1. Introduction

On the occasion of the presentation of the Encyclical Fides et Ratio (1998) the Servant of God John Paul II dared to affirm that “It is time for the experience and thought of the saints to be more carefully and systematically developed for a deeper understanding of Christian truths.”{footnote}Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana) hereafter cited as Inseg XXI/2 (1998) 988 [L’Osservatore Romano, weekly edition in English; First number = cumulative edition number; second number = page) hereafter cited as ORE 1568:6].{/footnote} As everyone knows, among the saints whose experience and thought Pope John Paul II himself esteemed, in a conspicuous way, was Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort (1673-1716).

Described by Henri Brémond as “the last of the great Bérullians,”{footnote}H. Bremond, Histoire littéraire du sentiment religieux en France, IX, (Paris: Librairie Bloud et Gay, 1932) 272.{/footnote} his spiritual writings constitute a source of exceptional quality for a thorough investigation of the truth about the Blessed Virgin Mary and on the Marian dimension of Christian life. Beatified by Leo XIII in 1888, then canonized by Pius XII in 1947, Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort’s liturgical memorial was inscribed on the liturgical calendar of the Roman Rite by the decision of John Paul II in 1996.{footnote}Cf. Notitiae 32 (1996) 658; M. Gendrot, SMM, « Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort, un nouveau saint pour le calendrier général », in Marianum 58 (1996) 448.{/footnote} That same year, which was also that of his own golden jubilee of priestly ordination, the same John Paul II confided, in the book written to commemorate that occasion, that he considered Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort not only as a saint recognized and venerated as such in the Church, or as an author or as a master of the spiritual life to be recommended, but also as an “outstanding theologian.”{footnote}John Paul II, Gift and Mystery (Limuru, Kenya: Paulines Publications Africa, 1996) 42.{/footnote} The novel character of this formula, subsequently adopted in the Supplex Libellus (2000),{footnote}Cf. Concessionis tituli doctoris ecclesiae universalis Sancto Ludovico Mariae Grignion de Montfort Summo Pontifici Johanni Paulo II Supplex Libellus, 6 January 2000, pp. 20. The text of the Supplex Libellus was published and presented in Italian by the postulator of the cause: Cf. B. Cortinovis, “San Luigi Maria di Montfort nelle Chiesa di oggi e di domain,” in Spiritualità Monfortana 1 (2003) 7-30.{/footnote} should not be undervalued: what the title “outstanding theologian” intends to express is in full continuity with the clear-sighted judgment of many commentators on the writings of Montfort since the beginning of the twentieth century. Pope Pius XII had already underscored to what point Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort “knew how to put at the disposal of the most simple souls the treasure of a solid and profound theology-and in this he excelled.”{footnote}Pius XII, Discourse to pilgrims gathered in Rome for the canonization of Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, 21 July 1947, in AAS (39) 1947, 411. [Italics my own].{/footnote} Will the cause of the beatification of John Paul II, opened by Benedict XVI, be sufficiently decisive to reactivate the cause for the recognition of Saint Louis-Marie as a Doctor of the Church which the distinguished mariologist G.M. Roschini (1900-1977) called for by his vota since 1938?{footnote}The Archives of the Company of Mary preserve a letter of 12 January 1938 by Father Callisto Bonicelli, making reference to the very favorable judgment of Roschini as to the eminent Marian doctrine of Montfort and of the importance of initiating the cause of his doctorate without delay. If the history of this cause is relatively recent, the holiness of Louis-Marie having been officially recognized more than two centuries after his death (1716 / 1947), the first measuring posts were staked out prior to the canonization. The Supplex Libellus (2000) did not neglect to recall that the first theological reading of the Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin and the teaching of Montfort began with the first Mariological Congresses of the years 1900-1912. An attentive examination of the way in which the cause has been dealt with up to our days obliges us to recognize the traces of a course accented by jubilee years and especially Marian years.{/footnote} The future will tell.

One thing is sure: considering the profound influence of this doctrine on the spiritual life and on the magisterium of John Paul II, not only are the witness and the teaching of this venerated Pope a privileged guide for reading and interpreting the writings of Father de Montfort but, in a reciprocal way, the message of Montfort offers valuable clarification in penetrating the secrets of the mariology and spiritual theology of John Paul II.{footnote}Cf. Giovanni Paolo II, Totus Tuus-Il magistero mariano di Giovanni Paolo II, an anthology selected and introduced by Msgr. Arthur Burton Calkins (Siena: Catangalli, 2006). This valuable tool for the study of the Marian magisterium of John Paul II perfectly takes into account at the same time the imprint of Montfort and the importance of the mystery of the cooperation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the work of the Redemption in the teaching of Pope John Paul II.{/footnote} This double point of reference is verified most particularly with regard to the truth of Marian coredemption. If the study of the writings of Grignion de Montfort can, without any doubt, illumine the Marian magisterium of John Paul II on the coredemption, conversely the reading of Grignion de Montfort carried out by John Paul II can contribute enormously to a rediscovery of the clarifications on this mystery made by Montfort.{footnote}Cf. A. Rum, sm, “Montfort e Giovanni Paolo II due testimoni e maestri di spiritualità mariana”, in Fragmenta Monfortana 3 (1999) 107-142; Idem, “Giovanni Paolo II”, in Dizionario di Spiritualità Monfortana (Rome: Edizioni Monfortane, 2005) 798-816. We note that this article did not appear in the French edition of this same Dictionnaire de Spiritualité Montfortaine (Ottawa: Novalis, 1994) or in the English edition, Jesus Living in Mary: Handbook of the Spirituality of St. Louis Marie de Montfort (Bayshore, NY: Montfort Publications, 1994).{/footnote} This is why, before presenting the status questionis and developing our interpretation of Montfort’s contribution{footnote}Certain aspects of the contribution of Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort have already been the object of special presentations at previous symposia: Cf. C. Maggioni, sm, “Maria e la Redenzione nel pensiero di San Luigi Maria Grignion de Montfort,” in Maria Corredentrice. Storia e teologia III (Frigento: Casa Mariana Editrice, 2000) 75-107; B. de Margerie, sj, “Mary and John at the Foot of the Cross, under the guidance of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort: Canticle 74,” in Mary at the Foot of the Cross, II: Acts of the Second International Symposium on Marian Coredemption (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, 2002). 291-297; R. Fastiggi, “Mary and the Eucharist in Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort,” in Mary at the Foot of the Cross, VI, (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, 2006).{/footnote} to this subject, it
is appropriate to recall briefly, the profound link between the consciousness of the Redemption and true devotion to Mary in the experience and thought of John Paul II.

2. The “Wojtyłan” Reading of Grignion de Montfort and Consciousness of the Redemption

In a work published in Polish in 1972 on the implementation of the Second Vatican Council, Cardinal Wojtyła insisted on the fact that the figure of the Mother of God is “connected in a special way with the consciousness of Redemption.”{footnote}Cardinal Karol WojtyŁa, U podstaw obnowy. Studium o realizacji Vaticanum II, Polskie Towarzystwo Teologiczne, Krakow, 1972. We cite the English edition: Sources of Renewal: The Implementation of the Second Vatican Council trans. P.S. Falla (San Francisco: Harper & Row, Publishers) 103.{/footnote} Totally included in that of the Incarnate Word, the mystery of the Mother of God passes through Him into the mystery of his Mystical Body “at the same time that the work of Redemption which Jesus Christ accomplishes not only as Son of God, but also as Son of Mary.”{footnote}Ibid., 101 [Translator’s note: in this case I followed the French translation used by the author].{/footnote} The Encyclical Redemptoris Mater, published fifteen years later, specified that “Mary is present in the Church as the Mother of Christ, and at the same time as that Mother whom Christ, in the mystery of the Redemption, gave to humanity in the person of the Apostle John” (#47).{footnote}John Paul II, Encyclical Redemptoris Mater of 25 March 1987, in AAS 79 (1987) 361-433, #47. [Emphasis my own.]{/footnote}

The path of consecration to Jesus through Mary, of which Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort became an apostle, and is named in the following number of the same encyclical, intends to take up the same path of Saint John at the hour of the Redemption: “Like St. John the Evangelist at the foot of the Cross, I have taken her times without number as my total good and as often have I given myself to her” (The Secret of Mary #66).

