Our Mother’s participation in the Redemption has been profoundly expressed by our Holy Father in his Wednesday Audience of April 2, 1997, in which he said the following about Our Lady’s participation in the historic redemptive act of Jesus Christ:


“Mary joins her suffering to Jesus’ priestly sacrifice. With our gaze illumined by the radiance of the Resurrection, we pause to reflect on the Mother’s involvement in her Son’s redeeming Passion, which was completed by her sharing in his suffering. Let us return again, but now in the perspective of the Resurrection, to the foot of the Cross, where the Mother endured ‘with her only begotten Son the intensity of His suffering, associated herself with His sacrifice in her Mother’s heart, and lovingly consented to the immolation of this victim which was born of her’ (Lumen Gentium, n.58).

With these words, the Council reminds us of ‘Mary’s compassion’; in her heart reverberates all that Jesus suffers in body and soul, emphasizing her willingness to share in her Son’s redeeming sacrifice and to join her own maternal suffering to his priestly offering.

The Council text also stresses that her consent to Jesus’ immolation is not passive acceptance but a genuine act of love, by which she offers her Son as a ‘victim’ of expiation for the sins of all humanity.

Lastly, Lumen Gentium relates the Blessed Virgin to Christ, who has the lead role in Redemption, making it clear that in associating herself ‘with his sacrifice’ she remains subordinate to her divine Son.

. . . Mary’s hope at the foot of the Cross contains a light stronger than the darkness that reigns in many hearts: in the presence of the redeeming Sacrifice, the hope of the Church and of humanity is born in Mary.” (3)


In his Wednesday Audience of April 9th, 1997, the Holy Father further elucidates:


“Mary’s co-operation is unique and unrepeatable. However, applied to Mary, the term ‘co-operator’ acquires a specific meaning. The collaboration of Christians in salvation takes place after the Calvary event, whose fruits they endeavor to spread by prayer and sacrifice. Mary, instead, co-operated during the event itself and in the role of mother; thus her co-operation embraces the whole of Christ’s saving work. She alone was associated in this way with the redemptive sacrifice that merited the salvation of all mankind. In union with the Christ and in submission to him, she collaborated in obtaining the grace of salvation for all humanity.” (4)


Not only is our Mother the Mediatrix of all grace, distributing the grace of Calvary, but the Pope tells us here that she also (and first of all) participates sacrificially in the event, she actively participates in the acquisition of the graces of the Redemption. In the obtaining of the graces of Calvary as the New Eve with the New Adam, she takes an intimate part in what has been called “objective redemption.” She is Mediatrix of all grace because she is first the Coredemptrix.


To reject the gift of Mary Coredemptrix is to reject the final gift of the crucified Lord to each human heart. Why do many have difficulty accepting this gift? We are living in a time of great confusion, and thus some think that to speak the whole truth about Mary is a violation of authentic Catholic ecumenism. I would say in the most explicit terms that in order to be fully ecumenical we must be fully Marian. It is only through the full truth about the Mother that we find the foundation for ultimate Christian unity.


During times of doubt we can hear the words of the Savior saying to us, and saying to our separated brothers and sisters from Calvary, “It is I who give you my Mother. It is I” (cf. Jn 19:26). The gift of Mary’s motherhood comes from the merciful heart of the Crucified, and it is given to every single human being. This is not a gift initiated by the Mother; it is initiated by our Savior himself.