More Frequently Asked Questions
Does the designation
of Mary as Coredemptrix or Mediatrix of all Graces detract from
the uniqueness and all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ, the one Redeemer
and the one Mediator?
Jesus Christ as true God and true
man redeems the human family, while Mary as Coredemptrix participates
with the Redeemer in his one perfect Sacrifice in a completely subordinate
and dependent way. The key word here is "participation"
in that which is exclusively true of Jesus Christ. The title "Coredemptrix"
never puts Mary on a level of equality with our Lord; rather, it
refers to Marys unique and intimate participation with her
divine Son in the work of redemption. "Coredemptrix" is
a Latin word; the prefix "co" in the title, "Coredemptrix,"
derives from the Latin word "cum," which means "with,"
not "equal to." Marys sufferings are efficacious
towards the redemption of man because they are wholly rooted in
the redemptive graces of Christ and are perfectly united to His
Similarly, as Mediatrix, the Mother
of Jesus does not "rival" Christs mediation but
rather participates in the one mediation of Jesus Christ. Imagine
water from a reservoir reaching the people through a system of aqueducts
or channels. By analogy, Jesus is the infinite "reservoir"
of all grace, which is destributed to us through Mary. Jesus, the
one mediator, does not exclude secondary, subordinate mediators.
In Pope John Paul IIs Wednesday audience of October 1, 1997,
the Pope addressed this very issue:
maternal mediation does not obscure the unique and perfect mediation
of Christ. Indeed, after calling Mary Mediatrix, the
Council is careful to explain that this neither takes away
anything from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficacy of Christ
the one Mediator (Lumen gentium, n.62)....In addition,
the Council states that Marys function as Mother of
men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ,
but rather shows its power (Lumen gentium, n.60).
"Therefore, far from being an
obstacle to the exercise of Christs unique mediation, Mary
instead highlights its fruitfulness and efficacy....In proclaiming
Christ the one mediator (cf. 1 Tim 2:5-6), the text of St. Pauls
Letter to Timothy excludes any other parallel mediation, but not
subordinate mediation. In fact, before emphasizing the one exclusive
mediation of Christ, the author urges that supplications,
prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all men
(2:1). Are not prayers a form of mediation? Indeed, according to
St. Paul, the unique mediation of Christ is meant to encourage other
dependent, ministerial forms of mediation. By proclaiming the uniqueness
of Christs mediation, the Apostle intends only to exclude
any autonomous or rival mediation, and not other forms compatible
with the infinite value of the Saviours work.
"In fact, just as the priesthood
of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the
faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different
ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer
does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold co-operation
which is but a sharing in this one source (Lumen gentium,
n.62)....In truth, what is Marys maternal mediation if not
the Fathers gift to humanity?" (Pope John Paul II, 1