Intro

Published on February 26, 2012 by in News Commentary

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A Marian Lent

Published on February 22, 2012 by in Audio - Mariology, MOAP Radio

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A Marian Lent

Published on February 22, 2012 by in Mariology

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Our Lady of Lourdes and The Lady of All Nations from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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The Comings of Christ and the Fifth Marian Dogma from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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VATICAN CITY, April 11, 2008 (Vatican Information Services) – The Holy Father sent a telegram to Cardinal Norbero Rivera Carrera, archbishop of Mexico, Mexico, for the April 10 death at the age of 88 of Cardinal Ernesto Corripio Ahumada, archbishop emeritus of the same archdiocese.

“Deeply saddened by the death of the beloved Cardinal Ernesto Corripio Ahumada, archbishop emeritus of Mexico, following a lengthy illness borne with great serenity,” the Pope wrote, “I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to you, to the relatives of the late cardinal and to all the beloved Mexican people. I join you in commending this zealous pastor who served his people with such charity to the mercy of the heavenly Father.

The Holy Father continued: “His generous and intense episcopal ministry in Tampico and later as archbishop of Antequera, Puebla de los Angeles and Mexico, as well as his service as president of his country’s episcopal conference for a number of years, all testify to his immense love for God and for the Church, and his great dedication to the cause of the Gospel.”

From the Editor

His Eminence Cardinal Ernesto Corripio Ahumada, spiritual father of the Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici movement, was the first Latin American cardinal or bishop from whom we received a petition letter to Pope John Paul II for the fifth Marian dogma.

For the past 15 years, he has been an authentic champion and in one sense the greatest champion from the greatest Catholic contingent in the world—Latin America—for the fifth Marian dogma.

His loss will be greatly mourned and missed and yet we know that he will continue all the more powerfully for Our Lady’s final dogmatic crowning.

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Abomination of Desolation, Part 1 from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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“Do You Want to Save Time?” from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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Abomination of Desolation, Part 2 from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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Lord, Almighty God,
Life is not for our destruction-but for our living.

You remain ever one and the same in Yourself,
but there goes forth from you continually
a power and virtue, which by its contact
is our strength and good….

The living God is life giving.
You are the font and the center,
as well as the seat of all good.
And so, make me like Yourself, O, My God,
since, in spite of myself,
such you can make me, such I can be made….

Lord, I am asking for Yourself,
for nothing short of You, O My God,
who has given Yourself wholly to us.

Enter into my heart substantially and personally
And fill it with fervor by filling it with You.

You alone can fill the soul of men,
and you have promised to do so.
You are the living Flame,
And You are ever burning with love of man.

Enter into me and set me on fire
after Your pattern and likeness. (1)

This prayer by the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman at once bespeaks the sublimity of the gift of human life and the sublimity of the gift of Eucharistic union with God Himself.

The Eucharist and the Unborn Child mutually embody a supernatural sacredness in hidden forms.

The Eucharist is the Omnipotent God made man in His most precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, but humbly hidden, veiled under the appearance of bread and wine. The unborn child is a living icon of the Omnipotent God, sacred and precious, but likewise humbly hidden from the world’s eyes, veiled in the womb

The heavenly choirs of angels surround their Lord in the Eucharist in constant and perpetual adoration, praise, and love. The heavenly angels are also sent to reverence and protect the sacredness of every unborn child from the moment of conception, in obedience to God the Father of all mankind, and in conformity with the testimony of the Redeemer: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven” (Mt. 18:10).

The Mother from whom the Savior received His flesh and blood, His nurturing in inexpressible love, and His companionship throughout His earthly mission, which culminated at the cross in a bloody sacrifice of redemption, was Mary Immaculate.

The Mother, to whom every unborn child has been spiritually entrusted by the Crucified Christ at Calvary as members of the human family (cf. Jn. 19:25-27) is likewise Mary Immaculate, the spiritual mother who nurtures them in her inexpressible love and who is their maternal companion throughout life, even when their life is tragically ended in a bloody sacrifice in a Calvary of the womb. The Mother of the Eucharist is also the Mother of the Unborn.

The Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, in His great kenosis to become man (cf. Ph. 2:5-11) and in His further unprecedented self-emptying in becoming a living Sacrament in the Eucharist, makes Himself exceedingly vulnerable (as all great acts of love make us vulnerable). Likewise, God the Father has willed that all later sons and daughters in the womb would enter life in the state of being exceedingly vulnerable, but with the desire that these unborn treasures be recognized and reverenced as sacred during that time of vulnerability.

With all things sacred, there is inherently the proximate danger of sacrilege. Sacrilege is to treat something sacred in an unsacred manner. Eucharistic sacrilege is the greatest abomination that man can commit in the supernatural order. It is ironic that the Catholic faithful (and members of our Eastern Lung, the Orthodox faithful) are joined in our belief in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist by members of Satanic cults. Satanic cults take the risk of entering into Catholic Churches in efforts to get possession of Holy Communion for the sake of their Satanic rites of Eucharistic sacrilege.

Why? Because the summit of sacrilege demands the summit of the sacred, and there is nothing more sacred on the face of this earth than our Eucharistic Jesus. To this, even Satan himself assents.

Abortion, too, is by its very nature a sacrilege. Abortion is, in its own order of creation, the natural order, the greatest abomination that man can commit. Abortion is to willingly and violently destroy the greatest icon of God the Father in the natural order, an icon signed in His own image and likeness. With the sacrilege of abortion, the sacredness of human life is, by extension, sacrileged in all other spheres of human existence.

We see this, for example, with the January 12, 2005, announcement by the Dutch Royal Medical Association in Holland, which concluded a three-year study of euthanasia with the ruling that now permits Dutch doctors to kill any non-infirm human being who is solely “suffering from life.” The sacrilege of the life in the womb leads to the sacrilege of life outside of the womb.

The sacrilege of abortion, moreover, leads to the sacrilege of the family and of God’s commandment to “Honor your mother and father.” In the state of California it is now easier for a minor to get an abortion than to purchase a tan. A new state law prohibits youth under fourteen from entering a tanning center, and those from fourteen to seventeen need parental permission. But California courts recently upheld the “right” of a minor to have an abortion and miss school without parental consent. In Great Britain in July of 2004, the Department of Health published guidelines allowing doctors to provide abortions for girls under sixteen without informing their parents. One in five abortions in Britain involves a teenager, and about 3500 girls under sixteen have abortions annually. South African high courts also ruled in 2004 that girls under eighteen can exercise the “right” of abortion without parental consent.

Thus parental authority is sacrificed upon the altar of abortion in a domestic abomination.

Back in the United States where approximately twenty-five percent of all pregnancies end in abortion, there are now numerous studies that identify a link between abortion and breast cancer. The pro-abortion social climate, however, is contributing to a denial of this information, which is directly endangering the lives of women. Abortion sacrilege leads to family sacrilege; to sacrilege of our youth; and to sacrilege of our women.

We must continue to wage the battle for the unborn child today with unmitigated fervor, compromised neither by the length of time we have been at battle (now, over thirty years since Roe v. Wade), nor by our own human prognoses of potential future political success or failure. As long as there is a single unborn child at risk we have our mission, regardless of the dubious agendas or inconsistencies of U.S. judges, court rulings, and legislation. We must adopt the mind and heart of the Savior, who accepts the mission to save souls one person at a time out of obedience to the Heavenly Father and in virtue of the unquestioned necessity of human redemption. Abba Father’s desire for each one of us to pray and work to protect His own unborn image, and the necessity to do so in our tragic times of the culture of death, is simply beyond question.

But it is high time to wage the battle for the sacredness of the unborn with the omnipotent “weapon” of the Eucharist. Divine hidden holiness will come to the rescue of human hidden holiness, if we, the People of God, will cooperate in releasing the cosmic powers of our Eucharistic Jesus on behalf of our unborn brothers and sisters.

Beyond the imperative for political action, we must also utilize the inestimable graces of the Eucharist for the defense of the child in utero. Whenever we attend the holy sacrifice of the Mass and receive the Bread of Angels, we must petition heaven with full hearts for the end of the scourge of abortion. We must offer Holy Hours of Eucharistic adoration with the special intention of protection for our unborn children. We can also offer spiritual communions regularly for the end of abortion, and especially during our pro-life activities, for example, offering spiritual communions every hour or half hour when driving to pro-life functions, or during abortion clinic prayer rallies.

The sacredness of the unborn child will only truly be restored through the sacredness of the Eucharist.

Let us each do our own part, especially with so much at stake, to rescue the hidden child in the womb through the untold power of the hidden Jesus in the Eucharist. Mass, Eucharistic reception, and Eucharistic adoration have the supernatural power to change the course of human history. That is precisely what we need right now—a change in the present course of human history—a change for unborn life. Let us pursue this goal, with the commitment to fidelity and to eventual success, with the hope and assurance that truly nothing is impossible with our Eucharistic God (cf. Lk. 1:37).

 

Notes

(1) Ven. Henry Cardinal Newman, as quoted in M.V. Bernadot, O.P., The Eucharist and the Trinity, Michael Glazier, Inc., p. 43

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The New Testament prophecy of the climax of Mary’s role as Co-redemptrix comes from the inspired words of Simeon at the Presentation of the infant Lord to the Temple (cf. Lk 2:25-37). It is here, by the power of the Holy Spirit (cf. Lk 2:26-27), that Mary receives the prophetic message of Simeon foretelling the climactic sharing by the Mother of Jesus in the price of Redemption.

The Virgin Mother, though not truly bound under a law given for an expiation of sin, nevertheless obediently subjected herself to the Mosaic Law. In the Temple she fulfills the duties of ritual purification, offering the “poor offering” of one young pigeon for a holocaust and another for a sin offering. There, too, she offers her male-child to the Lord. (1)

In this great paradox, the Mother and Son, who will offer themselves as the “sin offering” for all humanity at Calvary, enter the Temple humbly and offer a sacrifice for the son who is the redemptive Sacrifice itself. In truth the Mother is offering the “rich offering” of the Lamb, the Paschal Lamb whom the Eternal Father will accept when his “hour” has come; the Lamb who is both Victim and High Priest. (2)

Simeon himself is most likely not a priest, but rather one of the “anawim,” a blessed poor one, faithful to Yahweh and His covenant. He is an old man of prayer and expectation, a simple member of the faithful, a humble voice of the vox populi, awaiting the Messiah in order that he may journey to his eternal home in peace.

The Temple is first and foremost a place of sacrifice. All that takes place during the event of the Presentation is a real and mysterious foreshadowing of Calvary, with the same two public persons, Jesus and Mary. Mary offers the child in perfect obedience to the redemptive decrees of God—at the Temple and at Golgotha—effecting a historical sharing in humanity’s liberation. She performs the offering of the Child to the Eternal Father, joined by the co-offering of herself for the unified goal of Redemption.

“Inspired by the Holy Spirit” (Lk 2:27), Simeon comes into the temple and recognizes the child as the “salvation” (Lk. 2:30) prepared in the presence of all peoples, as “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for the glory to thy people Israel” (v. 32). Taking the infant Redeemer in his arms, he proclaims: “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the presence of all the peoples” (Lk 2:29-31). Simeon’s inspired words about the future Redeemer correspond to the meaning of the name given to him by the angel, “Jesus,” which means “God is salvation.” (3) The redemptive mission of the child Jesus was also made known to the temple prophetess Anna, who “gave thanks to God and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem” (Lk. 2:38).

After his extraordinary proclamation the holy Simeon turns his gaze to the Mother of salvation. He blesses them and then prophesies that she too, in virtue of her motherly relation to the sign of contradiction, will experience a life and mission of suffering “with Jesus”: “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is rejected—and a sword shall pierce through your own soul, too—that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Lk. 2:34-35).

If the Sign is rejected, then the Mother of the Sign will be rejected. This sorrowful annunciation to her confirms that her intimate sharing in the redemptive work of her Son will be at the price of profound suffering. What mother does not share in the suffering of her son when her son is contradicted? But if her son is the prophesied sign of contradiction (in relation to which all hearts will be “revealed,” either for or against the true Redeemer), then she experiences not merely a moment of pain at the Temple, but a lifetime of pain as the Mother united to the Sign, a Mother suffering “with Salvation.” No greater sacrifice will ever be asked by the Father of all mankind than the one asked of this Son and Mother, with its defining moment at the tree of Calvary. John Paul II tells us:

Simeon’s words seem like a second Annunciation to Mary, for they tell her of the actual historical situation in which the Son is to accomplish his mission, namely, in misunderstanding and sorrow. While this announcement, on the one hand, confirms her faith in the accomplishment of the divine promises of salvation, on the other hand, it also reveals to her that she will have to live her obedience of faith in suffering, at the side of the suffering Savior, and that her motherhood will be mysterious and sorrowful. (4)

Thus this sacrifice begins long before Calvary. Indeed, the sufferings of the Mother begin before the sufferings of the Son. Just as Mary anticipated her Son’s stainless entry into the human family by her Immaculate Conception, so too did the Mother go before her Son in the order of suffering that would lead to the climax of Redemption on the Cross. The coredeeming Mother of the Savior was eternally predestined (5) to sacrifice and suffering in her election by the Heavenly Father. Indeed, Mary anticipated her Son’s suffering at Calvary in her motherly heart. “Where Mary is, Jesus will soon appear;” (6) and for the Child destined to suffer, the Mother must also precede. The Mother always went before the Son in the order of suffering.

Therefore, from the moment of the Presentation, for a period of over thirty years, the Immaculate Heart painfully ponders the prophecy of Simeon, back and forth on different levels of consciousness and concurrent sorrow. From this moment on, her heart is pierced in anticipation due to the knowledge of the suffering awaiting her innocent Child. She will ultimately share the piercing of his Heart, to which hers is indissolubly united. “They shall look on him whom they have pierced” (Jn. 19:37), and the pierced Heart of Mary will “suffer with” the Pierced Heart of Jesus, from which the blood and water of Redemption is destined to flow.

 

Endnotes

(1) Cf. Lev. 12:2, 8.

(2) Cf. Rt. Rev. Aloys Schaefer, The Mother of Jesus in Holy Scripture (trans. from the German by Rt. Rev. Ferdinand Brossart), Frederick Pustet, 1913, p. 186.

(3) Cf. John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, n. 16.

(4) Ibid. Note: Certainly Mary’s knowledge of the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53, coupled with the words of the angel and Simeon regarding her messiah-son and his mission, made the Mother of Jesus keenly aware of her joint call with her Son in a salvific effort that would be immersed in profound suffering.

(5) Cf. Ibid., n. 3

(6) John Paul II, Papal address at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Alborada, Guayaquil, Ecuador, January 31, 1985, L’Osservatore Romano, March 11, 1985, p. 6.

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The following presentation was delivered by Dr. Mark Miravalle at the national Lady of All Nations Prayer Day in Amsterdam on May 23, 2010, Pentecost Sunday. – Asst. Ed.

On March 25th of this year, an international representation of members of Catholic hierarchy, the theological community, and laity gathered at the Vatican Forum in Rome to voice their favor for a solemn definition of Our Lady’s Spiritual Motherhood of humanity, both for truth’s sake and as a Marian remedy for the grave woes presently facing the Church.  In the minds of a significant number of cardinals, bishops, theologians and laity, the best defense for the papacy of Benedict XVI in its present reception of ubiquitous attack is a Marian offense

Within the six months preceding the Roman Day of Dialogue, international Catholic press agencies had reported petition letters from collective groups of cardinals and bishops from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe which all respectively requested the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, make whatever he deemed appropriate as the next positive step towards the solemn papal definition of Our Lady as the Spiritual Mother of all humanity under its three essential aspects as Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces and Advocate.  This international petitioning by world cardinals and bishops, combined with the previous January 1, 2008 request of five cardinals to all the world bishops to join their petition for this dogma, encouraged Inside the Vatican magazine to organize the Vatican Forum Symposium on the issue.

This Roman “Day of Dialogue” on a fifth Marian dogma (video presentations are available on www.insidethevatican.com ) highlighted bishops from four continents, Catholic and Protestant theologians, and even Vatican ambassadors.

“We believe the fifth Marian Dogma will help protect us from disasters.”  So said Ambassador Mercedes Tuason, Philippines Ambassador to the Vatican.  Ambassador Tuason read a letter from Philippines President, Gloria Arroyo, which was addressed and presented to Pope Benedict XVI on October 2, 2009, in which the President of the Philippines requested the papal definition of Mary as the Spiritual Mother of all humanity on behalf of the Filipino nation.

