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Coredemptrix Mediatrix Advocate

Towards a Papal Definition?

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Mary, Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate: Instrument of Catholic-Orthodox Unity


Rev. Michael O’Carroll, C.S.Sp.


Fr. O’Carroll has written widely on theological and ecumenical topics and is an internationally known Mariologist.  He is a member of the Pontifical Marian Academy, the French Society for Marian Studies, and an Associate of the Bollandistes.


Mary Mediatrix, the Council and the Orthodox


Historians of the post Vatican II ecumenical movement will delay on one problem:  What was lost by lack of proper attention to the Orthodox?  Let me mention a fact of history.  After the Council we went through what Fr. Ignace de la Potterie described as a “decade without Mary,” at the International Mariological Congress in Huelva in 1992; it would, presumably, stretch from 1965 to 1974, the year of Paul VI’s Apostolic Exhortation, Marialis Cultus.  That document, by its sheer excellence, boosted the morale of those who had not bent to a fashion unduly vaunted in some sectors, and restored the confidence of those who had been overcome.

To what extent was Vatican II responsible for the decline, the abandonment of esteemed practices of piety, even of the Rosary, the silence in the world of publishing (it was difficult to find anyone commercially interested), the absence of Our Lady from homiletics, the elimination of her images, especially her statues, from Catholic churches, the simplistic versions of doctrine dispensed on the media by allegedly competent performers?  It is a serious question, which does not come within my subject but touches it indirectly.  Two events in conciliar history will be weighed by historians.  When the vote was taken on the status of the Marian text, whether it should be an independent doctrinal constitution or a chapter in the constitution on the Church, the majority for the second option was less than two per cent; the Council seemed divided in two; half the conciliar fathers could be interpreted as favouring a back-track on the great Marian movement in the days of Pius XII.

It was stated by the Moderator of the assembly when the vote was taken that the issue was procedural; it did not touch doctrine or piety.  But the result of the vote was welcomed by the Protestant Observers, in particular Marc Boegner, an influential French Calvinist, as indicating a change.  Malicious journalists did the rest.  As they did with another conciliar event.  When the new text prepared by Fr. C. Balic, O.F.M., a giant of Marian studies and, Mgr. G. Philips of Louvain, was debated in the aula, there was a vocal conflict, fully reported.  Were bishops quarreling about Our Lady?  What should be the response of the faithful?  Again malicious journalists had a field day.

The results of the pre-conciliar consultation conducted by Cardinal Tardini showed that 362 bishops desired a conciliar statement on Mary’s mediation; 266 asked for a dogmatic definition.  After the vote deciding that Our Lady should be treated in a chapter of the Constitution on the Church and not in a separate, independent constitution, a new text or schema was sought.  It is well known that a preliminary schema (i.e. proposed text)  drawn up by Fr. Karl Balic and his associates in the Pontifical Marian Academy, included mention of Mary as Mediatress of all Graces.  It had contained a strong statement of Mary’s universal mediation:


Since, therefore, the humble ‘Handmaid of the Lord,’ for whom ‘He that is mighty has done great things’ (cf. Lk 1:49) is called Mediatress of all Graces, because she was associated with Christ in acquiring them, and since she is invoked by the Church as our Advocate and as the Mother of mercy, for she always remains the associate of Christ glorious in heaven, she intercedes for all through Christ, in such wise that the maternal charity of the Blessed Virgin is present in the bestowal (conferendis) of all graces to men.[1]


But it was not destined to remain. The new text was prepared after the vote on the status of the schema, after vicissitudes which do not concern us, spoke of Mary as “invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Aid-giver and Mediatress.”

Even this mention of Our Lady as Mediatress was opposed.  On the very last day Cardinal Alfrink supported by 150 signatures, and maintaining that he could have got more, asked for deletion of the word.  The Cardinal was totally ignorant of, or indifferent to, the rich tradition of the East on the question he was attempting to solve.  He, like so many others, did not realize the importance of the eastern tradition to doctrine on Our Lady.[2]

There was worse.  The great Byzantine scholar, A. Wenger, A.A., sent a memorandum to the drafting commission, drawing their attention to the importance of the idea of Mary’s mediation in the eastern tradition.  He was “rappelé à la modération” by the secretary, Fr. Moeller.[3]  In other words, “We have made up our minds, do not confuse us with the facts.”

There was still worse.  The drafting commission circulated a text to the Council Fathers for their information.  It contained two “howlers,” that is, errors which would have been unpardonable in an essay submitted by a first year student in theology:  The report says that Pius XII never used the word Mediatress in regard to Our Lady - actually he used it eight times; it says that the easterns used the word, but without aiming at a theological system, whereas Theophanes of Nicaea provided the most perfect systematic treatment of the theory ever formulated.[4]  The great French Byzantine scholar, Fr. Martin Jugie, A.A., thought that Theophanes was the most perfect exponent of Our Lady’s universal mediation in history.

The commission produced the text with the words they had chosen, which are almost minimalist.  True, a passage was added which after spelling out the dependence of Mary’s role on “the unique mediation of the Redeemer” which “does not exclude but rather gives rise among creatures to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this unique source,” went on to say that “the Church does not hesitate to profess this subordinate role of Mary.  She experiences it continuously and commends it to the hearts of the faithful, so that encouraged by this maternal help they may more closely adhere to the Mediator and Redeemer.”[5]


A Voice From the East


The one written submission from an Oriental, Uniate obviously, is interesting.  Bishop Vladimir Malanczuk of Syria dealt with the problem of mediation.  He stated this general truth:  “According to the doctrine of the Orientals the role of ‘mediation is to be, in a general way, attributed to the Blessed Virgin, Mother of the Lord: Therefore this title and term must be retained in the schema.”  The Bishop would leave to western theologians the free discussion of problems - theologoumena as he named them - as to the manner of Mary’s cooperation.  He went on:[6]


Whatever about these theologoumena and like matters it is of great importance to establish exegetically the fact of Mary’s cooperation, that is, whether in truth the Mother of the Lord was really and truly associated with Christ in the work of our Redemption, whether in the order of acquiring or distributing graces.  And this, besides the Marian dogmas, is the only problem worthy of serious consideration in present-day Marian theology.  For the intention of the Council should not be simply to go over again things said and promulgated up to now about the Blessed Virgin Mary, but to make real progress, going back to the very sources of Scripture and tradition, so as to clarify doctrine about the Blessed Virgin Mary.


