam” for the world’s salvation to that of the “New Eve.”

Let us allow Father Lino Cignelli, O.F.M., an expert who has studied the Mary-Eve parallel in Irenaeus and the early Greek Fathers at length, to offer us this penetrating analysis which may also serve as a summary of what we have found thus far in the Papal Magisterium:

From the human side, both the sexes contribute actively in determining the lot of the human race, but not however to the same extent. Ruin and salvation rest with the two Adams. With regard to Christ the New Adam, he can redeem because he is the God-man. As God, he guarantees the victory over the Devil and communicates life, incorruptibility and immortality, which are essentially divine goods; as man, he is the primary ministerial cause of salvation and the antithesis of Adam, cause of universal ruin.

The two virgins, Eve and Mary, beyond depending on Satan and God respectively, are ordained in their actions to the two Adams, with whom they share ministerial causality. They thus carry out an intermediate and subordinate task. Subordination, however, does not mean being simple accessories. Irenaeus clearly points back to the feminine causality of the ruin and the salvation of the human race. Eve is the “cause of death” and Mary the “cause of salvation” for all mankind (16).

Father Cignelli further comments that Mary’s “contribution, made in free and meritorious obedience, constitutes with that of Christ the man a single total principle of salvation. At the side of the New Adam, she is thus a ministerial and formal co-cause of the restoration of the human race” (17). Although we have not been able to review all of the texts here, this conclusion is fully justified by its use in the Papal Magisterium (18).

The Protoevangelium (Gen 3:15)

Intimately related to the concept of Mary as the “New Eve” are the words spoken by the Lord after the fall of our first parents. God metes out punishment first to the serpent (Gen 3:14-15), then to the woman (Gen 3:16) and finally to the man (Gen 3:17-19). What is particularly striking, however, is that the sentence passed upon the serpent already heralds the reversal of the fall. The Lord says: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; she shall crush your head, while you lie in wait for her heel” (Gen 3:15) (19). This text has become famous as the Protoevangelium (first gospel) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains why:

The Christian tradition sees in this passage an announcement of the “New Adam” who because he “became obedient unto death, even death on a cross,” makes amends superabundantly for the disobedience of Adam. Furthermore many Fathers and Doctors of the Church have seen the woman announced in the “Protoevangelium” as Mary, the Mother of Christ, the “New Eve” (20).

Scholarly discussions as to whether the text of the Protoevangelium should be translated “he (the seed of the woman) shall crush your head” (ipse conteret caput tuum as in the Neo-Vulgata) or “she (the woman) shall crush your head” (ipsa conteret caput tuum as in the Vulgata of St. Jerome) continue to be advanced (21). One wonders whether the Neo-Vulgata, which has chosen in favor of the neuter pronoun, really accords best with the way the text has been read and understood in the course of over 1,500 years. In any case Father Stefano M. Manelli’s treatment of the matter provides an excellent overview of this issue (22) and draws conclusions fully in harmony with the consistent use made of this text in the Papal Magisterium:

As Pope Pius IX summarizes it, both according to tradition (the Fathers and ecclesiastical writers) and according to the express declarations of the Papal Magisterium, the Protoevangelium “clearly and plainly” foretold the Redeemer, indicated the Virgin Mary as the Mother of the Redeemer, and described the common enmity of Mother and Son against the Devil and their complete triumph over the poisonous serpent. One can, therefore, without hesitation affirm that the content of the Protoevangelium is “Marian” as well as messianic. Not only this, but the Mariological dimension in reference to the “woman” must be also understood literally to be exclusive to that “woman,” to Mary, that is, to the Mother of the Redeemer, and not to Eve (23).

Pope John Paul II, while even conceding full weight to the Neo-Vulgata rendition, puts it this way:

Since the biblical concept establishes a profound solidarity between the parent and the offspring, the depiction of the Immaculata crushing the serpent, not by her own power but through the grace of her Son, is consistent with the original meaning of the passage.

The same biblical text also proclaims the enmity between the woman and her offspring on the one hand the serpent and his offspring on the other. This is a hostility expressly established by God, which has a unique importance, if we consider the problem of the Virgin’s personal holiness. In order to be the irreconcilable enemy of the serpent and his offspring, Mary had to be free from all power of sin, and to be so from the first moment of her existence (24).

It should also be noted that already in drafting the Bull Ineffabilis Deus it was confirmed that, for Catholic faithful, it is always necessary to read the biblical texts in the light of the patristic interpretation (25). This latter point has been further corroborated and validated in the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum (26).

Let us now proceed to the elaboration of this theme in Ineffabilis Deus of Bl. Pius IX.

The Fathers and writers of the Church … in quoting the words by which at the beginning of the world God announced his merciful remedies prepared for the regeneration of mankind—words by which he crushed the audacity of the deceitful serpent and wondrously raised up the hope of our race, saying, “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed”—taught that by this divine prophecy the merciful Redeemer of mankind, Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, was clearly foretold; that his most blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, was prophetically indicated; and at the same time the very enmity of both against the Evil One was significantly expressed. Hence, just as Christ, the Mediator between God and man, assumed human nature, blotted the handwriting of the decree that stood against us, and fastened it triumphantly to the Cross, so the most holy Virgin, united with him by a most intimate and indissoluble bond, was, with him and through him, eternally at enmity with the evil serpent, and most completely triumphed over him, and thus crushed his head with her immaculate foot (27).

Here we may note that the Pontiff gives an admirable summary of the Church’s understanding of the Protoevangelium and in so doing illuminates the teaching about Mary as the woman who was united with the Redeemer “by a most intimate and indissoluble bond, was, with him and through him, eternally at enmity with the evil serpent, and most completely triumphed over him, and thus crushed his head with her immaculate foot.” We should not be ignorant, however, of what Father Settimio Manelli points out in his recently published study i.e., that in recent decades there has been an unfortunate change of course in the interpretation of this text in that some modern exegetes are no longer willing to admit a Marian interpretation (28). By the same token the painstaking work of Father Tiburtius Gallus shows a consistent Marian interpretation of this text over the course of the centuries in medio Ecclesiæ (29), and the numerous commentaries on the Protoevangelium by the late Pope John Paul II continue to sustain the Marian interpretation on the part of the Magisterium. Let us conclude this part of our discussion with an excerpt from his Marian catechesis of January 24, 1996:

The protogospel’s words also reveal the unique destiny of the woman who, although yielding to the serpent’s temptation before the man did, in virtue of the divine plan later becomes God’s first ally. Eve was the serpent’s accomplice in enticing man to sin. Overturning this situation, God declares that he will make the woman the serpent’s enemy.

Exegetes now agree in recognizing that the text of Genesis, according to the original Hebrew, does not attribute action against the serpent directly to the woman, but to her offspring. Nevertheless, the text gives great prominence to the role she will play in the struggle against the tempter: in fact the one who defeats the serpent will be her offspring.

