I. Mary, the New Eve
Even though the explicit treatment of Mary’s collaboration in the work of redemption has appeared in ever sharper relief in the papal magisterium only within the past two centuries, there is well founded reason to say that it is part and parcel of the tradition that has come down to us from the Apostles and makes progress in the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (cf. Dei Verbum #8). The indissoluble link between the “Woman” and “her seed,” the Messiah, is already presented to us in the protoevangelium (Gen. 3:15), where the first adumbrations of God’s saving plan pierce through the darkness caused by man’s sin. The identification of the “Woman” with Mary is already implicit in the second and nineteenth chapters of the Gospel of St. John where Jesus addresses his mother as “Woman” and in the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation. The Apostle Paul had already explicitly identified Jesus as the “new Adam” (cf. Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:21-22, 45-49) and it was a natural and logical development for the sub-Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr (+ c. 165), Irenaeus of Lyons (+ c. 202) and Tertullian (+ c. 220), to see Mary as the “new Eve”, the God-given helpmate of the “new Adam”. Virtually all of the experts are agreed that the classic presentation of Mary as the “New Eve” achieves full maturity in the writings of Saint Irenaeus of Lyons. Of Irenaeus’ Eve-Mary comparison René Laurentin says
Irenaeus gives bold relief to a theme only outlined by Justin [Martyr]. With Irenaeus the Eve-Mary parallel is not simply a literary effect nor a gratuitous improvisation, but an integral part of his theology of salvation. One idea is the key to this theology: God’s saving plan is not a mending or a “patch-up job” done on his first product; it is a resumption of the work from the beginning, a regeneration from head downwards, a recapitulation in Christ. In this radical restoration each one of the elements marred by the fall is renewed in its very root. In terms of the symbol developed by Irenaeus, the knot badly tied at the beginning is unknotted, untied in reverse (recirculatio): Christ takes up anew the role of Adam, the cross that of the tree of life. In this ensemble Mary, who corresponds to Eve, holds a place of first importance. According to Irenaeus her role is necessary to the logic of the divine plan. ...
With Irenaeus this line of thought attains a force of expression that has never been surpassed. Later writers will broaden the bases of the comparison but to our day no one has expressed it in a way more compact or more profound.
Before moving on to the papal magisterium as such, it will not be out of place to underscore why I believe Saint Irenaeus is such an important figure for our consideration. Not only is he invoked implicitly – by being included among the Fathers – in the Marian magisterium of Blessed Pius IX, but he is also referred to explicity in that of Pius XII, Paul VI, the Second Vatican Council and most notably in that of John Paul II. The Lutheran scholar Jaroslav Pelikan provides us with a fascinating hint about the importance of the Bishop of Lyons:
When it is suggested that for the development of the doctrine of Mary, such Christian writers as Irenaeus in a passage like this [in Proof of the Apostolic Preaching] “are important witnesses for the state of the tradition in the late second century, if not earlier” that raises the interesting question of whether Irenaeus had invented the concept of Mary as the Second Eve here or was drawing on a deposit of tradition that had come to him from “earlier.” It is difficult, in reading his Against Heresies and especially his Proof of the Apostolic Preaching, to avoid the impression that he cited the parallelism of Eve and Mary so matter-of-factly without arguing or having to defend the point because he could assume that his readers would willingly go along with it, or even that they were already familiar with it. One reason that this could be so might have been that, on this issue as on so many others, Irenaeus regarded himself as the guardian and the transmitter of a body of belief that had come to him from earlier generations, from the very apostles. A modern reader does need to consider the possibility, perhaps even to concede the possibility, that in so regarding himself Irenaeus may just have been right and that therefore it may already have become natural in the second half of the second century to look at Eve, the “mother of all living,” and Mary, the mother of Christ, together, understanding and interpreting each of the two most important women in human history on the basis of the other.
Put simply, Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of the Apostle John. There is every reason, then, to believe that what he transmits to us about Mary as the “New Eve” is an integral part of “the Tradition that comes to us from the Apostles”.
This datum of the tradition has come into ever clearer focus through the teaching of the Popes in the course of the past one hundred fifty years, most notably in Blessed Pope Pius IX’s Bull of 1854, Ineffabilis Deus, Pius XII’s Apostolic Constitution of 1950, Munificentissimus Deus, and his Encyclicals Mystici Corporis of 1943 and Ad Cæli Reginam of 1954. In the last mentioned document the Holy Father spoke in these explicit terms:
From these considerations we can conclude as follows: Mary in the work of redemption was by God’s will joined with Jesus Christ, the cause of salvation, in much the same way as Eve was joined with Adam, the cause of death. Hence it can be said that the work of our salvation was brought about by a “restoration” (St. Irenaeus) in which the human race, just as it was doomed to death by a virgin, was saved by a virgin.
Moreover, she was chosen to be the Mother of Christ “in order to have part with Him in the redemption of the human race” [Pius XI, Auspicatus profecto].
“She it was, who, free from all stain of personal or original sin, always most closely united with her Son, offered Him up to the Eternal Father on Calvary, along with the sacrifice of her own claims as His mother and of her own mother love, thus acting as a new Eve on behalf of Adam’s children, ruined by his unhappy fall” [Mystici Corporis].
From this we conclude that just as Christ, the new Adam, is our King not only because He is the Son of God, but also because He is our Redeemer, so also in a somewhat similar manner the Blessed Virgin is Queen not only as Mother of God, but also because she was associated as the second Eve with the new Adam. [Quibus ex rationibus huiusmodi argumentum eruitur: si Maria, in spirituali procuranda salute, cum Iesu Christo, ipsius salutis principio, ex Dei placito sociata fuit, et quidem simili quodam modo, quo Heva fuit cum Adam, mortis principio, consociata, ita ut asseverari possit nostræ salutis opus, secundum quandam «recapitulationem» peractum fuisse, in qua genus humanum, sicut per virginem morti adstrictum fuit, ita per virginem salvatur; si præterea asseverari itidem potest hanc gloriosissimam Dominam ideo fuisse Christi matrem delectam «ut redimendi generis humani consors efficeretur», et si reapse «ipsa fuit quæ vel propriæ vel hereditariæ labis expers, arctissime semper cum Filio suo coniuncta, eundem in Golgotha, una cum maternorum iurium maternique amoris sui holocausto, nove veluti Heva, pro omnibus Adæ filiis, miserando eius lapsu foedatis, æterno Patri obtulit»; inde procul dubio concludere licet, quemadmodum Christus, novus Adam, non tantum quia Dei Filius est, Rex dici debet, sed etiam quia Redemptor est noster, ita quodam anologiæ modo, Beatissimam Virginem esse Reginam non tantummodo quiameter Dei est, verum etiam quod nova veluti Heva cum novo Adam consociata fuit.]
We may note that with the clarity which characterized all of his dogmatic statements the great Pontiff insists on Mary’s active, but subordinate role in the work of our salvation and in doing so invokes the authority of Saint Irenaeus, the “father of Catholic dogmatic theology”.
The theme of Mary as the “New Eve”, with explicit references to Saint Irenaeus, was duly cited in chapter eight of the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium #56 thusly:
Rightly, therefore, the Fathers see Mary not merely as passively engaged by God, but as freely cooperating in the work of man’s salvation through faith and obedience. For, as St. Irenaeus says, she “being obedient, became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.” Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert with him in their preaching: “the knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by Mary’s obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith.” Comparing Mary with Eve, they call her “Mother of the living,” and frequently claim: “death through Eve, life through Mary.” [Merito igitur SS. Patres Mariam non mere passive a Deo adhibitam, sed libera fide et oboedientia humanæ saluti cooperantem censent. Ipsa enim, ut ait S. Irenæus, «oboediens et sibi et universo generi humano causa facta est saluti». Unde non pauci Patres antiqui in prædicatione sua cum eo libenter asserunt: «Hevæ inobedientiæ nodum solutionem accepisse per oboedientiam Mariæ; quod alligavit virgo Heva per incredulitatem, hoc virginem Mariam solivsse per fidem»; et comparatione cum Heva instituta, Mariam «matrem viventium» appelant, sæpiusque affirmant: «mors per Hevam, vita per Mariam».]
In his Professio Fidei of 30 June 1968 Paul VI, expressly citing Lumen Gentium #56 as a source, called Mary the “New Eve” and Pope John Paul II without a doubt made more references to Mary as the “New Eve” and examined the implications of this title more than all of his predecessors combined. Here is one of his last such references which occurs in his Letter to the Men and Women Religious of the Montfort Families for the 160th Anniversary of the Publication of True Devotion to Mary:
St Louis Marie contemplates all the mysteries, starting from the Incarnation which was brought about at the moment of the Annunciation. Thus, in the Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, Mary appears as “the true terrestrial paradise of the New Adam”, the “virginal and immaculate earth” of which he was formed (n. 261). She is also the New Eve, associated with the New Adam in the obedience that atones for the original disobedience of the man and the woman (cf. ibid., n. 53; St Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, III, 21, 10-22, 4). Through this obedience, the Son of God enters the world. The Cross itself is already mysteriously present at the instant of the Incarnation, at the very moment of Jesus’ conception in Mary’s womb. Indeed, the ecce venio in the Letter to the Hebrews (cf. 10: 5-9) is the primordial act of the Son’s obedience to the Father, an acceptance of his redeeming sacrifice already at the time “when Christ came into the world”. [San Luigi Maria contempla tutti i misteri a partire dall’Incarnazione che si è compiuta al momento dell’Annunciazione. Così, nel Trattato della vera devozione, Maria appare come “il vero paradiso terrestre del Nuovo Adamo”, la “terra vergine e immacolata” da cui Egli è stato plasmato (n. 261). Ella è anche la Nuova Eva, associata al Nuovo Adamo nell’obbedienza che ripara la disobbedienza originale dell’uomo e della donna (cfr ibid., 53; Sant’Ireneo, Adversus Haereses, III, 21, 10-22, 4). Per mezzo di quest’obbedienza, il Figlio di Dio entra nel mondo. La stessa Croce è già misteriosamente presente nell’istante dell’Incarnazione, al momento del concepimento di Gesù nel seno di Maria. Infatti, l’ecce venio della Lettera agli Ebrei (cfr 10,5-9) è il primordiale atto d’obbedienza del Figlio al Padre, già accettazione del suo Sacrificio redentore “quando entra nel mondo”.]
In this case there is a graceful reference which links Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort to Saint Irenaeus of Lyons while at the same time linking the reparation accomplished by the “New Adam” for the world’s salvation to that of the “New Eve”.