The Bishop, who recalled the various words found in eastern writings, mesitis, mesiteia, mesiteusasa, spoke of Mary uniting us with God through mediation under the one Mediator Jesus Christ; though the oriental tradition speaks of Old Testament prophets, priests and saints of the New Testament as mediators, and though “it adorns Mary’s mediation with various titles so that its excellence and universality may be better expressed” and though as to its nature “this mediation of the Mother of the Lord is assimilated in a certain way, but very generally to the mediation of Christ” and though particulars are not dealt with, the tradition attributes a “more excellent” mediation (mesiteia) to the Mother of the Lord, and to the saints, mediation by intercession only (eis presbeian).  There follows a general summing up which deserves attention:


If we wish to determine Mary’s mediation more precisely, especially as to the distribution of graces, we shall say this:

1.  Mary is a Mediatress in distributing graces, not as is Jesus Christ, but beneath him, in him and through him.  She participates in the mediation of Christ totally depending on the Mediator...

2.  Mary’s mediation as to the distribution of graces is not necessary for salvation.  This proceeds from the gratuitous and entirely benevolent will of God in our regard, who decreed in his goodness to associate the redeemed creature most intimately in the work of redemption, according to the Pauline dictum: we fill up by our cooperation the things wanting in the Passion of Christ; a fortiori does the Mother of the Lord cooperate in the Passion of her divine Son.

3.  The cooperation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the distribution of graces presupposes the Redemption achieved by Jesus Christ the Saviour as to the acquisition of graces.

Whatever may be said about the determination of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s mediation, they are to be restrained who speak as if the Mother of God redeemed us in the same way as Jesus the Saviour.  In this question the fundamental truth is:  Jesus Christ is our Redemption par excellence.  He alone died for us and rose for us.  As he is the truth, the way and the life, he is uncreated grace, as the only foundation of created grace.  Only from such a fundamental doctrine laid down can we understand the singular participation of the divine Mother in the distributing of graces.  The redemptive act of Jesus Christ is in itself complete and principal, needing no complement, and it must be placed before the cooperation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the work of redemption, and not “with him and beneath him.”  The Mother of the Lord only distributes graces “with him and beneath him.”  And only by that act does she become a minister of the Redemption, “in view of the merits.”  Consequently, it does not suffice to say that Jesus Christ merited grace for us in justice and the Blessed Virgin Mary through suitability, for that way of speaking would imply that the satisfaction of Christ needed completion, and thus break the unicity and absolute unity of the Redemption.

Conclusion: a)  It is a dogma that the Mother of the Lord shared in the Redemption through her motherhood, as Mother of the Saviour; b) it appears certain from the Oriental tradition that the cooperation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the distribution of graces, as Mother of those to be saved, is a fact; c) it remains a matter of free debate, as a theologoumenon, concerning the precise manner of Mary’s mediation, for it is not clear from the sources of revelation.[7]


What historians of Marian theology will ask themselves is how such strange things could have happened.  How could Council Fathers say that the question of mediation had not been brought to maturity when it had been the object of more theological research and discussion than almost any other tenet of Christian theology, especially since the days of Mercier?  Did they know that the great M. J. Scheeben had before Mercier expounded Mary’s universal mediation,[8] that in this century powerful monographs had shown the antiquity of the theme, especially in the eastern church, where use of the word Mesitis or derivatives from it, go back to the fifth century?[9]  Did they know that two commissions set up by Pius XI, Spanish and Belgian, composed of eminent scholars, had concluded that Mary’s mediation was definable?[10]  Did they know that an International Mariological Congress in 1950 had expressed a Votum for the attention of the Holy See which ended with the words “uno verbo universalem Dei hominumque Mediatricem”?[11]  Did they know that the problem of the Pauline Unus Mediator text had been ably dealt with in a general work prepared for the Council Fathers by the indefatigable Fr. Balic, De Mariologia et Oecumenismo?[12]

This is an enumeration of facts of conciliar history, with a minimum of value judgment.  Future historians of Marian theology may express a harsher criticism than “very strange.”  I have no wish to anticipate them.  I suggest some broad reflections which may help to explain why John Paul II reopened the whole question in his Encyclical, Redemptoris Mater.  There was in presentation of opposing opinions a tendency to dismiss fifteen centuries of tradition as irrelevant, to overlook the fact that the very first writers and preachers who spoke of Mary as Mediatress were using Greek, the language of St. Paul and would, therefore, be sensitive to what was acceptable and what not.

The principal point of this examination is not an evaluation of the Marian text of Lumen Gentium, Chapter 8.  And yet, the text manifests an incompleteness on another important doctrinal question not entirely indifferent to the question we are considering:  on the relation of Mary to the Holy Spirit.  They spoke of Mary as the ”sanctuary” of the Holy Spirit reluctant to use the title “Spouse” which is found in the writings of saints like St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort and Maximilian Kolbe, and Popes Leo XIII, Pius XII, John Paul II, just as the drafting commission chose to disregard the immense volume of theological writing on Mary’s universal mediation since Cardinal Mercier launched his campaign in the early twenties, especially the voluminous output on Mary Coredemptress.  In declaring that Our Lady was the “sanctuary” of the Holy Spirit, they were stating what is true of every Christian.

This failure recalls the severe criticism made of the conciliar texts issued during the first three sessions by an observer from the Greek Orthodox Church.  His article appeared in the Ecumenical Review, organ of the World Council of Churches; he was editor at the time.  His complaint was, in effect, that if the Council did not say more about the Holy Spirit in its documents, they would have little impact in the Orthodox world.[13]  A golden opportunity was missed in drafting the passage on Mary and the Holy Spirit.[14]  Had Nikos Nissiotis known that of all the suggestions for the conciliar agenda sent in by bishops and Catholic universities, not one mentioned the Holy Spirit, he would have felt still more justified.[15]

What concerns us here is that the indifference to the Orthodox within the Council, the ignorance of, or at least the lack of recognition of their great theologians, manifest in its Marian text, deprived us of a safeguard for our Marian doctrine and devotion in the “decade without Mary.”  The Orthodox have not the slightest idea of abandoning their rich Marian traditions in theology, liturgy, iconography. 

It would be improper and inaccurate to speak of recent ecumenism as entirely Protestant oriented, to the partial exclusion of the Orthodox.  Paul VI met Athenagoras in Jerusalem in 1963 and afterwards welcomed him in Rome; there have been other high-level meetings.  Yet little has been achieved at the level of the faithful and their immediate pastors.  From personal experience in Moscow and in Romania, I can testify that the opening for fruitful encounter exists.  Those so engaged will have immense encouragement in the sustained policy of John Paul II and from recourse to the great Orthodox theologians of Our Lady, especially in the golden age of the Palamite theologians.