Who is this woman? The biblical text does not mention her personal name but allows us to glimpse a new woman, desired by God to atone for Eve’s fall; in fact, she is called to restore woman’s role and dignity, and to contribute to changing humanity’s destiny, cooperating through her maternal mission in God’s victory over Satan.

In the light of the New Testament and the Church’s Tradition, we know that the new woman announced by the protogospel is Mary, and in “her seed” we recognize her Son, Jesus, who triumphed over Satan’s power in the Paschal Mystery.

We also observe that in Mary the enmity God put between the serpent and the woman is fulfilled in two ways. God’s perfect ally and the Devil’s enemy, she was completely removed from Satan’s domination in the Immaculate Conception, when she was fashioned in grace by the Holy Spirit and preserved from every stain of sin. In addition, associated with her Son’s saving work, Mary was fully involved in the fight against the spirit of evil.

Thus the titles “Immaculate Conception” and “Cooperator of the Redeemer,” attributed by the Church’s faith to Mary, in order to proclaim her spiritual beauty and her intimate participation in the wonderful work of redemption, show the lasting antagonism between the serpent and the New Eve (30).

There are a number of points to be emphasized in this important catechesis. First, the Pope refers to the new woman, the antithesis of Eve, as “God’s first ally” (la prima alleata di Dio) and “the serpent’s enemy” (la nemica del serpente), and subsequently “God’s perfect ally and the Devil’s enemy” (Alleata perfetta di Dio e nemica del diavolo). Secondly, he points out that “the text gives great prominence to the role she will play in the struggle against the tempter” and that this new woman is called “to contribute to changing humanity’s destiny, cooperating through her maternal mission in God’s victory over Satan.” Thirdly, without hesitation he identifies the new woman as Mary “in the light of the New Testament and the Church’s Tradition.” This is an assertion of capital importance in the light of the resistance to a Marian interpretation even in certain contemporary Catholic exegetical circles. Fourthly, he points out that the enmity between the serpent and Mary is fulfilled in two ways: (1) she was removed from Satan’s dominion through her Immaculate Conception, which thus enabled her (2) to be “fully involved in the fight against the spirit of evil.” Fifthly, because of “her intimate participation in the wonderful work of redemption,” Mary is described as “Cooperator of the Redeemer” (Cooperatrice del Redentore), and thus there is a state of “lasting antagonism between the serpent and the New Eve.” Hence this catechesis serves as an excellent summary of the great lines of Catholic exegesis, the Catholic Tradition and the Papal Magisterium on the Protoevangelium.

Development of Doctrine

In his catechesis of October 25, 1995, Pope John Paul II traces the history of doctrinal development regarding Our Lady’s cooperation in the work of redemption in broad strokes, beginning, not surprisingly, with the Bishop of Lyons:

At the end of the second century, St. Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp, already pointed out Mary’s contribution to the work of salvation. He understood the value of Mary’s consent at the time of the Annunciation, recognizing in the Virgin of Nazareth’s obedience to and faith in the angel’s message the perfect antithesis of Eve’s disobedience and disbelief, with a beneficial effect on humanity’s destiny. In fact, just as Eve caused death, so Mary, with her “yes,” became “a cause of salvation” for herself and for all mankind (cf. Adv. Haer., III, 22, 4; SC 211, 441). But this affirmation was not developed in a consistent and systematic way by the other Fathers of the Church.

Instead, this doctrine was systematically worked out for the first time at the end of the tenth century in the Life of Mary by a Byzantine monk, John the Geometer. Here Mary is united to Christ in the whole work of redemption, sharing, according to God’s plan, in the Cross and suffering for our salvation. She remained united to the Son “in every deed, attitude and wish” (cf. Life of Mary, Bol. 196, f. 123 v.).

Mary’s association with Jesus’ saving work came about through her Mother’s love, a love inspired by grace, which conferred a higher power on it. Love freed of passion proves to be the most compassionate (cf. ibid., Bol. 196, f. 123 v.).

In the West, St. Bernard, who died in 1153, turns to Mary and comments on the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple: “Offer your Son, sacrosanct Virgin, and present the fruit of your womb to the Lord. For our reconciliation with all, offer the heavenly Victim pleasing to God” (Serm. 3 in Purif., 2: PL 183, 370).

A disciple and friend of St. Bernard, Arnold of Chartres, shed light particularly on Mary’s offering in the sacrifice of Calvary. He distinguished in the Cross “two altars: one in Mary’s heart, the other in Christ’s body. Christ sacrificed his flesh, Mary her soul.” Mary sacrificed herself spiritually in deep communion with Christ, and implored the world’s salvation: “What the Mother asks, the Son approves and the Father grants” (cf. De septem verbis Domini in cruce, 3: PL 189, 1694).

From this age on, other authors explain the doctrine of Mary’s special cooperation in the redemptive sacrifice.

At the same time, in Christian worship and piety contemplative reflection on Mary’s “compassion” developed, poignantly depicted in images of the Pièta. Mary’s sharing in the drama of the Cross makes this event more deeply human and helps the faithful to enter into the mystery: The Mother’s compassion more clearly reveals the Passion of the Son (31).

In time the seed of the doctrine expounded with such clarity by St. Irenaeus would continue to bear fruit through the meditations of Fathers, Doctors, saints and theologians on Mary’s presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple, with special reference to Simeon’s prophecy (Lk 2:22-35) and her presence at the foot of the Cross (Jn 19:25-27). Here we can only hope to highlight a few of the important moments in this fascinating history of the development of the doctrine of Mary’s collaboration in the work of redemption (32). One can find an excellent historical overview in the treatment of Marian Coredemption through two millennia by Mother Maria Francesca Perillo, F.I., and Sister Maria Rosa Pia Somerton, F.I. (33), and in Mark Miravalle’s “With Jesus”: The Story of Mary Co-Redemptrix (34).

As always, in the history of doctrine, the patristic era is one of special importance because of the foundation laid by the Fathers. The late Father Bertrand de Margerie, S.J., in his essay, “Mary Co-redemptrix in the Light of Patristics” (35), analyzes the patrimony of St. Irenaeus at length and insists that “with him, the mystery of the Cross is already included in that of the Incarnation” (36). Indeed, he demonstrates that this is very largely the case with St. Ambrose, St. Augustine and many of the Fathers of the East and West (37). Mother Abbess Elizabeth Marie Keeler, O.S.B., performed a great service in marshalling the testimony of the Benedictine monastic tradition from the sixth to the twelfth centuries regarding Our Lady’s collaboration in the work of redemption (38), unearthing data heretofore not taken into consideration which developed from the patristic foundation. Here is a particularly significant text from Paschasius Radbertus (865):

Consider the love that was crucifying (cruciabatur) the Virgin in thinking of all she had heard and seen and known … filled as she was with the Holy Spirit … she was both Virgin and martyr … the sword piercing her soul set her above the martyrs (plusquam martyr fuit)… she loved more than all, and so suffered more than all… she was more than a martyr because she suffered with her soul, her love was so much stronger than her own, because the Virgin made her own the death of Christ (39).

