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Mary: Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Our Advocate

The following presentation was made by Bishop Baseotto of Argentina at the Inside the Vatican Marian “Day of Dialogue” which was held in Rome on March 25, 2010. – Asst. Ed.

Almost two thirds of those who in the world acclaim Mary as Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate express it in Spanish. In some way I address myself on their behalf. In Latin America, close to three hundred bishops have asked for the proclamation of the Fifth Dogma, as well as about five million faithful who have signed the request, together with forty cardinals of our Holy Church who have expressed themselves in this sense. To these it should also be added those forty-two Mexican Bishops who in 1954 asked for it and many others who added their plea during the years.

For this reason I have the sensation of being like a small cork cradled by the waves of a sea without frontiers. The cork is impregnated with the sea salt, the taste of the seaweed…and is carried by the waves. Not like the plastic cap that I have in hand which does not absorb what is in its surroundings. That sea is the Church, God’s people, extended over the centuries and across the world.

Within that sea without frontiers, with respect to the Co-redemtrix, we recall the teaching of St. Iraneaus from the Second Century: part of the teaching of St. Paul who establishes a comparison between the Adam rebel and cause of destruction, and the new Adam, Christ, who with his obedience justifies man. The Saint applied the teaching to Holy Mary, the New Eve, who helps bring about the salvation of man as the first collaborator helped to bring about the destruction of man.

It is remarkable how, in the proclamation of the dogmas relating to Mary, so much has weighed on the sensus fidei of the People of God. We remember how in 431 when in Ephesus the Dogma of the Divine Motherhood of Mary was proclaimed, it was the subject of comments and identification of those who defended the truth. The term ‘Theotokos’ against that of Cristotokos of Arianisim.

The Fathers gathered at the Synod were subject, perhaps with unexpected surprise on their part, to the cheers of the people who with torches walked all night cheering the Theotokos. Something similar happened with the Immaculate Conception. In the universities, for example, those who received the doctorate in Law pledged an oath to defend the Immaculate Conception. In our history -Argentina, we have the case of the creator of our national flag (blue and white), General Manuel Belgrano, who upon receiving the doctorate in Law at the University of Salamanca, signed, like many others, with his own blood, the oath to defend the Immaculate Conception “even with his blood”…

God’s people that frequent Marian shrines planted throughout the continent, come spontaneously to whom they perceive as the Mediator before God. To her their thanks and requests are addressed. In her they find the Advocate before God. Each sanctuary is a spontaneous place of conversion, expressed especially through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is for this reason that in these places it is where, in particular, Mary remains the Co-redemptrix. Does not redemption apply when forgiving sins? The fact that the Marian shrines are privileged places of the Sacrament of Penance, clearly speaks of Mary Co-Redeemer, logically added to the so clear reflection of Saint Irenaeus and the Fathers and theologians who over the centuries have explained and explained and developed the theological truth of the Co-redemption. This does not detract from Christ’s redemption. On the contrary, it may permit its fulfillment in time. Such is the case in Guadalupe, as well as in our Argentine sanctuaries (Luján, del Valle, Itatí, etc.), a constellation of temples in Mary’s honor throughout the world where, obviously, she exercises her mission as Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate.

I would add, for the sake of (as one adds a little more water in the sea without frontiers) the teachings of the Doctor of the Church Saint Alphonsus M. Ligori (1696-1787). He is known for his book “The Glories of Mary” called by him the “Marian Encyclopedia”. In the introduction of this book, he finishes his introductory prayer with these words: “I turn to thou, most sweet Lady and my Mother, Mary, well thou know that, after Jesus, I put all my hope of eternal salvation, for all my goodness: my conversion, my vocation when leaving the world and whatever graces I received from God .. all I acknowledge having received it through thou”.

In another of his books he exposes what is the mind of the Church regarding these truths concerning the Mother of God. In his book “Visits to the Blessed Sacrament”, for instance, he thanks Jesus: “For all the blessings that you have done for me, especially … for giving me your Blessed Mother as my lawyer”.

With very precise terms he refers to the universal Mediation and to the Co-redemption. Many of his texts are devoted to his Advocate. He did not forget his profession: at the age of 16 he got the cap as lawyer in his native Naples, and exercised his profession for more than 10 years… But his way of thinking as a lawyer stayed with him all his life and was applied to the Mother of God profusely.

He left as a motto to his missionaries a peremptory obligation that in each preaching mission an important place should be given to the sermon on the Mother of God who is the “Advocate of sinners”. And warned to his own: “To whom skip it, I will demand it at God’s court.”

The theme of co-redemption was based on the theological tradition of centuries: after quoting St. Epiphanies, Ildefonso, German, Ambrose, Augustine, etc, he concluded:

Indeed -says St. Arnold de Chartres- in the death of Jesus, Mary joined her will in a such a way to that of her Son, so that both agreed on the offering of one and same sacrifice, as the Son and Mother, cooperated at the same time to human redemption, reaching man’s salvation: Jesus satisfying for our sins and Mary reaching that such satisfaction should applied to us. So, also ensured Dionysius Cartujano that the Mother of God may be named ‘Saviourex’ of the world, because she had compassion for the sufferings of the Son, whose life he voluntarily sacrificed to the divine justice, so she deserved the merits of the Redeemer to be communicated to people. (Part II, address 6).

Whatever Jesus suffered in his body -says St. Jerome, Mary suffered it in her heart. Which then would have been at Calvary -added St. John Chrysostom, would be seen two altars on which two sacrifices were consummated: one in Jesus’ body, and another in Mary’s heart. But, rather I will say with St. Buenaventura, there was just one altar, this is to say, only the cross of Christ, in which is also the Mother was sacrificed with the victim: the Divine Lamb. Hence the saint asks: Where were you, Lady? Wilt thou beside the cross? Better tell that you were in the same cross, sacrificing crucified yourself togheter with your Son. (Part II, 5th Sorrow, Insights on the Seven Sorrows).

Contemplating Mary at Calvary attending his dying Son, St. Bonaventure asks her: “Tell me Lady, where were you then? Were you only at the cross? No: you were on the same cross, crucified together with your Son. And Richard of St. Lorenz places on the Redeemer mouth Isaiah’s words: “I have trodden the winepress myself and from the nations no man has been with me. He adds: You are right, Lord, to say that in the work of human redemption you were alone to suffer and had no any man to have pity on you as it should, but you have a woman who is your Mother, who suffered in the heart as you suffered you in the body ” (Part II, 9. Insights on the Seven Sorrows).

There are many of San Alfonso’s texts that abound in the same direction. I will have to wait for another opportunity to further analyze them.


Co-operatrix on the Redemption. (Co-redemptrix).

The Glories of Mary. Volume I Chap. 5 art.2 (pág.147 -148) & Volume II, Chap. IX. Introduction to the Mary´s Sorrows. Pg. 173.

Mediatrix of all graces:

The Glories of Mary. Volume I. Need of Mary’s Intervention. Chapter 50, Art. 1 (pg. 142 – 143 ; 136-138). Art. 2, pg. 148. Our Hope, Chapter 60, pg. 153.

Our Advocate:

Volume I, Chapter 60. Our Advocate (Pg. 160 . 172-173)

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