 “Mediatress” in the Life of the Church


The very first writers and preachers who spoke of Mary as Mediatress, using the Greek language as St. Paul, spoke within a whole context wherein theological terms applied to the Godhead or to God made man were extended to others with due regard for analogy.  There is only one eternal Son of God; but we are called and are sons of God (1 Jn 3:1).  God alone is holy; but we are called holy.  We have but one Master, the Christ, but we look to others as our masters.[16] The very New Testament which says that there is but one Mediator of God and men, speaks of angels as mediators (Gal 3:19).  Why if there is but one Mediator cannot we - as was his declared intention - be brought close to him, so close that he lives in us and shares his privileges with us?  What else does membership of the Mystical Body mean?  Was this not preeminently true of Mary?[17]

Speakers against use of the term “Mediatress” thought that it would cause confusion among the faithful.  They tended to think too of the “piety” of the faithful.  The idea and word “Mediatress” have been tested in a far more serious way, in the apostolate, which touches the very life of the Church.  It is a cardinal principle of the two greatest lay associations founded in the present century, the Militia Immaulatae by St. Maximilian Kolbe and the Legion of Mary by Frank Duff; the latter exists for eighty years, is now in 2,000 dioceses, uses explicitly the invocation Mary Immaculate, Mediatress of all Graces.  So far from causing confusion or complaint, the idea has been an inspiration.

Vatican II was a pastoral Council.  The Council Fathers were pledged to consider the pastoral dimension, the pastoral test.  I suggest that a look at four great pastoral figures in the present century would prove enlightening on the subject we are considering.  I have in mind Mercier, Wyszynski and the two founders just mentioned, for the latter in their work were involved in the area of pastoral activity, planning and acting in the closest collaboration with the episcopate.  True, the Church does not take its official teaching from the lives of individuals, even saintly individuals.  But these may give a clue to what does help the Magisterium to discern teachable doctrine, the sensus fidelium.  Spiritual leaders stir the sensus fidelium, give it scope for expression, help to verify it.  The four spiritual leaders mentioned have done this remarkably in regard to Mary’s mediation.  Each was inspired by the idea and persuaded, with little effort, others to seek a like inspiration.

So there was no innovation in proposing the doctrine for conciliar formulation.   Nor are we to think that to sponsor the idea, to advocate conciliar acceptance of it, was an imposition of private piety on the Church, another attempt to add a “jewel to Our Lady’s crown.”  Events since the Council have shown that devotion to Our Lady in the Catholic body went into some kind of decline or recession in the decades immediately after the Council.  From this it has been emerging latterly, and it would be a denial of the obvious evidence to overlook the effect that apparitions of Our Lady have had.  But the Pope saw that some statement on the question of Mary’s mediation was needed.

The question has not been very much discussed with the exception of a series of articles in Ephemerides Mariologicae 1974 and 1976 following an article by the Swiss Calvinist, Henre Chavannes, and the publication more recently of the reports of the Spanish and Belgian commissions established by Pius XI.[18] It is clear that the intellectual climate is free, witness the change in Paul VI’s Apostolic Exhortation, Signum Magnum, where Mary is spoken of as Mediatress, Advocate, Helper, Aid-giver without the word “is invoked.”[19] More striking is the entire section of the document issued by the Biblical Commission on Bible et Christologie, which deals with “various ways of mediating salvation,” “through kings, priest, prophets” ways which have been proved inadequate, but which are nonetheless called forms of mediation by the authors of the Biblical Commission’s text, all eminent biblicists.[20]


John Paul II:  Maternal Mediation


John Paul II has given more attention to the Orthodox than any of his predecessors.  He hopes that the division which marked the second millennium will disappear in the third, that the Church will be able to breath with “its two lungs.”  Whereas in the previous papal references to the separated brethren of the East the idea was “return,” now it is the search for “communion.”  We have so much in common with them, the Divine Liturgy, our Mass, the Sacraments, prayer to the Mother of God, the Theotokos, and all the saints.  Significant events in the relations between the Pope and Patriarch Batholomaios are the annual visits to the Patriarch for the feast of St. Andrew of a papal delegation, and the acceptance by the Pope of the prayers which he had received from his eastern brother for the Way of the Cross which he followed on Good Friday of this (1994) year.  In harmony with the papal initiatives and pronouncements is the Balamand declaration, drawn up after a meeting of the joint commission of Orthodox and Catholic theologians in the Lebanese city, in June 1993.[21] 

Let us at this point examine the presentation John Paul II offers us regarding the universal “maternal mediation” of Mary, particularly as it is found in Redemptoris Mater.

  For various reasons John Paul II must have thought the time ripe for a public pronouncement on the question.  Chapter III of Redemptoris Mater (articles 38 to 50) deals with Maternal Mediation.  The Pope recalls by direct quotation the passage in Lumen Gentium which deals with Mary’s mediation.  He shows by analyzing the components of the passage the safeguards for the unique mediation of Christ.  Then he proceeds to develop his own ideas, again interweaving with them quotations from the Council text.  Speaking of the “subordinate role of Mary” he comments:[22]


This role is at the same time special and extraordinary.  If flows from her divine motherhood and can be understood and lived in faith only on the basis of the full truth of this motherhood.  Since by virtue of divine election Mary is the earthly Mother of the Father’s consubstantial Son and his “noble associate” in the work of redemption “she is a mother to us in the order of grace.”  This role constitutes a real dimension of her presence in the saving mystery of Christ and the Church.[23]


The Pope then feels obliged to turn again to the “fundamental event in the economy of salvation, namely the Incarnation of the Word at the moment of the Annunciation.”  He states “The first moment of submission to the one mediation ‘between God and men’ - the mediation of Jesus Christ - is the Virgin of Nazareth’s acceptance of motherhood.  Mary consents to God’s choice, in order to become through the power of the Holy Spirit the Mother of the Son of God.  It can be said that this consent to motherhood is above all a result of her total self-giving to God in virginity.”[24]  This idea of self-giving is elaborated.

The Pope relates mediation to motherhood in Mary:


Mary’s motherhood, completely pervaded by her spousal attitude as “the Handmaid of the Lord,” constitutes the first, fundamental dimension of that mediation which the Church confesses and proclaims in her regard and continually “commends to the hearts of the faithful,” since the Church has great trust in her.  For it must be recognized that before anyone else it was God himself, the Eternal Father, who entrusted himself to the Virgin of Nazareth, giving her his own Son in the mystery of the Incarnation.[25]


As Mary advanced on the pilgrimage of faith, as she collaborated with Christ in his whole mission, her “motherhood itself underwent a singular transformation, becoming ever more imbued with ‘burning charity’ towards all those to who Christ’s mission was directed.  Through this ‘burning charity,’ which sought to achieve, in union with Christ, the restoration of ‘supernatural life to souls,’ Mary entered in a way all her own, into the one mediation ‘between God and men’ which is the mediation of the man Christ Jesus.  If she was the first to experience within herself the supernatural consequences of this on mediation - in the Annunciation she had been greeted as ‘full of grace’ - then we must say that through this fullness of grace and supernatural life she was especially predisposed to cooperation with Christ, the one Mediator of human salvation.  And such cooperation with Christ, is precisely this mediation subordinated to the mediation of Christ.”  This, the Pope says, was special and exceptional mediation, due to Mary’s fullness of grace, expressed in the complete willingness of the “handmaid of the Lord.”[26]

