After the inspired Word of Sacred Scripture and the doctrinal grace of the Catholic Catechism, I believe the third book that every Fatima devotee should have close at hand is the book of Sister Lucia, “Calls” From the Message of Fatima, which was released in English in 2002. A work truly directed by the Holy Spirit through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, “Calls” From the Message of Fatima constitutes a veritable Marian catechism of faith and life, written in a down to earth mode, which can be grasped by all members of the Faith and all people of good will. I have no personal doubt that Sister Lucia’s recent masterpiece will eventually become a spiritual classic, rightfully identified as the fruits of a mystic and of a saint.
This veritable Fatima catechism which includes inspired treatments on “In the Presence of God” (Chapter 1); “Calls From the Message of Fatima” (Chapter 2); “The Ten Commandments” (Part III) and “The Rosary” (Part IV), provides so many spiritual insights that the only true danger is that one might overlook some of the individual pearls amidst the overall treasure.
It is for this reason that I would like to isolate one of the foundational pearls of Sister Lucia’s great work for its deserved appreciation, namely her predominant mariological theme of Our Lady as the “Co-redemptrix of the human race.” Second only to the Marian title of “The Immaculate Heart of Mary,” Mary Co-redemptrix is the most often cited and principal Marian theme presented by Sister Lucia throughout the book. Our Lady’s coredemptive role with and under Jesus Christ in the accomplishment of Redemption is explained and expounded upon throughout the text, and always in ways which bring new appreciation to the unique role of the Mother of Jesus, as the New Eve with and under the New Adam, in the accomplishment of our Redemption.
Just as Pope John Paul II has used the title Co-redemptrix for Our Blessed Mother on six occasions during his pontificate, (1) so too Sister Lucia on six occasions refers to the doctrinal title of Our Blessed Mother as our Co-redemptrix with and under Jesus, both from the perspective of Our Lady’s unique participation in restoring supernatural life to souls and as the perfect exemplar for each of us in our call to offer our daily sacrifices.
Pope John Paul II has also, on three occasions, called all Christians to be “co-redeemers” (2) with Jesus Christ in distributing the graces of Redemption to today’s world, and Sister Lucia likewise accentuates Our Mother’s Fatima call for redemptive sacrifice as a foundational principal for living the message of Fatima.
In deference to the poetic beauty and the theological profundity of Sister Lucia’s formulation, I would like to present her own inspired teachings on the Co-redemptrix, rather than any theological summation of it, as beautifully articulated in “Calls” From the Message of Fatima.
In her commentary on the “Call to Share in the Eucharist” (Chapter 10), Sister Lucia explains how each Christian is called to contribute to the work of salvation through our prayers and sacrifices with Mary Co-redemptrix as our perfect model:
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.