Let us allow Father Lino Cignelli, O.F.M., an expert who has studied the Mary-Eve parallel in Irenaeus and the early Greek Fathers at length, to offer us this penetrating analysis which may also serve as a summary of what we have found thus far in the papal magisterium:
From the human side, both the sexes contribute actively in determining the lot of the human race, but not however to the same extent. Ruin and salvation rest with the two Adams. With regard to Christ the New Adam, he can redeem because he is the God-man. As God, he guarantees the victory over the devil and communicates life, incorruptibility and immortality, which are essentially divine goods; as man, he is the primary ministerial cause of salvation and the antithesis of Adam, cause of universal ruin.
The two virgins, Eve and Mary, beyond depending on Satan and God respectively, are ordained in their actions to the two Adams, with whom they share ministerial causality. They thus carry out an intermediate and subordinate task. Subordination, however, does not mean being simple accessories. Irenaeus clearly points back to the feminine causality of the ruin and the salvation of the human race. Eve is the “cause of death” and Mary the “cause of salvation” for all mankind.
Father Cignelli further comments that Mary’s “contribution, made in free and meritorious obedience, constitutes with that of Christ the man a single total principle of salvation. At the side of the New Adam, she is thus a ministerial and formal co-cause of the restoration of the human race.” Although we have not been able to review all of the texts here, this conclusion is fully justified by its use in the papal magisterium.
II. The Protoevangelium
Intimately related to the concept of Mary as the “New Eve” are the words spoken by the Lord after the fall of our first parents. God metes out punishment first to the serpent (Gen. 3:14-15), then to the woman (Gen. 3:16) and finally to the man (Gen. 3:17-19). What is particularly striking, however, is that the sentence passed upon the serpent already heralds the reversal of the fall. The Lord says: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; she shall crush your head, while you lie in wait for her heel” (Gen. 3:15). This text has become famous as the protoevangelium (“first gospel”) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains why:
The Christian tradition sees in this passage an announcement of the “New Adam” who because he “became obedient unto death, even death on a cross”, makes amends superabundantly for the disobedience of Adam. Furthermore many Fathers and Doctors of the Church have seen the woman announced in the “Protoevangelium” as Mary, the Mother of Christ, the “New Eve”.
Arguments as to whether the text of the protoevangelium should be translated “he [the seed of the woman] shall crush your head” (ipse conteret caput tuum as in the Neo-Vulgata) or “she [the woman] shall crush your head” (ipsa conteret caput tuum as in the Vulgata of St. Jerome) continue to argue the matter. The Neo-Vulgata has chosen in favor of the masculine pronoun. I believe, however, that Father Stefano M. Manelli’s treatment of the matter in his Biblical Mariology provides an excellent overview of this issue and draws conclusions fully in harmony with the consistent use made of this text in the papal magisterium:
As Pope Pius IX summarizes it, both according to tradition (the Fathers and ecclesiastical writers) and according to the express declarations of the papal Magisterium, the Protoevangelium “clearly and plainly” foretold the Redeemer, indicated the Virgin Mary as the Mother of the Redeemer, and described the common enmity of Mother and Son against the devil and their complete triumph over the poisonous serpent. One can, therefore, without hesitation affirm that the content of the Protoevangelium is “Marian” as well as messianic. Not only this, but the mariological dimension in reference to the “woman” must be also understood literally to be exclusive to that “woman”, to Mary, that is, to the Mother of the Redeemer, and not to Eve.
Pope John Paul II, even giving full weight to the Neo-Vulgata rendition, puts it this way:
Since the biblical concept establishes a profound solidarity between the parent and the offspring, the depiction of the Immaculata crushing the serpent, not by her own power but through the grace of her Son, is consistent with the original meaning of the passage.
The same biblical text also proclaims the enmity between the woman and her offspring on the one hand the serpent and his offspring on the other. This is a hostility expressly established by God, which has a unique importance, if we consider the problem of the Virgin’s personal holiness. In order to be the irreconcilable enemy of the serpent and his offspring, Mary had to be free from all power of sin, and to be so from the first moment of her existence. [Poiché la concezione biblica pone una profonda solidarietà tra il genitore e la sua discendenza, è coerente con il senso originale del passo la rappresentazione dell’Immacolata che schiaccia il serpente, no per virtù propria ma della grazia del Figlio.
Nel medesimo testo biblico viene inoltre proclamata l’inimicizia tra la donna e la sua stirpe da una parte e il serpente e la sua discencenza dell’altra. Si tratta di un’ostilità espressamente stabilita da Dio, che assume un rilievo singolare se consideriamo il problema della santità personale della Vergine, Per essere l’incolciliabile nemica del serpente e della sua stirpe, Maria doveva essere esente da ogni dominio del peccato. E questo fin dal primo momento della sua esisitenza.]
It should also be noted that already in drafting the Bull Ineffabilis Deus it was confirmed that, for Catholics, it is always necessary to read the biblical texts in the light of the patristic interpretation. This latter point has been further corroborated and validated in the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum.
Let us now proceed to the elaboration of this theme in Ineffabilis Deus of Bl. Pius IX.
The Fathers and writers of the Church ... in quoting the words by which at the beginning of the world God announced His merciful remedies prepared for the regeneration of mankind – words by which He crushed the audacity of the deceitful Serpent and wondrously raised up the hope of our race, saying, “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed” – taught that by this divine prophecy the merciful Redeemer of mankind, Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, was clearly foretold; that His most blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, was prophetically indicated; and at the same time the very enmity of both against the Evil One was significantly expressed. Hence, just as Christ, the Mediator between God and man, assumed human nature, blotted the handwriting of the decree that stood against us, and fastened it triumphantly to the cross, so the most holy Virgin, united with Him by a most intimate and indissoluble bond, was, with Him and through Him, eternally at enmity with the evil serpent, and most completely triumphed over him, and thus crushed his head with her immaculate foot. [Quapropter enarrantes verba, quibus Deus præparata renovandis mortalibus suæ pietatis remedia inter ipsa mundi primordia prænuntians, et deceptoris serpentis retudit audaciam, et nostri generis spem mirifice erexit, inquiens: “Inimicitias ponam inter te et mulierem, et semen tuum et semen illius” docuere, divine hoc oraculo clare aperteque præmonstrandum fuisse misericordem humani generis Redemptorem, scilicet Unigenitum Dei Filium Christum Iesum, ac designatam beatissimam eius Matrem Virginem Mariam, ac simul ipsissimas utriusque contra diabolum inimicitias insigniter expressas. Quocirca sicut Christus Dei hominumque mediator, humana assumpta natura, delens quod adversus nos erat chirographum decreti, illud cruci triumphator affixit; sic Sanctissima Virgo, arctissimo et indissolubili vinculo cum Eo coniuncta, una cum Illo et per Illum, sempiternas contra venenosum serpentem inimicitias exercens, ac de ipso plenissime triumphans, illius caput immaculato pede contrivit.]
Here we may note that the Pontiff gives an admirable summary of the Church’s understanding of the protoevangelium and in so doing illuminates the teaching about Mary as the woman who was united with the Redeemer “by a most intimate and indissoluble bond, was, with Him and through Him, eternally at enmity with the evil serpent, and most completely triumphed over him, and thus crushed his head with her immaculate foot”. We should not be ignorant, however, of what Father Settimio Manelli points out in his recent study i.e., that in recent decades there has been a blatant change of course in the interpretation of this text so that many modern exegetes are no longer willing to admit a Marian interpretation. By the same token the painstaking work of Father Tiburtius Gallus shows a consistent Marian interpretation of this text over the course of the centuries in medio Ecclesiæ and the numerous commentaries on the protoevangelium by the late Pope John Paul II continue to sustain the Marian interpretation on the part of the magisterium. Let us conclude this part of our discussion with an excerpt from his Marian catechesis of 24 January 1996:
The Protogospel’s words also reveal the unique destiny of the woman who, although yielding to the serpent's temptation before the man did, in virtue of the divine plan later becomes God’s first ally. Eve was the serpent’s accomplice in enticing man to sin. Overturning this situation, God declares that he will make the woman the serpent’s enemy.
Exegetes now agree in recognizing that the text of Genesis, according to the original Hebrew, does not attribute action against the serpent directly to the woman, but to her offspring. Nevertheless, the text gives great prominence to the role she will play in the struggle against the tempter: in fact the one who defeats the serpent will be her offspring.
Who is this woman? The biblical text does not mention her personal name but allows us to glimpse a new woman, desired by God to atone for Eve’s fall; in fact, she is called to restore woman’s role and dignity, and to contribute to changing humanity’s destiny, cooperating through her maternal mission in God’s victory over Satan.
In the light of the New Testament and the Church’s tradition, we know that the new woman announced by the Protogospel is Mary, and in “her seed” we recognize her Son, Jesus, who triumphed over Satan’s power in the paschal mystery.
We also observe that in Mary the enmity God put between the serpent and the woman is fulfilled in two ways. God’s perfect ally and the devil’s enemy, she was completely removed from Satan’s domination in the Immaculate Conception, when she was fashioned in grace by the Holy Spirit and preserved from every stain of sin. In addition, associated with her Son’s saving work, Mary was fully involved in the fight against the spirit of evil.
Thus the titles “Immaculate Conception” and “Cooperator of the Redeemer”, attributed by the Church’s faith to Mary, in order to proclaim her spiritual beauty and her intimate participation in the wonderful work of Redemption, show the lasting antagonism between the serpent and the New Eve. [Le parole del Protovangelo rivelano, inoltre, il singolare destino della donna che, pur avendo preceduto l’uomo nel cedere alla tentazione del serpente, diventa poi, in virtù del piano divino, la prima alleata di Dio. Eva era stata l’alleata del serpente per trascinare l’uomo nel peccato. Dio annuncia che, capovolgendo questa situazione, Egli farà della donna la nemica del serpente.
Gli esegeti sono ormai concordi nel riconoscere che il testo della Genesi, secondo l’originale ebraico, attribuisce l’azione contro il serpente non direttamente alla donna, ma alla stirpe di lei. Il testo dà comunque un grande risalto al ruolo che elle svolgerà nella lotta contro il tentatore: il vincitore del serpente sarà, infatti, sua progenie.
Chi è questa donna? Il testo biblico non riferisce il suo nome personale, ma lascia intravedere una donna nuova, voluta da Dio per riparare la caduta di Eva; ella è chiamata, infatti, a restaurare il ruolo e la dignità della donna e a contribuire al cambiamento del destino dell’umanità, collaborando mediante la sua missione materna alla vittoria divina su satana.