After reflections on Mary’s presence at the foot of the Cross, on her uninterrupted maternal care for her children, emphasized by the Council, which the Pope quotes, he goes on:  “With the redeeming death of her Son, the maternal mediation of the handmaid of the Lord took on a universal dimension, for the work of redemption embraces the whole of humanity.  Thus there is manifested in a singular way the efficacy of the one and universal mediation of Christ ‘between God and men.’  Mary’s cooperation shares, in its subordinate character, in the universality of the mediation of the Redeemer, the one Mediator.”  The Pope sates that Mary’s mediation continues in the history of the Church and the world with the character of “intercession,” the “manifold acts” of which the Council mentions.  Like  Paul VI John Paul II strengthens the affirmation of Vatican II.  Whereas the Council stated that Mary “is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Aid-giver and Mediatress,” the Pope says “In this way Mary’s motherhood continues unceasingly in the Church as the mediation which intercedes, and the Church expresses her faith in this truth by invoking Mary ‘under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Aid-giver and Mediatress.’”  A change similar to what the Pope has made was requested during the passage of the text through the Council; it was refused.  There is a difference between “Mary is invoked in the Church” and “the Church invokes Mary.”[27]

The Pope goes on to analyze certain applications of Mary’s mediation:  Through it, because of her Assumption, she “contributes in a special way to the union of the pilgrim Church on earth with the eschatological and heavenly reality of the Communion of Saints”; she also “has that specifically maternal role of Mediatress at his final coming, when all those who belong to Christ ‘shall be made alive,’ when the ‘last enemy to be destroyed is death’ (1 Cor 15:26).”

John Paul II broadens the sweep of his thought once the general principles have been laid down.  He changes significantly the logical sequence of Vatican II.  Whereas the council dealt with the question of mediation within the section of the chapter dealing with “The Blessed Virgin and the Church” he deals with “Mary in the life of the Church and of every Christian” within the chapter on “Maternal Mediation.”

The change in perspective is significant as it elevates Mary the Mediatress above the body faithful, which in no way conflicts with the fact that she is in Augustine’s phrase “a member of the church.”  We are in the world of mystery obviously where, without analogy, insistence on “above” and “within” could lead us astray; just as Protestants of good will and well disposed towards Catholics still sometimes have a problem about giving to Mary in prayer - they think that it takes from prayer to Jesus.  Perhaps it sometimes does but it should not and need not, for we are not in a world of Mathematics!


Universal Mediation in Orthodox Theology


On the theme of Mary, Co-redemptress, Mediatress, Advocate and the Orthodox, we must not expect exact parallels in the teaching of Latin and Orthodox theologians, and yet, profound complementarity can be found in Orthodox formulations for these Marian roles of universal mediation.  For the eastern theologians the redemption is absorbed in the divinization to be shared with the faithful by the Risen Christ, triumphant over death.  It is a mistake to think that the Orthodox forget or minimize the mediatory role of Christ’s manhood.  Without the Latin analysis in terms validly borrowed from law and philosophy, the Orthodox liturgies, a prime source for their theology, reveal the cosmic design realized in Christ, exalt the Passion and its symbol, the Cross, rise to sublime heights in chanting the Resurrection.  Take these passages from the great anaphora of the Byzantine Liturgy of St. Basil:


He (the Lord Jesus Christ) is the image of your goodness, the seal of your own likeness, showing you, his Father, in himself; he is the living Word, true God, eternal Wisdom, Life, Holiness, Power, the true Light.  Through him the Holy Spirit was made manifest, the Spirit of truth, the grace of adoption as sons, the earnest of our inheritance to come, the first-fruits of everlasting blessedness, life-giving power, the fount of sanctification, through whom every reasoning spiritual creature is enabled to praise your everlasting glory, for all things are subject to you.....(After the original sin) You did not turn wholly away from the creature you had made in your goodness, you did not forget the works of your hands; in you merciful loving-kindness you watched over man in sundry ways.  You sent prophets, and did mighty works through the holy men in every age who have been well pleasing to you; you spoke by the mouths of your servants, who foretold the salvation that was to come; you gave the law to help us, and angels to be our guardians.  In the fullness of time you spoke by your own Son, through whom you made the worlds.  He, the brightness of your glory, the impress of your substance, sustaining all things by the word of his power, counted it not a prize to be an equality with you, O God his Father.  Himself eternal God, he appeared on earth and lived among men; becoming incarnate of the holy Virgin, he emptied himself by taking the form of a slave, being made in his body like us, that he might make us like to the image of his glory.  For since sin had entered the world through man, and death through sin, your only-begotten Son, though being in your bosom, O God his Father, was born of a woman, the holy Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary, born under the law, in order to condemn sin in his flesh, so that those who were dead in Adam might in him, your Christ, be made alive.[28]


Already Our Lady appears in this Liturgical prayer.  When we come to the Easter Matins we meet a wonderful hymn of praise to the Theotokos.  “Glorify him, O my soul, who is risen from the tomb on the third day, the life-giving Christ!  Shine, new Jerusalem, shine, for the glory of the Lord is risen on you.  Zion, rejoice and be glad.  And you, holy Mother of God, rejoice, for your son is risen.......An angel cried to the Virgin blest: ‘Rejoice, unsullied Maiden!  Again I say, Rejoice!  Your Son in very truth is risen.  Three days was he in the tomb, and now is risen from the dead.”

In these words we have, in the Orthodox manner, the idea of Mary’s participation in the total Paschal Mystery, what we should perhaps name her role as Co-redemptress.  What of her intercession, her role as Advocate?  Let us turn to the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.  Here in the Liturgy of Catechumens we read:  “Remembering our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.”  These are the words of the priest.  For the first antiphon the people cry out, “By the intercession of the Theotokos, Saviour, save us.”  This is then repeated twice; the priest repeats his invocation later.

We come to the Liturgy of the Faithful, to the anaphora.  The priest having incensed the offerings now by his words consecrated to the Body and Blood Christ prays thus:  “Especially for our most holy, pure, blessed and glorious lady, the Theotokos and ever virgin Mary.”  To this the people reply:  “It is truly right to bless you, Theotokos, ever blessed, most pure, and Mother of our God.  More honourable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, without corruption you gave birth to God the Word.  We magnify you, the true Theotokos.”[29]

Our Lady is thus mentioned at the heart of the Eucharistic celebration.  At the end, before distributing the blessed bread, the priest prays, “May Christ, our true God (who rose from the dead), as a good, loving and merciful God, have mercy upon us and save us, through the intercession of his most pure and holy Mother....(other motives are added).[30]

Before considering the teaching of the Orthodox theologians, we should look briefly at the history of the doctrine of Mary’s mediation in the east, before 1054, and include therein a brief word about the most perfect hymn ever composed to the Theotokos; though dating from centuries earlier the Akathistos hymn is very much part of Orthodox liturgical prayer.