On numerous occasions, Pope John Paul II acknowledged having grasped-thanks to his reading of the writings of Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort-that “true devotion to the Mother of God is actually Christocentric, indeed, it is very profoundly rooted in the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity, and the mysteries of the Incarnation and Redemption.“{footnote}John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope trans. from the Italian by Jenny McPhee and Martha McPhee (London: Jonathan Cape, 1994). [Emphasis my own].{/footnote}

When he was Archbishop of Krakow, after having alluded to his personal discovery of the mystery of Mary as presented by Montfort, in the course of a meeting with his priests, Archbishop Wojtyła took care to underscore to what point true Marian devotion is rooted in the mystery of the Redemption:

I came to understand first of all that genuine devotion to the Mother of God flows from a profound understanding of the mystery of the Redemption. In order to foster a deep relation with Mary [neither superficial nor sentimental], it is necessary to relate to her within the entire context of the mystery of our Redemption. In all cases this mystery is found in the original plan … Such has been my personal experience.{footnote}K. WojtyŁa, 20 May 1965, cited by Czeslaw Drazec, «Dimensione cristologica e mariana di un servizio presbiterale aperto alle sfide della storia», in L’Osservatore Romano, 1 Novembre 1996. Cited in A. Rum, «Montfort e Giovanni Paolo II, due testimoni e maestri di spiritualità mariana», in Fragmenta Monfortana 3 (1999) 111. See also: Bernard Balayn, Jean-Paul II le Grand, prophète du troisième millénaire, Préface du cardinal F. Etsou (Hauteville/Suisse: Editions du Parvis, 2000) 567, note 859.{/footnote}

Subsequently in his famous dialogue with the French convert journalist, André Frossard, Pope John Paul II expressed himself again on this point:

‘Perfect devotion to Mary’-that is how the author of the Treatise puts it-that is, the true knowledge of her, and confident surrender to her, grows with our knowledge of Christ and our confident surrender to his person. What is more, this ‘perfect devotion’ is indispensable to anyone who means to give himself to Christ and to the work of redemption. Grignion de Montfort even shows us the working of the mysteries which quicken our faith and make it grow and render it fruitful. The more my inner life has been centred on the mystery of the Redemption, the more surrender to Mary, in the spirit of Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort, has seemed to me the best means of participating fruitfully and effectively in this reality, in order to draw from it and share with others its inexpressible riches.{footnote}André Frossard, “Be Not Afraid!”: Pope John Paul II Speaks Out on his Life, his Beliefs, and his Inspiring Vision for Humanity trans. by J.R. Foster (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1984) 125-126 [Emphasis my own].{/footnote}

In the eyes of Karol Wojtyła, “true devotion to Mary,” as it is proposed in the Treatise of Grignion de Montfort, is not reduced in any way to a collection of ascetical-devotional propositions, even those well organized, aimed at setting up a simple supplement of pious practices, but rather constitutes a genuine and radical itinerary of sanctification, a way of perfection which does not stop on the threshold of contemplation, but proposes an authentic Marian mysticism leading to the heights of union with God. In this the spiritual theology of Montfort effectively joins Saint Bonaventure who doesn’t hesitate to describe the Virgin Mary as Purgatrix, Illuminatrix and Perfectrix of the soul.{footnote}St. Bonaventure, Sermo I de Purificatione. Cited and commented on by P.D. Fehlner, «Scientia e pietas», in Immaculata Mediatrix I (2001) 11-48.{/footnote} Even more, it is noteworthy that the explanation offered by Pope John Paul II, in the form of his personal testimony, strongly emphasizes the excellence of the “slavery of the love” of Jesus in Mary (as Louis-Marie de Montfort proposes it) as the means of “participating fruitfully and effectively” in the reality of the Redemption, otherwise known as growing in the vocation of co-redeemer which is that of all the baptized. This is exactly what is brought out, to take one example among so many others, by the illuminating witness of the Canadian religious Blessed Dina Bélanger (Marie Sainte Cécile de Rome, 1897-1929) who, after having given herself totally to the Holy Virgin according to the indications of the Secret of Mary, confided that:

I wish I could consecrate all souls to her, for it is she who leads us to Jesus; it is she that we must allow to live in us so that Christ can take the place of our nothingness; she is the safest, shortest, the most perfect way to lead us to the Infinite, to unite us with uncreated Love until we are lost in him, immersed in the Source of eternal bliss. ‘O sweet Virgin, Mother of all mankind, reveal to all souls without a single exception, your sublime secret; give them the light to understand it and the generosity to make it their own.'{footnote}Dina Bélanger, Autobiography trans. by Mary St. Stephen, RJM, revised and updated by Sr. Felicity Moody, RJM (Sillery, Quebec: Religious of Jesus and Mary, 3rd ed., 1997) 64-65. Cf. B. Gherardini, Tu, il moi piccolo Io. Dina Bélanger ed il suo carisma (Rome: Edizioni Vivere In, 1999) 96-97; Idem, Nel cuore dei Tre. L’esperienza mistico-trinitaria della mistica. Dina Bélanger (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana « Testi mistici », 2004) 93; F.M. Léthel, «L’autobiographie de la bienheureuse Dina Bélanger», in Théologie de l’Amour de Jésus-Ecrits sur la théologie des saints (Venasque: Éditions du Carmel, 1996) 201-202.{/footnote}

Thus, as a mystagogy favoring the participation in the fruits of the work of the redemption in the development of the Christian and apostolic life, the excellent character of the teaching of Montfort is manifested. “True devotion to Mary” then shows itself to be an authentic Marian pedagogy of holiness which facilitates the collaboration of the Church and of Christians in the work of salvation.{footnote}Cf. E. Richer, La pédagogie de sainteté de saint Louis-Marie de Montfort (Paris: Téqui, 2003); Idem, Une vraie science de l’éducation à la sainteté: la véritable dévotion à Marie selon saint Louis-Marie de Montfort, dans le mystère du Christ, de l’Eglise et du chrétien, Dissertatio ad Lauream theologiae spiritualis, Teresianum, Romae, 2005, 182 pp.; Idem, «Una pedagogia di santità in San Luigi-Maria di Montfort», in Spiritualità Monfortana 5 (2005) 61-83.{/footnote}

But a question remains: On what doctrine on the specific and unique participation of the Virgin Mary herself in the work of salvation does this wisdom of Montfort rest? We are dealing here with a disputed question. Nevertheless, an attentive reading of the corpus of his writings enables one to respond without great difficulties, since many solid studies on this matter, virtually forgotten today, were undertaken by eminent mariologists before, as well as after, the canonization of Saint Louis-Marie.



3. The Status questionis and the Conflicting Interpretations

After the magisterial study by Professor Manfred Hauke,{footnote}Cf. M. Hauke, Maria “mediatrice di tutte le grazie”-La mediazione universale di Maria nell’opera teologica e pastorale del cardinale Mercier (Lugano: Europress “Collana di Mariologia” 6, 2005) 98-103.{/footnote} it is not necessary to insist on the importance of the doctrine of Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort on the theological and pastoral work of Cardinal Mercier (1851-1926) on the universal mediation of Mary. If the cause of the canonization of Louis-Marie and that of the dogmatic definition of the mediation of Our Lady were so intimately associated in the perspective of the Cardinal Primate of Belgium, it is obviously because he recognized, in the message of Montfort, a profound understanding of the mystery of Marian mediation.

A little later, in a series of articles published in 1940 and 1941, G.M. Roschini maintained that in the thought of Grignion de Montfort “the Most Holy Virgin cooperated directly and immediately in the objective redemption.”{footnote}G.M. Roschini, «La Corredentrice degli uomini secondo il beato Montfort», in Regina dei cuori 27 (1940) 173. See also the thesis of P. Parrotta, La cooperazione di Maria alla Redenzione in Gabrielle Maria Roschini (Lugano: Europress “Collana di Mariologia” 3, 2001) pp. 238.{/footnote} But an opposite opinion was expressed, for example, by the Spanish mariologist García Garcès who held that there is nothing in the writings of our author which necessarily causes one to speak of coredemption in the strict sense.{footnote}Cf. N. Garcia Garcès, Mater Corredemptrix (Taurini-Romae: Marietti, 1940) 235-236, n. 4.{/footnote}

The Italian Montfort Father Alberto Rum, in an article published on the occasion of the first centenary of the discovery of the Treatise on True Devotion (1842-1942), commented on the thought of Montfort by employing the term “Coredemptrix” without any hesitation.{footnote}A. Rum, sm, «Il Trattato della vera devozione a Maria del Beato da Montfort nel primo centenario del suo ritrovamento», in Marianum 4 (1942) 114-121.{/footnote} Likewise, the Montfort Father J.-M. Hermans held, in a thesis published in 1947 that, according to Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort, whom he considered one of the greatest doctors of Marian mediation, the Virgin Mary cooperated in the acquisition of the graces of which she is the Dispensatrix.{footnote}Cf. J.-M Hermans, SM, Maria’s Middelaarschap volgens de leer van de Heilige Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, Ingeleid door Prof. Dr. J.M. Bittremieux, Eindhoven, N.V. Lecturis, 1947.{/footnote}

The Dominican M.-Th. Poupon, in his magisterial summa montfortana entitled Le poème de la parfaite consécration à Marie, also published in 1947, on the occasion of the canonization of the saint, consecrated four chapters to the mystery of Mary’s mediation and vigorously developed the “fullness of Marian coredemption”{footnote}M. Th. Poupon, O.P., Le poème de la parfaite consécration à Marie suivant saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort et les spirituels de son temps- Sources et doctrine, Préface de S. Em. le cardinal Gerlier (Lyon: Librairie du Sacré Coeur, 1947) 152-165. At the request of Cardinal Gerlier, Father Poupon produced an abridged edition the following year: Idem, A Jésus par Marie-La parfaite consécration à Marie selon saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort (Lyon, 1948). This edition contains a Letter to the author from Pope Pius XII signed by the Substitute J.B. Montini.{/footnote} as it flows from the writings of Father de Montfort. Shortly after the canonization, the Italian Montfort Father Luigi Giuliani published a thorough study in which he employed a rigorous argumentation which led him to the following conclusion:

It seems to us possible to affirm with all certitude that Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort held the thesis of the cooperation of Mary in the objective Redemption, not only indirect or mediate, but also immediate, moral and physical, which manifests itself principally by her consent and by her participation in the same redemptive acts accomplished by Christ Jesus. All of which is expressed in brief, concise, but clear, clean and sure formulas which allow no doubt about the thought of the Saint himself.{footnote}L. Giuliani, SM, «La cooperazione di Maria SS. alla nostra Redenzione e San Luigi Maria Grignion de Montfort», in Marianum 10 (1948) 31-64. Here 64. [Our translation.]{/footnote}

During the Marian Year of 1954, the Montfort Father J.M. Hupperts presented Montfort’s Marian spirituality in a fine synthesis on his doctrinal foundations, in particular on Mary’s mediation as Mother of the Redeemer and New Eve, Coredemptrix of the human race both in the acquisition of the graces and in their application.{footnote}Cf. J.M. Hupperts, SM, « Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort et sa spiritualité mariale», in Maria: Études sur la Sainte Vierge sous la direction d’Hubert de Manoir, sj, vol. III (Paris: Beauchesne et Ses Fils, 1954) 253-274.{/footnote} Finally, in his doctoral thesis defended at the Angelicum in 1958 on Consécration à Marie et promesses baptismales selon Louis-Marie de Montfort, the Montfort Father J.-M. Bonin held that it was impossible not to see in the writings of Montfort the sole affirmation of a mediate cooperation of the Holy Virgin in our regeneration.{footnote}J.-M. Bonin, SMM, Consécration à Marie et promesses baptismales selon Louis-Marie de Montfort (Ottawa: Les éditions montfortaines, 1960). Doctoral thesis defended at the Angelicum in 1958.{/footnote}

In his magisterial work on Marian coredemption published in 1950, the Franciscan Juniper B. Carol reported that mariologists are still disputing on the subject of Grignion de Montfort’s thought on Marian coredemption.{footnote}J.B. Carol, OFM, De Corredemptione B.V.M. Disquisitio positiva (Vatican City: “Franciscan Institute Publications, Theology Series,” N. 2, 1950) 348: “Sanctus Ludovicus M. Grignion de Montfort … De eius mente relate ad Corredemptionem Beatae Virginis adhuc disputant mariologi. Iuxta quosdam nihil in Sancto Auctore invenitur quod Corredemptionem sensu proprio necessario suadeat. Iuxta alios, cooperatio immediata ad Redemptionem obiectivam ex eius verbis proculdubio colligitur. Quod dicendum? Cum non omnia S. Ludovici opera prae manibus habeamus, textus desumimus ex recenti quadam dissertatione cl. Patris L Giuliani, SMM, qui S. Auctoris hac de re doctrinam longe lateque denuo enucleare conatus est … Ex quibus omnibus concludit laudatus Pater Giuliani Sanctum Ludovicum hodiernae sententiae de immediata Virginis cooperatione ad Redemptionem obiectivam certissime suffragari. Fortasse melius diceret ‘probabiliter suffragari’ (cf. iudicium Patris A.H. Maltha de opere Patris J.-M. Hermans, in Marianum, 10, 1948, p. 313) “. [Nous soulignons.]{/footnote} He took note of the contrasting judgments of Roschini and García Garcès, but not having at hand all of the works of Saint Louis-Marie, Carol concluded by affirming prudently but positively, that Montfort probably would have approved of the present opinions on the immediate cooperation of the Virgin in the objective Redemption.{footnote}Ibid. 349.{/footnote} Subsequently claiming the authority of Juniper B. Carol to affirm, as does Patrick Gaffney in an article in the Handbook of the Spirituality of St. Louis Marie de Montfort, “it is highly doubtful that he [Montfort] can be aligned with those who uphold immediate, formal coredemption,”{footnote}Patrick Gaffney, SM, ” Mary”, in Jesus Living in Mary: Handbook of the Spirituality of St. Louis Marie de Montfort (Bayshore, NY: Montfort Publications, 1994) 708 and note 59, p. 723; «Marie», in Dictionnaire de spiritualité montfortaine (Ottawa: Novalis, 1994) 867 and note 56, p. 883; Dizionario di spiritualità monfortana (Rome: Edizioni Monfortane, 2005) 1106 and note 56, p. 1128. See also the analogous judgment in R. Laurentin, Dieu seul est ma tendresse (Paris: De Guibert, 2nd edition, 1996) 168-173.{/footnote} seems to us inexact and excessive. Quite evidently the post-conciliar history of the theological reading of Grignion de Montfort, despite the exceptional authority of the Marian and Montfort-oriented magisterium of Pope John Paul II, presents many negative traces of the “hermeneutic of discontinuity and of a break with the past” very appropriately denounced by Pope Benedict XVI.{footnote}Benedict XVI, “Discorso di Sua Santità Benedetto XVI alla Curia Romana in occasione della presentazione degli auguri natalizi”, 22 December 2005, in L’Osservatore Romano 23. 12. 2005, 4-6. Cf. S.M. Lanzetta, FI, “Il Concilio Vaticano II tra ‘fedeltà e dinamica’ “, in Fides Catholica I (2006) 79-109.{/footnote}

More recently, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the canonization, the Italian Montfort liturgist Corrado Maggioni presented a rich exposé highlighting the trinitarian, christological and ecclesial dimensions of the mystery of the Redemptive Incarnation according to Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort. If Father Maggioni takes into account certain divergences in the interpretations among the commentators, he himself doesn’t seem to adopt a position which is clearly identifiable.{footnote}C. Maggioni, SM, “La madre del Redentore in S. Luigi M. da Montfort”, in Theotokos 5 (1997) 1, 243-264. In its conclusion this article contains an inexactitude (which is already found in the Gaffney, art. cit., note 59): according to Maggioni “in his monumental work of 1950 Carol maintained- while being aware of the conclusions of Giuliani-that he could not include the Saint from Montfort among those who sustain the thesis of immediate and formal coredemption on the part of Mary.” This affirmation is inexact and distorting with regard to what Juniper B. Carol actually wrote (cf. supra note 27).{/footnote} On the contrary, Sr. Maria Francesca Perillo in her doctoral thesis, Maria nella mistica-La mediazione mariana in santa Veronica Giuliani, considers that the reading of the writings of Saint Louis-Marie oblige one to adopt the conclusions of Roschini and Giuliani.{footnote}Maria Francesca Perillo, Maria nella mistica-La mediazione mariana in santa Veronica Giuliani (Lugano: Europress, 2004) pp. 336. Preface by Manfred Hauke. In particular 155-157.{/footnote} Our prolonged exposure to all of the writings which compose the Montfort corpus leads us very clearly to this same conclusion, confirmed by the witness and the pontifical magisterium of John Paul II.

Since the latter explicitly attributes to his reading of Grignion de Montfort his having so profoundly grasped that genuine devotion to Mary flows from a profound understanding of the mystery of the Redemption, it would be at the least surprising that Saint Louis-Marie should not be considered as a servant of the understanding and belief in the “altogether unique cooperation” (LG, 61) of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the work of the Savior. Since Marian devotion “not only addresses a need of the heart, a sentimental inclination, but that it also corresponds to the objective truth about the Mother of God,”{footnote}John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope 213.{/footnote} how could the spirituality of Montfort not contain a sharp sense and a profound understanding of the mystery of the cooperation of the Virgin Mary in the work of the Redemption and of her maternal mediation?

If it were not rooted in a genuine understanding of the coredemption accomplished by the Virgin Mary herself, the “science of the Love of Jesus in Mary” proposed by Grignion de Montfort would not be so productive in the fruits of holiness which it has been since the Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin was discovered.

This is why it is important to show that the writings of Saint Louis-Marie contain a theology lived and inspired by the mystery of the active, immediate, formal and subordinate cooperation of the Virgin Mary in the entire work of the Redemption: in order to establish that all the “fixed points” of Marian coredemption are clearly present in the thought of our missionary.{footnote}Cf. A.M. Apollonio, FI, «I punti fermi della Corredenzione mariana», in AA.VV. Maria Corredentrice. Storia e Teologia Vol. I (Frigento: Casa Mariana Editrice, 1998) 17-35.{/footnote} In order to do this, we must consider the entire opera omnia of our author, the poetic works as well as those in prose, the letters as well as the treatises, without forgetting Notebooks, the Prayer for Missionaries and the other prayers, as well as the text of the Consecration of onself to Jesus Christ, Wisdom Incarnate, through the hands of Mary which contains this supplication so powerfully significant with regard to our purposes: “O admirable Mother, present me to your dear Son as his slave now and for always, so that he who redeemed me through you, will now receive me through you.” (Love of Eternal Wisdom #226).{footnote}In the pages which follow we will cite the writings of Grignion de Montfort according to the English translation God Alone: The Collected Writings of St. Louis Marie de Montfort (Bay Shore, NY: Montfort Publications, 1988) pp. xxxiv-631; God Alone II: The Hymns of St. Louis Marie de Montfort (Bay Shore, NY: Montfort Publications, 2005). The references to the writings will be indicated by these abbreviations in parenthesis in the body of the text: TD=True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin; SM=The Secret of Mary; LEW=The Love of Eternal Wisdom; SR=The Secret of the Holy Rosary; PM=Prayer for Missionaries; H=Hymns, N=Notebook.{/footnote}



4. The Immaculate Mother and Her Cooperation in the Entire Work of the Redemption

An attentive reading of the plan of the Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, as well as the Secret of Mary, suffices for one to note that Montfort expatiates at much greater length on the developments which would be identified today with the theological “discipline” (TD 90-273; SM 23-78) known as spiritual theology than on those which more properly belong to dogmatic theology (TD 1-89; SM 1-22). But the doctrinal foundations which situate the place of the Virgin Mary and true devotion to her in the dynamic of trinitarian christocentrism, linked to the mysteries of the creation, of salvation, and of the Church, are not for that reason any less solid and irreproachable. Expounded brilliantly from the outset and with the genius of synthesis, they constitute the rock on which all the rest is harmoniously built: “The Son of God became man for our salvation but only in Mary and through Mary” (TD 16).