Alla luce del Nuovo Testamento e della tradizione della Chiesa, sappiamo che la donna nuova annunciata del Protovangelo è Maria, e riconosciamo nella «sua stirpe» (Gn 3,15), il figlio, Gesù, trionfatore nel mistero della Pasqua sul potere di satana.
Osserviamo altresì che l’inimicizia, posta da Dio fra il serpente e la donna, si realizza in Maria in duplice modo. Alleata perfetta di Dio e nemica del diavolo, ella fu sottratta completamente al dominio di satana nell’immacolato concepimento, quando fu plasmata nella grazia dallo Spirito Santo e preservata da ogni macchia di peccato. Inoltre, associata all’opera salvifica del Figlio, Maria è stata pienamente coinvolta nella lotta contro lo spirito del male.
Così, i titoli di Immacolata Concezione e di Cooperatrice del Redentore, attribuiti dalla fede della Chiesa a Maria per proclamare la sua bellezza spirituale e la sua intima partecipazione all’opera mirabile della redenzione, manifestano l’opposizione irriducibile fra il serpente e la nuova Eva.]
There are a number of points to be emphasized in this important catechesis. First, the Pope refers to the new Woman, the antithesis of Eve, as “God’s first ally” [la prima alleata di Dio] and “the serpent’s enemy” [la nemica del serpente], and subsequently “God’s perfect ally and the devil’s enemy” [Alleata perfetta di Dio e nemica del diavolo]. Secondly, he points out that “the text gives great prominence to the role she will play in the struggle against the tempter” and that this new Woman is called “to contribute to changing humanity’s destiny, cooperating through her maternal mission in God’s victory over Satan”. Thirdly, without hesitation he identifies the new Woman as Mary “in the light of the New Testament and the Church’s tradition”. This is an assertion of capital importance in the light of the resistance to a Marian interpretation even in certain contemporary Catholic exegetical circles. Fourthly, he points out that the enmity between the serpent and Mary is fulfilled in two ways: (1) she was removed from Satan’s dominion through her Immaculate Conception, which thus enabled her (2) to be “fully involved in the fight against the spirit of evil”. Fifthly, because of “her intimate participation in the wonderful work of Redemption,” Mary is described as “Cooperator of the Redeemer” [Cooperatrice del Redentore] and thus there is a state of “lasting antagonism between the serpent and the New Eve”. Hence this catechesis serves as an excellent summary of the great lines of Catholic exegesis, the Catholic tradition and the papal magisterium on the protoevangelium.
III. Development of Doctrine
In his catechesis of 25 October 1995 Pope John Paul II traces the history of doctrinal development regarding Our Lady’s cooperation in the work of Redemption in broad strokes, beginning, not surprisingly with the Bishop of Lyons:
At the end of the second century, St. Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp, already pointed out Mary’s contribution to the work of salvation. He understood the value of Mary’s consent at the time of the Annunciation, recognizing in the Virgin of Nazareth’s obedience to and faith in the angel’s message the perfect antithesis of Eve’s disobedience and disbelief, with a beneficial effect on humanity’s destiny. In fact, just as Eve caused death, so Mary, with her “yes”, became “a cause of salvation” for herself and for all mankind (cf. Adv. Haer., III, 22, 4; SC 211, 441). But this affirmation was not developed in a consistent and systematic way by the other Fathers of the Church.
Instead, this doctrine was systematically worked out for the first time at the end of the 10th century in the Life of Mary by a Byzantine monk, John the Geometer. Here Mary is united to Christ in the whole work of Redemption, sharing, according to God’s plan, in the Cross and suffering for our salvation. She remained united to the Son “in every deed, attitude and wish” (cf. Life of Mary, Bol. 196, f. 123 v.).
Mary’s association with Jesus’ saving work came about through her Mother’s love, a love inspired by grace, which conferred a higher power on it. Love freed of passion proves to be the most compassionate (cf. ibid., Bol. 196, f. 123 v.) [Alla fine del secondo secolo sant’Ireneo, discepolo di Policarpo, pone già in evidenza il contributo di Maria all’opera della salvezza. Egli ha compreso il valore del consenso di Maria al momento dell’Annunciazione, riconoscendo nell’obbedienza e nella fede della Vergine di Nazaret al messaggio dell’angelo l’antitesi perfetta della disobbedienza e dell’incredulità di Eva, con effetto benefico sul destino dell’umanità. Infatti, come Eva ha causato la morte, così Maria, col suo “sì”, è divenuta “causa di salvezza” per se stessa e per tutti gli uomini (cf. Haer Adv. 3.22,4; SC 211,441). Ma si tratta di un’affermazione non sviluppata in modo organico e abituale dagli altri Padri della Chiesa.
Tale dottrina, invece, viene sistematicamente elaborata per la prima volta, alla fine del decimo secolo, nella “Vita di Maria” di un monaco bizantino, Giovanni il Geometra. Maria è qui unita a Cristo in tutta l’opera redentrice partecipando, secondo il piano divino, alla Croce e soffrendo per la nostra salvezza. Ella è rimasta unita al Figlio “in ogni azione, atteggiamento e volontà” (Vita di Maria, Bol. 196, f. 122 v.). L’associazione di Maria all’opera salvifica di Gesù avviene mediante il suo amore di Madre, un amore animato dalla grazia, che le conferisce una forza superiore: la più esente da passione si mostra la più compassionevole (cf. Vita di Maria, Bol. 196, f. 123 v.).]
It took almost a millennium, but the seed of the doctrine already expounded by Saint Irenaeus would continue to bear fruit.
IV. Papal Teaching on Mary’s Union with Jesus in the Work of Redemption before the Council
In his Rosary Encyclical Jucunda Semper of 8 September 1894 Pope Leo XIII drew out even more explicitly than his predecessor Mary’s sufferings on Calvary:
When she professed herself the handmaid of the Lord for the mother’s office, and when, at the foot of the altar, she offered up her whole self with her child Jesus – then and thereafter she took her part in the painful expiation offered by her son for the sins of the world. It is certain, therefore, that she suffered in the very depths of her soul with His most bitter sufferings and with His torments. Finally, it was before the eyes of Mary that the divine Sacrifice for which she had borne and nurtured the Victim was to be finished. As we contemplate Him in the last and most piteous of these mysteries, we see that “there stood by the cross of Jesus Mary His Mother” (Jn. 19:25), who, in a miracle of love, so that she might receive us as her sons, offered generously to Divine Justice her own Son, and in her Heart died with Him, stabbed by the sword of sorrow. [Quum enim se Deo vel ancillam ad matris officium exhibuit vel totam cum Filio in templo devovit, utroque ex facto iam tum consors cum eo extitit laboriosæ pro humano genere expiationis: ex quo etiam in acerbissimis Filii angoribus et cruciamentis, maxime animo condoluisse dubitandum non est. Ceterum præsente ipsa et spectante, divinum illud sacrificium erat conficiendum, cui victimam de se generosa aluerat; quod in eisdem mysteriis postremum flebiliusque obversatur: stabat iuxta Crucem Iesu Maria Mater eius, quæ tacta in nos caritate immensa ut susciperet filios, Filium ipsa suum ultro obtulit iustitiæ divinæ, cum eo commoriens corde, doloris gladio transfixa].
In this passage Leo touched upon themes that his successors would continue to develop in an ever swelling crescendo in the course of the twentieth century: Mary’s offering of herself in union with Jesus in expiation for the sins of the world, her “mystical death” described in terms of “dying with him in her heart” [cum eo commoriens corde] and the spiritual maternity which flows from her participation in the sacrifice.
Surely one of the most famous passages on this theme is that which we find in Benedict XV’s Letter Inter Sodalicia of 22 May 1918:
The choosing and invoking of Our Lady of Sorrows as patroness of a happy death is in full conformity with Catholic Doctrine and with the pious sentiment of the Church. It is also based on a wise and well-founded hope. In fact, according to the common teaching of the Doctors it was God’s design that the Blessed Virgin Mary, apparently absent from the public life of Jesus, should assist Him when He was dying nailed to the Cross. Mary suffered and, as it were, nearly died with her suffering Son; for the salvation of mankind she renounced her mother’s rights and, as far as it depended on her, offered her Son to placate divine justice; so we may well say that she with Christ redeemed mankind. [Quod autem Virgo Perdolens bonæ mortis Patrona deligitur atque invocatur, id cum mirifice doctrinæ catholicæ pioque Ecclesiæ sensui respondet, tum spe innititur recte feliciterque collocata. Enimvero tradunt communiter Ecclesiæ Doctores, B. Mariam Virginem, quæ a vita Iesu Christi publica veluti abesse visa est, si Ipsi morten oppetenti et Cruci suffixo adfuit, non sine divino consilio adfuisse. Scilicet ita cum Filio patiente et moriente passa est et pæne commortua, sic materna in Filium jura pro hominum salute abdicavit placandæque Dei justitiæ, quantum ad se pertinebat, Filium immolavit, ut dici merito queat, Ipsam cum Christo humanum genus redemisse.]
It should be noted here that Benedict indicates that Mary’s presence beneath the Cross of Christ was “not without divine design” [non sine divino consilio], the very same phrase reproduced verbatim in Lumen Gentium #58, although with no reference to this text. Evidently deriving from the principle that “God, by one and the same decree, had established the origin of Mary and the Incarnation of Divine Wisdom,” Benedict XV held that God had also predestined Mary’s union with her Son in his sacrifice to the extent of making the sacrifice with him to the estent that she was able to do so [quantum ad se pertinebat]. It should also be pointed out here that Benedict was certainly not stating that the sacrifice of Jesus was not sufficient to redeem the world, but rather that, on the basis of the understanding of the “recapitulation” already articulated by Saint Irenaeus, God wished the sacrifice of the New Eve to be joined to that of the New Adam, that he wished the active participation of a human creature joined with the sacrifice of the God-man.
Let us consider now how this theme is treated in two encyclicals of the Servant of God Pope Pius XII. Our first passage comes from the Encyclical Mystici Corporis of 29 June 1943, promulgated during the height of World War II:
She [Mary] it was who, immune from all sin, personal or inherited, and ever most closely united with her Son, offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father together with the holocaust of her maternal rights and motherly love, like a new Eve, for all the children of Adam contaminated through this unhappy fall, and thus she, who was the mother of our Head according to the flesh, became by a new title of sorrow and glory the spiritual mother of all His members. [Ipsa fuit, quæ vel propriæ, vel hereditariæ labis expers, arctissime semper cum Filio suo coniuncta, eundem in Golgotha, una cum maternorum iurium maternique amoris sui holocausto, nova veluti Eva, pro omnibus Adæ filiis, miserando eius lapsu foedatis, Æterno Patri obtulit; ita quidem, ut quæ corpore erat nostri Capitis mater, spiritu facta esset, ob novum etiam doloris gloriæque titulum, eius membrorum omnium mater].