It is in early eastern writing, with which the Orthodox strongly retain their links, that the idea and the word Mediatress first appears.  St. Cyril of Alexandria (d. 444) in “the greatest Marian sermon of antiquity,” now established as genuine, uses the formula “through you” which expresses mediation, “it is through you that the Holy Trinity is glorified and adored, through you the precious cross is venerated and adored throughout the world......(on through a series of spiritual triumphs) through you that churches have been founded in the whole world, that peoples are led to conversion.”[31]

The word itself is found in two fifth century eastern writers, Basil of Seleucia and Antipater of Bostra, five centuries before it is used by a Latin writer independently - it does occur in sixth and eight century works, but they seem derivative from the East.[32]  Theory would develop with the great eastern Fathers, John of Damascus and Germanus of Constantinople.[33]

What of the Akathistos hymn?  Without imposing western thought categories on an eastern work one may note these phrases relevant to Mary’s role in the redemption:  she is “The reconciliation of many sinners” (XIII), the “stole of those stripped of the right to appeal,” (XV), the one by whom “was paid the ransom for transgression” (ibid.), “the gate of salvation” and the one “who has begotten anew those who were born in sin (XIX).  More significantly she is the one “by whom all creation is renewed” (I), “the whole world’s redeeming” (V), the “opening of the gates of heaven” and “the one by whom hell is despoiled” (VII).  She is the “heavenly ladder by which God came down; the bridge that carries the earthborn to heaven” (III).[34]

With such considerations as preliminary we may approach the great theologians of the golden age of Orthodox theology, sometimes called the Palamite theologians from the name of the greatest of them, St. Gregory Palamas (d.1359).  We may begin with him.  Better known as an exponent of the distinctive Oriental method of prayer known as “Hesychasm,” Gregory was the author of homilies, a number on Our Lady wherein Mary’s mediation is a major theme closely linked with the absolute, universal primacy of Christ.  Through the divine maternity Mary’s destiny has for Gregory a vastness which includes all creatures in its influence, and

calls for the highest gifts in her person:


Mary is the cause of what had gone before her, the pioneer of what has come after her; she distributes eternal goods; she is the thought of the prophets, the head of the Apostles, the support of martyrs, the certainty of doctors.  She is the glory of earth, the joy of heaven, the ornament of all creation.  She is the principle, the source, the root of ineffable good things.  She is the summit and the fulfillment of all that is holy.[35]


Mary, Gregory thought, was on the confines of the created and the uncreated; she stands alone between god and the whole human race.  She made God the Son of man and men the sons of God.  He thought that all the divinely inspired Scripture was written because of the Virgin, who brought forth God.

Gregory’s idea of Mary’s mediation is implicit in his view of her cosmic role.  He made it explicit in this passage:  “No divine gift can reach either angels or men, save through her mediation.  As one cannot enjoy the light of a lamp....save through the medium of this lamp, so every movement towards God, every impulse towards good coming from him is unrealizable save through the mediation of the Virgin.  “She does not cease to spread benefits on all creatures, not only on men, but on “celestial incorporeal ranks.”[36]

One has to bear in mind in reading such views that the eastern theologians are especially conscious of an enveloping tradition.  Gregory would not have been claiming to discover this doctrine on his own.  He had, as an Orthodox teacher, to articulate what he thought was in the body of truth transmitted to him, which he must faithfully interpret and pass on to his successors.

Of lesser stature in the age of Gregory was Nicephorus Callistus (d.1335).  His Marian ideas are found in his church history, in a commentary on the Troparion of Cosmas Melodes, and in some of his poems.  In the poems titles used include Sovereign Lady (despouina), Queen, Helper, Mediatress of the faithful, Mediatress of the world, Consoler, and the favourite title, Protectress.  A characteristic passage:  “Hail, gift of Christians; hail, you who abolished the devil’s strength, who by your word brought forth the Word: hail, Sovereign Lady, hail unespoused Spouse.”[37]

More important in this glorious company is Nicholas Cabasilas (d.1322), author of seven discourses “Concerning the Life of Christ” and of an “Interpretation of the Divine Liturgy,” a work esteemed by the great theologian of the Eucharist, Maurice de la Taille, S.J..  Three Marian homilies by him were published by Fr. Jugie in 1926.  He assumed fundamental the tenet of the Palamite theologians: All creation is centered on the Incarnation.

For Cabasilas, Mary was possessed of surpassing holiness.  He has been accused of semi-Pelagian ideas, but when all the texts are taken into consideration he can be exonerated of this charge.  Linked with her sanctity is her role in our regard:  “For there was no saint before the Blessed one was:  first and alone really free from sin she showed herself holy, the saint of saints and whatever may be said more, and she opened the door of holiness to others, being excellently prepared to receive the Saviour, from whom all the saints and prophets and priests, whoever were found worthy of the divine mysteries, have had their being.”[38]

On the essential importance, as mediation clearly, of the Fiat pronounced by Mary in the moment of the Annunciation, Cabasilas is unusually emphatic:  “The incarnation of the Word was not only the work of the Father, of his power and of his Spirit, but was also the work of the will and the faith of the Virgin; without the consent of the Immaculate one, without the contribution of her faith, this plan was as unrealizable as without the intervention of the three divine Persons themselves.”[39]

Again, within the context of eastern thought, Cabasilas manifests a theory of co-redemption.  Eve helped Adam, but Mary helped God.  She was his most suitable cooperator:  “Being assumed as a helper not simply to contribute something as one of those moved by another, but that she should give herself and become the fellow-worker (sunergos) of God in providing for the human race, so that with him she should be an associate and sharer in the glory which would come from it.”[40]  He makes it clear that the partnership should be “in all the sufferings and affliction, He, bound on the Cross, received the lance in his side; the sword as divinely inspired Symeon foretold, pierced her Heart.”[41]

Cabasilas says that Mary was our advocate with God before the Paraclete came.  In the third of his Marian homilies he shows Mary’s excellence over all on high, over all the angels.  He ends with an epilogue which glorifies her as salvation of men, light of the world, way to the Redeemer, co-cause (sunaitios) with Christ, the cause of our sanctification.[42]  Comment on the intrinsic value of his Marian theology seems superfluous.  How far removed we are here from the rather incomplete speeches heard in the conciliar aula in the last days of debate on the Marian chapter, from the submissions and omissions sent in which were inspired by concern for ecumenism Protestant oriented.