Foremost among the development of Marian Coredemption at this time are the contributions of St. Bernard (+1153) and his disciple, Arnold of Chartres (+1156). St. Bernard, who has sometimes been called “the last of the Church Fathers,” is the first to teach of Mary’s “offering” of Jesus as the divine Victim to the heavenly Father for the reconciliation of the world. St. Bernard’s teachings are in the context of Mary’s offering of Jesus at the Presentation of the Temple (and not yet at Calvary):

O hallowed Virgin, offer thy Son; and present anew to the Lord this fruit of thy womb. Offer for our reconciliation this Victim, holy and pleasing to God. With joy, God the Father will receive this oblation, this Victim of infinite value (40).

The Abbot of Clairvaux is also the first to refer to the “compassion” (41) of Our Lady, a term which etymologically comes from the Latin “cum” (with) and “passio” (suffering or receiving), and therefore refers to her “co-suffering” or “suffering with” Jesus. According to Bernard, the Virgin Mother welcomes the “price of redemption” (42); stands at “redemption’s starting point” (43); and “liberates prisoners of war from their captivity” (44).

In addition, St. Bernard is the first theologian and Doctor of the Church to preach that Mary provided “satisfaction” for the disgrace and ruin brought about by Eve:

Run, Eve, to Mary; run, mother to daughter. The daughter answers for the mother; she takes away the opprobrium of the mother; she makes satisfaction to thee, Father, for the mother… O woman singularly to be venerated … Reparatrix of parents (45).

The pivotal Mariologist, Arnold of Chartres, St. Bernard’s renowned disciple, can rightly be considered the first author who formally expounds the explicit doctrine of Mary Co-redemptrix at Calvary. While two centuries earlier, John the Geometer had referred to the suffering of Mary with the crucified Jesus, Arnold specifies that it is Jesus and Mary who together accomplish the redemption through their mutual offering of the one and the same sacrifice to the Father. The French abbot tells us:

Together they (Christ and Mary) accomplished the task of man’s redemption … both offered up one and the same sacrifice to God: she in the blood of her heart, he in the blood of the flesh … so that, together with Christ, she obtained a common effect in the salvation of the world (46).

In a theological and terminological breakthrough, Arnold states that Mary is “co-crucified” with her Son (47) at Calvary, and that the Mother “co-dies” with him (48). In response to objections first raised by Ambrose that Mary did not suffer the Passion, was not crucified like Christ, and did not die as Christ died at Calvary, Arnold responds that Mary experienced “com-passion” or “co-suffering” (using the term of his master, Bernard) with the Passion of Christ: “what they did in the flesh of Christ with nail and lance, this is a co-suffering in her soul” (49). Further, Arnold explains that Mary is in fact “co-crucified” in her heart with Jesus crucified (50), and that the Mother “co-dies” with the death of her Son. Mary “co-died with the pain of a parent” (51).

Arnold concludes that the Mother of the Redeemer does not “operate” redemption at Calvary, but rather “co-operates” in redemption, and to the highest degree (52). It is the love of the Mother that co-operates in a unique way at Calvary, in a way most favorable to God: “(On Calvary) the Mother’s love co-operated exceedingly, in its own way, to render God propitious to us” (53).

How truly extraordinary was the contribution of Bernard and Arnold. The Mother’s role in redemption is affirmed by Bernard in the terms, offering, satisfying, and compassion. Her role at Calvary is proclaimed by Arnold in the terms co-crucified, co-dying, co-operating. These testimonies can be likened, in their theological insight and maturity, to contemporary testimonies to Mary Co-redemptrix by popes of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The doctrine and title development of the Co-redemptrix story, exemplified in an extraordinary way during this late patristic and early medieval period, will soon bear even greater fruit in bringing forth the singular title which most clearly expresses the Mother’s unique collaboration with and under Jesus in the redemption.

Mother Elizabeth also cites these beautiful texts from Arnold of Chartres:

The affection of his Mother touches him (Jesus crucified), since in that moment there is only one will in Christ and Mary and it is the same holocaust that the two offer together, she in the blood of her heart, he in the blood of his flesh (54).

The apostles having fled, the Mother stood beside her Son and, pierced by the sword of sorrow, was wounded in her spirit and concrucified (concrucifigebatur) by love (55).

The High Middle Ages ushers in a period in which references to “Mary’s special cooperation in the redemptive sacrifice” become ever more abundant both on the part of the great scholastic Doctors (56) and the mystics (57). Here I must limit myself to choosing a representation from each category. In his De donis Spiritus Sancti the Seraphic Doctor, St. Bonaventure (+1274), states:

Eve expels us from paradise and sells us (into the slavery of sin), but Mary brings us back and buys our freedom.

Mary, the strong and faithful woman, paid this price, since when Christ suffered on the Cross to pay this price to redeem us, the Blessed Virgin was present, accepting God’s will and consenting to it (58).

At this historical point enters the mystical contribution of St. Bridget of Sweden (+1373). The Revelations, the written record of a series of visions and prophecies granted to St. Bridget by Jesus and Mary, are highly regarded and reverenced by the Church during the Middle Ages, including a large number of popes, bishops, and theologians (59). The revealed words spoken by both Jesus and his Mother regarding Our Lady’s coredemptive role are truly significant in the development of the Co-redemptrix doctrine, as they will influence numerous theologians during the seventeenth century “Golden Age of Coredemption,” some 300 years later.

The Mother of Sorrows reveals in these prophetic visions through St. Bridget that “My Son and I redeemed the world as with one heart” (60). Jesus confirms the same truth in his own words: “My Mother and I saved man as with one heart only, I by suffering in my heart and my flesh, she by the sorrow and love of her heart” (61). It is difficult to argue with the supernatural testimony from such a Church-sanctioned and revered prophecy regarding the role of Mary Co-redemptrix—a testimony from the lips of the Redeemer and the Co-redemptrix themselves. The medievals, as a whole, did not.

The Rhineland Mystic, John Tauler (+1361) offers his own theological and mystical contribution to Mary Co-redemptrix. Like no other author before him, this Dominican theologian articulates with precision the sacrificial offering of the Mother at Calvary.