Asian bishops at the Vatican Forum Dialogue raised a strong voice in favor of the Marian dogma as a powerful aid in the Christian evangelization of Asia, and in particular, China. Issues which have dominated, and to a large degree paralyzed, ecumenical dialogues in the first world regarding Mary (for example, the communion of saints, sola gratia, sola fide, etc.), were discussed as fundamentally irrelevant to the myriad of still unbaptized peoples of Asia. “The Chinese symbol for love is a mother holding a child”, commented Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa, Philippines.  He went on to explain that the concept of a mother bringing mercy and redemption to her children from a god is a standard and very acceptable idea in Asian culture.  In fact, in some cases where an oriental belief system does not have a feminine intercessor between themselves and a god, they will invent one.  “We already have one”, stated Archbishop Arguelles, “in the person of Mary, Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces and Advocate.”

Archbishop M. Chinnappa of Madras, India confirmed this same Asian appeal of a mother who brings God’s grace and mercy to humanity. He reported that the multi-religious peoples of India as the world’s second largest country flock to Marian shrines because of the comfort they receive from the concept and the actual intercession of a mother.  Archbishop Chinnappa also referred to the enthusiastic reception he has received from Muslims, Hindus and Christians alike to his own repeated teachings of Our Lady’s role as the human race’s spiritual mother and of its solemn papal proclamation-an enthusiastically positive response which he has received not only in India, but in the other 10 countries in which he has preached and taught the need for a fifth Marian dogma.

Former Argentine Military Bishop, Bishop A. Baseotto, defended the Co-redemptrix title as a traditional and appropriate Catholic title to describe Mary’s historic sufferings with Jesus in the work of Redemption.  The Argentine prelate, well-known for his courageous stand against the Argentine government’s use of contraception and abortion back in 2004, relayed the massive Latin American support for this potential papal Marian definition, which include hundreds of bishops, millions of faithful, and contemplative religious sisters and brothers in the thousands who daily pray that Pope Benedict will proclaim this Marian dogma.

The principal objection posed to the Marian definition over the last few years has been its alleged negative effect on ecumenism, under the protest that  several Christian bodies outside of communion with Rome would oppose any expression of papal infallibility, let alone a Marian definition. In response, Anglican theologian, Dr. Judith Gentle, a member of Our Lady of Walsingham Mariological Society in England, referred to the potential Marian dogma by the Roman pope as that which would constitute the actual remedy for the ecumenical difficulties we presently face.

“Far from being the obstacle”, remarked Dr. Gentle, “the entrance of a mother into the efforts to unite the family of Christ is precisely what is needed at this point in the ecumenical journey.”  The Anglican theologian stated that she and many other “households of Christian faith” look to the “bishop of Rome” as the only person and office to effect this ecumenical remedy, by proclaiming and thereby releasing the mother of Jesus to intercede for Christian unity, a unity in the Body of Christ which is simply beyond our own human abilities.

At one point in the dialogue, a member of the audience raised the objection:  “Why impose a new dogma on the people, if this Marian doctrine is already something taught by Church?”   Bishop Joseph Bagobiri of Nigeria responded that the question itself reflected a mistaken concept of Catholic dogma.

“Church dogmas are not imposed, but rather proposed,” the Nigerian bishop stated, in the sense that they reflect divinely revealed truths which call all members of the Church to accept and celebrate.  The better a truth can be proposed in the form of a solemn definition, the more it leads to a proper understanding and free consent to the Gospel truth which the dogma embodies.  One’s freedom comes in when accepting or refusing to be Catholic-not in what doctrines or dogmas, objectively true in themselves, one wishes to assent to as a Catholic.

A dogma is the “perfection of a doctrine”, as Blessed Pius IX noted in his solemn definition of the Immaculate Conception.  If a doctrine is officially taught by the Magisterium, as is the doctrine of Mary’s Spiritual Motherhood, it is already something obliging the faithful to a religious assent of mind and will to the manifest mind of the Pope (cf. Lumen Gentium, 25).

The apparitions and messages of the Lady of All Nations offer supernatural confirmation of the inspiration received by Church leaders such as Cardinal Mercier of Belgium and St. Maximilian Kolbe who had already followed the guidance of the Holy Spirit in initiating and supporting an ecclesial movement for the solemn papal definition of the universal mediation of Our Lady back in the 1920’s. In her profoundly supernatural calls, The Lady of All Nations directs all humanity to “pray the prayer” given by The Lady for the Dogma of Mary, Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate, and to “petition the Holy Father for this dogma” (May 31, 1954).

The Lady also states that the Church itself will become stronger in direct proportion to the positive efforts which Rome will put forth in support of this Marian Dogma:

The new dogma will be the ‘dogma of the Co-redemptrix.’ Notice I lay special emphasis on the “co”.  I have said that it will arouse much controversy.  Once again, I tell you that the Church, Rome, will carry it through and silence all objections.  The Church, Rome, will become stronger and mightier in proportion to the resistance she puts up in the struggle (April 29, 1951).

Our Lady confirms not only the struggle with regards  to the fifth Marian dogma, but  also the prophetic guarantee and providential certainty of its positive fulfillment : ” I know well, the struggle will be hard and bitter (and then the Lady smiles to herself and seems to gaze into the far distance), but the outcome is already assured.” (April 29, 1951).”

Hence, each one of us is called to respond generously to Our Mother’s direct request to daily pray the Prayer of the Lady of All Nations, and to petition the Holy Father for this solemn proclamation, as the Dogma is, in essence, the key to the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary prophesied at Fatima, and constitutes heaven’s ordained means by which to bring a true period of peace into the world through the Mother’s unique intercession:  As the Lady teaches: “When the dogma, the last dogma in Marian history, has been proclaimed, The Lady of All Nations will give peace, true peace to the world.” (May 31, 1954).

In regards to Pope Benedict and his recent Fatima pilgrimage, I am happy to present to you some extremely encouraging news.  During Pope Benedict’s Fatima visit of May 12-13, 2010, our Holy Father used expressions that led various international Catholic news agencies to contact me to ask whether these choice wordings were as significant for the fifth Marian Dogma as they themselves thought.  My answer is “Yes.”

During Pope Benedict’s sublime Prayer of Marian Entrustment of Priests on May 12th, he refers to Our Lady as the “Advocate and Mediatrix of Grace.”  Knowing of the recent international petitioning from cardinals and bishops from four continents, of the requests from Vatican national ambassadors, as well as the over 7 million petitions from the world’s faithful which continue to consistently pour in to the Vatican, several commentators has stated that Pope Benedict would not have used these terms together – terms which have direct association with the request for the fifth Dogma – if he did not wish to send an encouragement to so many of you who have been praying and offering for this dogmatic crown for many years, and to advance a theological preparation for something more.

On the following day, the great May 13 Fatima anniversary, Pope Benedict offered a succinct but profound teaching on Christian coredemption which climaxed with focusing on our universal Spiritual Mother at the foot of the cross.  As the Holy Father was about to process with our Eucharistic Jesus amidst the sick and suffering, he identified those who would unite their sufferings to that of Christ as “redeemers with the Redeemer” and reminded them that at the cross stands the mother of Jesus, who is also our mother:

Dear friends who are sick…entrust to [Jesus] every setback and pain that you face, so that they may become – according to his design – a means of redemption for the whole world.  You will be redeemers with the Redeemer…At the cross…stands the mother of Jesus, our mother. (May 13, 2010)

Here the Vicar of Christ illustrates not only that we are all called to be “redeemers” by uniting our sufferings with the sufferings of the one divine Redeemer, but also directs our gaze to the woman-mother who suffered with her crucified Son as a co-redeemer.  As one Catholic journalist commented, “This can only support and set the stage for a deeper understanding of Mary as Co-redemptrix.  What else could it mean, that we, as members of Christ’s faithful are all redeemers with the Redeemer in our sufferings, but Mary alone is not a co-redeemer?  No, on the contrary, the Pope’s words are a theological preparation.”

During his plane flight en route to Fatima on May 11, the Holy Father made some extremely significant comments about a proper understanding of the Third Secret of Fatima: that it does include future events for the Church and the world, and that the Church must “relearn penance” as it undergoes its “passion.”  Would it not be of untold spiritual benefit to have the full exercise of the roles of Mary Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate through the proclamation of the Dogma to help sustain the Church through its present and ongoing passion, just as the Mother Co-redemptrix helped to sustain Christ, the Head of the Church, through his historic passion?

As Pope Benedict sought Our Lady’s intercession on his Fatima pilgrimage for our embattled Church and papacy, we are reminded of a previous pontiff’s turning to the Mother of the Lord during a historical time of grave challenge for the Church. Blessed Pius IX was forced to flee the Vatican under violent attack from socialist forces.  While in exile and after consultation with some Marian prelates, the battered Pontiff concluded that the ultimate remedy for the papacy and the Church in crisis would be to solemnly define the Immaculate Conception, and by so doing, to bring Our Lady’s powerful intercession into that historical situation of ecclesiastical upheaval.  Bl. Pius IX did define Our Lady’s dogma, and the papacy and the Church was soon restored to its previous respect, and significantly beyond.

Could we not be facing a parallel situation in our own day, when the world’s secular media and even some mistaken members of the Church are clamoring for the resignation of our beloved Holy Father amidst our present international ecclesiastical crisis? I believe we need the same Marian remedy, when all human efforts of diplomacy and justice seem to be far from sufficient for the present crises facing the Church and the Papacy-a Marian proclamation which recognizes Mary’s roles of intercession and in so doing, brings them powerfully and historically into full action for our Church and for our Pope today.

Some might argue that because of the existing attacks on the Holy Father, the last thing he should do is to spark more controversy with a Marian dogma on Mary’s Spiritual Motherhood.  But Catholic history and faith combine to show that when the Church has faced its greatest battles, whether it be Roman persecutions in the early centuries, battles from foreign invaders at places like Lepanto and Vienna in later centuries, or secular and media assaults in the third millennium, going to Mary with conviction and fortitude effects a release of grace that empowers, protects, and sanctifies the Church in ways that only can only be described as supernatural.  The Church today needs a supernatural remedy.  The Church today needs its Mother.

Finally, in light of the extreme nature of attacks being leveled against the Church, the unprecedented natural disasters, Middle Eastern conflict, and the overall moral demise of contemporary society – degeneration, disasters, and war – could we please consider adding some form of fasting to our existing prayers for Our Lady’s Dogma?  I ask especially the consecrated religious men and women to please lead the way by example through some form of consistent weekly fasting or sacrifice for the Holy Father and the proclamation of the Dogma – the supernatural Marian remedy for the global maladies of mind and spirit.

Let us respond with a re-doubled commitment to the daily praying of the Prayer of the Lady of All Nations and the petitioning of Pope Benedict for this dogmatic crown for the Mother (to send an online petition to the Holy Father, go to www.fifthmariandogma.com).

May the Holy Spirit, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, bless you abundantly and eternally for your love and generosity offered for the Lord’s Mother and her crowning dogma as Spiritual Mother of all humanity, Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces and Advocate. May the New Pentecost, which will come through the proclamation of the Dogma and the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, bring historic graces upon the Church, leading it through its present passion to a new, resurrected, Springtime of peace marked through a renewed faith in the Eucharist. No heart will be more grateful for this eventual dogmatic crowning of the Immaculate and Coredemptive Heart of Mary than the Most Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of her Son, Our Lord, Our Savior, Our Greatest Friend:  Our Eucharistic Jesus.

Let us close by praying, each in our different native languages, the Prayer of the Lady of All Nations:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, send now your Spirit over the earth.

Let the Holy Spirit live in the hearts of all nations, that they may be preserved from degeneration, disasters, and war.

May the Lady of all Nations, the Blessed Virgin Mary, be our Advocate.

Amen

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Loneliness at Christmas

Published on December 16, 2011 by in Mariology

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The following article is intended as an introduction to those who know little or nothing about the contemporary international movement for a Fifth Marian Dogma. It is presently being printed as a pamphlet.  If you would like free copies to distribute at your local parish, prayer group, or for friends or family members, please email us at mary@motherofallpeoples.com, call us at 740-937-2277, or write to us at 313 High St., Hopedale, Ohio, USA, 43976 –Ed.

The popes of Catholic Church, based on Scripture and Tradition, have officially taught over the course of centuries that the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, is also the Spiritual Mother of all peoples.  Mary performs this role as spiritual mother to humanity in three basic ways.

First, Mary consented to be the Mother of Jesus (Lk 1:38), and thereby by her “fiat” or “yes” brought Jesus, the divine Redeemer, into the world (Lk 2:7).  Mary also shared in the suffering of her Son, as was prophesied by Simeon, that her heart too would be “pierced” (Lk 2:35).  At Calvary, Mary’s motherly heart suffered in union with her crucified Son, and she offered her suffering in union with that of Jesus to the Heavenly Father for the redemption of the world (Jn 19:25-27).  For this role, Mary is called by the Church the “Co-redemptrix” or female co-redeemer with Jesus.  As Bl. John Paul II explained, “Crucified spiritually with her crucified Son….her role as Co-redemptrix did not cease with the glorification of her Son” (L’Osserv. Rom., March 11, 1985).  Mary is the mother who spiritually suffers for her earthly children.

 

[…]

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September 29, 2010

Published on December 6, 2011 by in Uncategorized

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Loneliness at Christmas from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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The Hour of Grace

Published on December 6, 2011 by in Mariology

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The Miraculous Medal

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The Mercy of Purgatory

Published on December 6, 2011 by in Mariology

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You Are Already a Co-Redeemer from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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The Prophecies of Our Lady of All Nations, Part II from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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Why Pray the Rosary?, Part l

Published on December 6, 2011 by in Mariology

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The Prophecies of Our Lady of All Nations, Part I from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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The Solar Miracle, Part II from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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The Solar Miracle, Part I from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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Our Guardian Angels

Published on December 5, 2011 by in Mariology

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The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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Eucharistic Experiences with The Lady of All Nations Part II from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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Eucharistic Experiences with the Lady of All Nations Part I from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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“Peace, True Peace to the World” from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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The Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, solemnly defined in 1854, attests to the indescribable and unfathomable mercy and power of the Triune God, manifested in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Standing firmly on both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, the Apostolic Constitution of Pius IX urges all believers to ponder more deeply this great mystery. This article was excerpted from Introduction to Mary, The Heart of Marian Doctrine and Devotion, Queenship, third edition, June 2006. – Assistant Editor

The dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which was solemnly defined by an infallible pronouncement of Bl. Pius IX in 1854, proclaims that Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin. Mary’s preservation from all stain of sin or its effects was a singular grace and privilege of God the Father in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the universal Redeemer of humanity.

Before examining the full solemn pronouncement of Bl. Pius IX (which was issued through an exercise of the papal charism of infallibility by which the Vicar of Christ is protected from error by the power of the Holy Spirit), let us first examine the revealed seeds of this dogma as they are first contained in Scripture and Tradition.

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The following presentation was given at the Mariological Symposium held at Washington, D.C., on February 21, 2004, entitled “The Immaculate Conception in the Life of the Church: A Theological Symposium in Honor of the 150th Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception.” The article is available in a printed booklet version from Queenship Publications, 1-800-647-9882 or www. queenship@org.

On February 17, 1941, the “Property” of the Immaculata, Fr. Maximilian Kolbe, was arrested by the Nazi Gestapo, eventually leading to his martyrdom in Auschwitz. During the few hours before his arrest, Fr. Maximilian was inspired to write the heart of his unparalleled mariological ponderings regarding the “Immaculate Conception.”

The following are excerpts from this last written testimony:

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ROME, SEPT. 25, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Violations of human rights and religious freedom continue to be widespread in China, says the author of a book on the Asian country.

Mark Miravalle, a professor of theology and Mariology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, traveled to China and saw firsthand the daily struggles of the people and the faithful in the country.

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The Doctrine is Good

 

The Lady is there again. She looks at me with a smile, and she remains so for a long time. Then the Lady starts to speak, and she says, “Child, look carefully and listen to what I have come to tell you today. I am not bringing a new doctrine. The doctrine is good, but the laws can be changed.”

Now the Lady points at the globe; suddenly I see Rome lying before me and I see a Pope. (1) Then the Lady says,

Tell the Pope that he is on the right path. You have to pass this on, because people think otherwise. The spirit of righteousness and truth shall always reign over the world. Once again I say: this Pope is on the right path. Once again I say: this time is Our time. I will now give you an explanation for my coming. Once again I say: I am not coming to bring a new doctrine—the doctrine is already there. I am coming to bring you another message. Pass this one on well.