Although Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort was apparently never concerned to entreat openly for the proclamation of a new Marian dogma, an attentive reading of his writings leads one to recognize that the two Marian dogmas (the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption) which, at the time of Grignion de Montfort, had not yet been declared as such, would not have constituted for him any the less truths of the faith which belong to Catholic doctrine. The references to the Assumption are altogether explicit in his works (cf. TD 3, 116; H 90, 31; SR 64) and one must also recognize that our author was in his own way an authentic precursor, discreet but at the same time convinced about the truth of the Immaculate Conception:

19. She was born
Immaculate
Sin has never
Tarnished her beauty.

20. I am astounded
That this is disputed:
God could easily do it
I maintain that he should (H 75).

Besides this Marian hymn employing the argument from “appropriateness,” other passages from the writings of Montfort affirm that Mary was conceived without sin. In the Treatise on True Devotion, Mary is presented as the “direct and immaculate way to Jesus and the perfect guide to him” (TD 50). And this “immaculate way of Mary” which is Mary herself, is further qualified as “a road without stain or spot, without original sin or actual sin, without shadow or darkness” (TD 158). The judgment of René Laurentin, according to which “Montfort does not speak thus of Mary conceived without sin,”{footnote}R. Laurentin, Retour à Dieu avec Marie-de la sécularisation à la consécration (Paris: O.E.I.L., 1991) 52. Translator’s note: the English translation, The Meaning of Consecration Today: A Marian Model for a Secularized Age trans. Kenneth D. Whitehead (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1992) offers a circumlocution on p. 55.{/footnote} would deserve to be nuanced.{footnote}Cf. J.M. Hupperts, «L’Immaculée Conception dans la doctrine mariale de saint Louis-Marie de Montfort», in Virgo Immacolata, Rome, 1956, t. VIII/3, 151-172; P. Gaff ney, «Marie» in Dictionnaire de spiritualité montfortaine, p. 876; A. Bossard, «Je vous salue, ô Marie Immaculée-Le fondateur des Montfortains précurseur du dogme proclamé en 1854», in Lourdes magazine n. 126 (2004) 52-53.{/footnote} This reference to Mary All Holy and Immaculate, culminates when Louis-Marie evokes the motherhood of Mary as a “holy place” taking up again the patristic symbolism of the Virgin Earth or of Paradise, applied to Mary.{footnote}Among the best specialists this symbol of the “New Earth” would be one of the most ancient titles attributed to the Virgin Mary by the Tradition. Cf. Emm anuele Testa, OFM, Maria Terra Vergine I et II (Jerusalem: Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, 1984). Saint Irenaeus of Lyon, in his Adversus Haereses (III/21/10-22/4) is the first Father of the Church to have developed this theme of Mary New Earth by whom the “Hands of God” modeled the New Adam. Cf. AB. Calkins, “The Mystery of the Immaculate Conception One Hundred Fifty Years after the Dogmatic Proclamation,” in Divinitas 47 (2004) I-XIV; S.M. Cecchin, OFM, L’Immacolata Concezione. Breve Storia del dogma (Vatican City: PAMI, « Studi Mariologici » 5, 2003) 7-8; F.M. Léthel, OCD, L’Amour de Jésus en Marie, I, (Geneva: Ad Solem, 2000) 64-66; L. Menvielle, Marie Mère de Vie-Approche du mystère marial à partir d’Irénée de Lyon (Venasque: Éditions du Carmel, 1986).{/footnote} In his Letter to the Men and Women Religious of the Montfort Families (2003), Pope John Paul II did not neglect to recall that “in the Treatise on True Devotion, Mary appears as the ‘true terrestrial paradise of the New Adam,’ the ‘virginal and immaculate earth’ of which he was formed” (TD 261).{footnote}Inseg XXVI/2 (2003) 919 [ORE 1829:3]. Among the commentaries on this Letter the following are worthy of note: B. Cortinovis, sm, «Note a commento della Lettera di Giovanni Paolo II», in Spiritualità Monfortana 3 (2004) 19-25; F.M. Léthel, «Marie Toute Sainte et Immaculée dans le mystère du Christ et de l’Eglise: la doctrine de saint Louis-Marie de Montfort à la lumière du Concile Vatican II», in Path 3 (2004) 507-556; Id., «La dottrina di san Luigi Maria di Montfort alla luce del Concilio Vaticano II», in Spiritualità Monfortana 5 (2005) 9-59.{/footnote}

In adapting to his own use and rehabilitating the patristic commentaries on the second chapter of Genesis{footnote}According to an erudite note of the critical apparatus from the OEuvres complètes de saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort (Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1966) among the Fathers who propose this Marian accommodation of Genesis 2: 8 one can name: Ephrem, Proclus, Ambrose, Andrew of Crete, Germanus of Constantinople, John Damascene, Leo the Great. Cf. OEuvres complètes 490 note 1.{/footnote} which he took from good sources (Carthegena, Poiré, Spinelli) as his Notebook{footnote}Cf. Le Cahier de Notes-Manuscrit de saint Louis-Marie de Montfort (referred to in the text as Notebook) text of the mimeographed manuscript, transcription, notes and commentary by Pierre H. Eijkeler, SM, undated.{/footnote} testifies, Louis-Marie explains in symbolic terms which his reader ought to know in order to accomplish all of his actions in Mary:

I declare with all the saints: Mary is the earthly paradise of the new Adam, where he became man by the power of the Holy Spirit, in order to accomplish in her wonders beyond our understanding. She is the vast and divine world of God where unutterable marvels and beauties are to be found … The saints have said wonderful things of Mary, the holy City of God … We must do everything in Mary. To understand this we must realize that the Blessed Virgin is the true earthly paradise of the new Adam and that the ancient paradise was only a symbol of her. There are in this paradise untold riches, beauties, rarities and delights, which the new Adam, Jesus Christ, has left there. It is in this paradise that he ‘took his delights’ for nine months, worked his wonders and displayed his riches with the magnificence of God himself. This most holy place consists of only virgin and immaculate soil from which the new Adam was formed and nourished, with neither spot nor stain by the operation of the Holy Spirit who lives there …’ (TD 6; 7; 261).

All of the writings of Father de Montfort translate a very vivid consciousness of the unity of the Eternal Wisdom in the same way as in the history of salvation.{footnote}”Affirming the necessity of the presence of Mary not only in the Incarnation, but also in the development of all the mysteries which are announced in the Incarnation, Montfort shows himself aware of the fact that the history of salvation is one; one only is the salvific plan of God. One can speak of various phases of bringing it about, or of salvation in actu primo and in actu secundo, or of objective redemption and subjective, but the unity of the entire process is affirmed with clarity. Naturally and first of all it is the working of Eternal Wisdom that forms into one unique history all the vicissitudes of the relations between God and man: LEW 64. But with Christ there is also the person of Mary who serves as the hinge between the beginning of the realization of salvation and its complement: God wanted “to begin and end” his great work by means of the Virgin” (cf. TD 15). (B. Cortinovis, Dimensione ecclesiale della spiritualità di san Luigi Maria Grignion de Montfort (Rome: Edizioni Monfortane, 1998) 104-105. Concerning the motive of the Incarnation, one must recognize with Cortinovis that Montfort’s point of view seems to be more situated in the Thomist perspective than in that of Scotus: “The Eternal Word, Eternal Wisdom, having decided in the grand council of the Blessed Trinity to become man in order to restore fallen humanity” one can read at the beginning of the ninth chapter of the Love of Eternal Wisdom (#104). In a hymn on The Principal Mysteries of the faith, our missionary in fact proposes this catechesis: “Adam, by his offense, / Has fouled us all; / But God, in his mercy / Has redeemed us all. / The Son became incarnate in Mary’s womb / Taking there a body like ours, / To redeem us all / And to give us life” (H 109, 3).{/footnote} In the perspective of Montfort, an heir of Bérulle and by way of him, the Greek Fathers, without forgetting Saint Ambrose, the Incarnation recapitulates the Creation and already contains the Mysteries of the Redemption and of the Church: “The Incarnation is not only an extrinsic preparation for the Redemption, a simple condition to be met in order to render it possible: it required a God-Man who could accomplish acts of satisfaction adequate to the infinite offense of sin. It is … the Redemption itself, intrinsically begun.”{footnote}E. Druwé, s.j., « La médiation universelle de Marie », in Maria-Etudes sur la Sainte Vierge, Vol. I (Paris: Beauchesne) 483.{/footnote}

As to the symbols of the earthly paradise of the New Adam and of the new immaculate and virgin earth, by which this recapitulation of the Creation is developed, they manifest the unity of Montfort’s mariology: by virtue of her Immaculate Conception, Mary is the new paradise of God, the new creation. By virtue of her Assumption, Mary represents the eschatological paradise, anticipated in her. By virtue of her divine and virginal maternity, Mary appears as the place where God is totally received, the enclosed garden of the espousals of God and of humanity in the Incarnate Word. The act of Consecration to Jesus Christ Incarnate Wisdom by the hands of Mary contains this beautiful greeting: “I greet you, then, O Mary immaculate, living tabernacle of the Divinity, where the Eternal Wisdom willed to receive the adoration of both angels and men” (LEW 224).