In the teachings of Tauler, the Mother of Jesus offers herself with Jesus as a living victim for the salvation of all (62), and the eternal Father accepted this oblation of Mary for the salvation of the entire human race: “God accepted her oblation as a pleasing sacrifice, for the utility and salvation of the whole human race … so that, through the merits of her sorrows, she might change God’s anger into mercy” (63). In the natural progression of the New Eve patristic recapitulation brought to its fullness at Calvary, John speaks of the sorrow the Mother plucked from the tree of the Cross in order to redeem humanity with her Son:

Just as Eve, boldly plucking from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, destroyed men in Adam, so thou hast taken sorrow upon thyself from the tree of the Cross, and with thy suffering sated, thou has redeemed men together with thy Son (64).

Addressing Our Lady, Tauler tells us of Mary’s foreknowledge of her co-suffering with Jesus, in which she would share in all his redemptive merits and afflictions:

He foretold to thee (Mary) all thy passion whereby he would make thee a sharer of all his merits and afflictions, and thou would co-operate with him in the restoration of men to salvation… (65).

St. Catherine of Siena (+1380), the great Church Doctor and Co-patroness of Europe, calls the Blessed Mother the “Redemptrix of the human race” both in virtue of giving birth to the Word and for the sorrow of “body and mind” that our Mother suffers with Jesus:

O Mary … bearer of the light … Mary, Germinatrix of the fruit, Mary, Redemptrix of the human race because, by providing your flesh in the Word, you redeemed the world. Christ redeemed with his Passion and you with your sorrow of body and mind (66).

When one of the foremost theologians of the Council of Trent becomes the champion of Mary Co-redemptrix, the theological and doctrinal credibility of the Co-redemption title becomes promulgated throughout Catholic theological circles. Jesuit Father Alphonsus Salmerón (+1585), renowned theologian, exegete, and one of the original followers of St. Ignatius, repeatedly explains and defends the title of Co-redemptrix in an unprecedented systematic treatment of the doctrine.

In a remarkable passage, Salmerón defends the Marian titles of Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate, and others as legitimate titles that rightly bespeak of the goodness and glory of Mary, full of grace:

Truly Mary, very near and uniquely joined to him, is called full of grace … how much he prepared that she as mother would pour out the fullest graces among us all as her sons as one who had been assumed by Christ, not out of any necessity, or out of weakness, but on account of the necessity to share and make clear, certainly, the goodness and glory in the mother that she would be (if it is permitted thus to speak) Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, Cooperatrix of the salvation of mankind and to whom, as to an individual advocate, all the faithful ought to approach and fly for help (67).

Salmerón goes on to note that the participation of Mary Co-redemptrix does not distract, but rather adds glory to Christ himself, for all her excellence and her capacity to share in redeeming is derived from the redeeming capacity of Jesus:

The Mother stood near the Cross for this: that the restoration of mankind would correspond with the collapse of the world. As the fall of the world was accomplished by two, but especially by a man, so the salvation and redemption came about from two, but especially from Christ; for whatever excellence Mary has, she received from Christ, not only on account of a certain proper harmony, but also on account of the eminent capacity of Christ in redeeming, a capacity which with his Mother (whose works he needed least of all) he wished to share as Co-redemptrix, not only without her dishonor, but with the great glory of Christ himself (68).

According to Salmerón, the simple motive of the Co-redemptrix in the exercise of her many functions on behalf of humanity, which are identified in her titles, is Christian maternal love: “For love of us … she is all ours who is called Mother of Mercy, Queen of heaven, Mistress of the world, Star of the sea, Advocate, Co-redemptrix, Preserver, Mother of God” (69).

Throughout Salmerón’s extraordinary treatment on Marian Coredemption we find the repeated use of the prefix, “co,” in emphasizing the Mother’s rightful subordination and dependency on the Lord of redemption. He refers to the Mother’s “co-suffering” (70), “co-misery” (71), “co-sorrowing” (72); that she was “co-crucified” (73), that she “co-died” (74), “co-suffered,” “cooperated” (75), and was “co-united” (76) with Jesus in the redemption. This clear and generous theology of Mary Co-redemptrix provides solid dogmatic foundation for the following century’s explosion of theological literature on Coredemption.

St. Veronica Giuliani (+1727), a Capuchin Poor Clare and outstanding mystic, writes in her diary about Mary’s suffering on Calvary:

She participated in the same torments, not by way of the executioners, like Jesus, but she, by way of love and sorrow, participated in all the torments, one by one. The heart of Jesus and the heart of Mary both stood united in suffering and in love, and this they offered to God the Father for all of us mortals (77).

It is fascinating to note in St. Veronica Giuliani a common thread that can be found in the writings of saints and theologians, especially from the seventeenth century onwards: The hearts of Jesus and Mary become the symbols of redemption and coredemption respectively. In terms of the world of both academic and mystical theology one can speak of the seventeenth century as “the Golden Age of Marian Coredemption,” which largely coincides with the sunset of “the golden age of Spanish mysticism” and the “the golden age of French mysticism” (78). During this period consensus on Mary’s role in the work of redemption continued to grow and major clarifications became the common property of Catholic theology. Here is an example of that clarity in a book by Giovanni Agostino Nasi, Le Grandezze di Maria Vergine, published in Venice in 1717:

The pains of our Lord Jesus Christ, as pains of a God made man, were all of an infinite worth, so that the least of these would have been a superabundant price for the redemption of a thousand worlds. It is true, then, that the pains of the Virgin were not of such weight as to possess infinite worth and that per se they alone would not have sufficed for the redemption of the world. … But granting all this, as the pains of the Mother of God they indeed still had an exceptional worth beyond the human mind to conceive; and if they could not in truth be said to be infinite, one could however say that they were a quasi-participation in the infinite worth of the Savior’s merits. Our Lord Jesus Christ, by means of his pains, redeemed the world condignly. His most holy Mother, who was made his companion (socia) in this truly grand work, in contributing to it as well the most precious riches of her sorrows, in union with the pains of the Son, merited congruently to obtain in such a way the redemption of the world. So the human race is indebted to both the Son and the Mother for the incomparable blessing which by their mutual consent has been apportioned to it (79).

Now it cannot be said that there was never any opposition to the doctrine briefly outlined above, but neither did such opposition cause a major disruption or discontinuity in its development. One very notable voice of opposition came from the Jansenist Adam Widenfeld (+1678) in his anonymously published pamphlet of 1673 entitled Salutary Admonitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her Indiscreet Devotees (Monita salutaria B.V. Mariae ad cultores suas indiscretos), in which Our Lady is quoted as saying: “Do not call me Salvatrix and Co-redemptrix.” Widenfeld’s little work effectively launched a “pamphlet war” and was eventually put on the Roman Index (80). Worthy of note in the popularization of the teaching on Mary’s role in the work of our redemption and the term Co-redemptrix in the nineteenth century was The Foot of the Cross, a very popular book, written by Frederick William Faber (+1863), a convert from Anglicanism and the founder of the Brompton Oratory in London (81). Another significant stage in the divulgation of the teaching was the publication of the little book, L’Immacolata, Corredentrice Mediatrice, in 1928 by the distinguished Servite Mariologist and theologian, Cardinal Alexis Lépicier (82). In fact, by the time of this publication, the word Co-redemptrix had already passed into the Papal Magisterium.