[…]

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The following address was given May 31, 2008, at a conference in Amsterdam.

Mary Co-redemptrix and the Fifth Marian Dogma:
Perennial Christian Truth; Contemporary Call of the Lady of All Nations

We begin with the words of Pope John Paul II, with a phrase pregnant in meaning. He tells us that “Mary’s role as Co-redemptrix did not cease with the glorification of her Son” (1). These words have a theological meaning, but also a meaning for us in this present critical moment of human history. This is not simply an ivory tower truth. It is a truth that calls each one of us to a conviction of heart for ourselves, and also for all humanity.

It is important to note and to understand from the beginning that what Our Lady says in the messages of Amsterdam is true: this is not a new doctrine, but these are really old ideas that she is bringing us to anew. It is therefore important that we briefly go back in history, back through the rich Tradition of our Catholic faith—the assurance of popes, of saints, of mystics, and of the sensus fidelium, the common people—so that we can understand how deeply this truth of Marian coredemption is part of us, part of our heritage. Now is the time for the climax, not the genesis, of the doctrine of Mary Co-redemptrix.

Brief History of Mary Co-redemptrix

So where did this truth begin? The truth as we know it begins with the fiat of the Virgin of Nazareth. When she consents to give us the redeemer, she gives Jesus his body, which is the instrument of our redemption. Hebrews 10:10 tells us that “we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” In a brief time with Mother, now Blessed, Teresa of Calcutta on the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe in 1993 (August 14), within the first two minutes of my conversation with her, she told me directly, “Of course Mary is the Co-redemptrix! She gave the body to Jesus and the body of Jesus is what saved us” (2). I responded to Mother Teresa, “That’s the difference between sanctity and theology. It takes you 30 seconds to say what it takes us books to write.” There was no hesitation. And as we know, with the saints, it is a higher level of the sensus fidelium. They are more in tune with the Holy Spirit, not less.

Mary says “yes” and we have the redeemer. Keep in mind the yes of Mary, the consent of the fiat, is a lifetime yes. We know this within our own vocational examples. For those of you who are priests, when you said yes to become a priest, you said yes for your life. You didn’t say yes contingent on another invitation from heaven at a time of crisis later in life. It is the same for married life. When you say yes to be married, you don’t say “yes, but in 20 years when my marriage has challenges, I expect to receive another invitation and the choice to make another fiat.” The yes of vocation is a yes for life, and so it was with the Virgin. Her yes at the Annunciation was her yes for all her life, a yes confirmed by the prophecy of Simeon (Lk 2:35) that a sword would pierce her heart now and in the future. And like a mother, who even before the child understands his role of suffering-redemption, the mother always has behind her mind, in the recesses of her consciousness, “My son was born to die. My innocent child was born to be immolated.” Because this mother was educated in the Temple, and she knows the prophecy of Isaiah. She knows that indeed, the suffering servant would be so disfigured that he would be unrecognizable.

The yes of the Virgin of Nazareth is therefore in itself the yes to Calvary. There is no new invitation. The Archangel Gabriel does not come back and re-invite her to be “with Jesus” in the work of redemption. As Pope Benedict said recently in his February 11 letter to the Sick, Mary shares in the Passion of her Son as a continuation of her fiat at the Annunciation.

Hence it is at the Annunciation that Mary begins the role of Co-redemptrix. As we all know, it reaches a climax, not a beginning, at Calvary. John Paul explained it masterfully, that at Calvary Mary was “spiritually crucified with her crucified Son” (3). What happened to Jesus in his body happened to Mary in spirit, in heart. Other contributors from the mystical tradition, and not simply Our Lady of All Nations, testify to Mary’s spiritual and even invisible physical stigmata at Calvary in union with her son.

John Paul II’s theology of the body helps us to explain this. What does the theology of the body tell us? It tells us that the body expresses the person. Therefore Mary’s spiritual stigmatization in her heart with Jesus would also be appropriately experienced in her body, but invisibly. Why? She would never constitute a distraction from her son. Her suffering would be mystically united to that of Jesus, of heart and body, but never causing humanity to take its eyes off its crucified God. The Second Vatican Council in Lumen Gentium 58 gives a beautiful commentary on John 19:25: “Mary lovingly consented to the immolation of the Victim born of her.” This means that Mary has to say not only “I will endure this, I will tolerate this,” but she says further “I will that my Son be immolated for the salvation of the rest of my children.” Such an act of consent is almost unimaginable for a mother to have to say for her innocent, divine child. And yet, this is the Second Vatican Council’s teaching on Mary’s coredemption. It starts at the Annunciation and climaxes at Calvary.

In the second century, St. Irenaeus summarizes it well: “Mary is the cause of salvation for herself and the whole human race” (4). It a secondary causality completely dependent upon the all-encompassing causality of Christ; it is an instrumental causality, but it is a true causality. Why? Because God the Father wanted to use exactly the same means that led to the loss of our salvation to show his omnipotence. So he needed a man, he needed a woman, he needed a tree. And so he uses the New Adam in Jesus, the new Eve in Mary, and the tree of the Cross. This is the ultimate sign of the Father’s dominance over Satan, that he took the same instruments and reversed them for our salvation. And that is why Mary was a necessary part in the perfect providential plan of God in salvation. When we say that Mary is the New Eve, we are using the patristic formulation of the Co-redemptrix doctrine, in capturing her unique participation with Jesus in salvation.

In the fifth century, in Eastern liturgies, for example the Armenian liturgies, Mary is referred to as the “Liberatrix,” the woman who frees us from Satan’s grasp. She is likewise called the “Salvatrix,” the woman who saves us (5). In the Eastern Akathistos hymn, she is called the “Redemption of the tears of Eve” (6). There is remarkably beautiful coredemption language in the Eastern Akathistos hymn of the sixth century.

By the tenth century, the coredemption doctrine is fully elaborated by John the Geometer, the Byzantine monk. John Paul II, in one of his audiences, tells us that John the Geometer is the first to clearly delineate that the Mother and Son are inseparable in the work of redemption (7).

It is noteworthy that in exactly the same tenth century, we have the first appearance of the title, “Redemptrix.” It is very important to never separate the doctrine and the title. They go together. The title is just a one-word summation of the doctrine. That’s why historically when the doctrine of Redemptrix is formulated in terms of Mary’s unique participation with Jesus at Calvary, thereby out comes the title. The title is found in a French hymnal within the litany of the saints: Sancta Redemptrix, ora pro nobis (8). Notice it does not read, Sancta Redemptrix, miserere nobis. There is no parallel with Jesus here. It is intrinsically subordinate.

Some modern theologians might contend that the Redemptrix title for Mary goes too far (9). But in historical fact and context, Redemptrix never places Mary on a level of equality with Jesus.” In a parallel case, when we use the term Mediatrix for Our Lady, we do not call her the “Co-mediatrix,” but rather the “Mediatrix.” Why? Because subordination is implied. The subordination is part of our clear understanding within the covenant family of the People of God.

By the twelfth century, we have the significant contribution of St. Bernard of Clairvaux. And St. Bernard of Clairvaux speaks of the “compassion” of Mary. Cum-passio: “to suffer with.” She is the woman who suffers with Jesus at Calvary. And St. Bernard is the first to speak about offering the divine Victim to the Father. Here it is still in the context of the Presentation. But it is a true offering, an act of will of the Mother to offer the Son for our redemption, which is articulated in the twelfth century.

His disciple, Arnold of Chartres, (+1160), is the first to talk about Mary “co-dying” (10), “co-suffering” (11), and being “co-crucified” (12) with Jesus at Calvary. He answers an objection that Mary did not operate the redemption by specifying that she indeed “co-operated” in the redemption. We thereby have the beginning of a series of Marian “co” terms. The prefix “co” of course does not mean equal. We know this as students of Scripture. When St. Paul calls each one of us to be co-workers with God (1 Cor 3:9), it cannot mean equal, otherwise such would constitute blasphemy. Pius XI and John Paul II have called each one of us to be “co-redeemers with Christ.”

Sometimes paradoxically what some theologians do not grasp, mothers of families grasp. Many will remember when we were children if we fell and we hurt ourselves, what would our mothers tell us? “Offer it up, dear.” What does it mean, to “offer it up”? It means that if you patiently endure your suffering and unite it to the sufferings of Jesus and Mary, you can truly cooperate in the salvation of someone else through a new release of the graces of Calvary. It is a very simple principle in the Mystical Body of Christ. We are all called to be co-workers, co-redeemers in the salvation of one another. Our Lady, though, is the unique Co-redemptrix in the objective, historic accomplishment of redemption with Christ.

In the fourteenth century, we have the first expression of the term “Co-redemptrix” in a hymn from Salzburg. It’s a beautiful hymn which uses both Redemptrix and Co-redemptrix titles, which mutually bespeak Our Lady’s unique sharing in the Passion (13). By this time there is no question of the legitimacy of the doctrine. Please keep in mind that this is over 700 years ago. If someone tells you, “We don’t need a new term,” one possible response might be, “Yes I agree, because there’s nothing new about Mary Co-Redemptrix. It is seven centuries old.”

By the sixteenth century, we have a very important theological contribution from one of the Council of Trent’s foremost theologians, one of the original Jesuits, Alphonsus Salmerón. In the sixteenth century on several occasions Salmerón, the Tridentine theologian, defends the Co-redemptrix doctrine and title. In one paragraph, he uses all thrre titles of Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate—and this over 500 years ago (14). A half century before Salmeron, the Franciscan theologian Bernardine of Bustos had likewise used Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate in 1470. Truly, these are not new terms.

After the reformation and during the Catholic Counter-reformation of the seventeenth century, we have what is rightly called the Golden Age of Mary Co-redemptrix—during which theologians make more than 300 references to the Co-redemptrix doctrine and the title (15). In terms of the fundamental theology of coredemption and the classical categories of merit, satisfaction, atonement, redemption, there is no new foundational pillar of the doctrine from the seventeenth century to the present. We have experienced a greater development of the understanding of the categories, certainly; but by this golden age of the seventeenth century, the essential theological foundations of Mary’s unique role in the redemption is systematically established (16).

In the nineteenth century, Ven. John Henry Cardinal Newman, the great English scholar, in his debate with the Anglican Pusey, defends the Co-redemptrix title, stating, “When they found you with the Fathers calling her Mother of God, Second Eve, and Mother of all Living, the Mother of Life, the Morning Star, the Mystical New Heaven, the Sceptre of Orthodoxy, the All-undefiled Mother of Holiness, and the like, they would have deemed it a poor compensation for such language, that you protested against her being called a Co-redemptrix?” (17) This is yet another testimony to its multi-faceted presence in our Tradition.

In the twentieth century and from a very exclusive category of saints, that is, saints who lived, died, and were canonized all within the twentieth century, we have a consistent witness to the Mother Co-redemptrix. These contemporary saints tell us by their repeated use of the title and doctrine in their teachings and writings that the Marian Co-redemptrix title is a legitimate, contemporary, and relevant term for today. This modern litany of renowned saints include St. Pio, St. Edith Stein, St. Jose Maria Escriva, St. Maximilian Kolbe, and St. Leopold Mandic, who actually gave himself as a victim soul to Our Lady Co-redemptrix for East-West unity (18). The life offering of St. Leopold should make concretely clear for us that Marian coredemption and ecumenism are in no sense antithetical.

The nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century papal Magisterium continues the fiat to Mary Co-redemptrix, but now with its unique authoritative voice. The doctrine of Marian coredemption, which again reveals the simple truth that Mary uniquely participated with and under Jesus in the redemption of the world, both at the Annunciation and in a climactic manner at Calvary, has been the official papal teaching of the Magisterium from Leo XIII to Pope Benedict XVI.

When does the specific title first appear in the Papal Magisterium? Under the pontificate of St. Pius X, Co-redemptrix is used by the Holy See on three occasions. Twice it appears in the documents of the Holy Office (which today is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith). On a third occasion, it appears in a statement by the Vatican Congregation of Rites. What is particularly interesting about these usages is that it is the Holy Office itself that voluntarily inserts the Co-redemptrix title in their own response to various questions posed to the Congregation. What does this infer? It infers that the Holy Office was so confident in the doctrinal legitimacy of this title that even in responding to various petitions they chose to freely present the title.

Pope Pius XI is the first pontiff to directly use the title, and does so on three occasions during his pontificate. In one address, he explains the Co-redemptrix title as describing Christ’s incorporation of his mother in the work of redemption, in a way whereby he could not but associate Mary in the work of redemption (19).

Pope John Paul II, on six occasions during his illustrious Marian pontificate uses the title Co-redemptrix (20). Some opponents have critiqued these usages by stating that John Paul’s use was reserved to “marginal” texts. While one can legitimately make distinctions concerning a true hierarchy of papal statements, nonetheless the case can rightly be made that there is no such thing as a marginal text by the Vicar of Christ when speaking on an issue of faith and morals. When an official teaching comes from the Vicar of Christ on an issue of doctrine, it ceases to be marginal. Moreover, the context in which John Paul has used the title, for example as in the text of Guayaquil (21), is a rich context of Scriptural and conciliar theology.

The Second Vatican Council most certainly teaches the doctrine in Lumen Gentium 57, 58 and 61. John Paul II wrote his only Marian encyclical, Redemptoris Mater, as a commentary on Lumen Gentium 58, the principal coredemption paragraph from the Second Vatican Council, yet another indication of its importance in the mind and heart of the Totus Tuus pontiff.

When certain theologians mention that the title is not contained in the Second Vatican Council, they typically fail to mention the explicit teaching of the doctrine and moreover fail to mention pertinent circumstances as to why it is not contained is typically not included, for example that a theological subcommission omitted the title before the council fathers had an opportunity to even discuss the title, even though there are four paragraphs of notation in the first schema of the treatment of Our Lady at the Council in explanation of the history of the Co-redemptrix title and of its legitimacy. What reason was given by the theological subcommittee for the removal of the title? They stated that the term, absolutely true in itself, could be difficult to understand by our “separated brethren,” our Protestant brothers and sisters. Hence the fathers of Vatican II never had an opportunity to evaluate or vote on accepting or rejecting the Co-redemptrix title. If we were to use the same criterion for other Catholic terms and titles, that is, anything that could potentially be difficult to understand by our separated brethren, what do we do with terms such as Transubstantiation and Papal Infallibility, let alone the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption?

Once again, even though the title does not appear in the Council documents, it must be re-iterated that Vatican II most clearly and emphatically teaches the Co-redemptrix doctrine.

Pope Benedict XVI has continued the more than two century unbroken line of papal teaching of this doctrine. On February 11, 2008, in his letter for the World Day of the Sick, our Holy Father specifically teaches Mary’s unique sharing in the Passion of her Son at Calvary as a continuity of her “yes” at the Annunciation (22). It is also significant that on that day of February 11 in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Cardinal Lozano Barragán, the prefect for the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care who presided at the Mass of the World Day of the Sick, gave his homily on Marian coredemption and specifically called her the “Co-redemptrix with the Savior” (23). On the next day, his use of Co-redemptrix was distributed throughout the world through Vatican Information Services.

If you hear, therefore, that the Co-redemptrix is simply a pre-Vatican term, neither relevant nor in use by the Church today, please be assured that it is most definitely a post-conciliar term, especially in light of John Paul II’s six uses of the term after the Council, as well as most recent usages within the Holy See, such as that by Cardinal Lozano-Barragán.

As recently as one week ago, Pope Benedict XVI wrote an inspiring prayer for the world day of prayer for China on May 24, 2008, in which in he teaches the following on Our Lady’s coredemption:

Virgin Most Holy, Mother of the Incarnate Word and our Mother …

When you obediently said “yes” in the house of Nazareth,
you allowed God’s eternal Son to take flesh in your virginal womb
and thus to begin in history the work of our redemption.
You willingly and generously cooperated in that work,
allowing the sword of pain to pierce your soul,
until the supreme hour of the Cross, when you kept watch on Calvary,
standing beside your Son, Who died that we might live.

From that moment, you became, in a new way,
the Mother of all those who receive your Son, Jesus in faith
and choose to follow in His footsteps by taking up His Cross.
Mother of hope, in the darkness of Holy Saturday you journeyed
with unfailing trust towards the dawn of Easter.
Grant that your children may discern at all times,
even those that are darkest, the signs of God’s loving presence (24).

 

The papal teaching on the doctrine of the Co-redemptrix continues in our day.

Theological Objections to Mary Co-redemprrix

Within this rich historical and magisterial context, I want to respond to three objections that have been raised regarding the Co-redemptrix title.