Let us underscore here the emphasis on Mary’s offering of Christ to the Eternal Father as a “New Eve”, effectively drawing out the implications of the teaching of Saint Irenaeus. He would offer yet another beautiful perspective on this joint offering of the Son and the Mother in his great Sacred Heart Encyclical Haurietis Aquas of 15 May 1956:
That graces for the Christian family and for the whole human race may flow more abundantly from devotion to the Sacred Heart, let the faithful strive to join it closely with devotion to the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God. By the will of God, the most Blessed Virgin Mary was inseparably joined with Christ in accomplishing the work of man’s redemption, so that our salvation flows from the love of Jesus Christ and His sufferings intimately united with the love and sorrows of His Mother. [Quo vero ex cultu erga augustissimum Cor Iesu in christianam familiam, imo et in omne genus hominum copiosiora emolumenta fluant, curent cristifideles, ut eidem cultus etiam erga Immaculatum Dei Genetricis Cor arcte copuletur. Cum enim ex Dei voluntate in humanæ Redemptionis peragendo opere Beatissima Virgo Maria cum Christo fuerit indivulse coniuncta, adeo ut ex Iesu Christi caritate eiusque cruciatibus cum amore doloribusque ipsius Matris intime consociatis sit nostra salus profecta.]
In this classic passage every word is carefully weighed and measured in order to make a declaration on the redemption and Mary’s role in it which remains unparalleled for its clarity and precision. No doubt for this reason it is included Denzinger-Hünermann’s Enchiridion Symbolorum. Pius professes that “our salvation flows from the love of Jesus Christ and His sufferings” [ex Iesu Christi caritate eiusque cruciatibus] which are “intimately united with the love and sorrows of His Mother” [cum amore doloribusque ipsius Matris intime consociatis]. The Latin preposition ex indicates Jesus as the source of our redemption while three other Latin words, cum and intime consociatis, indicate Mary’s inseparability from the source. Finally, let us note Pius’ insistence on the fact that this union of Jesus with Mary for our salvation has been ordained “by the will of God” [ex Dei voluntate].
On this topic I have only been able to highlight some of the most important texts from among the numerous passages which could have been cited, but before moving on to the eve of the Council, it is necessary to speak of the use of the term “Coredemptrix” to describe Mary’s active participation in the work of our redemption. I have sketched elsewhere the origins of this term and how it had entered into pontifical documents and was used three times by Pope Pius XI in addresses and a prayer. It had, in effect, become the most common way to indicate Mary’s active role in the work of our redemption, secondary, subordinate and dependent upon Jesus and at the same time altogether unique in comparison with any other human being.
V. The Situation on the Eve of the Second Vatican Council
First, it must be remembered that the Second Vatican Council was convoked just at a time when Marian doctrine and piety had reached an apex which had been building on a popular level since the apparition of Our Lady to Saint Catherine Labouré in 1830 and on the magisterial level since the time of the dogmatic definition of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December 1854. This Marian orientation had accelerated notably during the nineteen-year reign of the Servant of God Pope Pius XII (1939-1958) with the Consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on 31 October 1942, the dogmatic definition of the Assumption of Our Lady on 1 November 1950, the establishment of the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1944 and of the Queenship of Mary in the Marian Year of 1954.
Secondly, and as a consequence of this comprehensive “Marian movement”, much study, discussion and debate had been devoted to Mary’s role in salvation history, specifically to the topics of coredemption and mediation. While there had been vigorous disputation regarding Mary’s active collaboration in the work of our redemption during the reign of Pope Pius XII, by the the time of the International Mariological Congress in Lourdes in 1958 there was a fairly unanimous consensus regarding Our Lady’s true cooperation in acquiring the universal grace of redemption. Not surprisingly, then, a good number of bishops entered the Council with the desire to see a comprehensive treatment of these questions. Father Michael O'Carroll, C.S.Sp. informs us that of the 54 bishops at the Council who wanted a conciliar pronouncement on Mary as Coredemptrix, 36 sought a definition and 11 a dogma of faith on this matter. On the related question of Mary’s mediation, he tells us that 362 bishops desired a conciliar statement on Mary’s mediation while 266 of them asked for a dogmatic definition. Father Besutti, on the other hand, holds that over 500 bishops were asking for such a definition. A fundamental reason why no such definition emanated from the Council was the expressed will of Blessed Pope John XXIII that the Council was to be primarily pastoral in its orientation, specifically excluding any new dogmatic definitions.
Thirdly, at the very same time another current was entering into the mainstream of Catholic life, that of “ecumenical sensitivity”. While Father Besutti confirms that the word “Coredemptrix” did appear in the original schema of the Marian document prepared in advance for the Council, the Prænotanda to the first conciliar draft document or schema on Our Lady contained these words:
Certain expressions and words used by Supreme Pontiffs have been omitted, which, in themselves are absolutely true, but which may only be understood with difficulty by separated brethren (in this case Protestants). Among such words may be numbered the following: “Coredemptrix of the human race” [Pius X, Pius XI] ... [Omissæ sunt expressiones et vocabula quædam a Summis Pontificibus adhibita, quæ licet in se verissima, possent difficulius intelligi a fratribus separatis (in casu a protestantibus). Inter alia vocabula adnumerari queunt sequentia: «Corredemptrix humani generis» [S. Pius X, Pius XI] ...] 
This original prohibition was rigorously respected and hence the term “Coredemptrix” was not used in any of the official documents promulgated by the Council and, undeniably, “ecumenical sensitivity” was a prime factor in its avoidance along with a distaste for the general language of mediation on the part of more progressive theologians. We remain free to debate about the wisdom and effectiveness of such a strategy.
VI. The Second Vatican Council
The above discussion already gives some idea about the various currents that came to the fore at the time of the Second Vatican Council and I have dealt with them as well in other places. Here I will limit myself to the positive presentation on Our Lady’s active work participation in the work of the Redemption which emerged in the Council’s great Marian synthesis, chapter 8 of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium. Lumen Gentium #56 speaks forthrightly of Mary’s collaboration in the work of redemption:
Committing herself whole-heartedly to God’s saving will and impeded by no sin, she devoted herself totally, as a handmaid of the Lord, to the person and work of her Son, under and with him, serving the mystery of redemption, by the grace of Almighty God. [salvificam voluntatem Dei, pleno corde et nullo retardata peccato, complectens, semetipsam ut Domini ancillam personæ et operi Filii sui totaliter devovit, sub Ipso et cum Ipso, omnipotentis Dei gratia, mysterio redemptionis inserviens].
In the same paragraph there is further specification about the active nature of Mary’s service which I have already cited in the discussion of Mary as the “New Eve”. Quite clearly, then, the Council Fathers speak of an active collaboration of Mary in the work of the redemption and they illustrate this with the Eve-Mary antithesis as found in Saint Irenaeus.
Further, the Council Fathers did not content themselves with a general statement on Mary’s collaboration in the work of the redemption, but went on to underscore the personal nature of the “union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation” [Matris cum Filio in opere salutari coniunctio] throughout Jesus’ hidden life (#57) and public life (#58). Finally, in #58 they stress how she
faithfully persevered in her 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 consenting to the immolation of this victim which was born of her. [Ita etiam B. Virgo in peregrinatione fidei processit, suamque unionem cum Filio fideliter sustinuit usque ad crucem, ubi non sine divino consilio stetit (cf. Io. 19, 25), vehementer cum Unigenito suo condoluit et sacrificio Eius se materno animo sociavit, victimæ de se genitæ immolationi amanter consentiens.]
Not only, then, does the Council teach that was Mary generally associated with Jesus in the work of redemption throughout his life, but that she associated herself with his sacrifice and consented to it. Furthermore, the Council Fathers state in #61 that Mary
shared her Son’s sufferings as he died on the cross. Thus, in a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Savior in restoring supernatural life to souls. [Filioque suo in cruce morienti compatiens, operi Salvatoris singulari prorsus modo cooperata est, oboedientia, fide, spe et flagrante caritate, ad vitam animarum supernaturalem restaurandam.]
Not only did Mary consent to the sacrifice, but she also united herself to it. In these final two statements we find a synthesis of the previous papal teaching on the Our Lady’s active collaboration in the work of the redemption as well as a stable point of reference for the teaching of the postconciliar Popes.
VII. The Postconciliar Situation
While it may well be argued, as Pope John Paul II has done, that
the Council’s entire discussion of Mary remains vigorous and balanced, and the topics themselves, though not fully defined, received significant attention in the overall treatment,” [il complesso della elaborazione conciliare su Maria rimane vigorosa ed equilibrata e gli stessi temi, non pienamente definiti, hanno ottenuto significativi spazi nella trattazione complessiva]
it is also true that the battles on Our Lady’s mediatorial role which took place on the council floor and behind the scenes continue to have their effects.
Effectively, the interpretation of the Second Vatican Council’s Marian treatise found most frequently in the English-speaking world and very often elsewhere is represented by Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J.:
The achievements of Vatican II have been called a watershed. The chapter on Mary in the Constitution on the Church seemed to mark the end of an isolated, maximizing Mariology, and the inclusion of Mary in the theology of the Church.
This departs notably from all of the commentaries on the Mariology of Vatican II offered by Pope John Paul II in the course of his long pontificate and constitutes what I refer to as “Vatican II triumphalism”.
“Vatican II triumphalism” is virtually always a partial and one-sided interpretation of the council documents which favors a position espoused by one party at the time of the council and studiously avoids mention of any conciliar statements which would counterbalance the “favored” position. In the case of chapter eight of Lumen Gentium on “the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, in the mystery of Christ and of the Church”, the “favored” position heavily emphasizes Mary’s role as model of the Church. This reflects the rediscovered insights of ecclesiotypical Mariology (which sees an analogy between Mary and the Church) which were emerging again at the time of the council while very largely ignoring christotypical Mariology (which sees an analogy between Christ and Mary) and dismissing it as deductive and “privilege-centered”. Father Eamon R. Carroll, O.Carm. consistently presents the ecclesiotypical Mariology as the great triumph of the council even as he discloses his discomfort at the christotypical elements which remained in the eighth chapter of Lumen Gentium:
The Council did indeed favor the notion that Mary is model to the Church, even archetype, without using that word, but its chapter on Our Lady is in fact a complicated compromise that sought to keep a balance between Mary’s association with her Son’s mediation and the obedient faithful Virgin as ideal of the Church's own response to the Lord.