Papal Teaching on Marian Coredemption before the Second Vatican Council

In his Rosary Encyclical Jucunda Semper of September 8, 1894, Pope Leo XIII drew out explicitly Mary’s sufferings on Calvary:

When she professed herself the handmaid of the Lord for the mother’s office, and when, at the foot of the altar, she offered up her whole self with her child Jesus—then and thereafter she took her part in the painful expiation offered by her Son for the sins of the world. It is certain, therefore, that she suffered in the very depths of her soul with his most bitter sufferings and with his torments. Finally, it was before the eyes of Mary that the divine sacrifice for which she had borne and nurtured the Victim was to be finished. As we contemplate him in the last and most piteous of these mysteries, we see that “there stood by the cross of Jesus Mary his Mother” (Jn 19:25), who, in a miracle of love, so that she might receive us as her sons, offered generously to divine justice her own Son, and in her heart died with him, stabbed by the sword of sorrow (83).

In this passage Leo touched upon themes that his successors would continue to develop in an ever-swelling crescendo in the course of the twentieth century: Mary’s offering of herself in union with Jesus in expiation for the sins of the world, her “mystical death” described in terms of “dying with him in her heart” (cum eo commoriens corde) and the spiritual maternity which flows from her participation in the sacrifice.

The word “Co-redemptrix” makes its preliminary appearance on the magisterial level by means of official pronouncements of Roman Congregations during the reign of Pope St. Pius X (1903-1914) and then enters into the papal vocabulary.

The term first occurs in the Acta Apostolicæ Sedis in a response to a request made by Father Giuseppe M. Lucchesi, Prior General of the Servites (1907-1913), requesting the elevation of the rank of the feast of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady to a double of the second class for the entire Church. The Sacred Congregation of Rites, in acceding to the request, expressed the desire that thus “the cultus of the Sorrowful Mother may increase and the piety of the faithful and their gratitude toward the merciful Co-redemptrix of the human race may intensify” (84).

Five years later the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office in a decree signed by Cardinal Mariano Rampolla expressed its satisfaction with the practice of adding to the name of Jesus that of Mary in the greeting “Praised be Jesus and Mary” to which one responds “Now and forever”:

There are Christians who have such a tender devotion toward her who is the most blessed among virgins as to be unable to recall the name of Jesus without accompanying it with the glorious name of the Mother, our Co-redemptrix, the Blessed Virgin Mary (85).

Barely six months after this declaration, on January 22, 1914, the same congregation granted a partial indulgence of 100 days for the recitation of a prayer of reparation to Our Lady beginning with the Italian words Vergine benedetta. Here is the portion of that prayer which bears on our argument:

O blessed Virgin, Mother of God, look down in mercy from heaven, where thou art enthroned as Queen, upon me, a miserable sinner, thine unworthy servant. Although I know full well my own unworthiness, yet in order to atone for the offenses that are done to thee by impious and blasphemous tongues, from the depths of my heart I praise and extol thee as the purest, the fairest, the holiest creature of all God’s handiwork. I bless thy holy name, I praise thine exalted privilege of being truly Mother of God, ever-Virgin, conceived without stain of sin, Co-redemptrix of the human race (86).

On the basis of these last two instances Monsignor Brunero Gherardini comments that

The authority of that dicastery (the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office), now designated as “for the Doctrine of the Faith,” is such as to confer on its interventions a certain definitive character for Catholic thought (87).

Surely one of the most famous passages on this theme is that which we find in Benedict XV’s letter Inter Sodalicia of May 22, 1918:

The choosing and invoking of Our Lady of Sorrows as patroness of a happy death is in full conformity with Catholic doctrine and with the pious sentiment of the Church. It is also based on a wise and well-founded hope. In fact, according to the common teaching of the Doctors it was God’s design that the Blessed Virgin Mary, apparently absent from the public life of Jesus, should assist him when he was dying nailed to the Cross. Mary suffered and, as it were, nearly died with her suffering Son; for the salvation of mankind she renounced her mother’s rights and, as far as it depended on her, offered her Son to placate divine justice; so we may well say that she with Christ redeemed mankind (88).

It should be noted here that Benedict indicates that Mary’s presence beneath the Cross of Christ was “not without divine design” (non sine divino consilio), the very same phrase reproduced verbatim in Lumen Gentium 58, although with no reference to this text. Evidently deriving from the principle that “God, by one and the same decree, had established the origin of Mary and the Incarnation of divine Wisdom” (89), Benedict XV held that God had also predestined Mary’s union with her Son in his sacrifice, to the extent of offering him in sacrifice insofar as she was able to do so (quantum ad se pertinebat). It should also be pointed out here that Benedict was certainly not stating that the sacrifice of Jesus was not sufficient to redeem the world, but rather that, on the basis of the understanding of the “recapitulation” already articulated by St. Irenaeus, God wished the sacrifice of the New Eve to be joined to that of the New Adam, that he wished the active participation of a human creature joined with the sacrifice of the God-man.

The first papal usage of the term occurs in an allocution by Pope Pius XI (1922-1939) to pilgrims from Vicenza on November 30, 1933:

From the nature of his work the Redeemer ought to have associated his Mother with his work. For this reason we invoke her under the title of Co-redemptrix. She gave us the Savior, she accompanied him in the work of redemption as far as the Cross itself, sharing with him the sorrows of the agony and of the death in which Jesus consummated the redemption of mankind (90).

On March 23, 1934, the Lenten commemoration of Our Lady of Sorrows, Pius XI received two groups of Spanish pilgrims, one of which was composed of members of Marian Congregations of Catalonia. L’Osservatore Romano did not publish the text of the Pope’s address, but rather reported his principal remarks to these groups. Noting with pleasure the Marian banners carried by these pilgrims, he commented that they had come to Rome to celebrate with the Vicar of Christ

not only the nineteenth centenary of the divine redemption, but also the nineteenth centenary of Mary, the centenary of her Coredemption, of her universal maternity (91).

He continued, addressing himself especially to the young people, saying that they must

follow the way of thinking and the desire of Mary most holy, who is our Mother and our Co-redemptrix: they, too, must make a great effort to be coredeemers and apostles, according to the spirit of Catholic Action, which is precisely the cooperation of the laity in the hierarchical apostolate of the Church (92).

