Mary Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate



The symbols of Her Majesty as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate are imprinted in the Medal of the Immaculate Conception (Miraculous Medal). Its history began in Eden. When, in the fullness of time, God created Adam out of the dust of the earth and placed him in the garden of Eden, he then created Eve out of his rib and gave her to him as “a companion” (Genesis 2:18). Our first mother, the first Eve, the “Mother of the living,” then brought death to her children and the world by her sin of disobedience and by wanting to be “like God.” She, and soon afterwards the first Adam, fell prey to “the father of lies,” the ancient serpent, once Lucifer, now Satan, who deceived them (Genesis 3:4-5).


It was then that God made his first promise to mankind when he said to Satan: “Because you have done this, I will put enmity between you and the woman; between your seed and her seed; (s)he will crush your head…” (Genesis 3:15). God was referring to a new Eve and a new Adam. It was to be Mary and Jesus in time to come. She was to defeat him through her seed, the second Adam. Eventually, in the fullness of time the new Eve was born. She was to be the mother of the man, the new Adam, who was to restore life and the friendship of God with mankind. She was to be the new “Mother of the living,” the Mother of Mankind.


St. Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa Theologica, theologized that when man rebelled against God, God’s justice required that adequate reparation be made; justice meaning “giving to everyone his due.” But since God is infinite, an infinite insult was made to him when man rebelled against him, and if the reparation was to be adequate, that is, if justice was to be satisfied, such an insult required infinite reparation. Justice also required that the reparation be made by man, but man is a finite being and incapable of making infinite reparation. Left to himself, therefore, man would forever be separated from God. The only solution to the impasse was that the infinite God should become man, and as man offer reparation to God. Since the person offering the reparation would himself be infinite, the reparation would equal the crime and man would once more be united in friendship with God. And so, in his loving mercy, God sent his Son to make reparation for the sin of man: “God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son…” (John 3:16).


Coredemptrix


Now, the first Adam and the first Eve were immaculate at birth. Sin had not entered the world as yet. The second Eve, too, in anticipation of the merits of her son, by a special privilege of God, was preserved from the stain of original sin and was immaculate at birth. She was the Immaculate Conception. She was to be the helpmate and “companion” of the Redeemer, who was the “sinless One.” The spiritual history of man was about to start all over again, this time not in Eden, but in Nazareth!

The first Adam gave birth to the first Eve. The second Eve gave birth to the second Adam. Indeed, she gave him the very instrument of redemption, his human body, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me” (Heb. 10:5-7). No human father was involved and scientifically speaking, therefore, his DNA was totally Marian! In the words of the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta: “Of course, Mary is the Coredemptrix. She gave Jesus his body, and it is his body which saved us.”


The first Eve was proud. The second Eve was humble. The first Eve was disobedient. The second Eve was obedient. The first Eve said yes to Satan and sin. The second Eve said yes to Gabriel and God. It was a fruit which hung from a tree in the garden of Eden which was the instrument which Satan used to bring death to the world. It was the “fruit of her womb” (Luke 1:42) who hung from a tree on Calvary and restored life to mankind. The first Eve brought death to the world. The second Eve brought life. The Eden tragedy was reversed on Calvary.


In sum, it was a man and a woman who had sinned and, therefore, it had to be a man and a woman to restore what was lost by sin. It is as logical as that! Anyone therefore who leaves the “woman” out of that redemptive act is only preaching half Genesis 3:15, half the gospel, half the truth—and half-truth is no truth! It was Jesus and Mary.

Redemption had to come from suffering. As Eve gave the fruit to Adam as the instrument for the fall of humanity, Mary gave a body to Jesus as the instrument for the redemption of humanity, the body in which he would live and suffer and die for us. And so, by virtue of giving flesh to the “Word made flesh” (John 1:14), who in turn redeemed humanity, the Virgin of Nazareth uniquely merits the title Coredemptrix. But the climax of Mary’s role as Coredemptrix was at the foot of the Cross where the total suffering of the mother’s heart, “pierced with a sword,