And it is precisely because Grignion recognizes in Mary the “Immaculate Mother of the God-Man Jesus Christ” (TD 145) that he considers sin as outraging “the Mother as well as the Son” (TD 99):

I admit that to be truly devoted to Our Lady, it is not absolutely necessary to be so holy as to avoid all sin, although this is desirable. But at least it is necessary (note what I am going to say), (i) to be genuinely determined to avoid at least all mortal sin, which outrages the Mother as well as the Son; (ii) to practice great self-restraint in order to avoid sin … (TD 99).

The All Holy and Immaculate Virgin Mary is the human person who has loved Jesus more than any other: “Mary, the living antithesis of sin by virtue of her Immaculate Conception,” writes the Dominican M.-Th. Poupon, “has a totally innate capacity to suffer for sin.”{footnote}M. Th. Poupon, o.p., Le poème de la parfaite consécration à Marie suivant saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort et les spirituels de son temps- Sources et doctrine (Lyon: Librairie du Sacré Coeur, 1947) 157.{/footnote} That is why it is certain for Montfort that every mortal sin “outrages the Mother as well as the Son” (TD 99). And “How can we truthfully claim to love and honor the Blessed Virgin when by our sins we pitilessly wound, pierce, crucify and outrage Jesus Christ her Son?” (TD 98).

Here one recognizes a profound expression of the Marian dimension of the cumpunctio cordis [compunction of the heart], particularly dear to Saint Anselm of Canterbury, that great theologian of the Redemption (1033-1109) who is evoked twice by the author of the Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin (TD 40; 76) .{footnote}Saint Anselm (1033-1109) was proclaimed Doctor of the Church in 1720, thus 4 years after the death of Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort (+1716). It was the same Pope Clement XI (1700-1721), the Pope of the Bull Unigenitus condemning Jansenism (1713), who received Louis-Marie in audience (1706), extended the liturgical feast of the Immaculate Conception to the universal Church (1708), and proclaimed Saint Anselm Doctor of the Church. A veritable summit of the medieval and Marian expression of the cumpunctio cordis is found in the Oratio ad sanctam Mariam cum mens est sollicita timore: “When I have sinned against the Son, I have alienated the Mother, nor can I offend the Mother without hurting the Son. What will you do, then, sinner? Where will you flee ? Who can reconcile me to the Son if the Mother is my enemy, or who will make my peace with the Mother if I have angered the Son ? Surely if I have offended you both equally you will both also be merciful ? So the accused flees from the just God to the good mother of the merciful God. The accused finds refuge from the Mother he has offended in the good Son of the kind Mother. The accused is carried from one to the other and throws himself between the good Son and the good Mother.” (Saint Anselm of Canterbury, Oratio VI, The Prayers and Meditations of Saint Anselm trans. and with an introduction by Sister Benedicta Ward., SLG (Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1979) 112.{/footnote}

Paradise of God, transparency of God, the Immaculate Virgin is truly then, for Saint Louis-Marie as well as for the great Doctor, the perfect creature and cooperator in grace, in the work of God. And if it is necessary to perform all actions in Mary, as Montfort teaches, that is because the “worthy Mother of God” (TD 12; 27; 115; 145) is also the worthy Mother of men.

With regard to the mystery of the Immaculate, another important text of Saint Louis-Marie, although it is very rarely cited by the commentators, is found in the Letter to the Friends of the Cross:{footnote}The circular Letter to the Friends of the Cross, filled with biblical citations or allusions, printed in 1714 and addressed to members of a lay confraternity founded by Louis-Marie at Nantes in 1708, is at base an ample commentary on the verse from the Gospel: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mt 16:24). Although the original of this letter has not yet been found, its authenticity seems, nevertheless, quite certain, thanks to the witness of several biographers. Since this letter is undoubtedly an integral part of the corpus of Montfort’s writings, it is incomprehensible that the light shed by Montfort on Marian coredemption can be presented without ever citing or commenting on this number 31 of the circular Letter to the Friends of the Cross.{/footnote}

Consider the countless apostles and martyrs who were bathed in their own blood; the virgins and confessors who were reduced to poverty, humbled, persecuted, or exiled. They can all say with St. Paul, Look upon Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, the faith we have in him and in his Cross; it was necessary that he should suffer and so enter through the Cross into his glory. At the side of Jesus Christ, see Mary his Mother, who was never stained with any sin, original or actual, yet whose pure and loving heart was pierced through by a sword. If I had time to dwell on the sufferings of Jesus and Mary, I could show that what we suffer is nothing compared to theirs. (LFC 31).

A simple reading of this text is sufficient to note that not only does the author affirm that original sin had no hold on Mary, but it also makes explicit reference to the prophecy of the old man Simeon (cf. Lk 2:35), one of the gospel texts most expressive of Marian coredemption.{footnote}Cf. S.M. Manelli, “Agiografia corredenzionista nel secolo ventesimo: sintesi storico-teologica », in Maria «Unica Cooperatrice alla Redenzione», Atti del Simposio sul Mistero della Corredenzione Mariana, Fatima (Portogallo) 3-7 maggio 2005 (New Bedford: Academy of the Immaculate, 2005) 444 and note 279.{/footnote} By means of the symbol of the “piercing sword which penetrates to the innermost tender and innocent heart of Mary” (LFC 31), Saint Louis-Marie thus evokes the Passion of Jesus and his Mother with profound mystical intensity. Hymn 74 on The Sufferings of Mary at the Foot of the Cross translates exactly the same content in the literary genre of popular choral poetry dear to our missionary:



Contemplate Mary’s suffering
Near the Savior’s holy cross,
See her saintly soul pierced
By the sword of sharp sorrow. …

Seeing on a wicked gibbet
The object of her desires,
In her soul she suffers more
Than all martyrs together. …

Sinners by our offenses
We make Mary and Jesus
Two very innocent victims (H 74:1, 4, 7).{footnote}Cf. the commentary of B. de Margerie, “Mary and John at the Foot of the Cross, under the guidance of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort: Canticle 74,” in Mary at the Foot of the Cross, II, Acts of the Second International Symposium on Marian Coredemption (New Bedford: Academy of the Immaculate, 2002) 291-297.{/footnote}

There is manifest harmony between this hymn, which also makes allusion to the piercing of the sword announced by Simeon, and the passage already cited from the circular Letter to the Friends of the Cross. In contradiction to a surprising affirmation by the Abbé Laurentin,{footnote}Cf. R. Laurentin, Dieu seul est ma tendresse (Paris: O.E.I.L., 1984)168-169.{/footnote} when our author thus identifies Mary as “victime” with Christ, or again as “hostie,“{footnote}Cf. Hymn 90, 18: “At the foot of the Savior’s Cross where you were the victim (hostie), O Sorrowful Mother!”{/footnote} he is not treating simply and solely with exterior cooperation remote to the Redemption,{footnote}Such is the purpose of R. Laurentin, op. cit., p. 169. Not only does Laurentin forget to mention the Letter to the Friends of the Cross (cf. LFC #31) but further he considers that when Montfort speaks of Mary as “hostie” or “victim” as he does several times in his Hymns, this only suggests remote cooperation in the Redemption!{/footnote} but very much on the contrary, he expresses just how far the depths of his contemplation of the mystery of coredemption go.

How, then, do we explain that what Father de Montfort wrote to his dear Friends of the Cross, has almost never been cited or commented upon by theologians today, who intend to shed light on Montfort’s understanding of Marian coredemption, even when the text of the Letter to Friends of the Cross has been integrated, as it should be, into the OEuvres Complètes of our saint for the past forty years? Undoubtedly, the reason is that this text belongs to the epistolary genre, easier to pass over in silence than #18 of the Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, where Montfort considers the active participation of Mary in the redemptive sacrifice:

God the Son came down into her virginal womb as a new Adam into his earthly paradise, to take his delight there and produce hidden wonders of grace. This God-made-man found freedom in imprisoning himself to be borne by this young maiden. He found his glory and that of his Father in hiding his splendors from all creatures here below and revealing them only to Mary. He glorified his independence and his majesty in depending upon this lovable Virgin in his conception, his birth, his presentation in the temple, and in the thirty years of his hidden life. Even at his death she had to be present so that he might be united with her in one sacrifice and be immolated with her consent to the Eternal Father, just as formerly Isaac was offered in sacrifice by Abraham when he accepted the will of God. It was Mary who nursed him, fed him, cared for him, reared him and sacrificed him for us (TD 18).