Finally Pope Pius XI referred to Our Lady as Co-redemptrix on April 28, 1935, in a radio message for the closing of the holy year at Lourdes:

Mother most faithful and most merciful, who as Co-redemptrix and partaker of thy dear Son’s sorrows didst assist him as he offered the sacrifice of our redemption on the altar of the Cross … preserve in us and increase each day, we beseech thee, the precious fruits of our redemption and thy compassion (93).

Let us consider now how this theme is treated in two encyclicals of the Servant of God Pope Pius XII. Our first passage comes from the Encyclical Mystici Corporis of June 29, 1943, promulgated during the height of World War II:

She (Mary) it was who, immune from all sin, personal or inherited, and ever most closely united with her Son, offered him on Golgotha to the eternal Father together with the holocaust of her maternal rights and motherly love, like a New Eve, for all the children of Adam contaminated through this unhappy fall, and thus she, who was the mother of our Head according to the flesh, became by a new title of sorrow and glory the spiritual Mother of all his members (94).

Let us underscore here the emphasis on Mary’s offering of Christ to the eternal Father as a “New Eve,” effectively drawing out the implications of the teaching of St. Irenaeus. Pius XII would offer yet another beautiful perspective on this joint offering of the Son and the Mother in his great Sacred Heart Encyclical, Haurietis Aquas, of May 15, 1956:

That graces for the Christian family and for the whole human race may flow more abundantly from devotion to the Sacred Heart, let the faithful strive to join it closely with devotion to the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God. By the will of God, the most Blessed Virgin Mary was inseparably joined with Christ in accomplishing the work of man’s redemption, so that our salvation flows from the love of Jesus Christ and his sufferings intimately united with the love and sorrows of his Mother (95).

In this classic passage every word is carefully weighed and measured in order to make a declaration on the redemption and Mary’s role in it, which remains unparalleled for its clarity and precision. No doubt for this reason it is included in Denzinger-Hünermann’s Enchiridion Symbolorum (96). Pius professes that “our salvation flows from the love of Jesus Christ and his sufferings” (ex Iesu Christi caritate eiusque cruciatibus) which are “intimately united with the love and sorrows of his Mother” (cum amore doloribusque ipsius Matris intime consociatis). The Latin preposition ex indicates Jesus as the source of our redemption while three other Latin words, cum and intime consociatis, indicate Mary’s inseparability from the source. Finally, let us note Pius’ insistence on the fact that this union of Jesus with Mary for our salvation has been ordained “by the will of God” (ex Dei voluntate) (97).

The final part of this article will appear in the next Mother of All Peoples bi-monthly issue.


(1) Cf. Michael O’Carroll, C.S.Sp., Theotokos: A Theological Encyclopedia of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Wilmington: Michael Glazier, Inc.; Dublin: Dominican Publications, 1982) (= Theotokos) 370-373; Stefano M. Manelli, F.I., All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed: Biblical Mariology trans. Peter Damian Fehlner, F.I. (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, revised and enlarged second edition, 2005) (= Manelli) 20-37.

(2) Cf. Theotokos 373-375; Manelli 364-383.

(3) Cf. Theotokos 375-377; Manelli 394-414.

(4) Cf. Theotokos 139-141; Luigi Gambero, S.M., Mary and the Fathers of the Church: The Blessed Virgin Mary in Patristic Thought trans. Thomas Buffer (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1999) (= Gambero I) 46-48, 53-58, 66-67; Paul Haffner, The Mystery of Mary (Leominster, Herefordshire: Gracewing; Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 2004) (= Haffner) 75-76.

(5) René Laurentin, A Short Treatise of the Virgin Mary trans. by Charles Neumann, S.M. (Washington, N.J.: AMI Press, 1991) 54, 57. Emphasis my own (except for recapitulation and recirculatio).

(6) Jaroslav Pelikan, Mary Through the Centuries: Her Place in the History of Culture (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1996) 43-44.

(7) Cf. Arthur Burton Calkins “Maria Reparatrix: Tradition, Magisterium, Liturgy” in Mary at the Foot of the Cross, III: Maria, Mater Unitatis – Acts of the Third International Symposium on Marian Coredemption (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, 2003) (= MFC III) 223-232.

(8) Cf. Arthur Burton Calkins, “The Immaculate Coredemptrix in the Life and Teaching of Bl. Pius IX” in Mary at the Foot of the Cross, V: Redemption and Coredemption under the Sign of the Immaculate Conception – Acts of the Fifth International Symposium on Marian Coredemption (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, 2005) (= MFC V) 508-541.

(9) Acta Apostolicae Sedis (= AAS) 42 (1950) 768; Amleto Tondini, Le Encicliche Mariane (Rome: Belardetti, Editore) (= Tondini) 626; Our Lady: Papal Teachings trans. Daughters of St. Paul (Boston: St. Paul Editions, 1961) (= OL) 519.

(10) AAS 35 (1943) 247-248 (OL 383).

(11) AAS 46 (1954) 634-635 (OL 705).

(12) Gambero I:51.

(13) AAS 60 (1968) 438-439.

(14) Cf. the Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem of August 15, 1988, #11 in Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II (Rome: Libreria Editrice Vaticana) (= Inseg) XI/3 (1988) 337-340, the general audience address of January, 24, 1996, in Inseg XIX/1 (1996) 115-117, the general audience address of May 29, 1996, #3-5 in Inseg XIX/1 (1996) 1390-1392, the general audience address of September 18, 1996, in Inseg XIX/2 (1996) 372-374. These are just a few of the more important citations.

(15) Inseg XXVI/2 (2003) 919 (L’Osservatore Romano, weekly edition in English (= ORE). First number = cumulative edition number; second number = page) 1829:3.

(16) Lino Cignelli, O.F.M., Maria Nuova Eva nella Patristica greca (Assisi: Studio Teologico “Porziuncola” Collectio Assisiensis #3, 1966) 36-37 (my trans.).

(17) Cignelli 235-236 (my trans.).

(18) Cf. Arthur Burton Calkins, “They Mystery of Mary Coredemptrix in the Papal Magisterium” in Mark Miravalle, S.T.D. (ed.), Mary Co-redemptrix: Doctrinal Issues Today (Goleta, CA: Queenship Publishing Company, 2002) (= MMC) 51-64.

(19) I have followed here the Douay-Rheims version which is a translation of St. Jerome’s Vulgate. For a discussion on whether the pronoun in the second part of the verse should be translated as he or she (favored in the Catholic tradition for well over a millennium) cf. Thomas Mary Sennott, The Woman of Genesis (Cambridge, MA: The Ravengate Press, 1984) 37-60. For a discussion of whether the verb should be translated as “bruise” or “crush,” cf. Sennott 61-80. For an in-depth treatment of the text, cf. Settimio M. Manelli, F.I., “Genesis 3:15 and the Immaculate Co-redemptrix” MFC V:263-322.

