Mariology of Blessed John Duns Scotus: Mary in Relation to Christ, The Predestination of Mary

The following article begins a series of selections taken from the “Mariology of Blessed John Duns Scotus” by Father Ruggero Rosini. – Asst. Ed.

Mary in Relation to Christ

When one speaks of John Duns Scotus in relation to Our Lady our thoughts usually turn immediately to the Immaculate Conception with which his name is commonly linked, so much so that he is called “Doctor of the Immaculate.”

However, this privilege—as Scotus himself will make us understand—does not stand on its own: this too, like all the other Marian privileges, presupposes a source or principle that gives them life. And what is this Principle to which Mary is indebted for all her gifts?

It is easy to specify: it is Christ.

Through this there is formed a most perfect bond between her and Him, between Christ and Mary; this is so true that only in the light of this association can all of the Marian privileges be explained.

Our task, then, will be to specify above all the nature and origin of that bond existing between Christ and Mary, following the thought of the Subtle Doctor. And we will see that this bond has for its foundation the motherhood and grace of Mary. Both of these privileges, in fact, immediately bind Mary to Christ: the first (motherhood) with natural bonds; the second (grace) with moral bonds.

Yet these two bonds, dependent on Christ, presuppose a third bond, anterior to the Incarnation and depending on God.

Hence our initial considerations must bear on that decree of predestination whereby Christ and Mary were foreseen together, prior to every aspect of the divine plan.

From these three bonds, therefore our outline in this first section emerges: 1) Mary’s predestination, 2) her motherhood and 3) her grace.

The predestination of Mary

Duns Scotus does not speak expressly of Mary’s predestination anywhere in his numerous works. However, his immediate disciples{footnote} Cf., e.g., john basseolis, III Sent., d. 1, q.