There were obviously many theological insights which were coming to the fore at the time of the council, largely due to the historical researches begun in the previous century in the areas of biblical, liturgical, patristic and ecclesiological studies. Many of these found expression in the council documents and specifically in chapter eight of Lumen Gentium. All too often, however, an overemphasis on certain of these insights on the part of the majority of commentators to the exclusion of the other insights has, in fact, led to a “low Mariology” which focuses on Mary much more as “woman of faith,” “disciple” and “model” than as “spiritual mother” or “mediatrix” and tends to depreciate the importance of the antecedent papal magisterium. All too often the virtually exclusive emphasis on ecclesiotypical Mariology is coupled with the whole-hearted embracing of the historical-critical method of biblical exegesis and “lowest common denominator” ecumenism. The practitioners of this methodology are almost always notably devoid of that awe before the mystery of Mary which comes instinctively to “little ones”.
VIII. The Contribution of John Paul II
I have been studying the Marian magisterium of the late Pope John Paul II for the past twenty years and believe that it may well prove to be his greatest single legacy to the Catholic Church. While a large number of prominent modern mariologists have settled for presenting us with a one-sided interpretation of the Second Vatican Council’s Marian teaching in an almost exclusively ecclesiotypical key, Pope John Paul II managed to keep a remarkable balance in his presentation of Marian doctrine, emphasizing both the christotypical and ecclesiotypical dimensions. He quoted extensively from chapter 8 of Lumen Gentium both in his Marian Encyclical Redemptoris Mater as well as in the extensive corpus of his Marian teaching, opening the conciliar texts up to their maximum potentiality, unlike so many “minimalists” in the field of mariology today. In terms of the number and depth of his Marian discourses, homilies, Angelus addresses and references in major documents, there is no doubt that his output excedes that of all of his predecessors combined. His Marian magisterium alone would fill several large volumes and in assessing it, one should not forget the clear indications given in Lumen Gentium #25 for recognizing the authentic ordinary magisterium of the Roman Pontiff:
This loyal submission of the will and intellect must be given, in a special way, to the authentic teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, even when he does not speak ex cathedra in such wise, indeed, that his supreme teaching authority be acknowledged with respect, and sincere assent be given to decisions made by him, conformably with his manifest mind and intention, which is made known principally either by the character of the documents in question, or by the frequency with which a certain doctine is proposed, or by the manner in which the doctrine is formulated. [Hoc vero religiosum voluntatis et intellectus obsequium singulari ratione præstandum est Romani Pontificis authentico magisterio etiam cum non ex cathedra loquitur; ita nempe un magisterium eius supremum reverenter agnoscatur, et sententiis ab eo prolatis sincere adhæreatur, iuxta mentem et voluntatem manifestatam ipsius, quæ se prodit præcipue sive indole documentorum, sive ex frequenti propositione eiusdem doctrinæ, sive ex dicendi ratione.]
What is true in general about his Marian magisterium in true in particular about his teaching on Our Lady’s active cooperation in the work of the redemption or coredemption. His teaching in this area has been extraordinary and I have already published two lengthy essays on it and some shorter ones as well as treating it in the course of other studies of the papal magisterium on Marian coredemption without in any way having taken all of it into consideration. To my knowledge, Monsignor Brunero Gherardini and I are the only students of mariology to have done so. Besides the passages which I have already presented in the course of this paper, I can only hope to share a small sampling of what I consider to be the most outstanding texts.
Perhaps occupying pride of place among these is his treatment of Our Lady’s suffering in his Apostolic Letter Salvifici Doloris. In that letter he had already stated in #24 that
The sufferings of Christ created the good of the world’s Redemption. This good in itself is inexhaustible and infinite. No man can add anything to it. [Christi passio bonum redemptionis mundi effecit, quod quidem in se ipso inexhaustum est et infinitum neque ei quidquam ab ullo homine addi potest.]
That is a premise from which no Christian can depart, but the mystery is even deeper as he tells us in #25 of that same letter:
It is especially consoling to note – and also accurate in accordance with the Gospel and history – that at the side of Christ, in the first and most exalted place, there is always His Mother through the exemplary testimony that she bears by her whole life to this particular Gospel of suffering. In her, the many and intense sufferings were amassed in such an interconnected way that they were not only a proof of her unshakable faith but also a contribution to the Redemption of all. In reality, from the time of her secret conversation with the angel, she began to see in her mission as a mother her “destiny” to share, in a singular and unrepeatable way, in the very mission of her Son …
It was on Calvary that Mary’s suffering, beside the suffering of Jesus, reached 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. Her ascent of Calvary and her standing at the foot of the cross together with the beloved disciple were a special sort of sharing in the redeeming death of her Son. And the words which she heard from His lips were a kind of solemn handing-over of this Gospel of suffering so that it could be proclaimed to the whole community of believers.
As a witness to her Son’s passion by her presence, and as a sharer in it by her compassion, Mary offered a unique contribution to the Gospel of suffering, by embodying in anticipation the expression of St. Paul which was quoted at the beginning. She truly has a special title to be able to claim that she “completes in her flesh” – as already in her heart – “what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.”
In the light of the unmatched example of Christ, reflected with singular clarity in the life of His Mother, the Gospel of suffering, through the experience and words of the Apostles, becomes an inexhaustible source for the ever new generations that succeed one another in the history of the Church. [Est imprimis solacii causa – res sane Evangelio et historia comprobata – quod iuxta Christum, loco primario et probe significato, sancta eius Mater semper adest ad dandum egregium testimonium, quod tota vita sua de hoc singulari Evangelio doloris perhibet. Permultae et vehementes passiones confluxerunt in talem nexum et colligationem, ut non solum fidem eius inconcussam comprobarent, verum etiam ad redemptionem omnium conferrent. Re quidem vera, inde ab arcano colloquio cum angelo habito, ea in materna sua missione prospicit “munus, cui destinatur”, ipsam Filii missionem modo unico et non iterabili participandi …
Dolores Beatae Mariae Virginis in Calvariae loco ad fastigium pervenerunt, cuius altitudo mente humana vix fingi quidem potest, sed certe arcana fuit et supernaturali ratione fecunda pro universali redemptione. Ascensus ille in Calvariae locum, illud “stare” iuxta Crucem una cum discipulo prae ceteris dilecto, communicatio prorsus peculiaris fuerunt mortis redemptricis Filii, atque etiam verbis, quae ex eius ore audivit, ei quasi sollemniter est mandatum ut hoc Evangelium omnino singulare universae communitati credentium nuntiaret.
Beatissima Virgo Maria, quippe quae praesens adesset, particeps effecta passionis compatiendo, singularem in modum ad Evangelium doloris contulit, cuius non paucas quasi paginas una cum Filio conscripsit, et in antecessum verba Sancti Pauli vivendo implevit, in initio huius Epistulae allata. Illa enim prorsus particularem causam habet ut dicat se “adimplere in carne sua – quemadmodum iam in corde fecit – ea quae desunt passionum Christi”.
Luce affulgente incomparabilis exempli Christi, quae in vita eius Matris repercussa singulariter refulget, Evangelium doloris, testimonio et scriptis Apostolorum, fit fons inexhaustus generationibus semper novis, quae sibi succedunt in historia Ecclesiae.]
These two citations from Salvifici Doloris help us to hold in tension the dynamic truths which underlie Marian coredemption. On the one hand “The sufferings of Christ created the good of the world’s Redemption, This good in itself is inexhaustible and infinite. No man can add anything to it.” On the other hand “Mary’s suffering [on Calvary], beside the suffering of Jesus, reached 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.” Thus the Pope strikes that careful balance which is always a hallmark of Catholic truth: he upholds the principle that the sufferings of Christ were all-sufficient for the salvation of the world, while maintaining that Mary’s suffering “was mysteriously and supernaturally fruitful for the Redemption of the world.” Is this a contradiction? No. It is a mystery. The sacrifice of Jesus is all-sufficient, but God wished the suffering of the “New Eve,” the only perfect human creature, to be united to the suffering of the “New Adam”. Does that mean that Mary could redeem us by herself? By no means. But it does mean that she could make her own unique contribution to the sacrifice of Jesus as the “New Eve”, the “Mother of the living”.
Let us see how skillfully the Holy Father states this in his truly extraordinary Angelus address on Corpus Christi, 5 June1983:
“Ave, verum Corpus natum de Maria Virgine”!
Hail, true Body born of the Virgin Mary! ...
That divine Body and Blood, which after the consecration is present on the altar, is offered to the Father, and becomes Communion of love for everyone, by consolidating us in the unity of the Spirit in order to found the Church, preserves its maternal origin from Mary. She prepared that Body and Blood before offering them to the Word as a gift from the whole human family that he might be clothed in them in becoming our Redeemer, High Priest and Victim.
At the root of the Eucharist, therefore, there is the virginal and maternal life of Mary, her overflowing experience of God, her journey of faith and love, which through the work of the Holy Spirit made her flesh a temple and her heart an altar: because she conceived not according to nature, but through faith, with a free and conscious act: an act of obedience. And if the Body that we eat and the Blood that we drink is the inestimable gift of the Risen Lord, to us travellers, it still has in itself, as fragrant Bread, the taste and aroma of the Virgin Mother.
“Vere passum, immolatum in Cruce pro homine”. That Body truly suffered and was immolated on the Cross for man.
Born of the Virgin to be a pure, holy and immaculate oblation, Christ offered on the Cross the one perfect Sacrifice which every Mass, in an unbloody manner, renews and makes present. In that one Sacrifice, Mary, the first redeemed, the Mother of the Church, had an active part. She stood near the Crucified, suffering deeply with her Firstborn; with a motherly heart she associated herself with his Sacrifice; with love she consented to his immolation (cf. Lumen Gentium, 58; Marialis Cultus, 20): she offered him and she offered herself to the Father. Every Eucharist is a memorial of that Sacrifice and that Passover that restored life to the world; every Mass puts us in intimate communion with her, the Mother, whose sacrifice “becomes present” just as the Sacrifice of her Son “becomes present” at the words of consecration of the bread and wine pronounced by the priest (cf. Discourse at the Celebration of the Word, 2 June 1983, n. 2 [ORE 788:1]). [“Ave, verum Corpus natum de Maria Virgine” (Ave, vero Corpo nato da Maria Vergine!)…
Quel Corpo e quel Sangue divino, che dopo la Consacrazione è presente sull’Altare, e viene offerto al Padre e diventa comunione d’amore per tutti, rinsaldandoci nell’unità dello Spirito per fondare la Chiesa, conserva la sua originaria matrice da Maria. Li ha preparati lei quella Carne e quel Sangue, prima di offrirli al Verbo come dono di tutta la famiglia umana, perché egli se ne rivestisse diventando nostro Redentore, sommo Sacerdote e Vittima.