The first objection is that the term Co-redemptrix represents a pre-Vatican II Mariology and therefore is irrelevant for today. As we have said, as soon as John Paul II used the term, it ceased to be a preconciliar term in light of its explicit use by a postconcilar pontiff. But this objection also represents an artificial separation between the Co-redemptrix doctrine and the Co-redemptrix title. The title embodies, encapsulates, and summarizes in one word the doctrine. It continues to be the powerful teaching of the Second Vatican Council and of John Paul II, and now Pope Benedict, whether it be present in the title or in the doctrine.

In response to the related objection that all which came before the Council is now no longer relevant, I refer to the preeminently important presentation of Pope Benedict XVI to the Roman Curia of December 22, 2005 (25), in which he gives the proper interpretive key for understanding the Council and its present relevance in light of what came before the Council. His expression “hermeneutics of continuity” well conveys that the Second Vatican Council should be seen as the keystone of what came before in light of the inspired development of Sacred Tradition, and not its nemesis. The Holy Father contrasts the hermeneutics of continuity—in which we appreciate the past in light of the conciliar present—with the “hermeneutics of rupture” which would convey the erroneous idea that the Second Vatican Council launches us on such a new direction that substantially disregards the rich Tradition of the Church before the Council.

The identical hermeneutics of continuity must be applied to Mariology and the issue of Marian coredemption. The Second Vatican Council highlights Our Lady’s coredemption in Lumen Gentium 58 and Pope John Paul II does not hesitate to use the Co-redemptrix title and preach repeatedly the Co-redemptrix role after the Council as an organic continuation of the development of Co-redemptrix doctrine which took place before the Council. We must be beware that in Mariology as in all theological fields, a hermeneutics of rupture leads to a erroneous interpretation of both the Council and Tradition which discredits the ongoing actions of the Holy Spirit in the development of the Church which brings us to our present moment of truth and grace for the People of God.

A second objection states that you can call Mary the “Mother of the Redeemer,” but you cannot call her the Co-redemptrix. This is a somewhat undistinguished form of objection, as Mother of the Redeemer and Co-redemptrix can refer to the different dimensions of Our Lady’s roles, but it is not an “either-or” proposition, but a “both-and” doctrinal reality for Our Lady. She is the Mother of the Redeemer, in giving birth to Jesus, and this action is in itself the beginning of her coredemptive role, but it does not stop here, as Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium confirm. Of course she is the Mother of the Redeemer, but Tradition, and the Papal and Conciliar Magisterium teach that after she says “yes” to be the Mother of Jesus, she continues to suffer with Jesus in fulfillment of Simeon’s prophecy, that her heart will be pierced by the sword of sorrow, that she is spiritually crucified with her son at Calvary, and, again in John Paul’s words, that her role as Co-redemptrix does not cease with the glorification of her son. So she is Mother of the Redeemer, but she is also Co-redemptrix with the Redeemer. To separate the two would be a false dichotomy; to deny the second would be against the doctrinal integrity of the Church.

A third objection, which is the most common, is that Co-redemptrix title and doctrine is intrinsically anti-ecumenical. I refer you to John Paul II’s encyclical on ecumenism, Ut Unum Sint. At times, the term “ecumenism” is employed with a similar type of vagueness and confusion that the term “love” did when it was used in the 1970s. We all use it, but many do not know do not know exactly what it means, and few dare define it fully. Ecumenism has a very specific meaning and John Paul II gives that to us in this document. Authentic Catholic ecumenism consists of prayer as the soul and dialogue as the body which seeks Christian unity ultimately in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church (26). John Paul further warns in Ut Unum Sint that for you may never (under the guise of what would constitute a type of pseudo-ecumenism): 1.) compromise the full doctrine of the Catholic Church; or 2.) prevent the organic development of Church doctrine (27).

Therefore, it would be constitute an erroneous understanding of both authentic ecumenism and of the Co-redemptrix doctrine to hold that the existing Marian doctrine and title, as well as its ongoing contemporary development is somehow contrary to the likewise contemporary imperative for Christian unity and true ecumenical activity by the Church.

In his letter to Pope John Paul II in petition for the fifth Marian dogma, the late Cardinal John O’Connor of New York alludes to the positive contribution of this papal proclamation for true ecumenism, as it would help non-Catholic Christians realize that the Church does in fact distinguish between what is uniquely true of the divine and human Jesus from what is secondarily true of the human Mary in the work of Redemption, taking away any mistaken notion that Catholics place Mary on a level of equality with Jesus Christ.

More recently both Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, who is a previous primate of the Indian Conference of Bishops, and the present primate, Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil, have published interviews on Zenit News Agency saying that the dogma will be a true step help for interreligious dialogue, and this would include Muslims, Hindus, and Christians (28). These cardinals confirm that the Marian element is already assisting the unity of peoples in India as manifested at major Marian shrines, where Hindus, Muslims and Christians are praying together through their common recognition of Mary as the Mother of unity, and the fifth Marian dogma will all the more facilitate this unity under the Mother of all peoples. The testimony of these cardinals based on real experiences of religious unity through Mary leads us away from mere speculation and offers us concrete examples of how this proclamation will be a unifying factor for authentic religious unity today.

Fruits of the Fifth Marian Dogma

More positively, what are some of the fruits the proclamation of this fifth Marian dogma will provide for the Church and for the world? The first thing it will provide is a theological clarity on the highest level regarding this Marian truth. With our present Holy Father, for example, you have a world class theologian who is respected by all in terms of his theological brilliance. Along with the infallible charism of his office, a solemn definition by Pope Benedict on this doctrine would guarantee the most scripturally grounded and theologically profound articulation of what is already part of our Tradition. How then could greater clarity and the best possible articulation of this revealed Marian truth hurt those of us inside the Church or hurt those outside the Church? It is already a truth. And now you have what Bl. Pius IX called in 1854 a perfection of the doctrine. It’s the clearest articulation possible. That would be its service.

Secondly, the dogma would be a concrete theological corrective to the mistaken concept that the human person is not obliged to cooperate with God’s grace for his own redemption. This revelation, in its essence, compromises a cornerstone of Catholic theology. We must cooperate, through the exercise of our free will, God’s greatest gift of our human nature, in order to receive and sustain the gift of salvific faith. By analogy, if you freely received the gift of a living plant some 10 years ago, but have not watered that plant for 10 years, you can be assured that the gift of the plant given freely and received freely is no longer alive. It is the same thing with Christian faith. If one freely accepted the precious gift of personal faith in Jesus Christ 10 years ago, but has never cooperated with that gift through living in Gospel or participating in the prayer and sacramental life of the Church over the past 10 years, then you can assume the absence of a living, salvific faith. We have to “co-operate,” we must “work-with” grace. The greatest dignity that God the Father gives the human person is the ability through the exercise of freedom to participate with Jesus and Mary in our own redemption, as well as in the redemption of persons. St. Thomas Aquinas refers to the capacity for man to participate in and to suffer for the salvation of others (cf. Col. 1:24) as the “envy” of the angels. The angels cannot suffer in body to lead other souls into heaven, but we as humans can.

Since Mary is the archetype of human cooperation in redemption, in ways beyond any other human being in light of her Immaculate Conception and her unique participation in the acquisition of the graces of redemption, the proclamation of the dogma of the Co-redemptrix would underscore the responsibility of every human person to cooperate in their own salvation and in the salvation of the human family through our sublime use of human freedom.

The papal proclamation of Mary Co-redemptrix would furthermore be an organic clarification and reaffirmation of the dignity of woman. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son” (Jn 3:16). God so loved woman that he wanted woman involved in the salvation of all humanity—not a priest, not a bishop, not a pope, but a woman. This is authentic Christian feminism. This is where a woman discovers her mystery, and it is where woman has a proper sense of awe in her femininity, that God has such a deep respect for her that the Father providentially predestines that a woman will work side by side with the man-God in the work of redemption. This is Our Lady, where femininity has its most dignified moment in human history.

Most of all, the proclamation of the fifth Marian dogma will “release” Our Lady and allow her to exercise her full power of maternal intercession for today’s troubled world.

Our Lady’s titles are her functions. The titles of Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate are not just honorary titles, but rather identity her roles of service for humanity. She is the Co-redemptrix, the “Mother suffering.” She is the Mediatrix, the “Mother nourishing.” She is the Advocate, the “Mother pleading.” These are not just honors; they are spiritual actions of our spiritual “mother in the order of grace” (LG 61).

Let us also keep in mind that we do not have three earthly mothers. When our mother suffered for us, and our mother fed us, and our mother interceded for us when we were children, we did not conclude to having three mothers. We had one mother who performed three motherly functions. That is likewise truly of our one spiritual mother, who performs three spiritual and maternal functions on behalf of humanity.

God, being the perfect God, will not break his own rules, and one of his providential rules which governs creation is that he will not force redemptive graces upon humanity. We must freely choose these graces in respect for human freedom. This is why the proclamation of the dogma is so important. This solemn definition would embody the Vicar of Christ, in the name of all humanity, saying yes to these motherly roles for the historic benefit of the entire human family. When the Holy Father, as Vicar of Christ and spiritual father of all humanity, infallibly acknowledges that Mary is Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate, I believe we will see a superabundant release of grace upon a historically unprecedented level.

Is this fifth Marian dogma irrelevant for the needs and troubles of today? Is this something simply for the theologians? Quite the contrary: The common people, the sensus fidelium throughout the world, understand this Marian doctrine and the importance of its proclamation in their hearts. The common people who pray the Rosary, who consecrate themselves and their families to Our Lady, and who wear the scapular already know in their hearts and in their praxis that she is the Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate. This is why over seven million people from over 150 countries worldwide have petitioned the Holy Father for the fifth Marian dogma now, for our present age in crisis of moral collapse, natural disaster, and war.

We need this Marian dogma for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart which was prophesied at Fatima on July 13, 1917. “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph, … and a period of peace will be granted to the world.” This dogma is the key that unlocks the door to the graces and the peace of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

St. Maximilian Kolbe tells us that the Holy Spirit acts only through Mary, his human spouse, in bringing us the first grace of Jesus Christ, and in bringing us all the redemptive graces of Jesus Christ. As the Holy Spirit descended in response to the prayerful intercession of Mary at the first Pentecost, I believe the divine Advocate will do so again in answer to Our Lady’s acknowledgement and prayers for a New Pentecost for our day.

I invite you to ponder the following image, which was given to me by a woman of great prayer. Imagine the Immaculate Heart of Mary with a cage in her heart. Imagine that in that cage is a dove – a dove which represents the Holy Spirit, which is locked in the cage. When the pope proclaims the dogma, it will be like the Vicar of Christ is opening the door to that cage, and the Holy Spirit will come anew upon humanity and with an extraordinary generosity of his gifts.

What will that mean for the world? Grace, redemption, peace, mitigation for our sins, and new graces to deal with world conflicts such as are now happening in China and Myanmar, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East, terrorism in the world and terrorism in the womb with abortion, and help bring to an end the great offense through which we blaspheme God the Father in human cloning efforts. The Holy Spirit will convict us of sin through a New Pentecost, and that will prepare the way for the new redemption for our age. This is why I believe the proclamation of this dogma is so absolutely relevant to today, to the Church, to the world, to each one of us.

The Lady of All Nations and the Fifth Marian Dogma

I wish finally to speak about the Lady of All Nations and the heavenly call for the fifth Marian dogma. As we know, the movement for the fifth Marian dogma did not start in Amsterdam in 1945 with these profound apparitions; it began in the 1910s with Cardinal Mercier, the great Belgian cardinal. Even before 1920, Cardinal Mercier already had gathered the petitions of hundreds of bishops presented it to the Holy Father for the solemn definition of Our Lady’s universal mediation, which included the doctrine of coredemption. St. Maximilian Kolbe and his new religious followers joined the cause in the early 1920s. And in 1943, the Dutch bishops of this country consecrated the Netherlands to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and used the titles Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate in the document of consecration. Is it little wonder, then, why two years later, Our Lady answered the invitation of the Dutch bishops of this country and came to this land. She is always obedient and joyfully answers invitations that come from the hierarchy of the Church.

Then and only then in 1945 does Our Lady initiate her apparitions which will her unveil her repeated and insistent request for the papal proclamation of her roles as Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate. Thus, we have heavenly confirmation and a heavenly imperative for the fifth Marian dogma.

While it would be incorrect to say that this Co-redemptrix title and dogma request rests upon the private revelation of Amsterdam rather than upon the public sources of revelation in Scripture and Tradition as interpreted by the Magisterium, it is correct to say that the private revelation of Amsterdam has served as a great confirmation and encouragement for prayer, petitioning, and preaching about the global and historical importance of the fifth Marian dogma. We should be grateful to God and his Mother for the great grace of the apparitions of the Lady of All Nations, which were declared as consisting of supernatural origin by Bishop Josef Maria Punt on May 31, 2002, as the final step in a successive line of positive ecclesiastical developments leading up to the declaration.

Let us refer to just a few of the pregnant passages from the messages of the Lady of All Nations. I begin with a message from May 10, 1953, where Our Lady states that Marian thought must become more pronounced, and it must start here from Amsterdam:

 

Marian thought must become more pronounced in these times. Amsterdam will become the focus for the Lady of All Nations. There the peoples will get to know the Lady of All Nations and learn to pray to her under this title to obtain unity for themselves, unity among the nations. This image will precede the final Marian dogma. First this image shall in the first place go to Amsterdam.

 

Here Our Lady calls the people of Amsterdam to be her special carriers of this message and its Marian thought focused upon a new, upcoming Marian dogma. Indeed, you, the people of Amsterdam, are her chosen instruments to bring this message into this world. She came here first. Our Lady brought this message to Amsterdam and entrusts it to you as the instruments for spreading it throughout the world.

On October 11, 1953, The Lady message mentions she is coming to a country that loves peace and calls for the picture of the Lady of All Nations to be placed in a public place before it is permanently located in the eventual “church” of the Lady of all nations:

 

The Lady, who must bring peace, came and gave her prayer in the country where Satan had reigned. The Lady, who is bringing peace, gave her words through an instrument from a country, where peace was always desired. “The Lady of All Nations” is not destined for one country and one place, but is meant for the whole world, for all nations. This picture will go to Amsterdam, however, and that at the end of 1953. It will be placed in a chapel or church. Later, it will be transferred to the church of “the Lady of All Nations.

 

It is clear that she wants her picture, the first great painting of her image, in some public place.

In her April 4, 1954, message, Our Lady admonishes the theological community that this doctrine is not something new, has its foundation in the Immaculate Conception, and challenges them to work and fight for this dogma:

 

“I see the Lady standing with a serious look on her face. ‘Once more I am here, listen well. From the outset, the handmaid of the Lord was chosen to be the Co-redemptrix. Tell that to your theologians that they can find it in all their books. The Lady pauses briefly, then smiling to herself, she says almost in a whisper, I am not bringing a new doctrine, I am bringing old ideas. She waits and continues, ‘because the lady is Co-redemptrix, she is also Mediatrix and Advocate not only because she is mother of the Lord Jesus Christ, but because she is the Immaculate Conception…”

“Theologians I ask you, do you still have objections to this dogma? You can find these words and ideas. I ask you to work for this dogma. No, fear nothing. There will be a clash. The others indeed will attack you, but the complicity of this dogma lies in these last thoughts which Mary, the Lady of All Nations, puts before you today. Do fight and ask for this dogma. It is the crowning of your Lady.”

 

It is as if Our Lady is encouraging you in a special way, the people of Amsterdam, to be grateful for and defenders of these apparitions, which have been given in a primordial way as a grace to your country. She came here for a reason. She is your Lady. What is true of Jesus that no prophet is acceptable in his own country (cf. Lk 4:24), is perhaps also true for the Queen of Prophets here in our day. But you are in a particular way called upon to stand up for her, as she is truly your “Woman” or “Lady,” from where she seeks to be recognized worldwide as the Lady of All Nations, the Mother of All Peoples.

Finally, in Our Lady’s message of May 31, 1954, which was revealed 54 years ago today, she tells us:

 

“Here I am again. The Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate is now standing before you. I have chosen this day—on this day the Lady will be crowned. Theologians and apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, listen carefully. I have given you the explanation of the dogma. Work for and ask for this dogma. You are to petition the Holy Father for this dogma.”