Impossible to camouflage, even for the most minimalist of the interpreters, this marvelous page of Saint Louis-Marie’s masterpiece is much more frequently commented on than that of the Letter to the Friends of the Cross. But we wish to underscore here, our interest in reading these two major texts of Montfort in parallel, for in the one as in the other, it is clear that the cooperation of the Virgin Mary concerns the totality of the work of the Redemption.{footnote}How can such intimate association on the part of Mary in the redemptive death of Christ be simply called remote cooperation?{/footnote} If there is a truth dear to Grignion de Montfort, it is that “God has decided to begin and accomplish his greatest works through the Blessed Virgin” (TD 15). It is not then surprising that all the “fixed points of Marian coredemption,”{footnote}Cf. A.M. Apollonio, «I punti fermi della Corredenzione mariana», in Maria Corredentrice. Storia e Teologia, Frigento, 1998, vol. I, pp. 17-35.{/footnote} can be recognized in his writings.

5. The Fixed Points of Marian Coredemption According to Louis-Marie de Montfort

The Virgin Mary being “totally relative to God” (TD 225) according to the expression of Bérulle and Montfort, the subordinate character of Her cooperation in the work of the Redemption is beyond doubt to such an extent, that it isn’t necessary to insist on this point. The reader would search in vain for such a lapse in the christocentrism that comes from the pen of Saint Louis-Marie.{footnote}Cf. F.M. Léthel, « Maria nel cristocentrismo trinitario di san Luigi Maria Grignion di Montfort », in Spiritualità trinitaria in comunione con Maria secondo Montfort: Atti dell’ 8° Colloquio internazionale di mariologia Roma, 11-13 ottobre 2000 (Roma: Edizioni Monfortane “Biblioteca di Theotokos” 8, 2002) 185-215.{/footnote} But if the cooperation of the Virgin Mary is clearly subordinate, it is just as completely active, immediate and formal:

In the passion of Christ-explains Hupperts-theologians distinguish a material element, that is to say the sufferings and death of Jesus on the Cross, and a formal element, the most important: the voluntary acceptance by Christ of his Passion and Death, or, in other terms, the obedience of Jesus to his Father even to death, death on a Cross. In the compassion of Mary we find again this double element … Montfort depicted the sufferings of Mary during her entire life, but especially on Calvary. She was the Martyr, the Victim of her own Son. She suffered more at the foot of the Cross than all of the martyrs together … And this is the formal element of this compassion. God will accept her sufferings and will make her collaborate in the great redemptive work by her hypothetically necessary consent to the passion and death of Christ'{footnote}J.M. Hupperts, « Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort et sa spiritualité mariale », in Maria: Études sur la Sainte Vierge Vol. III:261.{/footnote} … where she had to assist in order that he might make but one sacrifice with her (cf. TD 18).

Since it is She, as Montfort tells us, “who nursed him, fed him, cared for him reared him, and sacrificed him for us” (TD 18), it is clear that She is neither unsconsciously nor only passively involved in the adventure of the Redemption. Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort would have signed, without hesitation, the Marian comment of Pope Benedict XVI at the conclusion of his first Encyclical Deus Caritas est: “She knows that she will contribute to the salvation of the world … her thoughts are attuned to the thoughts of God … her will is one with the will of God” (# 41). Daughter of Abraham, Mary whose maternal Love is an active participation in the Father’s Love, consented to the redemptive death of her Son. As François-Marie Léthel so rightly emphasized:

The Mystery of the Cross is always very present in the doctrine of Montfort, and Mary is intimately associated in this mystery. Near the Cross, she wills the sacrifice of her Son. In offering himself to the Father, Jesus is also offered by his holy Mother, ‘immolated with her consent to the Eternal Father, just as formerly was Isaac by the consent of Abraham to the will of God’ (TD 18). Mary, then, is the perfect imitator of the Father, ‘who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all’ (cf. Rom 8:32). It is there, on Calvary that Jesus gave her as Mother to this disciple.{footnote}F M. Léthel, L’Amour de Jésus en Marie I, (Geneva: Ad Solem, 2000) 68. See also Id., “La maternità di Maria nel Mistero dell’Incarnazione e della nostra divinizzazione secondo san Luigi-Maria di Montfort e il card. de Bérulle”, in Theotokos 3 (1995) 2, 429-470; Id., « Marie Toute Sainte et Immaculée dans le mystère du Christ et de l’Eglise: la doctrine de saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort à la lumière du Concile Vatican II » in Path 3 (2004) 540-544.{/footnote}

As the finale of the Treatise on True Devotion, our author exhorts his reader, who has already been invited to do all his actions with Mary, to examine and to meditate on “Her lively faith, by which she believed the angel’s word without the least hesitation, and believed faithfully and constantly even to the foot of the Cross on Calvary” (TD 260). With regard to the interpreters who believe themselves obliged to doubt that one can find the thesis of an immediate and formal coredemption in Montfort, they would profit from reading the Prayer for Missionaries which contains this passage inspired by the Protoevangelium: “From the beginning of the world, you have given her the authority to crush this proud spirit by the humility of her heart and of her heel: Ipsa conteret caput tuum (cf. Gen 3:15)” (PM 13). Quite evidently Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort should be ranked among the spiritual authors who agree in recognizing in the Protoevangelium “the first revealed root of the mystery of Marian coredemption.”{footnote}S.M. Manelli, op. cit., p. 443.{/footnote} With reference to Genesis 3:15, in his Rule of the Missionary Priests of the Company of Mary, of which he was the founder, Father de Montfort discerns, in the spiritual combat to which the preachers of the Gospel are subject, an effect of the enmity which God himself has ordained between the lineage of the Holy Virgin and the accursed race of the serpent (cf. RM, 61).

In the Treatise on True Devotion, when he explains to his reader that God wishes to reveal and make Mary progressively known in the last times, Saint Louis-Marie comments on the Protoevangelium at length in a coredemptive and eschatological perspective:

[51] It is chiefly in reference to these last wicked persecutions of the devil, daily increasing until the advent of the reign of anti-Christ, that we should understand that first and well-known prophecy and curse of God uttered against the serpent in the garden of paradise. It is opportune to explain it here for the glory of the Blessed Virgin, the salvation of her children and the confusion of the devil.

Inimicitias ponam inter te et mulierem, et semen tuum et semen illius; ipsa conteret caput tuum, et tu insidiaberis calcaneo ejus (Gen 3:15): I will place enmities between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed; she will crush your head and you will lie in wait for her heel.

[52] God has established only one enmity-but it is an irreconcilable one which will last and even go on increasing to the end of time. That enmity is between Mary, his worthy Mother, and the devil, between the children and the servants of the Blessed Virgin and the children and followers of Lucifer. Thus the most fearful enemy that God has set up against the devil is Mary, his holy Mother. From the time of the earthly paradise, although she existed then only in his mind, he gave her such a hatred for his accursed enemy, such ingenuity in exposing the wickedness of the ancient serpent and such power to defeat, overthrow and crush this proud rebel, that Satan fears her not only more than angels and men but in a certain sense more than God himself. This does not mean that the anger, hatred and power of God are not infinitely greater than the Blessed Virgin’s, since her attributes are limited. It simply means that Satan, being so proud, suffers infinitely more in being vanquished and punished by a lowly and humble servant of God, for her humility humiliates him more than the power of God. Moreover, God has given Mary such great power over the evil spirits that, as they have often been forced unwillingly to admit through the lips of possessed persons, they fear one of her pleadings for a soul more than the prayers of all the saints, and one of her threats more than all their other torments.

[53] What Lucifer lost by pride Mary won by humility. What Eve ruined and lost by disobedience Mary saved by obedience. By obeying the serpent, Eve ruined her children as well as herself and delivered them up to him. Mary by her perfect fidelity to God saved her children with herself and consecrated them to his divine majesty (TD 51-53).


As the Montfort Father Hupperts remarked, “Montfort recalls so often the Eve-Mary parallel, both in their mutual resemblances and in their opposition, that this truth ought to be considered as one of the pillars of his entire doctrine on the Coredemptrix.”{footnote}J.M. Hupperts, SM, « Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort et sa spiritualité mariale », in Maria: Études sur la Sainte Vierge Vol. III:260.{/footnote} For Saint Louis-Marie as for Saint Irenaeus, by Her obedience the Virgin Mary became the “cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race” (cf. TD 53).{footnote}Saint Irénaeus of Lyon, Adversus Haereses III, 22, 4 [PG 7, col. 959]. Cf. J.A. De Aldama, Sibi causa facta est salutis (S. Ireneo, Adv. Haereses 3, 33, 4), in Ephemerides Mariologicae 16 (1966) 291-321.{/footnote} And the Virgin Mary contributed to the redemptive sacrifice insofar as She was the victim co-sacrificed in union with Jesus, and that She offered Her immolated and crucified Son for the redemption of the world (cf. TD 18 et LFC 31).{footnote}It should be pointed out that the comparison between Mary (Jn 19:25) and Abraham, the father of believers (Gen 22:2ff.) in the sacrifice of the only Son, was taken up again and developed by Pope John Paul II in Redemptoris Mater (#14ff.).{/footnote} When Montfort affirms that the Virgin Mary immolated and sacrificed Her Son, he does not intend to propose a pia interpretatio [pious interpretation] nor to employ metaphoric and poetic language,{footnote}Contrary to the judgment pronounced by R. Laurentin, Dieu seul est ma tendress 171-173.{/footnote} but he takes it for certain truth that Jesus Christ chose Her to be “his inseparable companion in his life, death, glory and power in heaven and on earth” (TD 74). As Clément Dillenschneider justly remarked, Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort never cites the authors who reduce Mary’s cooperation to participation in the Redemption in actu secundo or otherwise referred to as subjective Redemption or only to the application of the fruits of the Redemption.{footnote}Cf. C. Dillensch neider, c.ss.r, Marie au service de notre Rédemption- Le mérite médiateur de la nouvelle Eve dans l’Economie rédemptrice (Haguenau, 1947) 164-170; 186-200.{/footnote} On the contrary, our author drew great profit from reading the writings of François Poiré (1584-1637) and of Jean-Jacques Olier (1608-1657) which embody a true doctrine on Marian cooperation in the work of the Redemption itself.