(20) Catechism of the Catholic Church (= CCC) 411.

(21) Cf. H.-L. Barth, Ipsa conteret. Maria die Schlangenzertreterin. Philologische und theologische Überlegungen zum Protoevangelium (Gen 3,15) (Kirchliche Umschau 2000). This work was reviewed by Brunero Gherardini in Divinitas XLV:2 (2002) 224-225. Cf. also Thomas Mary Sennott, The Woman of Genesis (Cambridge, MA: The Ravengate Press, 1984) 37-60; Ibid., “Mary Co-redemptrix,” in Mary at the Foot of the Cross, II (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, 2002) (= MFC II) 49-63.

(22) Manelli 20-37.

(23) Manelli 23-24.

(24) Inseg XIX/1 (1996) 1389-1390 (ORE 1444:11; John Paul II, Theotókos—Woman, Mother, Disciple: A Catechesis on Mary, Mother of God with a foreword by Eamon R. Carroll, O.Carm, S.T.D. (Boston: Pauline Books and Media, 2000) (= MCat) 93-94).

(25) Cf. Stefano M. Cecchin, O.F.M., L’Immacolata Concezione. Breve storia del dogma (Vatican City: Pontificia Academia Mariana Internationalis “Studi Mariologici,” No. 5, 2003) 191.

(26) Cf. Dei Verbum, especially 8, 10, 23.

(27) Tondini 46 (OL 46).

(28) Settimio M. Manelli, F.I., “Genesis 3:15 and the Immaculate Co-redemptrix” in MFC V:263; Cf. Edward Sri, Queen Mother: A Biblical Theology of Mary’s Queenship (Steubenville, Emmaus Road Publishing, 2005) 58-66, 146-154.

(29) Cf. Tiburtius Gallus, S.J., Interpretatio Mariologica Protoevangelii, Vol. I: Tempore post-patristico ad Concilium Tridentinum (Romae: Libreria Orbis Catholicus, 1949); Vol. II: Ætas Aurea Exegesis Catholicæ a Concilio Tridentino usque ad Annum 1660 (Roma: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1953); Vol. III: Ab Anno 1661 usque ad Definitionem Dogmaticam Immaculatae Conceptionis (1854) (Roma: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1954).

(30) Inseg XIX/1 (1996) 116-117 (ORE 1426:11; MCat 62-63).

(31) Inseg XVIII/2 (1995) 934-936 (ORE 1414:11; MCat 25-27).

(32) To date there are four volumes edited by Mark Miravalle: Mary Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate, Theological Foundations: Towards a Papal Definition? (Santa Barbara, CA: Queenship Publishing Company, 1995) (= CMA I), Mary Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate, Theological Foundations II: Papal, Pneumatological, Ecumenical (Santa Barbara, CA: Queenship Publishing Company, 1997) (= CMA II), Contemporary Insights on a Fifth Marian Dogma; Mary Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate: Theological Foundations III (Santa Barbara, CA: Queenship Publishing Company, 2000) (= CMA III), Mary Co-redemptrix: Doctrinal Issues Today (Goleta, CA: Queenship Publishing Company, 2002) (= CMA IV). To date there are also six volumes of Mary at the Foot of the Cross published by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, 2001-2006) and there are seven volumes of Studi e Ricerche published by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in their Bibliotheca Corredemptionis B. V. Mariae (Frigento: Casa Mariana Editrice, 1998-2005). There is a further volume entitled Maria “Unica Cooperatrice alla Redenzione.” Atti del Simposio sul Mistero della Corredenzione Mariana, Fatima, Portogallo 3-7 Maggio 2005 (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, 2005). All of these volumes contain numerous detailed historical studies of our argument.

(33) Mother Maria Francesca Perillo, F.I., and Sister Maria Rosa Pia Somerton, F.I., “The Marian Coredemption Through Two Millennia,” in MFC II:79-111.

(34) Mark Miravalle, “With Jesus”: The Story of Mary Co-Redemptrix (Goleta, CA: Queenship Publishing, 2003) (= With Jesus), chapters five through ten, 63-148.

(35) Bertrand de Margerie, S.J., “Mary Co-redemptrix in the Light of Patristics” trans. Salwa Hamati in CMA I:3-44).

(36) CMA I:7.

(37) Cf. With Jesus 63-75.

(38) Mother Abbess Elizabeth Marie Keeler, O.S.B., “The Mystery of Our Lady’s Cooperation in our Redemption as Seen in the Fathers of Benedictine Monasticism from the VI to the XII Century” in MFC III:259-294.

(39) MFC III:281. Cf. With Jesus 87-88.

(40) St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermo 3 de Purificatione Beatae Mariae; PL 183, 370.

(41) St. Bernard; PL 183, 438 A.

(42) St. Bernard, Homil. 4 sup. Missus est; PL 183, 83 C.

(43) St. Bernard, Sermon des 12 étoiles; PL 183, 430 C.

(44) Ibid.; PL 183, 430 D; Homil. 4 sup. Missus est; cf. Laurentin, Le Titre de Corédemptrice, Etude Historique, Paris, Nouvelles Editions Latines, 1951, p. 14 ff.

(45) St. Bernard, Homilia 2 super Missus est; PL 183, 62.

(46) Arnold of Chartres, De Laudibus B. Mariae Virginis; PL 189, 1726-1727.

(47) Arnold of Chartres; PL 189, 1693 B.

(48) Ibid.

(49) Cf. Laurentin, Le Titre de Corédemptrice, p. 15, note 51; “quod in carne Christi agebant clavi et lancea, hoc in ejus mente compassio naturalis”; PL 189, 1731 B.

(50) Ibid., p. 15, note 52; “concrucifigebatur affectu”; PL 189, 1693 B.

(51) Ibid., p. 15, note 53; “parentis affectu commoritur”; PL 189, 1693 B.

(52) Ibid., p. 15, note 54; “co-operabatur … plurimum”; Tractatus de septem verbis Domini in cruce, tr. 3; PL 189, 1695 A.

(53) Arnold of Chartres, Tractatus de septem verbis Domini in cruce; tr. 3; PL 189, 1694.

(54) MFC III:290. On Arnold, cf. Luigi Gambero, Mary in the Middle Ages: The Blessed Virgin Mary in the Thought of Medieval Latin Theologians trans. Thomas Buffer (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2005) (= Gambero II) 148-154, esp. 150.

(55) MFC III:291.

(56) Cf. Mother Maria Francesca Perillo, F.I., and Sr. Maria Rosa Pia Somerton, F.I., “The Marian Coredemption Through Two Millennia” MFC II:90-94.

(57) Cf. With Jesus 93-100.