 

Then the visionary Ida describes:

 

Now, all of a sudden, it is as if I were standing with the Lady above the dome of a big church. As we enter, I hear the Lady say, “I am taking you inside this. Relate what I let you see and hear.” We are now in a very big church, in St. Peter’s. I see lots of cardinals and bishops gathered there. Then the Pope enters. He is being carried in a kind of chair, but later he continues on foot. People cheer; the choir begins to sing. Now the Holy Father is announcing something in a language I do not understand, while holding up two fingers. All at once the Lady stands on the globe again. She smiles and says, “Child, thus have I let you see what is the will of the Lord Jesus Christ. This day will become the coronation of His Mother, the Lady of All Nations, who once was Mary.” Now the Lady remains standing without saying anything, as she gazes far into the distance. This lasts a while and then she says, “And the Lady stayed with her Apostles until the Spirit came.” “So also may the Lady come to her apostles and nations throughout the whole world, in order to bring them the Holy Spirit again.”

 

I believe this refers to both the proclamation of the dogma and New Pentecost we pray for. With that New Pentecost will come the illumination of our souls which leads to new conversion, redemption, and peace.

Our Lady concludes:

 

“By means of this instrument in a small country which is on the edge of a precipice, the Lady of All Nations will give her motherly admonitions and consolations each year. I am here. I shall assist and help you. The image must be placed in public. Ask this of your bishop. He shall consent to having the image brought forth. He shall consent to the building of the church, the one I showed you. Everyone shall fight for this. … The Lady of All Nations wishes for unity in the true Holy Spirit. The world is covered by a false spirit, by Satan. Once the dogma, the final dogma in Marian history, has been proclaimed, the Lady of All Nations will grant peace, true peace, to the world.”

 

In conclusion, I would thank the people of Amsterdam for being true disciples of Our Lady, because through your fidelity the worldwide promulgation of the message has to a great degree been fulfilled. I encourage you to continue. The world looks to the people of Amsterdam. Continue doing what you are doing as the special ambassadors of the Lady of All Nations to the world.

Place her image in a public church as she requests, so that when the world visits Amsterdam, they see your manifest love and devotion to her and thereby can do the same in their own countries. Hence pilgrims will be encouraged to continue to spread the devotion, the most valuable prayer, and to pray, work and petition for the proclamation of the dogma.

I believe none of us fully understand what a privilege it is or the comprehensive historical significance of what it means to be working for this Marian dogma. Only in Heaven will we understand the grace to have been chosen in some small way to participate in this dogmatic crowning of Our Lady. I thank you, people of Amsterdam, once again, in the name of the rest of the world’s devotees, for all you have done here for her.

Let us conclude by praying together Our Lady’s revealed prayer which was given especially to prepare the way for this papal proclamation of the Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate on this “coronation day” of May 31:

 

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father,
send now your Spirit over the earth.
Let the Holy Spirit live in the hearts of all nations,
that they may be preserved
from degeneration, disaster and war.
May the Lady of All Nations,
the Blessed Virgin Mary, be our Advocate. Amen.

 

Notes

(1) John Paul II, L’Osservatore Romano, English edition, November 12, 1984, p. 1.
(2) Bl. Teresa of Calcutta, Personal Interview, Calcutta, August 14, 1993.
(3) John Paul II, Papal Homily at Guayaquil, Ecuador, Jan. 31, 1985.
(4) St. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, vol. 3, ch. 22, n. 4; PG 7, 959.
(5) Cf. Laurentin, Le Titre de Corédemptrice, Etude Historique, Paris, Nouvelles Editions Latines, 1951, p. 11. The original Armenian term is “Pyrgogh.”
(6) Akathist Hymn, Strophe 1; PG 92, 1337 A.
(7) John Paul II, General Audience, Oct. 25, 1995, n. 2; L’Osservatore Romano, English edition, Nov. 1, 1995, p. 11.
(8) Litanies des saintes, in a Psalter of French origin preserved in the chapter library of the Cathedral of Salisbury, Parchment 173, fol. in double columns, 0.39×0.32 m. Manuscript number l80, fol. 171 v., b, Edited by F.E. Warren, “An Unedited Monument of Celtic Liturgy” in Celtic Review, 9, 1888, pp. 88-96.
(9) Cf. For example, Laurentin, Le Titre de Corédemptrice, p. 12.
(10) Arnold of Chartres; PL 189, 1693 B.
(11) 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.
(12) Arnold of Chartres; PL 189, 1693 B.
(13) Orat. ms S. Petri Slaisburgens., saec. XV; Codex Petrin. a, III, 20 and Orat. ms S. Petri saec. XIV, XV; Codex Petrin. a, I, 20, quoted by G. M. Dreves, Analecta hymnica medii aevi, Leipzig, Reisland, t. 46, 1905, p. 126, n. 79. The original Latin is as follows:

20. Pia dulcis et benigna, Nullo prorsus luctu digna, Si fletum hinc eligeres, Ut compassa redemptori, Captivato transgressori, Tu corredemptrix fieres.
21. Tunc non tantum condolere, Moestae matri se debere, Me cerno grates solvere, Tibi meae redemptrici, Quae de manu inimici, Dignatur me evolvere.

(14) Alphonsus Salmerón, Commentarii in Evangel., tr. 5, Opera, Cologne, ed., Hiérat, 1604, t. III, pp. 37b- 38a.
(15) Cf. Carol, De Corredemptione, pp. 198-480.
(16) For extended treatments of coredemption under the same four classic soteriological categories, cf. Gregory Alastruey, The Blessed Virgin Mary, English translation of the original by Sr. M. J. La Giglia, O.P., Herder, 1964, ch. 2; Friethoff, O.P., A Complete Mariology, Blackfriars, 1958, English translation of Dutch original, Part III, ch. I-V; specifically during this seventeenth century period in its four traditional categories; Carol, “Our Lady’s Coredemption,” Mariology vol. 2, Bruce, 1957, pp. 400-409.
(17) Ven. John Cardinal Newman, Certain Difficulties Felt by Anglicans in Catholic Teaching Considered, vol. 2, In a Letter Addressed to the Rev. E. B. Pusey, D.D., On Occasion of His Eirenicon of 1864, Longman’s, Green and Co., 1891, vol. 2, p. 78.
(18) Cf. Stemman, “Il mistero di Maria ‘Corredentrice,’” p. 269. The original Latin text is as follows: “Vere coram Deo et Deiparae Virgini, interposita sacramenti fide, me obstrinxi in obsequium Corredemptricis humani generis, disponendi omnes ratione vitae meae iuxta oboedientiam meorum superiorum in redemptionem Orientalium Dissidentium a schismate et errore.” St. Leopold Mandic, Scritti, vol. 2, p. 97.
(19) Pius XI, L’Osservatore Romano, December 1, 1933, p. 1.
(20) Cf. Calkins, “The Mystery of Mary Coredemptrix in the Papal Magisterium,” Mary Co-redemptrix: Doctrinal Issue Today, Queenship, 2002, pp. 25-92.
(21) John Paul II, L’Osservatore Romano, English edition, March 11, 1985, p. 7. The Guayaquil homily by the Vicar of Christ should not be dismissed as either marginal or devoid of doctrinal weight. Unfortunately, these were the expressions used to describe the significance of the repeated papal usages of the title of Co-redemptrix by Pope John Paul II, as contained in an unsigned article which appeared in L’Osservatore Romano on June 4, 1997. This article accompanied the brief conclusion of an ad hoc ecumenical committee of theologians (sixteen Catholic and five non-Catholic), who met at the 1996 Czestochowa Marian Conference to study the possibility of a dogmatic definition of Mary as Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces, and Advocate (a meeting estimated by the committee members to have lasted less than one hour). Although the ad hoc committee members later stated that they were not informed that they were in any way acting as an official “papal commission,” their conclusions were nonetheless published some ten months later in L’Osservatore Romano as the conclusions of a “commission established by the Holy See” and released as a “Declaration of the Theological Commission of the Congress of the Pontifical International Marian Academy” (L’Osservatore Romano, June 4, 1997), cf. Miravalle, In Continued Dialogue with the Czestochowa Commission (Queenship, 2002).
(22) Benedict XVI, Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI for the Sixteenth World Day of the Sick, February 11, 2008, Libreria Editrice Vaticana.
(23) Our Sufferings are also Christ’s Sufferings, Vatican Information Services, February 11, 2008.
(24) Prayer of the Pope to Our Lady of Sheshan, Vatican Information Services, May 16, 2008.
(25) Insegnamenti di Benedetto XVI I (2005) 1023-1031.
(26) Cf. Ut Unum Sint, 21, 28.
(27) Cf. Ut Unum Sint, 18.
(28) Cf. “Fifth Dogma a Marian Antidote: Interview with Syro-Malabar Cardinal Vithayathil,” Zenit News Service, May 21, 2008, http://www.zenit.org/article-22649?l=english; and “Cardinal Toppo on a Proposed Marian Dogma: A Look at What It Could Mean for Dialogue,” Zenit News Service, May 5, 2008, http://www.zenit.org/article-22499?l=english.

 

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In the Church-approved messages of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima, Portugal (1917), the Woman clothed with the sun exhorts the young visionaries and the world to “sacrifice yourselves for sinners” (1) and “to make of everything you can a sacrifice and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended.” (2) It is a call for human coredemption, exemplified by its Queen.

Our Lady invites Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco to a life of coredemption for the salvation of souls: “Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the suffering He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the conversion of sinners?” (3) The children faithfully respond to this heavenly invitation to be co-redeemers, “Yes, we are willing.” The Co-redemptrix in turn responds, “Then you are going to have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort.” (4) It was precisely their heroic fiat to the Fatima call of human coredemption that led to the beatification of Jacinta and Francisco by John Paul II on May 13, 2000. (5)

In the monumental apparition of July 13, 1917, which predicts great upcoming trials and persecutions for the Church and world, and specifically for the Holy Father, (6) Our Lady of Fatima again directs the children to “sacrifice yourselves for sinners” and identifies her own coredemptive mediation and the consistent praying of the Holy Rosary as the only true remedy by which to obtain peace in the world: “. . . Continue to pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace in the world and the ending of the war, because only she can help you.” (7) It is thereby most fitting that she would later appear on October 13, during the historic event of the great solar miracle, under the appearance of Our Lady of Sorrows. (8)

Indeed, human coredemption envelops the July 13 Fatima message, with its call for Christian offering of sacrifice and consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In addition, Our Lady of the Rosary predicts an eventual Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary as the fruit of various levels of human cooperation: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” (9)

A recent book authored by Sr. Lucia undeniably identifies the doctrine of Mary Co-redemptrix as being at the very heart of the Fatima message. In her 1998 work, Calls from the Message of Fatima, she provides an inspired theological and mystical witness to Mary Co-redemptrix and the supernatural effects of the Mother’s providential role for humanity. (10) The theme of Mary Co-redemptrix is the major Mariological thread that runs throughout Sr. Lucia’s extraordinary writings, second only to theme of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (and certainly complementary to it). So instructive and inspiring are her theological meditations on Mary Co-redemptrix that we offer at considerable length her reflections, which so well integrate the title with the overall Fatima call to the contemporary world.

In her treatment on devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, Sr. Lucia acknowledges the unity of the Heart of Mary Co-redemptrix with the Heart of Christ from the Annunciation to Calvary:

 

God began the work of our redemption in the Heart of Mary, given that it was through her “fiat” that the redemption began to come about: “And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.’ (Lk. 1:38). “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn. 1:14). Thus, in the closest union possible between two human beings, Christ began, with Mary, the work of our salvation. The Christ’s heart-beats are those of the heart of Mary, the prayer of Christ is the prayer of Mary, the joys of Christ are the joys of Mary; it was from Mary that Christ received the Body and Blood that are to be poured out and offered for the salvation of the world. Hence, Mary, made one with Christ, is the Co-redemptrix of the human race. With Christ in her womb, with Jesus Christ in her arms, with Christ at Nazareth and in his public life; with Christ she climbed the hill of Calvary, she suffered and agonized with Him, receiving into her Immaculate Heart the last sufferings of Christ, his last words, his last agony and the last drops of his Blood, in order to offer them to the Father. (11)

 

Sr. Lucia’s commentary on the Presentation describes the Mother’s knowledge of the eventual fulfillment of Simeon’s prophecy and her expiatory offering “with Jesus” as Co-redemptrix of humanity:

 

Mary knows that this prophecy is to be fulfilled in the person of her Son; she knows that He has been sent by God to carry out the work of our redemption. And far from wanting to save Him from such pain and suffering, she takes Him in her pure arms, brings Him to the temple with her virginal hands and places Him on the altar so that the priest may offer Him to the eternal Father as an expiatory victim and a sacrifice of praise.

Here, Mary does not simply offer her Son, she offers herself with Christ, because Jesus had received his body and blood from her; thus she offers herself in and with Christ to God, Co-redemptrix, with Christ, of humanity. (12)

 

The powerful intercession by Mary, Mediatrix of all graces, in no way violates the scriptural revelation of 1 Timothy 2:5 of Christ, the One Mediator. Rather the Mother’s subordinate participation in the mediation of Christ leads to the fulfillment of the redemptive mission of the One Mediator. (13) Sr. Lucia defends the Mother of God’s intercessory power in virtue of her prior mission as Co-redemptrix:

 

There is, thus, only one divine Mediator: Jesus Christ; but as supplicant intercessors we have Mary, the Saints, and each one of us, if we so wish. St. Paul himself, in various passages in his letters, asks people to pray both for him and for one another. “To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that utterance may be given in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak” (Eph. 6:18-20).

So if the Apostle tells us to pray for one another, we have much more reason to ask Mary to pray for us, because her prayer will be much more pleasing to the Lord in view of her dignity as Mother of God and her closer union with Christ, true God and true Man, by reason of her mission of Co-redemptrix with Christ as well as of her great sanctity. (14)

 

In the Fatima visionary’s discussion of Our Lady’s Assumption, she incorporates the coredemptive battle prophesied in Genesis 3:15, and the victorious “woman.” The predestined Co-redemptrix of the human race is the first fruit of the Redemption, and hence could not remain in the “shadow of death”:

 

As soon as the first sin which brought condemnation on human beings had been committed, God, speaking to the Devil who had taken the form of a serpent and who had incited the first human beings to do evil, said to him: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15).

This woman, predestined by God to give Christ a human nature and to be, with Him, Co-redemptrix of the human race—“I shall put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers”—this woman, He said, could not remain in the shadow of death, because she did not incur the sentence of punishment. Hence Mary is the first fruit of the Redemption wrought by Christ; and, through his merits, she was carried up to Heaven in body and soul, where she lives and reigns, in God, with her Son and his. (15)

 

The Fatima “call to holiness” voiced by the Carmelite visionary offers the Mother Co-redemptrix as our exemplary model in seeking holiness within the framework of our God-given vocations, just as the Immaculate Virgin “sanctified herself” as a wife and mother:

 

Our Lady sanctified herself as a pure and immaculate virgin by corresponding to the graces which God granted to her in that state. She sanctified herself as a faithful and devoted wife by fulfilling all the duties of her state in life. She sanctified herself as a loving mother who dedicated herself to the Son whom God entrusted to her, fondling Him in her arms, bringing Him up and educating Him, and also helping Him and following Him in the performance of his mission. With Him she traveled the narrow way of life, the rugged road to Calvary; with Him she agonized, receiving in her heart the wounds of the nails, the piercing of the lance and the insults of the hostile crowd; finally, she sanctified herself as mother, mistress and guide of the Apostles, agreeing to remain on earth for as long as God wished, in order to accomplish the mission which He had entrusted to her as Co-redemptrix with Christ of all human beings. (16)

 

Finally, Sr. Lucia evokes the calling of all Christians to become co-redeemers in the work of salvation. What is our contribution to Redemption, she asks, and how can it be mysteriously efficacious for others? She answers with exceptional humility, and yet with penetrating insight into Redemption, the unity of the Two Hearts, and our Eucharistic Jesus, given to us by the Virgin Mother Co-redemptrix:

 

And our own contribution? It is our humble prayer, our poor little acts of self-denial which we must unite with the prayer and sacrifice of Jesus Christ and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in reparation, and for the salvation of our poor brothers and sisters who have wandered away from the one true path that leads to Life.

At this point, I ask myself: Why is it that, since the merits and prayer of Jesus Christ are sufficient to make reparation for and to save the world, the Message invokes the merits of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and calls on us, too, to pray, to make sacrifices, to offer reparation?

I have to say that I do not know! Nor do I know what explanation the theologians of the Church would give me if I were to ask them. But I have meditated on, and thought about this question. I open the Gospel and I see that from the very beginning Jesus Christ united to his redemptive work the Immaculate Heart of Her whom He chose to be his Mother.