Alla radice dell’Eucaristia c’è dunque la vita verginale e materna di Maria, la sua traboccante esperienza di Dio, il suo cammino di fede e di amore, che fece, per opera dello Spirito Santo, della sua carne un tempio, del suo cuore un altare: poiché concepì non secondo natura, ma mediante la fede, con atto libero e cosciente: un atto di obbedienza. E se il Corpo che noi mangiamo e il Sangue che beviamo è il dono inestimabile del Signore risorto a noi viatori, esso porta ancora in sé, come Pane fragrante, il sapore e il profumo della Vergine Madre.
“Vere passum, immolatum in Cruce pro homine”. Quel Corpo ha veramente patito, ed è stato immolato sulla Croce per l’uomo.
Nato dalla Vergine per essere oblazione pura, santa e immacolata, Cristo compì sull’altare della Croce il sacrificio unico e perfetto, che ogni Messa, in modo incruento, rinnova e rende attuale. A quell’unico sacrificio ebbe parte attiva Maria, la prima redenta, la Madre della Chiesa. Stette accanto al Crocifisso, soffrendo profondamente col suo Unigenito; si associò con animo materno al suo sacrificio; acconsentì con amore alla sua immolazione (cf. Lumen Gentium, 58; Paolo VI, Marialis Cultus, 20): lo offrì e si offrì al Padre. Ogni Eucaristia è memoriale di quel Sacrificio e della Pasqua che ridonò vita al mondo; ogni Messa ci pone in comunione intima con lei, la Madre, il cui sacrificio “ritorna presente” come “ritorna presente” il sacrificio del Figlio alle parole della Consacrazione del pane e del vino pronunciate dal sacerdote (cf. Giovanni Paolo II, Allocutio in Audientia Generali habita, 2, 1 giugno 1983).]
I will only make a brief comment on this beautiful passage which strongly underscores the reality of the coredemption. The Eucharist, according to the Holy Father, bears “the taste and aroma of the Virgin Mother” not only because Jesus was born of Mary, but also because in the Mass her sacrifice, her offering of Jesus and herself to the Father, becomes present along with his.
The final text which I wish to highlight is from a homily given at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Dawn in Guayaquil, Ecuador on 31 January 1985:
Mary goes before us and accompanies us. The silent journey that begins with her Immaculate Conception and passes through the “yes” of Nazareth, which makes her the Mother of God, finds on Calvary a particularly important moment. There also, accepting and assisting at the sacrifice of her son, Mary is the dawn of Redemption; and there her Son entrusts her to us as our Mother: “The Mother looked with eyes of pity on the wounds of her Son, from whom she knew the redemption of the world had to come” (St. Ambrose, De Institutione Virginis, 49). Crucified spiritually with her crucified son (cf. Gal. 2:20), she contemplated with heroic love the death of her God, she “lovingly consented to the immolation of this Victim which she herself had brought forth” (Lumen Gentium, 58). She fulfills the will of the Father on our behalf and accepts all of us as her children, in virtue of the testament of Christ: “Woman, there is your son” (Jn. 19:26). …
At Calvary she united herself with the sacrifice of her Son that led to the foundation of the Church; her maternal heart shared to the very depths the will of Christ “to gather into one all the dispersed children of God” (Jn. 11:52). Having suffered for the Church, Mary deserved to become the Mother of all the disciples of her Son, the Mother of their unity. …
The Gospels do not tell us of an appearance of the risen Christ to Mary. Nevertheless, as she was in a special way close to the Cross of her Son, she also had to have a privileged experience of his Resurrection. In fact, Mary’s role as coredemptrix did not cease with the glorification of her Son. [María nos precede y acompaña. El silencioso itinerario que inicia con su Concepción Inmaculada y pasa por el sí de Nazaret que la hace Madre de Dios, encuentra en el Calvario un momento particularmente señalado. También allí, aceptando y asistiendo al sacrificio de su Hijo, es María aurora de la Redención; y allí nos la entregará su Hijo como Madre. «La Madre miraba conojos de piedad las llagas del Hijo, de quien sabía que había de venir la redención del mundo». Crucificada espiritualmente con el Hijo crucificado, contemplaba con caridad heroica la muerte de su Dios, «consintiendo amorosamente en la immolación de la Víctima que Ella misma había engendrado». Cumple la voluntad del Padre en favor nuestro y nos acoge a todos como a hijos, en virtude del testamento de Cristo: «Mujer, he ahí a tu hijo». …
Efectivamente, en el Calvario Ella se unió al sacrificio de Hijo que tendía a la formación de la Iglesia; su corazón materno compartió hasta el fondo la voluntad de Cristo de «reunir en uno todos los hijos de Dios que estaban dispersos». Habiendo sufrido por la Iglesia, María mereció convertirse en la Madre de todos los discípulos de su Hijo, la Madre de su unidad. …
Los evangelios no nos hablan de una aparición de Jesús resucitado a María. De todos modos, como Ella estuvo de manera especialmente cercana a la cruz del Hijo, hubo de tener también una experiencia privilegiada de su resurrección. Efectivamente, el papel corredentor de María no cesó con la glorificación del Hijo.]
While I refer those interested to my commentary on this text elsewhere I wish to point out here that the Holy Father used the adjectival form of Coredemptrix in Spanish [corredentor], just as he used the Italian term Coredemptrix in speaking of Mary on five other occasions. In effect, he used the word twice as much as his last predecessor to do so, Pius XI.
IX. The Present Situation
Where does all of the above discussion leave us? According to Monsignor Brunero Gherardini
The conditions by which a doctrine is and must be considered Church doctrine are totally and amply verifiable in Marian Coredemption: its foundation is indirect and implicit, yet solid, in the Scriptures; extensive in the Fathers and Theolgoians; unequivocal in the Magisterium. It follows, therefore, that the Coredemption belongs to the Church’s doctrinal patrimony.
The nature of this present relation, in virtue of a theological conclusion drawn from premises in the Old and New Testaments, is expressed by the note proxima fidei.
We can safely say that the teaching on Mary’s collaboration in the work of redemption is part of the ordinary magisterium and our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, especially by the frequency with which he returned to this theme, brought it to a new peak of explicitness and prominence in the Church.
And yet, strangely enough most of those who hold prominent positions in academic mariology and other high places have chosen to ignore the clear papal teaching and all of the positive scholarship that has been produced in this regard during the past 12 years. The first of four volumes of collected studies edited by Dr. Mark Miravalle and published in 1995 received only a condescending review in Marianum, while the other three volumes along with the six volumes of the Bibliotheca Corredemptionis B. V. Mariæ published by the Casa Mariana Editrice of Frigento from 1998 to 2003, the four volumes of Mary at the Foot of the Cross published by the Academy of the Immaculate of New Bedford, MA from 2001 to 2004 and Monsignor Gherardini’s La Coredentrice have all been met with stoney, deafening silence by the mariological establishment. The most positive statement to come from one of their representatives thus far was an admission in a footnote by the late Father Ignazio M. Calabuig, O.S.M. on behalf of his colleagues that my study of the use of the term Coredemptrix published in Maria Corredentrice: Storia e Teologia I was done with praiseworthy precision and clearly indicates that the title Coredemptrix is not proscribed and is susceptible of a correct reading, even though they insist that the word only occurs in documents of a non-magisterial character.
But that is not all. An ad hoc committee was convened at the Mariological Congress held in Częstochowa, Poland in August 1996 to deal with petitions which the Holy See had been receiving for a dogmatic definition of Mary’s role in the work of our redemption as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate. None of us who had done any studies in support of such a definition were consulted and of the 23 theologians who rendered the negative decision against considering a definition, one was Anglican, one was Lutheran and three were Orthodox. The rationale proffered was the following:
The titles, as proposed, are ambiguous, as they can be understood in very different ways. Furthermore, the theolological direction taken by the Second Vatican Council, which did not wish to define any of these titles, should not be abandoned. [I titoli, come vengono proposti, risultano ambigui, giacché possono comprednersi in modi molto diversi. E’ parso inoltre non doversi abbandonare la linea teologica seguita dal Concilio Vaticano II, il quale non ha voluto definire nessuno di essi.]
What is particularly dumbfounding about this statement is that in the prologue to the Marian chapter of Lumen Gentium, #54 explicitly states that
This sacred synod … does not, however, intend to give a complete doctrine on Mary, nor does it wish to decide those questions which the work of theologians has not yet fully clarified. Those opinions therefore may be lawfully retained which are propounded in Catholic schools concerning her, who occupies a place in the Church which is the highiest after Christ and also closest to us. [Sacrosancta Synodus …quin tamen in animo habeat completam de Maria proponere doctrinam, atque quæstiones labore theologorum nondum ad plenam lucem perductas dirimere. Servantur itaque in suo iure sententiæ, quæ in scholis catholicis libere proponuntur de Illa, quæ in Sancta Ecclesia locum occupat post Christum altissimum nobisque maxime propinquum.]
As if the “Vatican II triumphalism” of the signers of the Częstochowa statement didn’t suffice, the same edition of L’Osservatore Romano which carried their declaration also carried an unsigned article stating that:
With respect to the title of Coredemptrix, the Declaration of Częstochowa notes that “from the time of Pope Pus XII, the term Coredemptrix has not been used by the papal Magisterium in its significant documents” and there is evidence that he himself intentionally avoided using it. An important qualification, because here and there, in papal writings which are marginal and therefore devoid of doctrinal weight, one can find such a title, be it very rarely. [A proposito del titolo di Corredentrice, la Dichiarazione di Częstochowaannota: «il termine “Corredentrice” non viene adoperato del magistero dei Sommi Pontefici, in documenti di rilievo dai tempi di Pio XII. A questo riguardo vi sono testimonianze sul fatto che egli ne abbia evitato intenzionalmente l’uso». Precisazione importante, perché que e là, in documenti pontifici secondari, e quindi senza peso dottrinale, si può trovare, sia pure molto raramente, tale titolo.]