Isidore Glabas (d.1397) deserves some attention, as he is in the same period of Orthodox theology.  His ideas are a subject of controversy which need not detain us.  On Mary’s mediation he was firm.  “And truly the Virgin, without doubt, was for all a cause of restoration to a better state.”[43]  Because of her, God freed the human race from the sentence of condemnation, and man reached the likeness of God.  Through her our regeneration is accomplished.  No one approaches the Father save by the new offspring; no one approaches him save through Mary.[44]


Theophanes of Nicaea


Finally, we look to the great Orthodox doctor of Mary’s mediation, Theophanes of Nicaea (d.1381).  His doctrine is contained in a lengthy sermon, which was first published in 1935 by Fr. Martin Jugie, A.A.[45]  The contents of this great work would merit lengthy analysis and commentary.  As has been said already the whole treatise is magnificently structured, a systematic, ordered coherent presentation of Our Lady’s mediation. 

Theophanes accepts, even amplifies the fundamental principle of Palamite Christology, the absolute, universal primacy of Christ.  As Fr. Jugie puts it: 


In the divine plan conceived from all eternity, creation of the entire universe is subordinate to the Incarnation of the Word, in such wise that if the Word was not to become incarnate, the world would not have been created.  Without the Incarnation creation would have been a useless and vain work, because it would have been imperfect.  This is the reason:  Two stages must be distinguished in the realization of the divine plan of creation.  In the first, which may be called the first creation, God draws beings from nothing, giving them just existence.  In the second he grants them, through the mediation of the Word incarnate and of his Mother, blissful existence, perfect life, true well-being.....The role of Mary may be perceived in this grandiose plan, so worthy of God.  Her place is the first in the hierarchy of beings, immediately after the God-man, her Son.  Her role is that of universal Mediatress beside the universal Mediator.[46]


Theophanes integrates with his thinking a basic theme of eastern theology, deification by divine grace and gifts.  Through the divine motherhood Mary is intrinsically bound with the entire saving reality.  She is compared with the earth from which “our Lord and God, become the new Adam, was taken according to the flesh,” with heaven “as truly and rightly the throne of the Omnipotent One,” as including and containing all the treasures of grace.  The first receptacle of the divine fullness is the assumed nature of the Saviour.  “But the living tabernacle which brought him forth is acknowledged as the second receptacle, that is receiving immediately from the first receptacle, the assumed nature of the Saviour, all the fullness of divinity.”[47]

God the Word shared our flesh and blood and in turn through him we become sharers in his divine nature.  Who, asks Theophanes, was the intermediary, who provided the means of this enterprise?  “Truly this was the Virgin and Mother of God.  For through her we gave our nature to God the Word; therefore the divinity that is bestowed on us truly through her is given.  Just as she give our nature directly to God the Word, so God the Word to her directly repaid the deification of all; just as the Son of God through the mediation of his own Mother receives from us our nature, so through her mediation we receive his deification.  It is therefore impossible that anyone in any way may become a sharer in the gifts of God other than in the way that we have set forth.”[48]

Theophanes considers at great length the relationship between Mary and the angelic world.  He deals profoundly with Mary’s predestination, shows how appropriate it was that God became man.  He then surprisingly uses an image found in Latin writers to indicate Mary’s essential role; she is the neck of the Body of which Christ is the Head, “this neck pleasing to God and illuminated by the rays of the divine Spirit, alone truly preeminent over the whole Body, has no equal in order or place, but, as has been said, holds the place second in order, next after the Head, playing the part of intermediary and bond between the Head and the Body.  Accordingly since, it has no equal, it becomes capable and receptive of the whole divine, life-giving fullness which from the head is communicated to all the members.”[49]

Theophanes proceeds to reflect on the relationship between Mary and each divine Person.  His intuitions and conclusion on this subject will be increasingly pertinent as Christian piety seeks to grow in meaningful attitudes towards each divine Person. The faithful are learning now to pray to the Father; again and again religious practice and spirituality are shown to be genuinely Christocentric; since the Council, in answer to many voices as from the Renewal Movement, and from the Orthodox, teachers and preachers must heed Paul VI’s call that a theology of the Holy Spirit must match the conciliar theology of the Church and of Our Lady.

It would be most rewarding to pursue the analyses which Theophanes, at times with some daring, makes of the relationship between the Theotokos and each of the divine Persons.  It must await another study.  The Father and the Mother are united mysteriously through the one whom each has as a Son, from all eternity in the Father’s case, in the fullness of time in the Mother’s.  Of the union between Son and Mother he says that it surpasses all understanding and expression.  He speaks likewise of the union between her and the Spirit.  Ending a sequence of thoughts on the various phases of the Spirit’s action in her life (which includes his intervention in her conception, for Theophanes accepts the eastern idea that Mary was miraculously born of a sterile mother) he throws out a suggestion which meets the present-day search for a doctrinal formula or concept:  “As the Son is the natural image of the Father, and consequently an image entirely similar, and the Paraclete is in the same way the image of the Son, so also the Mother of the Son is the image of the Paraclete, not really a natural one, but by participation and grace, in such wise that incomparably above all created nature, she represents the prototype, and in her alone most eminently shine and are beheld all the graces and splendours of the Spirit related to her Son.”[50]

Theophanes ends his treatise with an explicit affirmation of Mary’s role as the dispenser of grace.  As the fountain, the beginning of life “she receives wholly the hidden grace of the Spirit and amply distributes it and shares it with others, thus manifesting it.”[51]  No one attains the fullness and the goal of life in Christ “without her cooperation or without the Spirit’s help.”

Theophanes links the doctrine of Mary’s universal mediation with that of the spiritual motherhood, an idea not often found among the Orthodox; this he first expounds powerfully and sensitively.  “The Mother of him who through his unspeakable goodness willed to be called our brother is the dispenser and distributor of all the wondrous uncreated gifts of the divine Spirit, which make us Christ’s brothers and co-heirs, not only because she is granting the gifts of her natural Son to his brothers in grace, but also because she is bestowing them on these as her own true sons, though not by ties of nature but of grace.”[52]  To this so powerful mediatress and mother we owe praise and the tribute of virtue in imitation of her.