The work of our redemption began at the moment when the Word descended from Heaven in order to assume a human body in the womb of Mary. From that moment, and for the next nine months, the blood of Christ was the blood of Mary, taken from her Immaculate Heart; the Heart of Christ was beating in unison with the Heart of Mary.

And we can think that the aspirations of the Heart of Mary were completely identified with the aspirations of the Heart of Christ. Mary’s ideal had become the same as that of Christ Himself, and the love in the Heart of Mary was the love in the Heart of Christ for the Father and for all human beings; to begin with, the entire work of redemption passed through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, through the bond of her close intimate union with the divine Word.

Since the Father entrusted his Son to Mary, enclosing Him for nine months within her chaste virginal womb—and “All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel’ (which means, God with us)” (Mt. 1:22-23; Is. 7:14)—and since Mary of her own free will opened herself entirely to whatever God willed to accomplish in her—“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word” (Lk. 1:38) is what she said to the angel—in view of all this and by God’s disposition, Mary became, with Christ, the Co-redemptrix of the human race.

It is the body received from Mary that, in Christ, becomes a victim offered up for the salvation of mankind; it is the blood received from Mary that circulates in Christ’s veins and which pours out from his divine Heart; it is this same body and this same blood, received from Mary, that are given to us, under the appearances of bread and wine, as our daily food, to strengthen within us the life of grace, and so continue in us, members of the Mystical Body of Christ, his redemptive work for the salvation of each and all to the extent to which each one clings to Christ and co-operates with Christ.

 

Thus, having led us to offer to the Most Holy Trinity the merits of Jesus Christ and those of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who is the Mother of Christ and of his Mystical Body, the Message then goes on to ask us to contribute also the prayers and sacrifices of all of us who are members of that one same Body of Christ received from Mary, made divine in the Word, offered on the Cross, present in the Eucharist, constantly growing in the members of the Church.

Since she is the Mother of Christ and of his Mystical body, the Immaculate Heart of Mary is in some sense the Heart of the Church: and it is here in the heart of the Church that she, always united with Christ, watches over the members of the Church, granting them her maternal protection. Better than anyone, Mary fulfils Christ’s injunction: “Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (Jn. 16:24). It is in the name of Christ, her Son, that Mary intercedes for us with the Father. And it is in the name of Christ, present in the Eucharist and united with us in Holy Communion, that we unite our humble prayers with those of Mary so that She can address them to the Father in Jesus Christ, her Son.

Hence it is that over and over again we beseech Her: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us, sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Ave Maria! (17)

This article is from the fifteenth chapter of “With Jesus”: The Story of Mary Co-redemptrix, Queenship Publications, 2003. The book is available from Queenship.

 

Notes

 

(1) July 13, 1917 Fatima apparition, cf. A. Martins, S.J., Novos Documentos de Fátima, Porto, 1984, translated into English as Documents on Fatima and the Memoirs of Sister Lucia, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1992, p. 401.

(2) Technically an apparition message from the “Angel of Peace” (not directly from Our Lady, but at the same time part of the Fatima message), Second 1916 Fatima apparition, cf. Documents on Fatima and the Memoirs, p. 396. 

(3) May 13, 1917 Fatima apparition, cf. Documents on Fatima and the Memoirs, p. 399.

(4) Ibid.

(5) John Paul II, Beatification of Jacinta and Francisco, May 13, 2000, L’Osservatore Romano, May 17, 2000.

(6) For reference, the first two parts of the July 13 message are given here, followed by the “Third Part.” Reference to particular sufferings by the Holy Father are contained in the July 13 message and also in the “Third Part” of the secret of Fatima, released by John Paul II on May 13, 2000, and published in the June 28, 2000, L’Osservatore Romano, English edition, followed by the Vatican commentary on the Third Part which cited Sr. Lucia’s identification of the “bishop in white” as specifically referring to John Paul II:

 

Some moments after we arrived at Cova da Iria, near the holm oak amongst a big crowd of people, when we were praying the Rosary, we saw the radiance of light and afterwards our Lady over the holm oak.

“What do you want of me?” I asked.

“I want you to come here on the thirteenth day of the coming month, and to continue to say the Rosary every day in honor of our Lady of the Rosary to obtain the peace of the world and the end of the war. For she alone will be able to help.”

“I wish to ask you to tell us who you are and to perform a miracle so that everyone will believe that you appeared to us!”

“Continue to come here every month. In October I will tell you who I am and what I wish, and I will perform a miracle that everyone will see in order to make them believe.”

Here I made some requests that I don’t remember exactly. What I remember is that our Lady said it was necessary to say the Rosary to obtain graces during the year. And she went on, “Sacrifice yourselves for sinners and say many times, especially when you make some sacrifice: ‘Jesus it is for Your love, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.'”

When the Lady spoke these last words she opened her hands as she had in the two months before. The radiance seemed to penetrate the ground and we saw something like a sea of fire. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. It must have been when I saw this sight that I cried out, ‘Alas!’ which people say they heard.

The devils were distinguished by horrible and loathsome forms of animals, frightful and unknown, but transparent like black coals that have turned red hot. Frightened, and as if we were appealing for help, we raised our eyes to our Lady who said with tenderness and sadness:

“You saw hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them God wishes to establish in the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If they do what I will tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace. The war is going to end. But if they do not stop offending God, another even worse war will begin in the reign of Pius XI.

When you see a night illuminated by an unknown light, know that it is the great sign that God gives you that He is going to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, hunger and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.

To prevent this I will come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays. If they listen to my requests, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she will scatter her errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and various nations will be annihilated. In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and it will be converted and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world. In Portugal the dogma of Faith will always be kept. Tell this to no one. Francisco, yes, you may tell him. When you say the Rosary, say after each mystery, ‘O my Jesus, pardon us and deliver us from the fire of hell. Draw all souls to heaven, especially those in most need.'”

After a short period of silence, I asked, “Do you want nothing more of me?”

“No, today I want nothing more of you.”

And as usual, she began to arise towards the east and disappeared in the immense distance of the firmament.

 

The Third Part of the secret released by John Paul II in 2000 reads as follows:

 

J.M.J. The third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-Fatima, on 13 July 1917.

I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine.

After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: “Penance, Penance, Penance!” And we saw in an immense light that is God, something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it, a Bishop dressed in White; we had the impression that it was the Holy Father. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.

Tuy-3-1-1944.

 

(7) July 13, 1917 Fatima apparition, cf. Documents on Fatima and the Memoirs, p. 401.

(8) October 13, 1917 Fatima apparition, cf. Documents on Fatima and the Memoirs, p. 405.

(9) July 13, 1917 Fatima apparition, cf. Documents on Fatima and the Memoirs, p. 402.

(10) Sr. Lucia, “Calls” From the Message of Fatima, Ravengate Press, 2002, originally published in Portuguese under the title Apelos da Messagem de Fatima.

(11) Sr. Lucia, “Calls” From the Message of Fatima, p. 137.

(12) Ibid., p. 279.

(13) Cf. Lumen Gentium, 61, 62.

(14) Sr. Lucia, “Calls” From the Message of Fatima, p. 266.

(15) Ibid., p. 295.

(16) Ibid., p. 195.

(17) Ibid., pp. 114-116.

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Fifteen Promises

Published on October 7, 2011 by in Marian Devotion

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One Tuesday night, a woman called our home begging for prayers. She is a grandmother of a Hispanic family who live in a lower income region of a large American city. The woman’s voice sounded urgent and deeply troubled.

 

“My granddaughter ran away from home and has been missing since Saturday evening. She has been listed by the police as a runaway minor, and we have no idea where she is.” The woman’s granddaughter is fifteen years old, from a broken family, and has been exposed to serious moral improprieties by the parent that she lives with. The girl has recently been removed from Catholic school and placed into public school, where hanging out with the wrong crowd and missing classes have become the norms rather than the exceptions.

[…]

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Praying the Rosary has the power to change the course of human history. It has indeed done so on several occasions.

The renowned Battle of Lepanto is one obvious manifestation of the extraordinary power of this Marian prayer. In 1571, Pope St. Pius V called upon Western Christendom to pray the Rosary for victory over the significantly stronger naval fleet of the Muslim Turks, and specifically requested the Rosary confraternities to intensify their Rosary prayer in preparation for the October 7 naval battle. The sailors of the Christian fleet were likewise armed with the weapon of the Rosary.

It is said that while the battle raged, St. Pius V was granted a heavenly vision and exclaimed: “Victoria, Victoria!” The Christian fleet had delivered a deadly blow to the Turkish navy, the Church and the West were saved from Islamic invasion, and the feast of “Our Lady of the Rosary” was liturgically instituted. The October 7 feast, beyond a memorial of thanksgiving, should also remind the Church of the power of the Rosary in regards to our present time of monumental difficulties.

A more recent example was the dramatic standoff in 1986 between the Philippines Army under the command of the dictator Marcos and the two million Filipino faithful who were armed with Rosaries in downtown Manila. With tanks and gunmen having received the order to open fire on the crowd who were together praying the Rosary, Our Lady of the Rosary interceded.

Jaime Cardinal Sin, Cardinal Primate of the Philippines at the time, relayed the testimony given by a number of soldiers of what had actually taken place. A large-scale silhouette of a woman dressed in white appeared between the military and the people. Upon seeing the silhouette, not a single member of the military obeyed the order to open fire upon the crowd. This Marian miracle eventually led to the fleeing of the corrupt Marcos government on February 25, 1986, and to the establishment of democratic government in the Philippines.

The month of October also calls to mind the inspirational guidance of Pope Leo XIII, popularly known as the “Pope of the Rosary.” He was also particularly responsible for designating October as the “Rosary Month.” In one of his numerous encyclicals on the Rosary, he wrote:

 

 

To this heavenly mother, we have offered the flowers of the month of May; to her we would also have fruit-bearing October dedicated with a particularly tender devotion. It is fitting that both parts of the year should be consecrated to her… (Augustissimae Virginis, September 12, 1897).

 

October is the month to return to a more devout praying of the Rosary. It is the month to become more generous in our quantity of Rosary prayer. It is the month to make a Rosary examination of conscience.

Have I lost a past fervor for praying the Rosary? Could I offer more Rosaries than I currently do for the present state of the family, the Church and the world? Does my family daily pray the Rosary together? Am I praying my Rosary from the heart, meditating on the Gospel mysteries of my own salvation and the salvation of the entire world, and contemplating the “face of Christ” through the eyes and the heart of Mary?

Throughout the Rosary month, Mother of All Peoples will offer great papal excerpts, classical mariological excerpts, as well as contemporary commentaries that testify to the power and the imperative of daily praying this most efficacious Marian prayer. John Paul II has called us to pray especially for the intentions of world peace and family peace in his 2003 apostolic letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae.
The imperative for heavenly assistance from the Lady of the Rosary and the Mother of All Peoples for our present world situation is, I believe, well beyond the perils facing the Church and the West during the times of the Battle of Lepanto. For the contemporary approaching evils constitute attacks both on world peace ad extra and upon the nature of family, faith and morals, and even the most basic precepts of the natural law ad intra: abortion, euthanasia, cloning, homosexual marriages, the Aids epidemic, contraception, abortifacients, pornography, child prostitution, child abuse and neglect, and now, in the Netherlands, the legal killing of children under 12 years of age through euthanasia laws.

We need to change the present course of human history. We need to pray the Rosary.

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“Dear Children! You have helped me along by your prayers to realize my plans. Keep on praying that my plan may be completely realized. I request the families of the parish to pray the Family Rosary. Thank you for having responded to my call” (Our Lady of Medjugorje, September 27, 1984).

The call to pray the Rosary is the principal form of prayer requested by the Blessed Mother, not only in the message of Medjugorje but in the overall Marian message to the modern world. I want to discuss this favored Marian prayer under three categories. First of all, I will discuss briefly the Rosary in this general Marian call to the modern world. Secondly, I will discuss a little bit of the origins, the history, and the nature of the Rosary. What is this prayer of the Rosary that Our Lady has called us to so regularly? Thirdly, and most importantly for our purposes, I want to show how these two come together in the crucial Marian call to pray the Family Rosary. This is especially true in reading some of the recent interviews of the visionaries. They present the Rosary, especially the family praying of the Rosary, right after the general call to prayer and fasting as the most efficacious means of repelling Satan and of nurturing spiritual growth. It is absolutely fundamental.

[…]

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Reflection for Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio, SEPT. 14, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Surely other world religions, and even some fellow members of Christianity, must look at the Catholic Church with a head scratching bewilderment as Sept. 15 arrives and the Church celebrates the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows.

Why would anybody celebrate the suffering of anybody else? And, more specifically, why celebrate the terrible heartfelt sufferings of an innocent mother, who had to stand by and experience her son’s public execution by crucifixion, still one of history’s most grisly forms of death?

All authentic Christians will grant the necessity and efficacy of the sufferings of Jesus Christ to redeem the world. Humanity could not save itself. Humanity could not offer just compensation for its own sins, for to offend an infinite Creator is to commit an infinite offense.

Only a God-man could free us from the true burden of sin, and in the mystery of human redemption and God’s perfect providence, Jesus was called to endure a death infinitely more painful than any other human death. For the killing of the Christ was a deicide with such all-encompassing anguish of betrayal and abandonment even beyond the physical butchery, that no human being can even conceive its full intensity, let alone endure it.

Most Christians, therefore, understand in essence the Sept. 14 feast of the “triumph” of the Cross of Jesus. For through his suffering, death, and resurrection, Satan is defeated, death loses its sting, and the gates of paradise are flung open to all who will receive the pass of the Passion. That is something to celebrate.

But why the Sorrowful Mother?

We could just as well ask St. Paul why he instructs all Christians to “make up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of his body, which is the Church” (Colossians 1:24).

We Christians, too, will suffer and do suffer. Our suffering has the capacity to release a portion of the infinite graces merited by Jesus at Calvary, what theologians call “objective redemption.” But as these redemptive graces of Jesus must be personally received by the human heart, every Christian has a role in this mysterious release and reception of grace which theologians call “subjective redemption.”

Mary alone, as the “New Eve” with Jesus the “New Adam”, participates in both objective and subjective redemption: both in the historic acquisition of redemptive grace and in the providential release of redemptive grace. Blessed John Paul would teach of his mother and ours that Mary’s intensity of suffering at Calvary was a “contribution to the redemption of all” (“Salvifici Doloris,” 25).

This is why the Church, including popes, saints, mystics, and faithful alike, have traditionally referred to Mary as the Co-redemptrix. In the simplest of explanations, this title means that Mary helped Jesus save souls like no other. In the explanation of popes, it sounds more like this: “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” (Pius XI, O.R., 1 Dec. 1933).

We celebrate the Mother’s suffering because it is right to acknowledge her unique role with Jesus in redeeming the world. We also celebrate the Mother’s suffering because we crucially need the example of a human who does not have a divine nature, but who also offered every sorrow of mind, heart, and body for the salvation of others. As Pope Benedict instructed last year in Fatima, all Christians are called to become “redeemers in the Redeemer (May 13, 2010).”

The more suffering our contemporary society experiences, the more wisdom and consolation we obtain by bringing to the attention of the Church and the world the truth of Mary Co-redemptrix, whose life says in a concrete motherly witness that all human suffering can be redemptive.

Mary Co-redemptrix is not a Catholic truth that should be downplayed now, in our present moment of near unprecedented human suffering worldwide. It is a Catholic truth that should be proclaimed.

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The following is a re-print of a Sept. 13, 2003, interview conducted by Zenit Catholic News Service with Dr. Miravalle regarding the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.– Asst. Ed.

Steubenville, Ohio (Zenit.org)–The liturgical feast of Our Lady of Sorrows is a day with as much relevance as ever, says a noted Mariologist.Mark Miravalle, professor of theology and Mariology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, is author of a new book entitled, “With Jesus: The Story of Mary Co-redemptrix” (Queenship Publishing). 

Miravalle: In the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, we commemorate the unparalleled human sufferings experienced by the Virgin Mary in her unique role with Jesus in the mission of redemption. 

In Salvifici Doloris, No. 25, John Paul II describes these shared sufferings by Christ’s Mother, particularly during their climactic moments at the foot of the cross, as reaching an “intensity which can hardly be imagined from a human point of view, but which was mysteriously and supernaturally fruitful for the redemption of the world.” 

Historically, this feast can be traced to the fifteenth century and was fostered by popular devotion to the seven dolors, or sorrows, of Mary, particularly among the Flemish faithful and through its promulgation by the Servites of Mary. 