It seems that the primary reason why Pius XII did not use the title, even though he clearly taught the doctrine as we have seen, was because of the discussion of theologians which had only reached a definite theological consensus at the Mariological Congress of Lourdes in 1958 a few months before his death. What I wish to underscore here, however, is how “Vatican II triumphalism” tramples even upon the papal magisterium whenever it suits the purposes of its practitioners. The fact that Pope John Paul II used the term “Coredemptrix” five times and “coredemptive” once in speaking about Our Lady is simply dismissed as “marginal and therefore devoid of doctrinal weight” with no reference to Lumen Gentium #25. I would simply add that the Częstochowa Declaration itself is hardly above criticism for the way it attempts to deal with facts and may be far more appropriately described as “marginal and therefore devoid of doctrinal weight”.
Why is there such stiff resistance to recognizing the development of doctrine which has taken place, especially in the course of the last pontificate and in celebrating and proclaiming the role that the “New Eve” had in the working out of our redemption and the role which she continues to carry out in dispensing the graces of the redemption and interceding on our behalf? There are many partial answers, but ultimately, I believe the opposition can only be explained in terms of the eternal enmity between the serpent and the “Woman” of the protoevangelium.
It has been noted that there are already four dogmas about Mary. They are that she is (1) the Mother of God (Theotokos); (2) ever-virgin; that she was (3) immaculately conceived and (4) assumed body and soul into heaven. All of these truths of the faith pertain to the person of Mary, but thus far the Church has not yet proposed to the faithful in the most solemn manner the truth about Mary’s role in their lives.
But why should this be done when so many other matters in the Church appear to be much more important and much more urgent? There is, indeed, indisputable evidence that there is now at least a large part of two generations of Catholics who do not know their faith or take it very seriously. This didn’t happen by accident. There are many who, with good intentions or not, seized the moment toward the end of the Second Vatican Council to commandeer Catholic catechesis and education and have contributed mightily to the chaos which has ensued. They have not been simply unseated by the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church nor will any simply legislative act be capable of doing this.
The moral turpitude and permissiveness of the world in which we live daily becomes more apparent and more appalling – and it seeps into the Church. Contraception, abortion, the breakup of families, blatant pornography in the media, the attempted justification of homosexual unions, militant feminism, the confusion of the roles of man and woman, the promotion of a society without values – all of these plague the sons and daughters of the Catholic Church. Popes Paul VI and John Paul II have not hesitated to stand up to these myriad errors with courage, providing clear guidelines and admonishing the faithful to be converted and follow the way of the Gospel. Thirty-seven years after Humanæ Vitæ the prophetic wisdom of Paul VI is far more apparent than it was in 1968, but has the tide changed?
In many places careless, insensitive and imprudent innovations have been introduced into the Church’s worship. A new form of iconoclasm has caused the wanton destruction of many Catholic sanctuaries. Further, there is a notable tendency at work on various levels to shift the orientation of the liturgy from being God-centered to being more man-centered. The language of the “holy sacrifice of the Mass” is slowly disappearing from our vocabulary. Even more, there is an attempt on the part of some highly placed strategists to de-construct the present Roman liturgy and render it less recognizable. All of this has led to massive disorientation on the part of priests, religious and laity, resulting in many defections and apostasy. Can we reasonably expect that more directives on the right application of the Church’s liturgical norms will dramatically alter the present situation?
Now, of course, I do not wish to minimize the many hopeful signs on the horizon or the often heroic work being done on many levels to re-establish Catholic practice in faith, morals and worship where this is needed. But I am convinced that a papal definition of Mary as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces and Advocate for the People of God could have incalculable positive effects, both direct and indirect, in all of these areas that will come in no other way. This is because
Mary, present in the Church as the Mother of the Redeemer, takes part, as a mother, in that “monumental struggle against the powers of darkness” which continues throughout human history. [Maria enim, præsens in Ecclesia ut Mater Redemptoris, materno animo participat illam «arduam colluctationem contra potestates tenebrarum … quæ universam hominum historiam pervadit».]
She is not only the “Woman” of the protoevangelium (Gen. 3.15), but also the triumphant “Woman” of the Apocalypse (Rev. 12). The more that the Church recognizes her role in our salvation, proclaims it and celebrates it, the more Satan will be vanquished and the more Jesus will reign. The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council already gave voice to this intuition when they stated in Lumen Gentium #65 that
Having entered deeply into the history of salvation, Mary, in a way unites in her person and re-echoes the most important doctrines of the faith: and when she is the subject of preaching and worship she prompts the faithful to come to her Son, and to his sacrifice and to the love of the Father. Seeking after the glory of Christ, the Church becomes more like her lofty type, and continually progresses in faith, hope and charity, seeking and doing the will of God in all things. [Maria enim, quæ, in historiam salutis intime ingressa, maxima fidei placita in se quodammodo unit et reverberat, dum prædicatur et colitur, ad Filium suum Eiusque sacrificium atque ad amorem Patris credentes advocat. Ecclesia vero, gloriam Christi prosequens, præcelso su Typo similior efficitur, continue progrediens in fide, spe et caritate, ac divinam voluntatem in omnibus quærens et obsequens.]
AAS Acta Apostolicæ Sedis (1909 – ).
Calvario Alessandro M. Apollonio, Il “calvario teologico” della Coredenzione mariana (Castelpetroso, IS: Casa Mariana Editrice, 1999).
CCC Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994).
Cignelli Lino Cignelli, O.F.M., Maria Nuova Eva nella Patristica greca (Assisi: Studio Teologico “Porziuncola” Collectio Assisiensis #3, 1966).
D‑H Heinrich Denzinger, S.I., Enchiridion Symbolorum Definitionum et Declarationum de Rebus Fidei et Morum: Edizione Bilingue (XXXVII) a cura di Peter Hünermann (Bologna: Edizioni Dehoniane, 2000).
Flannery Austin Flannery, O.P., ed., Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1975).
Inseg Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, I (1978 – 2005) (Città del Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1979 – ).
JPMC1 Arthur Burton Calkins, “Pope John Paul II’s Teaching on Marian Coredemption” in Mark I. Miravalle, S.T.D., (ed.), Mary Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate, Theological Foundations II: Papal, Pneumatological, Ecumenical (Santa Barbara, CA: Queenship Publishing Company, 1997) 113-147.
JPMC2 Arthur Burton Calkins, “Pope John Paul II’s Ordinary Magisterium on Marian Coredemption: Consistent Teaching and More Recent Perspectives” in Mary at the Foot of the Cross, II (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, 2002) 1-36.
Manelli Stefano M. Manelli, F.I., All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed: Biblical Mariology (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, 1995).
MCat Pope John Paul II, Theotókos – Woman, Mother, Disciple: A Catechesis on Mary, Mother of God with a Foreword by Eamon R. Carroll, O.Carm, S.T.D. (Boston: Pauline Books and Media, 2000).
MMC1 Arthur Burton Calkins, “Il Mistero di Maria Corredentrice nel Magistero Pontificio” in Autori Vari, Maria Corredentrice: Storia e Teologia I (Frigento [AV]: Casa Mariana Editrice «Bibliotheca Corredemptionis B. V. Mariæ» Studi e Ricerche 1, 1998) 141-220.
MMC2 Arthur Burton Calkins, “The Mystery of Mary Coredemptrix in the Papal Magisterium” in Mark I. Miravalle, S.T.D. (ed.), Mary Co-redemptrix: Doctrinal Issues Today (Goleta, CA: Queenship Publishing Company, 2002) 25-92.
OL Our Lady: Papal Teachings, trans. Daughters of St. Paul (Boston: St. Paul Editions, 1961).
OR L’Osservatore Romano, daily Italian edition.
ORE L’Osservatore Romano, weekly edition in English. First number = cumulative edition number; second number = page.
Theotokos Michael O’Carroll, C.S.Sp. Theotokos: A Theological Encyclopedia of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Wilmington: Michael Glazier, Inc.; Dublin: Dominican Publications, 1982).
Tondini Amleto Tondini, Le Encicliche Mariane (Rome: Belardetti Editore, 1954).
Toniolo Ermanno M. Toniolo, O.S.M., La Beata Maria Vergine nel Concilio Vaticano II (Rome: Centro di Cultura Mariana «Madre della Chiesa», 2004).
Totus Tuus Arthur Burton Calkins, Totus Tuus; John Paul II’s Program of Marian Consecration and Entrustment (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate “Studies and Texts”, No. 1, 1992).
Theotokos 370-373; Manelli 21-33.
Theotokos 373-375; Manelli 323-337.
Theotokos 375-377; Manelli 346-362.
René Laurentin, A Short Treatise of the Virgin Mary trans. by Charles Neumann, S.M. (Washington, N.J.: AMI Press, 1991) 54, 57. Emphasis (except for “recapitulation” and “recirculatio”) my own.
Jaroslav Pelikan, Mary Through the Centuries: Her Place in the History of Culture (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1996) 43-44. Emphasis in second part of passage my own.
Cf. my study “Maria Reparatrix: Tradition, Magisterium, Liturgy” in Mary at the Foot of the Cross, III (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, 2003) 223-232.
Cf. my study “The Immaculate Coredemptrix in the Life and Teaching of Bl. Pius IX” to be published in Mary at the Foot of the Cross, V.
AAS 42 (1950) 768; Tondini 626 [OL #519].
AAS 35 (1943) 247-248 [OL #383].
AAS 46 (1954) 634-635 [OL #705].
Luigi Gambero, S.M., Mary and the Fathers of the Church: The Blessed Virgin Mary in Patristic Thought trans. by Thomas Buffer (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1999) 51.
AAS 60 (1968) 438-439.
Cf. the Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem of 15 August 1988 #11 [Inseg XI/3 (1988) 337-340]; general audience of 24 January 1996 [Inseg XIX/1 (1996) 115-117; MCat 61-63]; general audience of 29 May 1996 #3-5 [Inseg XIX/1 (1996) 1390-1392, MCat 93-96]; general audience of 18 September 1996 [Inseg XIX/2 (1996) 372-374; MCat 136-138]. These are just a few of the more important citations.
 OR 14 gennaio 2004, p. 4 [ORE 1829:3].
Cignelli 36-37 [my trans.].
Cignelli 235-236 [my trans.].
Cf. MMC1:179-187; MMC2:51-64.