(58) Gambero II:211. On the foundation of the Franciscan doctrine of Marian coredemption in Sts. Francis and Bonaventure and Bl. John Duns Scotus, cf. Peter Damian Fehlner, F.I., “The Sense of Marian Coredemption in St. Bonaventure and Bl. John Duns Scotus” in Mary at the Foot of the Cross – Acts of the International Symposium on Marian Coredemption (New Bedford: Academy of the Immaculate, 2001) (=MFC I) 103-118.

(59) Cf. St. Bridget, Revelationes, ed. Rome, ap. S. Paulinum, 1606.

(60) St. Bridget, Revelationes, L. I, c. 35.

(61) St. Bridget, Revelationes, IX, c. 3.

(62) John Tauler, Sermo pro festo Purificat. B. M. Virginis; Oeuvres complètes, ed. E. P. Noël, Paris, vol. 5, 1911, p. 61.

(63) Ibid., vol. 6, pp. 253-255.

(64) Ibid., p. 256.

(65) Ibid., p. 259.

(66) St. Catherine of Siena, Oratio XI, delivered in Rome on the day of the Annunciation, 1379, in Opere, ed. Gigli, t. IV, p. 352.

(67) Alphonsus Salmerón, Commentarii in Evangel., Tr. 5, Opera, Cologne, ed., Hiérat, 1604, t. III, pp. 37b- 38a.

(68) Salmerón, Commentarii, vol. 10, tr. 41, p. 359b.

(69) Ibid., vol. 11, tr. 38, p. 312a.

(70) Ibid., vol. 3, tr. 43, 495a; cf. X, 51, 425 a; cf. Laurentin, Le Titre de Corédemptrice, pp. 15-16.

(71) Ibid., vol. 3, 51, 426a, 424a, 429 b; vol. 11, 38, 311b; vol. 10, 51, 426a; cf. Laurentin, Le Titre de Corédemptrice, pp. 15-16.

(72) Ibid., vol. 3, 43, 495a.

(73) Ibid., vol. 3, 43, 399 b; vol. 11, 2, 188a.

(74) Ibid., vol. 10, 51, 426b.

(75) Ibid., vol. 6, 6, 39a.

(76) Ibid., 36b.

(77) Mother Maria Francesca Perillo, F.I., “Marian Coredemption in St. Veronica Giuliani,” in MFC I:246. Cf. the entire article MFC I:237-265 and also Mother Maria Francesca’s doctoral thesis, Maria nella Mistica: La mediazione mariana in santa Veronica Giuliani (Pregassono: Europress; Piano della Croce: Casa Mariana Editrice, Collana di Mariologia curata da Manfred Hauke, #5, 2004).

(78) Mother Maria Francesca Perillo, F.I., and Sr. Maria Rosa Pia Somerton, F.I., “The Marian Coredemption Through Two Millennia” MFC II:94-95; With Jesus 113-129.

(79) Mother Maria Francesca Perillo, F.I., and Sr. Maria Rosa Pia Somerton, F.I., “The Marian Coredemption Through Two Millennia” MFC II:98. The original Italian text is found in Juniper B. Carol, O.F.M., De Corredemptione Beatae Virginis Mariae: Disquisitio Positiva (Vatican City: Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1950) 373.

(80) Cf. Theotokos 66-67; With Jesus 121-123.

(81) Cf. Arthur Burton Calkins, “Mary the Coredemptrix in the Writings of Frederick William Faber (1814-1863)” in MFC I:317-343.

(82) Cf. Angelo M. Tentori, O.S.M., “Mary Co-redemptress in the Writings of Cardinal Alexis Henry Mary Lépicier, O.S.M.” in MFC II:361-379.

(83) Tondini 204-206 (OL 151).

(84) AAS 1 (1908) 409; my trans. (emphasis my own); cf. Laurentin 23; Prob 21.

(85) AAS 5 (1913) 364; my trans. (emphasis my own); cf. Laurentin 24; Prob 21.

(86) AAS 6 (1914) 108; Joseph P. Christopher, Charles E. Spence and John F. Rowan (eds.), The Raccolta (Boston: Benziger Brothers, Inc., 1957) #329, pp. 228-229 (it should be noted that the English translation is rendered in the first person plural whereas the Italian is in the first person singular; emphasis my own); cf. Laurentin 24-25; Prob 21.

(87) Brunero Gherardini, La Madre: Maria in una sintesi storico-teologica (Frigento (AV): Casa Mariana Editrice, 1989) 271 (my trans.).

(88) AAS 10 (1918) 181-182 (OL 267).

(89) Tondini 32 (OL 34).

(90) Il Redentore non poteva, per necessità di cose, non associare la Madre Sua alla Sua opera, e per questo noi la invochiamo col titolo di Corredentrice. Essa ci ha dato il Salvatore, l’ha allevato all’opera di redenzione fino sotto la croce, dividendo con Lui i dolori dell’agonia e della morte, in cui Gesù consumava la redenzione di tutti gli uomini. Domenico Bertetto, S.D.B., ed., Discorsi di Pio XI 2:1013; OL 326 (emphasis my own); cf. Laurentin 26; Carol, “Our Lady’s Coredemption,” Mariology 2:384.

(91) Il Papa diceva che essi venivano a celebrare presso il Vicaro di Cristo non solo il XIX centenario della Divina Redenzione, ma anche il XIX centenario di Maria, il centenario della Sua Corredenzione, della Sua universale Maternità. OR 25 marzo 1934, p. 1 (my trans.; emphasis my own).

(92) Quei giovani dovevano seguire il pensiero ed il desiderio di Maria Santissima, che è nostra Madre e Corredentrice nostra: dovevano sforzarsi ad essere, anch’essi, corredentori ed apostoli, secondo lo spirito dell’Azione Cattolica, ch’è appunto la cooperazione del laicato all’apostolato gerarchico della Chiesa. OR 25 marzo 1934, p. 1 (my trans.; emphasis my own); cf. Prob 21; Laurentin 26-27. Laurentin comments that coredeemer here is simply a synonym for apostle in the larger sense of the word!

(93) O Mater pietatis et misericordiæ, quæ dulcissimo Filio tuo humani generis Redemptionem in ara crucis consummanti compatiens et Coredemptrix adstitisti … conserva nobis, quæsumus, atque adauge in dies pretiosos Redemptionis et tuæ compassionis fructus. OR 29-30 aprile 1935, p. 1; OL 334 (emphasis my own); cf. Laurentin 27; Carol, “Our Lady’s Coredemption,” Mariology 2:384.

(94) AAS 35 (1943) 247-248 (OL 383).

(95) AAS 48 (1956) 352 (OL 778).

(96) D-H 3926.

(97) On this topic I have only been able to highlight some of the most important texts from among the numerous passages which could have been cited. For further references, cf. MMC 64-79.