Until 1960, two feasts of the Sorrows of Mary were liturgically celebrated each year, the first on the Friday before Palm Sunday, which emphasized the “cumpassio” or “co-suffering” of Mary at Calvary; the second on September 15, which commemorates her entire life of co-redemptive suffering, which is highlighted in seven key scriptural events.

[…]

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Thoughts on 300 Austrian Priests’  “Call to Disobedience”

Two tragic notes immediately resound from the dissonant composition signed by 300 Austrian priests and entitled, “Call to Disobedience:” first, these priests clearly understand that what they are doing is an act of direct disobedience to the Pope and proper Church authority; secondly, deep down, the majority of them realize that what they are requesting is something the Catholic Church is powerless to grant them.
What precisely are these priests and their lay colleagues of “Call to Disobedience” asking for?  In their June 19, 2011 published statement, they are requesting (and in some cases are already enacting) specific changes, most of which do not fall under the category of ecclesiastical law which, in theory, could be changed.  No, an obvious majority of their requests reflect divinely revealed doctrine, which the Church herself could not change and would not change.

[…]

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It has been brought to my attention that a few individuals have publicly questioned the messages of Anne a Lay Apostle and the subsequent spiritual movement of the Lay Apostles of Jesus Christ the Returning King as distributed by Direction For Our Times.  I would like to take this opportunity to re-affirm in the strongest possible way my own belief in the supernatural character of these messages.  I do so based on the appropriate criteria used by the Catholic Church for an authentic  evaluation of reported private revelation: 1. the messages being in complete theological and doctrinal  conformity with the teachings of the Church’s Magisterium; 2. the phenomena of the locutions and other forms of message transmittance being  consistent  with the mystical tradition of the Church; and 3. the spiritual fruits of  conversion, healing, peace, joy, and return to Jesus and to the Church which have been experienced on five continents  as fruits of  these messages.

 

[…]

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What do St. Padre Pio, St. Francis Xavier Cabrini, St. Gemma Galgani, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Leopold Mandic, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, St. Jose Maria Escriva, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Blessed John Paul II, and Sr. Lucia of Fatima all have in common (beyond their eminent sanctity as witnessed by the twentieth century)? They all repeatedly invoked Our Lady as the “Co-redemptrix” and taught the doctrine of Marian coredemption concerning Mary’s unparalleled role with and under Jesus Christ in the Redemption of the human family.

One of the greatest examples of Catholic development of doctrine is visible with the historical unfolding of Marian dogma. Like a small acorn which grows over years into a towering oak tree, the divinely planted seeds of Scripture regarding Mary have grown under the nurturing of the Holy Spirit into solemnly declared dogmas of faith, which constitute the highest form of recognized Catholic truth.

In 431, the Council of Ephesus solemnly declares Mary the Mother of God, or literally the “God-bearer” (Theotokos) in the midst of the Nestorian controversy over the nature and person of Christ. (1) Two centuries later (649), Pope Martin I declares the “Perpetual Virginity” of Our Lady, that she was virginal before, during, and after the birth of Jesus Christ. (2)

A span of over a thousand years passes before the next Marian dogma is proclaimed with the solemn papal definition of the Immaculate Conception (1854) by Bl. Pope Pius IX, whereby the Holy Father exercises the charism of papal infallibility to pronounce that from the moment of Mary’s conception, she is free from original sin and full of grace. (3) A century later, Venerable Pope Pius XII again exercises papal infallibility by solemnly defining the Assumption of Mary (1950), that at the end of earthly life, the Mother of Jesus was taken body and soul into heavenly glory. (4)

The present four Marian dogmas identify the principal prerogatives of the Blessed Virgin Mary during her earthly life and in relation to her Divine Son. But the sublime tasks assigned by the Holy Trinity to the Virgin Mother do not cease there. Mary received a fifth role with specific relation to the human race, which was declared first by her Crucified Son as his final gift to humanity before his redemptive death: “Woman, behold your Son!… Behold, your Mother!” (Jn. 19:25-27).

Not only is Mary Mother of God made man, the Perpetual Virgin of Virgins, the Immaculate Conception, and the Assumed One, she is also the Spiritual Mother of all peoples and all nations. As the Second Vatican Council teaches: “Taken up into heaven, she did not lay aside this saving office, but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation… Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix” (Lumen Gentium, 62).

As Spiritual Mother of all humanity, Our Lady exercises three maternal functions on behalf of her earthly children. She is a “Mother suffering” or “Co-redemptrix.” The prefix “co” does not mean equal but “with,” as exemplified in St. Paul’s call for all Christians to be “co-workers with God” (1 Cor. 3:9). Mary cooperated “with Jesus” in ways unlike any other human or angelic creature, by her shared suffering with Him in the work of redemption. Vatican
II again reminds us that the Blessed Virgin “faithfully persevered in union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring 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” (LG 58). John Paul II of happy memory called Mary the “Co-redemptrix” on six occasions. (5)

Her second motherly function for humanity is as a “Mother nourishing” or “Mediatrix of all graces.” As the fathers, doctors, saints, and popes teach us, every grace that we receive from the redemption of Jesus Christ comes to us through the intercession of Mary. Cana makes clear the Mother’s ability to release the graces and miracles of her Son for the needs of humanity (Jn. 2:1-10). The late great John Paul called Mary the “Mediatrix of all graces” on seven occasions. (6)

Her third maternal function is as a “Mother pleading” or “Advocate.” There is no greater intercessor to the throne of her Kingly Son than that of the Queen Mother. As King Solomon could deny his mother the Queen nothing, (cf. 1 Kings 2:19) so too, Christ the King denies his Queen Mother nothing.

Since Our Lady’s Spiritual Motherhood under its three aspects of Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces, and Advocate is already part of the authoritative doctrinal teachings of the Papal Magisterium, why the need for a papal definition of these three titles? From where did the movement for a papal definition of Our Lady’s universal mediation derive?

Apart from certain misunderstandings that the movement for a fifth Marian dogma has its origins in private revelation, the actual historical beginnings of this international Church drive date back to the first two decades of the twentieth century with the efforts of the renowned Belgian cardinal, Cardinal Mercier and the enthusiastic support of St. Maximilian Kolbe.

By the end of 1915, Pope Benedict had received numerous petitions for the dogmatic definition of Our Lady’s universal mediation from Cardinal Mercier, fellow bishops, religious superiors, and clergy. (7) Cardinal Mercier issued a pastoral letter calling for the dogma of Our Lady’s mediation, which specifically included the concept of Coredemption as an integral part of her mediation, in 1918. (8) With the papal approval by Pope Benedict XV for the mass and office of “Mary, Mediatrix of all graces” at the request of Mercier and others in 1921, the worldwide movement for the solemn papal definition of Mary’s universal mediation of grace was launched in a letter from Cardinal Mercier to all the bishops of the world (April, 1921), wherein he expressed his deepest hope for this dogmatic crowning of Our Lady’s mediation. (9)

The illustrious Belgian cardinal continued his advocacy for the dogma with Pius XI on the very day of his papal election (Feb. 6, 1922). (10) The newly elected pontiff responded immediately to the petition for the dogma by ordering the establishment of three theological commissions to study the question in 1922. The Belgian and Spanish commissions concluded strongly in favor of the papal definition, while the conclusion of the Roman commission was never released. (11)

From that time to the present, great numbers of petitions have continued to flood the Holy See for the papal definition of Our Lady’s universal mediation. Petitions for a new Marian dogma from only the last ten years (approx. 1994-2004) number over six million from over 165 countries, and include over 550 bishops and 45 cardinals. (12) Although these numbers do not include the hundreds of bishop petitions, along with the multitudinous number of clergy and lay petitions submitted to the Holy See by Cardinals Mercier, (13) Gagnon, and others prelates from 1930 to 1994, the recent petition campaign of the last decade for this fifth Marian dogma represents the largest per annum petition drive in the history of the Church.

But the question of “why” must again be addressed. If the Magisterium already teaches the truth of Marian mediation in its three components of Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate, then where is the need for a solemn papal definition of the same truth in the form of a dogma?

Historic graces and world peace
With every new Marian dogma proclaimed by the successor of Peter, bearer of the keys of the kingdom, a new ocean of graces descends upon the Church and the world. For Our Lady to exercise fully the motherly roles granted her by God, humanity must exercise its free will in accepting her roles that they may be activated on our behalf. God never forces his sanctifying grace upon us, but awaits our free “yes” before bestowing them.

Humanity’s “yes” as spoken by the Holy Father in a papal proclamation of our full acceptance of Our Lady’s Spiritual Motherhood would release extraordinary graces of peace and redemption to a world where internal wars of abortion, child abuse, pornography, divorce, drugs, depression, loneliness, and external conflicts of terrorism, poverty, famine, pestilence and natural disasters are threatening most every family, country, and society throughout the world.

The proclamation of the dogma would allow the Mother to have her chance to intercede for a new peace and grace for our world. The Holy Father would be declaring our acknowledgement, on the highest level of Catholic truth, that She truly is our universal Spiritual Mother, our Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces and Advocate, and that we humbly and trustingly beseech our Heavenly Queen and Mother for the interior peace of Christ in the hearts of humanity that is necessary for any authentic and perduring global peace.

The succinct but profound words of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta most eloquently summarize the heart and the imperative of the contemporary call for the fifth Marian Dogma:

Mary is our Coredemptrix with Jesus. She gave Jesus his body and suffered with him at the foot of the cross.

Mary is the Mediatrix of all grace. She gave Jesus to us, and as our Mother she obtains for us all his graces.

Mary is our Advocate who prays to Jesus for us. It is only through the Heart of Mary that we come to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.

The papal definition of Mary as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate will bring great graces to the Church.

All for Jesus through Mary.

God bless you

Mother Teresa, MC (14)

Notes

(1) Council of Ephesus, 431 A.D., as cited from Henricus Denzinger, Enchiridion Symbolorum, Definitionum et Declarationum De Rebus Fidei et Morum,
Barcelona, ed. Herder, 1946, n. 113.

(2) Martin I, Lateran Council, 649 A.D., Denzinger 256.

(3) Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, 1854, Denzinger 1641.

(4) Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, 1950.

(5) John Paul II, Greetings to the Sick Following General Audience (Sept. 8, 1982); Angelus Address (Nov. 4, 1984),L’Osservatore Romano, 860: 1; Palm Sunday Address at Alborada, Guayaquil, Ecuador (Jan. 31, 1985), L’Osservatore Romano, 876: 7;Palm Sunday and World Youth Day Address (March 31, 1985), L’Osservatore Romano, 880: 12;Address to Federated Alliance of Transportation of Sick to Lourdes (March 24, 1990); Address Commemorating Sixth Centenary of Canonization of St. Bridget of Sweden (Oct. 6, 1991), L’Osservatore Romano, 1211: 4.

(6) John Paul II, Address to the General Council, Provincial Superiors and Directors of the Italian Institutes of the Congregation of St. Joseph
(Dec. 1, 1978), n. 3; Address to Young People at Our Lady’s Shrine on Mount Roio (Aug. 30, 1980) n. 3; Angelus Address (Jan. 17,
1988) n. 2; Homily for Octave of Easter in the Roman Parish of Mary, Mother of the Redeemer (April 10, 1988) n. 7;Reflection Made at the Shrine of Our Lady of Graces in Benevento (July 2, 1990) n. 1; Angelus Address in Lecce (Sept. 18, 1994) nn. 1, 3; Address to the General Chapter of the Mercedarian Sisters of Charity (June 28, 1996) n. 4.

(7) Cf. Cardinal Mercier, Pastoral Letter (Sept. 8, 1918), as found in Manfred Hauke,Mary, Mediatress of Grace, Mary at the Foot of the Cross IV: Supplement, Academy of the Immaculate, 2004, p. 3; cf. Mercier, Oeuvres pastorales V, 160, as found in Hauke, Mary, Mediatress, p. 6; Mercier, in the Archdiocesan Archives, Carton XXV, Document 21, as
found in Hauke, Mary, Mediatress, p. 95.

(8) Mercier, Pastoral Letter (Sept. 8, 1918), as found in Manfred Hauke, Mary, Mediatress, p. 3.

(9) Mercier, Letter (note 7), in Oeuvres pastorales VI, 471f, as found in Hauke, Mary, Mediatress, p. 3.

(10) Hauke, Mary, Mediatress, p. 96

(11) Ibid.

(12) Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici Petition Center Archives, PO Box 220, Goleta, CA 93116.

(13) Cf. J. M. Hupperts, “Kardinaal Mercier, dienaar en apostel der allerheiligste Maagd” in De Standaard van Maria 6, 1926, p. 68, note 5, as
found in Hauke Mary, Mediatress, p. 93.

(14) Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Letter of August 14, 1993.v

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Dear Friends in Jesus and Mary,

On August 15, 2010, a yearlong international Rosary Crusade was initiated for the solemn papal definition of Our Lady as the Spiritual Mother of All Peoples, inclusive of her three motherly roles as Co-redemptrix, Mediatix of all graces, and Advocate.   We wish to thank the thousands of people worldwide who generously offered a Rosary a day for the 5th Marian Dogma.   Although the Rosary Crusade formally ends on August 15, 2011, those who truly understand the historic importance of this Marian proclamation will join the many of us who will continue with the daily Rosary Crusade, until such time as   we hear the anointed words issuing forth from the lips of our beloved Holy Father which proclaim the Immaculate Mother of God as the universal Mother, Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate.

[…]

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DUBLIN, Ireland, JULY 21 (Zenit.org).- Approximately a decade ago, the Catholic Church in the United States experienced its worst public scandal in its history. An appropriate cry for just punishment for those clergy who had abused the sacred innocence of children, and for members of the Catholic hierarchy for the grave mishandling of certain sex abuse cases, admirably came forth from the people and the press alike.

But this tragic U.S. Church event also became the occasion for longstanding ideological opponents of the Catholic Church to seize the moment, and through distortion and inflation of the actual facts, these opponents sought to attack the Church at its very core, hoping to permanently remove Catholic faith and life from American society.

As I happen to be visiting Ireland during the present release of the Cloyne Report, I see history repeating itself.

Truth and justice are the means by which we must examine all sides of the issue of the present Church scandal. Standards of fairness and decency must be applied equally to the victims, the accused, the guilty, the country and the Catholic Church. In this light, I would like to propose the following 10 points to ponder in seeking the type of just response to the present Church scandal that hopefully will build a foundation for future protection and respect for the children of Ireland, its society, its religious freedom and its profound national heritage.

[…]

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What is your first response when you hear someone refer to the mother of Jesus Christ as the “Co-redemptrix”?

Extreme? Excessive pietism, even if well-intended? Heresy? Only Jesus is the Redeemer. If not directly heresy, then extremely dangerous? At least anti-ecumenical?

Now let’s look at some people who have in fact called the Virgin Mary the Co-redemptrix: John Paul II (on six different occasions); Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta; St. Padre Pio, stigmatic wonder worker of the 20th century; Sr. Lucia, the Fatima visionary; St. Francis Cabrini, the first American citizen to be canonized; St. Jose Maria Escriva, founder of the Opus Dei; St. Edith Stein, co-patroness of Europe; papal theologians Cardinals Ciappi and Cottier; contemporary Church leaders such as Cardinal Schönborn, General Secretary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church; Mother Angelica, foundress of worldwide Catholic television and radio network EWTN; and a host of other saints, popes, mystics, prelates, theologians, and doctors of the Church, and lay leaders, with an ecclesial line of succession dating back to the 14th century.

Do we see dangerous extremism, heresy, or any anti-ecumenical spirit in people like John Paul II and Mother Teresa? Would saints like Padre Pio and Mother Cabrini participate in Marian excess to the detriment of Jesus and his Church? Would Cristoph Cardinal Schönborn, general editor of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, use and defend the Co-redemptrix title if it were in any way unorthodox or theologically questionable? Would a Fatima visionary use, explain and defend the Co-redemptrix title six times in her last great writing, Calls from the Message of Fatima, when doing so would be offensive to the Holy See, who granted the imprimatur to her book? Or, even more, to Our Lady herself, with whom Sr. Lucia experienced mystical communications for decades?

Why, then, would we be afraid of calling Mary the Co-redemptrix with Jesus, the divine Redeemer of humanity, when these pontiffs, saints, theologians and mystics for the past 700 years have been doing so?

What do people like John Paul II, Mother Teresa, Padre Pio and the throng of saints, mystics, and popes, precisely mean when they say that Mary is the Co-redemptrix? First of all, let’s be clear as to what do they not mean: 1.) They do not mean that Mary is equal to Jesus. 2.) They do not mean that Mary has an equal share in the redemption of the human family. This would indeed be heresy.