Even from such a brief summary of this superb treatise, the reader may find that the judgment of Fr. Martin Jugie is well founded; he or she may also agree with my strictures about those who, in drafting the Marian text of Vatican II, so summarily dismissed the Marian theology of the East.  These lines are written with a sincere wish to make amends for such neglect, to assure our Orthodox brothers and sisters that there are Catholic theologians who value their immense contribution to our knowledge of the Theotokos.  They are written by one who has sought dialogue with the Orthodox in Greece, in Rhodes, in Russia and in Romania.  The doctrine of the golden age of Orthodox theology has been preserved, may be recognized in the writings that have come out of the St. Serge Institute in Paris, notably in the work of its greatest theologian, Sergius Bulgakov.[53]


Disposition of the faithful


Are there signs of corresponding attitudes of devotion among the faithful?  Certainly in the areas liberated from oppression, free from the restrictions imposed by harsh atheistic regimes, where religious observance is again part of life, the ancient traditions centred on Our Lady are unashamedly revived.  This may be particularly evident in moments of crisis.  It is at times encouraged by the political leaders.  Thus the Icon of Our Lady of Vladimir, most beautiful in the world, was for decades a museum piece in the Tretiakov.  Now that the Church of the Assumption inside the Kremlin has been given back to worship, Boris Yeltsin has ensured that the Icon will return to its honoured place; there the Czars were crowned before it and the patriarchs consecrated.  The Icon of Our Lady of Khazan will return from Fatima to Moscow when the church which had been destroyed is rebuilt.

The visitor to Russia will see many signs of this distinctive form of Orthodox piety, the cult of Icons, those Icons of Our Lady which Pius XII spoke of in his historic consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, on 31 October 1942, “hidden to await better days.”  They need no longer be hidden.

The media devotes time to religious programmes in Russia.  One such programme was surprising and, let us hope, symbolic.  At the height of the crisis caused by the attempted coup in August, 1991, Yeltsin resolved to oppose it, had no means of rallying the people to his side.  He lacked radio communication.  A Belgian Catholic radio team, complete with the necessary equipment, was, for different programmes, in Moscow.  The director, Jose Correa, offered his services to the Russian leader.  Thereby he helped save the day.  When the coup was thwarted, Yeltsin asked him what he could do to show his gratitude.  Jose Correa made the extraordinary request that he be allowed to transmit a television programme from Fatima direct to Russia on the following 13 October.  The request was granted and viewers saw for the first time a religious ceremony from the spot where for over seventy years prayers to Our Lady had been offered for their country.

Elsewhere in the Orthodox world one sees this fidelity to the Theotokos, the Pokrov.  Romania is enjoying a powerful religious revival which likewise has what we may call a strong Marian dimension.  I have not sought, in these pages, to single out characteristics of special churches or areas in the Orthodox world.  The Coptic church is known to be especially devoted to Marian piety.  Thereon the apparition witnessed by scores of thousands in Zeitoun outside Cairo, in 1968, has universal interest.  It was, after due examination, formally declared authentic by the Patriarch five months later.

Worldwide interest has also been turned towards Hrushiv in the Ukraine following reported apparitions of Our Lady in that area.  Such events afford a stimulus to sensitive attitudes of piety.  Though largely Catholic  the Ukraine may still radiate its conviction over wider territory.




To conclude we may return to the example and teaching of the present Pope.  Is it mere coincidence that the Pope who has shown the greatest interest, devotion, love towards the Orthodox in papal history, who is credited by a Russian leader with decisive influence in the downfall of marxist regimes, should be conspicuous as a teacher and fervent client of the Mother of God?  We owe over thirteen years of his pontificate to Our Lady’s direct intervention to save him on 13 May 1981 - he has stated that his survival was miraculous, the bullet that should have killed him being at the crucial moment deflected from its course.  On 25 March 1984 he met Our Lady’s request that Russia should be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart by the Pope in union with all the bishops of the Church.  He had informed the bishops beforehand.  Though he did not name Russia he made it clear that the consecration was for all peoples, nations and individuals.  When the Bishop of Fatima thanked him for consecrating the world, he replied “and Russia.”

Sister Lucia, in her eighty seventh year the last survivor of the events of 1917 in Fatima and considered the custodian of the message then delivered by Our Lady, was asked, by the Nuncio in Portugal, if the March 25, 1984 Pope’s act of consecration met the heavenly request.  She replied affirmatively.  She did likewise when questioned at length by the Indian Cardinal Padyara in October, 1992 and about the same time repeated her opinion to Philippine Ambassador Howard Dee, who was accompanied by the former President Corazon Aquino.  She especially confirmed that letters written by her on the subject, and widely distributed (I received copies from the Rector of Fatima Sanctuary, Mgr. Luciano Guerra) were authentic - it was being claimed by some that they were forgeries.

Converging factors seem to indicate that the orthodox are destined to a very significant role in Christendom.  How immense the effect will be when they and Catholics are united in fulfillment of the prayer of Christ, “that they may be one,”[54] a unity that will only take place through the mediation of the Theotokos, our “common Mother.”

[1]    Acta Synodalia Sacrosancti Concilii Oecumenici Vaticani II, Vo. I, pt. IV,      94.

[2]    Cf. Theotokos, Eastern Influence on the West, 126-127, with bibl.;       especially, H. Barré, C.S.Sp., L’apport marial de l’Orient à l’Occident,            BSEFM 19 (1962) 27-89; the Marian dogmas, the principal Marian feasts                 came to the West from the East.  The first Marian prayer, known in the              West as the Sub tuum, originated in the East; cf. Sub tuum in Theotokos,               336 - the papyrus from the John Rylands Library, Manchester is a     frontispiece to the work.  Abbreviations:  PG, Patrologia Graeca; PO,    Patrologia Orientalis; BSFEM, Bulletin de la Societe francaise de’Etudes     Mariales; MO, De Mariologia et Oecumenism, ed. K. Balic, O.F.M., Rome,            1962.

[3]    Cf. infra.

[4]    BSEFM 23 (1966) 51-52.

[5]    Constitution on the Church, 62.

[6]    From Virgo Liber Verbi Miscellanea di Studi in onore di P. Giuseppe M.         Besutti, O.S.M., ed. Ignazio M. Calabrig O.S.M., Rome, Edizioni                 Marianum  1991.

[7]    Acta Synodalia, Vol. III, pt. II, 139-141.

[8] Mariology, II, St. Louis 1956 (English tr.) 265.

[9] Among many monographs cf. E. DRUWÊ, S.J., La médiation universelle de       Marie, in DU MANOIR, ed. Maria, I, (1949) 417-572; G.       GIAMBERARDINI, O.F.M., La mediazione di Maria nella Chiesa Egiziana,   Cairo 1952; chosen out of a vast literature.  Cardinal Bea must face the        criticism that when doctrinal development favoured the ecumenical          movement, he wanted speed, but in matters Marian a slow process.

[10] We now have, thanks to the wisdom of G. M. BESUTTI, the full texts of             these reports, Marianum 47 (1985) 37 - 174; conclusion of the Spanish           commission, 78; the formula suggested ended with these words: esse vere et         proprie divinorum omnium munerum dispensatricem atque universalem gratiarum Mediatricem; conflusion of the Belgian commission, 173f,      significant words being Mediatricem agere etiam in omnibus dispensandis     auxiliis.