Today, many commentators on the writings of Montfort make a point of repeating that Louis-Marie de Montfort never made use of the word coredemptrix in his treatises even though his reading of authors like F. Poiré and P. Grenier would have made him familiar with the term:{footnote}Cf. Patrick Gaffney, SM, ” Mary”, in Jesus Living in Mary: Handbook of the Spirituality of St. Louis Marie de Montfort (Bayshore, NY: Montfort Publications, 1994) 708 and note 59, p. 723.{/footnote} “Montfort,” writes P. Gaffney for example, “never employs the word coredemptrix-and assuredly of set purpose-in any of his writings, for fear of being poorly understood by Calvinists and also by the Catholics of his time. Nonetheless, Mary’s unique role in the redemption is clearly maintained by the missionary.”{footnote}Patrick Gaffney, SM, « Une vision d’ensemble de la spiritualité montfortaine », in Louis-Marie de Montfort -Théologie spirituelle (Rome: Centre Internationale Montfortain, Rome, 2002) 39.{/footnote}

If this last affirmation leaves no doubt, the previous one merits a few clarifications and nuances. First of all, the reading of the biographies of Grignion de Montfort do not lead one to think that our missionary was preoccupied in the least to be understood by the Calvinists. If he did not make use of the adjective co-rédemptrice in his writings (below it will be necessary for us to bring other nuances to bear on this subject), this was assuredly not to placate the partisans of the Reformation. Rather, it is of notable importance to recall that the year of Louis-Marie Grignion’s birth (1673) coincided with that of the publication, in Latin at Ghent in 1673, then in French at Lille the following year, of the Monita salutaria B. V. Mariae ad cultores suos indiscretos, the celebrated “pamphlet originating from the rigorist milieu hostile to the Jesuits,”{footnote}M. Olphe-Galliard, «Crasset», in Dictionnaire de Spiritualité ascétique et mystique, II, 2, col. 2516. The Avis salutaires de la Bienheureuse Vierge à ses dévots indiscrets of A. Widenfeld did not fail to stir up, beyond the condemnation by the Holy See which placed it on the Index of Forbidden Books (1676), a spirited controversy and the production of many works treating of Marian devotion.{/footnote} from the pen of a jurist of the Rhineland named Adam Widenfeld (1618-1678). His Salutary Advice of the Blessed Virgin to her Indiscreet Devotees [Avis salutaires de la Bienheureuse Vierge à ses dévots indiscrets] contains, among other things, the sadly celebrated formula: “Beware of taking away from God in order to honor me as did the Collydirians … Do not call me Salvatrix and Coredemptrix.“{footnote}A. Widenfeld, Monita salutaria B. Virginis ad cultores suos indiscretos, Gand, 1673, 8-9. On Widenfeld: Cf. M. Hauke, « La cooperazione attiva di Maria alla Redenzione. Prospettiva storica », in Maria «unica cooperatrice alla redenzione», Atti del Simposio sul Mistero della Corredenzione Mariana, Fatima (Portogallo) 3-7 maggio 2005 (New Bedford: Academy of the Immaculate, 2005) 198-199 (in particular notes 96 to 98).{/footnote} The resonances of this controversy are recognized in the works of Grignion de Montfort, notably on several pages of the Treatise on True Devotion evoking, without the slighest possible doubt, the error of the Jansenists as well as of the Avis salutaires of Widenfeld:

These people seldom speak of your Mother or devotion to her. They say that they are afraid that devotion to her will be abused and that you will be offended by excessive honor paid to her … These critical devotees are for the most part proud scholars, people of independent and self-satisfied minds, who deep down in their hearts have a vague sort of devotion to the Holy Virgin. However, they criticize nearly all those forms of devotion to her which simple and pious people use to honor their good Mother just because such practices do not appeal to them. … These false devotees, these proud worldly people are greatly to be feared. They do untold harm to devotion to Our Lady. While pretending to correct abuses, they succeed only too well in turning people away from this devotion (TD 64; 93).

Whatever may have been the motives, perhaps linked to this polemical context, because of which Grignion de Montfort did not use the adjective coredemptrix in his treatises, scientific precision and concern for objectivity oblige us to call attention to two mentions of this qualifier in a manuscript not destined for publication but which, nevertheless, is a part of the corpus of Monfort’s writings: we speak of the Notebook [Cahier de Notes] already cited.{footnote}Cf. Cahier de Notes de saint Louis-Marie de Montfort, text of the mimeographed typescript, transcribed by Pierre Eijkeler, sm, no date, pp. XXVI-313. Contrary to the recent peremptory affirmations of B. Guitteny, this Cahier de Notes which collects the “honey” of numerous lectures taken down at Saint Sulpice by the seminarian, then by the young priest Grignion with pen in hand, is in no way an “anonymous compilation of texts assembled” by other missionaries in preparation for preaching (cf. B. Guitteny, in Nouvelle Revue Théologique 125 (2003) 99-114). If it only reveals to us but some of the sources from which Louis-Marie drew this precious Cahier de notes, it already testifies to his own familiarity with numerous authors, of whom the principal ones are the following: the Capuchins Louis-François d’Argentan (+1680), Bernardin de Paris (+1685); the Jesuit who became a Franciscan, Johannes de Carthagena (1563-1618); Cardinal Pierre de Bérulle (1575-1629); Henri-Marie Boudon (1624-1702); François Bourgoing (1585-1662), the first editor of the Oeuvres Complètes of Bérulle; the Franciscan Bernardino de Bustis (+1500); Jean Pierre Camus (1584-1652) friend and disciple of Francis de Sales; Jean-Jacques Olier (1608-1657) founder of the Society of Saint Sulpice; and also of numerous Jesuits such as Antoine Boissieu (1623-1691), Jean Crasset (1618-1691), François Nepveu (1639-1708), François Poiré (1584-1637), Jean-Baptiste de Saint-Jure (1588-1657), Antonio Spinelli (1555-1615), Franciscus Suarez (1548-1617), the lay writer Pierre Grenier and still other authors. Beyond his knowledge of Scripture and the Fathers, Grignion de Montfort, who died a year after Louis XIV, had thoroughly exploited the riches of his predecessors, to such an extent that his works appear as a characteristic conclusion of the entire heritage of the Grand Siècle, that is to say of the golden century which treated of Marian cooperation in the Redemption.{/footnote} This “ample collection” (TD 41) contains at least three citations meticulously copied by Louis-Marie which demonstrate his evident interest in the doctrine of Marian coredemption.

The most holy Virgin is the mother of all the children of the Church: 1st) because she is the Mother of the Savior … ; 2nd) because she is the Spouse of Our Lord, his companion and his Coredemptrix in the work of our salvation. She was in labor to bring into the world her spiritual children particularly on Calvary, where Our Lord as Father and Mary as Mother brought them into the world (N 91).{footnote}F. Poiré, s.j., La triple couronne de la bienheureuse Vierge Mère de Dieu, tissue de ses principales grandeurs d’Excellence, de Pouvoir et de Bonté, et enrichie de diverses inventions pour l’aimer, l’honorer et la servir, Paris, 1639 (1st ed.: 1630) 457. The 1639 edition known by Saint Louis-Marie was in the library of Saint Sulpice.{/footnote}

Numerous pages of this Notebook (pp. 296-302) are taken up with copying the responses of the lay writer Pierre Grenier to the objections of the Avis of Widenfeld. On the coredemption, Saint Louis-Marie took careful note of this fundamental principle of Grenier:

Jesus Christ is the only principal Cause of our Redemption … The Holy Virgin is one of the most noble instrumental causes. The Cross is revered in a special way as the principal instrument of the Redemption, after the Holy Virgin. Why not the Holy Virgin?{footnote}Cf. Cahier de Notes 296-302.{/footnote}

And finally Montfort noted on the top of a page of his Cahier de Notes, a chapter title from the book of Grenier: “Redemptrix or Coredemptrix” (N 298).{footnote}P. Grenier, Apologie des dévots de la sainte Vierge ou les sentiments de Théotime sur le libelle intitulé: Les Avis salutaires de la Bienheureuse Vierge à ses dévots indiscrets; Sur la lettre Apologétique de son Auteur; et sur les nouveaux Avis en forme de réflexions ajoutées au libelle, (Brussels, 1675) 160.{/footnote}

It is evident that the question which Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort was posing was not at all to know if the Virgin Mary had cooperated or not in an entirely unique way in our salvation, but rather to know in terms of this cooperation, as unique as it is certain, if it is more appropriate to describe the Virgin Mary as “Redemptrix” or else as “Coredemptrix”! Let us not forget that up to and including the Grand Siècle, it was towards the term Redemptrix which the preference was inclined; thereafter the theologians would more and more use the word Coredemptrix.{footnote}Cf. R. Laurentin, Le titre de Corédemptrice. Etude historique, (Rome: Éditions «Marianum»; Paris: Nouvelles Éditions Latines, 1951) 19.{/footnote} Montfort had chosen to devote all of his ministry to the poorest of his time to whom he wished to preach a sure doctrine in a language which had met the test. Seeing that the other learned men of his time were still hesitating between the term Redemptrix and that of Coredemptrix, he abstained from using the one or the other in his treatises which are the reflections of his sermons. To interpret today, the absence of the word Coredemptrix in the treatises of Montfort, as a deliberate refusal of this word to express the unique association of Mary in the work of salvation sets up, in our opinion, one more minimalist postconciliar anachronism among so many others.