What they do mean when they refer to the Mother of Christ as the Co-redemptrix is that Mary uniquely cooperated with Jesus and entirely subordinate to and dependent upon Jesus, in the historic work of Redemption.

Let’s define our terms. What is Redemption? Redemption is the saving act of Jesus Christ, through his life, Passion, Death, and Resurrection, repairing our relationship with the Father by offering just compensation for the sins of humanity, and thus restoring the possibility of sanctifying grace, and friendship between God and humanity, which results in the inheritance of heaven.

The term, “redemption,” derives from the Latin, redimere, and literally means “to buy back.” Jesus, through the merits of his passion, death, and resurrection buys us back from the bondage of Satan and the debt of original sin.

Now the question remains: can a human creature participate in this divine historic redemptive work of Jesus Christ?

It is important to remember that the Redemption of Jesus Christ is an act of restoring what was lost by two human beings, Adam and Eve. Although Adam, as father of the human race, was principally responsible for the original sin passed on to his descendants (cf. Rom 5:12), Eve also has an instrumental though secondary role in the loss of grace for the human family (cf. Gen 3:6). This is why the Fathers of the Church referred to Mary as the “New Eve” or “Second Eve,” since through her obedience with Jesus Christ the “New Adam” (cf. 1 Cor 15:45), she became in the words of the 2nd century Church Father, St. Irenaeus the “cause of salvation for herself and the whole human race” (Adv. Haer. III, 22, 4: PG 7, 989 A).

But can a human creature participate in a divine act, such as the divine act of Redemption?

Let us first examine ourselves. Can you or I as creatures positively participate in the salvation of someone else by our cooperation? By our prayers, by our good works, by our sacrifices, but our Christian witness, have we done anything that assisted in the “buying back” of another person from the bondage of Satan through the grace of Jesus Christ?

If you are a father or a mother and have raised your children in the Christian faith and brought your children to baptism into the divine life of Jesus, did you not cooperate in their Redemption in Christ? What about if you are a priest or minister who has a role in baptizing and distributing the other sacraments of Jesus? Do you not participate in the redemption of other people, even though, once again, it is completely dependent upon Jesus Christ, the only and all necessary divine Redeemer?

Every time you pray for someone to say yes to Christ; every time you evangelize Christ by word or example; every time you pray to sustain a family member in faith during a time of crisis; every time you pray for perfect strangers who will die this day to accept their Redeemer during their final earthly breath—in all these prayers and works of Christian intercession, you are cooperating in the Redemption of another human being. You are participating in the application of the saving work of Jesus Christ in buying back members of the human family from Satan and sin.

While it is true that none of us participate in the obtaining of the graces of Redemption merited by Jesus at Calvary, every Christian is nonetheless called to participate in the distribution of his redemptive graces through prayer, sacrifices, and works of faith, hope, and love (cf. Col. 1:24). It is our Christian responsibility and obligation precisely to participate in redemptive work of Jesus Christ. This is why Pope John Paul II called all Christians to become “co-redeemers in Christ.”

If we, therefore, can and should cooperate in the redemption of others, as long as it is absolutely clear, once again, that it is first and in every way dependent upon the redemption wrought by Christ, the one mediator between God and man (cf. 1 Tim 2:5), then why would there be a problem with the Mother of Jesus cooperating in the Christian Redemption of others as well?

In fact, does not the Bible reveal that the Mother of Jesus cooperated in the historic act of Jesus’ Redemption like no other creature?

At the Annunciation (Lk 1:38), when Mary says yes to the angel Gabriel to become the Mother of Jesus, can we not say that she uniquely contributes to the mission of Redemption by giving to the Redeemer, the very instrument of Redemption – his human body? Hebrews 10:10 tells us that we are “sanctified by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” The instrument of Redemption was given personally and intimately to the Redeemer by Mary. What other creature, in virtue of the Incarnation alone, could claim to have a more direct and proximate cooperation with Jesus in his redemptive mission? But it does not stop there.

When the infant Christ is presented by Mary in the Temple and the prophet Simeon identifies Jesus as the “sign of contradiction” who will fulfill his redemptive mission (Lk. 2:25-35), Simeon then refers through the power of the Holy Spirit to Mary’s own unique suffering with Jesus in the work of Redemption: “… and a sword shall pierce through your own soul, too” (Lk 2:35).

Scripture explicitly reveals that Mary will have a unique role of suffering with Jesus—the piercing of her heart—because she is so closely and uniquely a cooperator with the Redeemer. What mother would not suffer in seeing her beloved child die horrifically on the cross, especially if her child was a divine, innocent offering sacrificed for the redemption of the world?

Ultimately, the climactic hour of human Redemption takes place at Calvary (John 19). What happens at Calvary? Jesus is crucified, dies and offers his life in just compensation for the sins of humanity. Mary, Scripture testifies, is present, for the fulfillment of the self-same mission of Redemption. What is happening in the heart of Mary? She is faithfully offering the suffering of her Son, joined with her own, in obedience to the Father’s plan for Redemption. As a result of her unparalleled suffering with the Redeemer, the dying Christ gives, as his final gift to John and to all who seek to be beloved disciples of Christ, the gift of his coredemptive mother to be our own: “Woman, behold your son … Behold, your mother” (Jn 19:26-27).

Regarding both the Incarnation and the Redemption, the Bible reveals that Mary uniquely cooperated with Jesus in the historic work of Redemption. It is little wonder that as a result of her unparalleled sharing in the obtaining of the graces of Redemption, that God would see fit to grant the Mother of the Redeemer the privileged role of the distribution of the graces of Redemption as the spiritual mother of all peoples (cf. Lk 1:38; Jn 2:1-10; Jn 19:25-27; Rev 12:1).

“Crucified spiritually with her crucified Son …. Mary’s role as Co-redemptrix did not cease with the glorification of her Son.” Pope John Paul II (Jan. 31, 1985)

“Mary is our Co-redemptrix with Jesus. She gave Jesus his body and suffered with him at the foot of the cross.” Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, (August 14, 1984)

Are you afraid to call Mary the Co-redemptrix? You shouldn’t be. John Paul II, Mother Teresa, Padre Pio, Sr. Lucia, and the endless list of other saints, mystics, popes, theologians, and Christian faithful who refer to her as Co-redemptrix do so with the assurance of Scripture, the Papal Magisterium, and the consolation of the Holy Spirit. It is safe, it is true, and it is a title that she overwhelmingly deserves in virtue of the greatest human suffering in the history of man after that of her Son.

Be not afraid of Mary Co-redemptrix.

Dr. Mark Miravalle
Professor of Theology and Mariology
Franciscan University of Steubenville

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How did Mary become the Rosa Mystica, the choice, delicate, perfect flower of God’s spiritual creation? It was by being born, nurtured, and sheltered in the mystical garden or Paradise of God.

– John Henry Cardinal Newman

At the close of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI authoritatively declared the Blessed Virgin Mary to be the “Mother of the Church.” It is interesting to note that Paul VI was a “son” of Brescia, the northern Italian region where the Blessed Virgin Mary had been appearing for several years as the “Rosa Mystica” or “Mystical Rose,” where she had repeatedly referred to herself, and offered profound insights on her role as, the “Mother of the Church.”

When the Church examines reports of a Marian revelation, her primordial criteria for evaluation rests upon three general pillars: firstly, the contents of the messages in comparison to the faith and morals teachings of the Church; secondly, an examination of the reported visionary and any concurring phenomena; and thirdly, the lasting spiritual fruits which come forth from the reported revelation.

The Church responds to reported private revelations with a “cautious but open” attitude, which ecclesiastical prudence properly requires. Private revelation must also be recognized as being completely subordinate to the Public Revelation of Jesus Christ as contained in Scripture and Tradition and as safeguarded by the Magisterium. It is thereupon fruitful to apply these identical criteria used by the Church in an honest examination of the Rosa Mystica revelations, the promulgation of which has, for a considerable time, reached worldwide proportions.

What is the fundamental message of Our Lady, the Rosa Mystica, and how does it doctrinally correspond to the faith and morals teachings of the Church? It is an invitation of prayer, sacrifice, and reparation for priests and religious—for a return and renewal of the highest objective callings in the Church—through a return to prayer, purity, penance, fidelity to vocation, and reparation in atoning for the grave infidelities that have unfortunately entered ordained and consecrated life.

The message of the Rosa Mystica is a call to pray and offer for priests and religious to accept their vocations; to be true to their vocations; and to atone for the betrayal of these vocations, the effects of which can cause such grave harm to the People of God and to the world.

Indeed, when the humble young nurse, Pierina Gilli, first received these messages in the late 1940’s, which included references to infidelities within the priesthood and religious life, her candid response was essentially, “where?” Where are priests and religious not living true to their vocations? Respectfully, but truthfully and tragically, we can now understand the prophetic nature and the fulfillment of these admonitions.

At first, Church authorities may have thought the Rosa Mystica message too strong in this regard, as it made several references to the need for reparation for betrayals of priestly and religious life. But stronger than the words of the Rosa Mystica are the words of Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI. During the 2005 Good Friday meditations written by him, he testified boldly for the need of purification from within the Church, and specifically from within the ranks of ordained priesthood:

We have considered the fall of man in general, and the falling of many Christians away from Christ and into a godless secularism. Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church? How often is the holy sacrament of his Presence abused, how often must he enter empty and evil hearts! How often do we celebrate only ourselves, without even realizing that he is there! How often is his Word twisted and misused! What little faith is present behind so many theories, so many empty words! How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him!

John Paul II, in his 2004 World Day of Prayer for Vocations, likewise echoes the call of the Rosa Mystica. Prayer for our priests and religious by all members of the Church, and a renewed focus towards Christian holiness by our priests and religious themselves, constitute quintessential elements for the renewal of priestly and religious life and for the prevention of lost vocations:

I refer to priests, Religious, hermits, consecrated virgins, members of secular institutes—in short, all those who have received the gift of the vocation and carry “this treasure in earthen vessels” (II Cor 4: 7)…. In the reciprocal attention for holiness, which must animate every member of the Church, it is necessary to pray so that those “called” remain faithful to their vocation and reach the highest possible degree of evangelical perfection…. It is more necessary than ever “to cling steadfastly to the Lord and to personal vocation and mission” (Vita Consecrata, n. 63). The strength of the witness given by those called and their ability to involve others and inspire each of them to entrust his or her own life to Christ depends on their holiness. Such is the way to counteract the reduction in vocations to the consecrated life which threatens the continuance of many apostolic works….

It would be of little surprise that another major tenet of Our Lady’s message for priestly and religious renewal is the call for Christian purity. On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1947, the Rosa Mystica calls for an “Hour of Grace” to be celebrated every subsequent December 8 between twelve and one o’clock in the afternoon. Psalm 51 is recited three times with outstretched arms in reparation, and munificent graces of mercy and purity are released on the feast which celebrates the plentitude of grace and purity in Mary, “The Immaculate Conception.”

On July 13, 1947, Our Lady also asks for a celebration of the Rosa Mystica to be held in religious congregations and institutes, in order to foster a deeper spirit of prayer so that “no vocation will be betrayed.” She further promises that for religious institutes and congregations that honor her, “they will be protected by me, their vocations will blossom, and they will have less betrayals of vocation.”

This Marian message also refers to the coredemptive role of the Mother of Jesus, who uniquely though always subordinately suffers with Jesus in the historical accomplishment of Redemption. She is called, “Mary of Redemption,” and her “fiat of redemption” and “fiat of my collaboration” is what brings the world its Redeemer and accompanies him unto the cross. The Second Vatican Council attests to the same doctrinal truth when it states: “Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood in keeping with the divine plan, enduring 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 born of her” (Lumen Gentium, 58).

There is no doctrinal error to be found in the revelations of the Rosa Mystica. On the contrary, it seems to resemble in many ways the inspired call of the Second Vatican Council and also the teachings of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI in their unified exhortations for a contemporary renewal of priesthood and religious life.

The Church also examines the visionary and concurring phenomena in the process of the reported revelation. The personal history of Pierina Gilli manifests extraordinary characteristics of Christian virtue and longsuffering, both in terms of perennial physical sufferings, and, sadly, in the unfortunate treatment she received in her faithful conveyance of this message from the Mother of God.

Having desired a religious life for herself, but being incapable of remaining in the convent due to serious physical illness, the young visionary persevered in the mission offered her by Heaven and offered her life’s suffering and hardship for the renewal of the vocation that she herself was physically deprived from living. All descriptions of her states of ecstasy and her reception of visions and locutions positively correspond to classic characteristics present in the Church’s authentic mystical Tradition.

Sadly, spurious accusations of inordinate use of pain medication, (which in truth were neither excessive nor self-prescribed, but rather given to her only at moments of her most climactic pain directly by the religious sisters whom she served), left grounds for ad hominem attacks of the messenger, instead of an appreciation for the sublimity of the message. Nevertheless, the Heavenly Father used Pierina’s meritorious suffering for the expedient spreading of the Rosa Mystica apparitions and its beautifully distinctive three-rosed statue throughout the world.

The third category of Church examination is the characteristic of perduring spiritual fruits issuing from the experience, based upon the words of the Lord: “Thus, you will know them by their fruits” (Mt. 7:17–20). In fact, devotion to Our Lady, the Rosa Mystica, has spread to the five continents, with national groups of devotees in most every major country.

In the recent years since the Great Jubilee in the year 2000, numerous private pilgrimages of priests and religious have made their way to Montichiari and to the chapel and spring at Fontanelle, including a pilgrimage of some 50 priests and religious which received expressed written permission of the local bishop. A later pilgrimage of 100 priests and numerous religious personally represented all five continents. Encouraging is the fact that, although previous Church authority had voiced strong reservations, the most recent ordinary has granted permission for a private pilgrimage of priests and religious to the apparition site.

In sum, the major elements which would properly lead an ecclesiastical investigation to a positive judgment of supernatural authenticity are, in my opinion, definitively present in the Rosa Mystica apparitions.

Should it be a surprise that the Mother of God would come to humanity in this particular time of the Church, amidst the present dramatic challenges facing priesthood and religious life, with a humble call to all her children, and especially to her ordained and consecrated ones, to pray, to sacrifice, and to do penance for the restoration of priesthood and religious life today?

Accept the invitation of the Rosa Mystica. Pray daily for our priests and religious. Offer acts of reparation to appease the Heart of Jesus for those who have fallen in their vocations. Pray for the Church local and the Church universal’s discernment of these invaluable apparitions, that the Rosa Mystica apparitions may soon receive full ecclesiastical approbation in order to sustain an even greater promulgation of her devotion to every diocese and religious congregation throughout the world.

The time for responding to the message of the Rosa Mystica is now.

To order copies of the new English booklet on Rosa Mystica, Mary, the Rosa Mystica, Montichiari-Fontanelle, please contact the Association of Rosa Mystica-Fontanelle at: Via Rampina di S. Giorgio, 24, C. P. 134, 25018 Montichiari (Brescia), Italy; or call or email at 011-39-030-964-111, marialuisa.cuelli@tiscali.it.

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By special request we are re-publishing the following article on the Rosa Mystica International Pilgrimage for Priests scheduled for April 13-19, 2005, as the article contains an official letter from His Excellency, Msgr. Giulio Sanguineti, Bishop of the Diocese of Brescia, which gives permission for a private priestly pilgrimage to the Rosa Mystica apparition site – Ed.

Recently, I was contacted by a group of priests who desired to organize an international private (non-diocesan sponsored) pilgrimage for priests in April of 2005 to the Rosa Mystica Shrine in Montichiari, Italy. Years ago, Our Lady had reportedly appeared several times in Montichiari (in the northern region of Lombardy) as the “Rosa Mystica” (Mystical Rose) and conveyed a powerful message of promised graces for the renewal of priesthood and religious life, particularly for those in crisis. The question raised to me by the priests seeking to organize the pilgrimage was: “Can we privately pilgrimage to Rosa Mystica in obedience to the Church?”

[…]

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Introduction

The reported apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Bosnia-Herzegovina (former Yugoslavia) have attracted the attention of the world and approximately 30 million pilgrims. Since June 24, 1981, six children began to report daily visits from the “Queen of Peace” and several of the “visionaries” continue to report receiving a daily apparition from the Mother of Jesus over 25 years later.

Is Medjugorje real? Are these authentic apparitions of the Virgin Mary? What is the official position of the Catholic Church about their authenticity? Could these simply be the fraudulent deception of hysteric children (now adults) for reasons of attention and personal gain?

 

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