[11] Alma Socia Christi, Proceedings of the Rome Congress, I, 234.

[12] Rome 1962; cf. in particular, I. ORTÍZ DE URBINA, S.J., Mediatio Mariae         estne exclusa ab unico Mediatore Christo?, 145-153.

[13] The Main Ecclesiological Problems in the Second Vatican Council and the   Position of the Non-Roman churches facing it.  N. Nissiotis was here                articulating what was being said at the weekly encounters during the Council        sessions, between the observers and Council periti (experts).  His views were               expressed elsewhere, as in the Journal of Ecumenical Studies.  This is a       conspicuous instance of the effect on the development of conciliar theology   of an Orthodox intervention.  There are highly significant passages on the   Holy Spirit in the documents elaborated during the fourth session, that is               after this article had appeared.  The conciliar theology on the Holy Spirit is a         matter of debate, as there are 258 references to him in the sixteen documents.         The critics would maintain that many are nominal, saupoudrer was the French          word used.

[14] The great Orthodox doctor of Mary’s mediation, Theophanes of Nicaea             (d.1381) tells us that Mary, as the fountain, the beginning of life, “receives   wholy the hidden grace of the Spirit and amply distributes it and shares it              with others, thus manifesting it.”  Magisterially he writes:  “The Mother of         him who through his unspeakable goodness willed to be called our brother is        the dispenser and distributor of all the wondrous uncreated gifts of the divine               Spirit, which make us Christ’s brothers and co-heirs, not only because she is      granting the gifts of her natural Son to his brothers in grace, but because she        is bestowing them on these as her own true sons, through not by ties of      nature but of grace.”  Serm. in SS Deiparam, ed. M. Jugie, A.A., Lateranum,          Nova Series, Rome 1935, XV, 205.

[15] The bishops and university faculties would reply that dogma on the Holy         Spirit was complete at the Council of Constantinople, 381.  A perusal of the   pronouncements of Paul VI, especially during the International Charismatic           Congress culminating at Pentecost, 1975, would have shown them the need    for teaching relevant to the contemporary situation.

[16] Mt 23:10; St. Peter’s word in Acts 4:12, “there is no other name under                 heaven given among men by which we must be saved” did not impede the      Church institutung a feast in honour of the Name of Mary.

[17] From Virgo Liber Verbi Miscellanea di Studi in onore di P. Giuseppe M.          Besutti, O.S.M., ed. Jgnazio M. Calabrig O.S.M., Rome, Edizioni                 Marianum  1991.

[18] H. Chavannes, La médiation de Marie et la doctine de la participation, in      Ephemerides Mariologicae 24 (1974) 29-38; several articles follwed in 1974      and 1976; cf. also M. O’Carroll, C.S.Sp., Vatican II and Our Lady’s           Mediation, in Irish Theological Quarterly 37 (19700 24-55; ID., Still         Mediatress of All Graces?, in Miles Immaculatae 24 (1988) 114-132.

[19] Paul VI’s words are: “quin immo intuens eos in Deo eorumque necessitates      persentiens, Jesu Christo sociata, qui est semper vivens ad interpellandum pro               nobis iisdem Advocatam, Auxiliatricem, Adjutricem Mediatricem se       praestat.”  This is very different from “is invoked in the Church”; AAS 59      (1967) 468.

[20] Paris 1984; English tr. with commentary by J. Fitzmyer, S.J., dg. p. 36-40;             St. Thomas taught that Christ’s mediation did not exclude other forms,           dispositive, as in the prophets of the Old Testament, ministerialiter in the             priest of the New Law, S.T., III q. 26, a. 1.

[21] English translation of this important document in my book, Bearer of the           Light, Belfast, 1994, 139-145.  The Holy Father asked for special prayers for               its success, and has since spoken of it favourably.

[22] From Virgo Liber Verbi Miscellanea di Studi in onore di P. Giuseppe M.          Besutti, O.S.M., ed. Jgnazio M. Calabrig O.S.M., Rome, Edizioni                 Marianum 1991.

[23] Text of the Encyclical AAS 79 (1987) 361-433; here quoted by numbers from     the official Vatican English tr.;38

[24] 39.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid.

[27] 40.

[28] Byzantine Liturgy of St. Basil, apud M. J. le Guillou, O.P., Faith and Fact           Books 136, The Tradition of Eastern Orthodoxy, 1962, 42sqq.

[29] The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, ed. Professor Ion Bria, World         Council of Churches, 4, 18.

[30] Ibid., 28.

[31] Homilia in Deiparam, PG 65, 681.

[32] Basil of Seleucia, In SS. Deiparae Annuntiationem, PG 85, 444AB;      Antipater of Bostra, In S. Joannem Bapt., PG 85 1772C.

[33] St. John of Damascus, Homilia I in Dormitionem, PG 96 713A; St.       Germanus of Constantinople, Homilia II in Dormitionem, PG 98 321, 352-         353.

[34] Akathistos, cf. article s.v., Theotokos, 8, 9; references to stanzas.

[35] In Annunt., PG 151, 177B.

[36] Ed. of Sophocles Oikonomos, Athens, 1861, 159; PG 151, 472A.

[37] Ed. M. Jugie, Byzantion 5 (1929) VII, Chairetismoi 4, 380.

[38] In Dormit. 8, PO 19 508.

[39] In Annunt. 4 PO 19, 499.

[40] Ibid.

[41] In Dormit.  12, PO 19 508.

[42] Ibid. 13, 509sq.

[43] PG 139, 13C

[44] Cf. B. Schultze, S.J., MO 413-416.

[45] Sermo in Sanctissimam Deiparam, Lateranum, Nova Series, 1, Rome 1935;        cf. Theotokos, 340sq; M. O’Carroll, Dictionnaire de Spiritualite, XV, 516sq       bibliography to each article.  On Martin Jugie cf. Theotokos, 210.  Of the                 many eastern works published for the first time from manuscripts by M.         Jugie, this is probably the most important.  It has not yet been appreciated,            even known by many western theologians of Our Lady among those ignorant             of its contents and importance once must sadly include the members of the      drafting commission on the Marian chapter of Lumen Gentium, as has    already been stated in this essay.

[46] From the excellent introduction by M. Jugie, xxii-xxiv.

[47] Op. cit. V, p.51

[48] Ibid., 55.

[49] X, 131.

[50] XIII, 193

[51] XIV, 195.

[52] XV, 205.

[53] Cf. article Theotokos, s.v., 90-92.

[54] On matters here treated, cf. M. O’Carroll, John Paul II, A Dictionary of his        Life and Teachings.  Belfast, 1994, articles Fatima; Mary, Mother of God;    Orthodox.

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