One should further note that if the term Coredemptrix, which figures twice in the Cahier de Notes, is not found again in the major writings of our author, on the other hand, he did not hesitate in any way to make use, on several occasions in his treatises, of the titles of “Mediatrix” (LEW 223; TD 28, 55, 86; SM 36) and of “Advocate” (TD 55, 150; SM 36, 56) of which the traditional usage was confirmed by the Second Vatican Council (cf. LG, 62). In number 86 of the Treatise on True Devotion, Saint Louis-Marie, in a certain way, unites these two titles of Mediatrix and of Advocate, in affirming that “To go to Jesus, we should go to Mary; she is our Mediatrix of intercession” (TD 86).{footnote}The best theological reading of #86 of the Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin is found in the study of L. Giuliani, «La cooperazione di Maria alla nostra redenzione e s. Luigi M. G. da Montfort» in Marianum 10 (1948) 62-63.{/footnote} The actual role of intercession which is that of the Virgin Mary, is the result of her entire contribution to the economy of salvation and especially her collaboration in the work of Redemption on Calvary.{footnote}The maternal mediation of intercession was developed by Pope John Paul II in his Encyclical Redemptoris Mater (#40). See also J. Galot, sj, «L’intercession de Marie» in Maria: Études sur la Sainte Vierge (Paris: Beauchesne et Ses Fils, 1961) Vol. VI, 515-550.{/footnote}

In this regard, it is essential to state that Montfort made use not only of the titles of Mediatrix and of Advocate, but also that of “Reparatrix” (cf. TD 28, 175):

Such is the will of almighty God who exalts the humble, that the powers of heaven, earth and hell, willingly or unwillingly, must obey the commands of the humble Virgin Mary. For God has made her queen of heaven and earth, leader of his armies, keeper of his treasures, dispenser of his graces, worker of his wonders, restorer (reparatrix) of the human race, the mediatrix on behalf of men, destroyer of his enemies and the faithful associate in his great works and triumphs (TD 28).

Mary is the Virgin most faithful who by her fidelity to God repairs the losses caused by Eve’s unfaithfulness. She obtains fidelity to God and final perseverance for those who commit themselves to her (TD 175).

As employed by Montfort, this title of Reparatrix to which Msgr. Calkins has recently devoted a specific and very well documented study,{footnote}Cf. A.B. 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) 223-232.{/footnote} is found already among certain Fathers of the Church and Doctors of the Middle Ages, and was subsequently adopted by several Popes (Blessed Pius IX, Leo XIII, Saint Pius X and Pius XI).

The idea that Mary, united to her Son, repairs or restores the fallen world is an assertion which Montfort had met in the writings of Poiré and Crasset.{footnote}Cf. J. Stern, «Reparation», in Jesus Living in Mary: Handbook of the Spirituality of St. Louis Marie de Montfort 1042.{/footnote} In his Cahier de Notes, Saint Louis-Marie had carefully noted a citation-the fruit of his good reading-which he sometimes attributed to Saint Anselm, sometimes to Saint Bernardine, but which, in fact, comes from De excellentia Virginis Mariae of Eadmer of Canterbury: “Incomparabili pietate haec promeruit, ut reparatrix perditi orbis dignissima fieret” [By an incomparable piety She merited these things, that She might become the Reparatrix of a fallen world].{footnote}Eadmer, De excellentia Virginis Mariae, c. 9; PL 159, 573 D. Cf. Le Cahier de Notes de Montfort, 57-60.{/footnote} It was in taking inspiration from this same formula that Pope Saint Pius X, who was also a fervent admirer of the Treatise of Grignion de Montfort, employed the title of Reparatrix in his Encyclical Ad diem illum (1904).{footnote}Saint Pius X, Encyclical Ad diem illum, 2 February 1904, in ASS 36 (1903-1904) 449-462: “From this community of will and suffering between Christ and Mary ‘she merited to become the worthy reparatrix of the lost world‘ and consequently the dispensatrix of all the graces which our Savior purchased for us by his death and by his blood.” According to Ernest Mura, it is possible to recognize in substance in the Encyclical Ad diem illum a transposition of the doctrine of Montfort: “Frequently one finds in this Marian Encyclical not only the most familiar thoughts of the great servant of Mary, but often even his very expressions” (E. Mura, Le Corps mystique du Christ, sa nature et sa vie divine-Synthèse de théologie dogmatique, ascétique et mystique, Vol. II-Vie du Corps mystique (Paris, 1937) 143, note 2.{/footnote}

For François Poiré, the author of the Triple Couronne, from which Grignion de Montfort knew very well how to profit, the holy Fathers did not content themselves to call Mary “Reparatrix simply for having brought the Reparator into the world; they passed much beyond and considered the most sacred Virgin as Mother and as Spouse of the Father of the world to come; they recognized in her a certain power, by which she united her free consent and agreed upon delivering her Son and her Spouse for us, thus cooperating in a very special way in our salvation and our redemption.”{footnote}F. Poiré, La triple couronne, 2e Tr., Ch. 6, §4, T. II, p. 255. Cited in Poupon, Le poème de la parfaite consécration à Marie suivant saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort 160.{/footnote}

From the linguistic point of view, as Msgr. Gherardini has judiciously remarked, the word “Reparatrix” is not less bold than the word “Coredemptrix”-much to the contrary:

‘Coredemptrix’ is one thing, another again is Redemptrix, Salvatrix, Reparatrix: these are titles which have been used and which could sound still more dangerous in terms of provoking fear, because they insinuate the idea of the exclusivity and salvific autonomy of Mary, or at the least of a parallel task with respect to that of Christ, Redeemer, Saviour, Restorer. ‘Coredemptrix’ connotes instead a person not already operating autonomously, but rather in collaboration.{footnote}B. Gherardini, La Corredentrice nel mistero di Cristo e della Chiesa (Rome: Edoizioni Vivere In “Collana Intellectus Fidei” 9, 1998) 371.{/footnote}

And from the doctrinal point of view, as Fathers Miotto and Manelli have clearly emphazised, it is necessary to highlight the double equivalence “between the Reparatrix with reference to the Coredemptrix, and the Dispensatrix of all gifts with reference to the Mediatrix of all graces.”{footnote}S.M. Miotto, FI, “La voce dei santi e la Corredentrice”, in AA.VV., Maria Corredentrice-Storia et Teologia (Frigento: Casa Mariana Editrice, 2000) Vol. III, 201.{/footnote}

6. Conclusion

An indissoluble union of doctrine and experience, the teaching of Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort contains a valuable contribution on the mystery of the association of Mary to the sacrifice of Jesus, her participation in the mediation of Christ and, as advocate, in the intercession of Jesus. The Marian doctrine of Montfort can then contribute not only to a coherent presentation of devotion, but also to the place of Mary in worship and doctrine, and thus to a more profound understanding of the mystery of the “absolutely unique” cooperation (cf. LG, 61) of Mary in the Redemption. When Pope John Paul II chose to make use, on several occasions, of the word “Coredemptrix” in texts which involve the ordinary papal magisterium, he was not unfaithful in any way to the thought of him from whom he borrowed his episcopal motto Totus Tuus. In Saint Louis- Marie de Montfort as in Pope John Paul II, the contemplative understanding of the mystery of Marian coredemption and mediation is integrated and controlled by a splendid theology of motherhood: “As Mother,” Father Léthel recapitulates, “Mary is intimately present in the coming of the Son into the world in the Incarnation and his return to the Father in the Redemption.”{footnote}F.M. Léthel, «Marie Toute Sainte et Toute Immaculée dans le Mystère du Christ et de l’Eglise: la doctrine de saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort à la lumière du Concile Vatican II», in Path 3 (2004) 541-542. {/footnote} May the cause of the beatification and canonization of the Servant of God John Paul II (1920-2005) and the cause of the doctorate of Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716), promote more, thorough studies of their eminent contributions to the deeper appreciation of this truth and, thus, also serve the cause of a future dogmatic definition, as solemn and precise as possible, of Mary Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate.

This article was excerpted from Mary at the Foot of the Cross – VII: Coredemptrix, Therefore Mediatrix of All Graces, Academy of the Immaculate, 2008.