 I have followed here the Douay-Rheims version which is a translation of St. Jerome’s Vulgate. For a discussion on whether the pronoun in the second part of the verse should be translated as he or she (favored in the Catholic tradition for well over a millennium) cf. Thomas Mary Sennott, The Woman of Genesis (Cambridge, MA: The Ravengate Press, 1984) 37-60. For a discussion of whether the verb should be translated as “bruise” or “crush”, cf. Sennott 61-80. For an overall treatment of the text, cf. Manelli. 21-33.
Cf. H.-L. Barth, Ipsa conteret. Maria die Schlangenzertreterin. Philologische und theologische Überlegungen zum Protoevangelium (Gen 3, 15) (Kirchliche Umschau 2000). This work was reviewed by Brunero Gherardini in Divinitas XLV:2 (2002) 224-225. Cf. also Thomas Mary Sennott, The Woman of Genesis (Cambridge, MA: The Ravengate Press, 1984) 37-60; Ibid., “Mary Coredemptrix,” in Mary at the Foot of the Cross, II (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, 2002) 49-63.
Manelli 23-24; cf. also the excellent study by Settimio M. Manelli, F.I., “Genesis 3:15 and the Immaculate Coredemptrix” to be published in Mary at the Foot of the Cross, V.
Inseg XIX/1 (1996) 1389-1390 [MCat 93-94].
Cf. Stefano M. Cecchin, O.F.M., L’Immacolata Concezione. Breve storia del dogma (Vatican City: Pontificia Academia Mariana Internationalis “Studi Mariologici,” No. 5, 2003) 191.
Cf. Dei Verbum, especially #8, 10, 23.
Tondini 46 [OL #46].
Settimio M. Manelli, F.I., “Genesis 3:15 and the Immaculate Coredemptrix” to be published in Mary at the Foot of the Cross, V.
Cf. Tiburtius Gallus, S.J., Interpretatio Mariologica Protoevangelii, Vol. I: Tempore post-patristico ad Concilium Tridentinum (Romae: Libreria Orbis Catholicus, 1949); Vol. II: Ætas Aurea Exegesis Catholicæ a Concilio Tridentino usque ad Annum 1660 (Roma: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1953); Vol. III: Ab Anno 1661 usque ad Definitionem Dogmaticam Immaculatae Conceptionis (1854) (Roma: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1954).
Inseg XIX/1 (1996) 116-117 [ORE 1426:11; MCat 62-63].
[Inseg XVIII/2 (1995) 934-935 [ORE 1414:11; MCat 25-26].
Tondini 204-206 [OL #151].
AAS 10 (1918) 181-182 [OL #267].
Tondini 32 [OL #34].
AAS 35 (1943) 247-248 [OL #383].
AAS 48 (1956) 352 [OL #778].
For further references, cf. MMC1:188-218 and MMC2:64-79.
Cf. MMC1:147-153; MMC2:29-35.
Cf. Michael O’Carroll, C.S.Sp., “Still Mediatress of All Graces?”, Miles Immaculatæ 24 (1988) 121-122; Theotokos 351-352.
This apparition of Our Lady would be succeeded by a number of others in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries which would eventually be recognized by the Church as worthy of credence. Cf. Donal Foley, Marian Apparitions, the Bible, and the Modern World (Herefordshire: Gracewing, 2002) 113-346.
Cf. Theotokos 179-180. Interestingly, Father O’Carroll acknowledges an impetus for the definition in the apparition of 1830, cf. Theotokos 182.
Cf. Totus Tuus 98-101.
Cf. Theotokos 555-56.
Cf. Totus Tuus 100.
Cf. Totus Tuus 104-105.
Cf. Theotokos 308.
Cf. Michael O’Carroll, C.S.Sp., “Mary’s Mediation: Vatican II and John Paul II” in Virgo Liber Verbi: Miscellanea di studi in onore di P. Giuseppe M. Besutti, O.S.M. (Rome: Edizioni «Marianum», 1991) 543; Theotokos 352. In the latter article Father O’Carroll gave the number of Fathers asking for a statement on Mary’s mediation as 382. Toniolo gives the number as 381, cf. Toniolo 34.
G.Besutti, O.S.M., Lo schema mariano al Concilio Vaticano II (Rome: Edizione Marianum-Desclée, 1966) 17.
Cf. Calvario 14.
Lo Schema 28-29; cf. Toniolo 36.
Acta Synodalia Sacrosancti Concilii Oecumenici Vaticani Secundi, Vol. I, Pt. VI (Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1971) 99; my trans. Cf. Toniolo 98-99; Gabriele M. Roschini, O.S.M., Maria Santissima nella Storia della Salvezza II (Isola del Liri: Tipografia M. Pisani, 1969) 111-112.
Cf. Thomas Mary Sennott, O.S.B., “Mary Mediatrix of All Graces, Vatican II and Ecumenism,” Miles Immaculatæ 24 (1988) 151-167; Theotokos 242-245.
Cf. Ralph M. Wiltgen, S.V.D., The Rhine Flows into the Tiber; A History of Vatican II (Rockford, IL: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1985, c. 1967) 90-95, 153-159.
Cf. my article “‘Towards Another Marian Dogma?’ A Response to Father Angelo Amato,” Marianum LIX (1997) 1163-165.
Cf. MMC1:154-161 and MMC2:35-41.
Flannery 416 (I have altered the word order of the translation).
Inseg XVIII/2 (1995) 1369 [MCat 51].
Cf. Theotokos 351-356.
Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., “Mary Since Vatican II: Decline and Recovery,” Marian Studies LIII (2002) 12.
 Cf. the comments by Fathers George F. Kirwin, O.M.I. and Thomas Thompson, S.M. in Donald W. Buggert, O.Carm., Louis P. Rogge, O.Carm., Michael J. Wastag, O.Carm. (eds.), Mother, Behold Your Son: Essays in Honor of Eamon R. Carroll, O.Carm. (Washington, DC: The Carmelite Institute, 2001), 17 & 202.
Eamon R. Carroll, O.Carm, “Revolution in Mariology 1949-1989,” in The Land of Carmel: Essays in Honor of Joachim Smet, O.Carm. (Rome: Institutum Carmelitanum, 1991) 457-458. On the former page one also finds his evaluation of Fathers Cyril Vollert, S.J., Juniper B. Carol, O.F.M. and Charles Balić, O.F.M., all of whom represent the christotypical approach to Mariology.
Cf. Carroll, “Revolution in Mariology” 455.
“Pope John Paul II’s Teaching on Marian Coredemption” in Mark I. Miravalle, S.T.D., (ed.), Mary Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate, Theological Foundations II: Papal, Pneumatological, Ecumenical (Santa Barbara, CA: Queenship Publishing Company, 1997) 113-147; also published in Miles Immaculatæ XXXII (Luglio/Dicembre 1996) 474-508 and “Pope John Paul II’s Ordinary Magisterium on Marian Coredemption: Consistent Teaching and More Recent Perspectives” in Mary at the Foot of the Cross – II: Acts of the Second International Symposium on Marian Coredemption (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, 2002) 1-36; also published in Divinitas XLV «Nova Series» (2002) 153-185.
“The Heart of Mary as Coredemptrix in the Magisterium of Pope John Paul II” in S. Tommaso Teologo: Ricerche in occasione dei due centenari accademici (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana “Studi Tomistici #59,” 1995) 320-335; “Il Cuore di Maria Corredentrice nel Magistero di papa Giovanni Paolo II” in Corredemptrix: Annali Mariani 1996 del Santuario dell’Addolorata (Castelpetroso, Isernia, 1997) 97-114; “Amorosamente consenziente al sacrificio del Figlio: Maria Corredentrice nei discorsi di Giovanni Paolo II,” Madre di Dio 67, N° 11 (Novembre 1999) 28-29.
“Il Mistero di Maria Corredentrice nel Magistero Pontificio” in Autori Vari, Maria Corredentrice: Storia e Teologia I (Frigento [AV]: Casa Mariana Editrice «Bibliotheca Corredemptionis B. V. Mariae» Studi e Richerche 1, 1998) 141-220 and “The Mystery of Mary the Coredemptrix in the Papal Magisterium,” in Mark I. Miravalle, S.T.D. (ed.), Mary Co-redemptrix: Doctrinal Issues Today (Goleta, CA: Queenship Publishing Company, 2002) 25-92.
Cf. Brunero Gherardini, La Corredentrice nel mistero di Cristo e della Chiesa (Rome: Edizioni Vivere In, 1998) 135-139.
Inseg VII/1 (1984) 307 [St. Paul Editions 37].
Inseg VII/1 (1984) 308-309 [St. Paul Editions 40-41].
Inseg VI/1 (1983) 1446-1447 [ORE 788:2].
Inseg VIII/1 (1985) 318-321 [ORE 876:7].
Inseg V/3 (1982); Inseg VII/2 (1984) 1151 [ORE 860:1]; Inseg VIII/1 (1985) 889-890 [ORE 880:12]; Inseg XIII/1 (1990) 743; Inseg XIV/2 (1991) 756 [ORE 1211:4]. Cf. my presentation of these texts in MMC2:41-46.
Cf. MMC1:151-152; MMC2:32-34.
Brunero Gherardini, “The Coredemption of Mary: Doctrine of the Church,” in Mary at the Foot of the Cross, II (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, 2002) 48.
 Mark I. Miravalle, S.T.D., (ed.), Mary Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate, Theological Foundations: Towards a Papal Definition? (Santa Barbara, CA: Queenship Publishing Company, 1995).
Angelo Amato, S.D.B., «Verso un altro dogma mariano?», Marianum 58 (1996) 229-232.
Ignazio Calabuig, O.S.M. e il Comitato di redazione della rivista Marianum, “Riflessione sulla richiesta della definizione dogmatica di «Maria corredentrice, mediatrice, avvocata»7,” Marianum LXI, nn. 155-156 (1999) 157, n. 50.
OR 4 giugno 1997, p. 10 [ORE 1494:12].
OR 4 giugno 1997, p. 10 [ORE 1497:10].
Cf. Calvario 7-8.
Defined by the Council of Ephesus in 431. Cf. D-H #252.
 By the time of the Council of Ephesus belief in Mary’s virginity before, during and after birth was in possession and was explicitly defined at the Lateran Council of 649 convoked by Pope Saint Martin I. Cf. D-H #503.
Defined by Blessed Pope Pius XI on 8 December 1854. Cf. D-H #2303.
Defined by the Servant of God Pope Pius XII on 1 November 1950. Cf. D-H #3903.
Redemptoris Mater #47 [Inseg X/1 (1987) 738; St. Paul Editions 67].