This website is devoted to Our Lady because She always leads us to Jesus Christ and is the most perfect way to achieve holiness. The titles of Our Lady to which Our Lady's Warriors cling to are those very important titles that She has; Mother of God, Our Mother, Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix of Grace, and Advocate. The titles represent the responsibilities (i.e. roles) of Our Lady. Church doctrinal and dogmatic references are shown below regarding the basis for belief in these titles, which have been known for centuries. They have been stated (long) before, during and after Vatican II, and cannot therefore be argued as a recent phenomenon of Pope John Paul II (in spite of various Modernist claims) or as an inhibitor to ecumenism. As to the latter point, this Catholic doctrine was known centuries before there even existed a Protestant set of religions which, after their creation by various men, introduced the need for ecumenism which, in the true sense of the term, is to bring the stray flocks back into the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Faith - not to deny Catholic doctrine in a false compromise. One will also note the intricate linking of all Our Lady's roles, so much so that these roles are inseparable and inter-dependent. Information was obtained from Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Dr. Ludwig Ott, the Vatican II document Dogmatic Constitution of the Church, and other Church teachings as referenced.
The reality and integrity of Christ's human nature is especially guaranteed by the fact that Christ was truly generated and born of a human mother. Through His descent from a daughter of Adam, He was, as to His humanity, incorporated into the posterity of Adam. He had identity of essence with man and community of race; Christ became our Brother.
The Church, in her Symbols of Faith, teaches that Christ was generated and born of the Virgin Mary, that is, out of the substance of the Virgin Mary. Reference the Apostles Creed "conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary." In both the Old and New Testaments the Messiah is designated as the posterity of Abraham and David (Genesis 22:18, Matthew 1:1, 9:27, 12:23, 22:42, Romans 1:2, 2 Timothy 2:8). The New Testament explicitly stresses the motherhood of Mary; Matthew 1:16 Mary "of whom Jesus was born;" Luke 1:31 "Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son;" Galatians 4:4 "made of a woman;" Luke 1:43 "Mother of the Lord;" John 2:1 "Mother of Jesus;" and still others in the Gospel according to Matthew.
The Council of Ephesus in 431 with St. Cyril of Alexandria declared "If anyone does not confess that the Emmanuel (Christ) in truth is God and that on this account the Holy Virgin if the Mother of God (Theotokos) - since according to the flesh She brought forth the Word of God made flesh - let him be anathema."
From Chapter VIII of the Dogmatic Constitution of the
52. Wishing in his supreme goodness and wisdom to effect the redemption of the world, "when the fullness of time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman . . . that we might receive the adoption of sons" (Gal. 4:4). "He for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnated by the Holy Spirit from the Virgin Mary.'' This divine mystery of salvation is revealed to us and continued in the Church, which the Lord established as his body. Joined to Christ the head and in communion with all his saints, the faithful must in the first place reverence the memory "of the glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ."
In the Bible, Jesus tells us as He is dying on the Cross that the Blessed Virgin Mary is our Mother, as indicated by the disciple in the verse. After all, doesn't following Jesus make us His disciple? Notice that the disciple listened to Our Lord and took her to his own. We must also obey Our Savior. What a wonderful gift from God.
John 19:26-27 - When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.
Encyclical Mother of the Redeemer (Redemptoris Mater) of March 25, 1987
47. At the [Second Vatican] Council Paul VI solemnly proclaimed that Mary is the Mother of the Church, "that is, Mother of the entire Christian people, both faithful and pastors." Later, in 1968, in the Profession of faith known as the "Credo of the People of God," he restated this truth in an even more forceful way in these words: "We believe that the Most Holy Mother of God, the new Eve, the Mother of the Church, carries on in heaven her maternal role with regard to the members of Christ, cooperating in the birth and development of divine life in the souls of the redeemed."
The Council's teaching emphasized that the truth concerning the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Christ, is an effective aid in exploring more deeply the truth concerning the Church. When speaking of the Constitution Lumen Gentium, which had just been approved by the Council, Paul VI said: "Knowledge of the true Catholic doctrine regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary will always be a key to the exact understanding of the mystery of Christ and of the Church." Mary is present in the Church as the Mother of Christ, and at the same time as that Mother whom Christ, in the mystery of the Redemption, gave to humanity in the person of the Apostle John. Thus, in her new motherhood in the Spirit, Mary embraces each and every one in the Church, and embraces each and every one through the Church. In this sense Mary, Mother of the Church, is also the Church's model. Indeed, as Paul VI hopes and asks, the Church must draw "from the Virgin Mother of God the most authentic form of perfect imitation of Christ."
The idea of the Spiritual Motherhood of Mary, that is our Mother, is part of the ancient Christian tradition, independent of the Scriptural support. According to Origen the perfect Christ has Mary as Mother: "Every perfect person no longer lives (of himself) but Christ lives in Him; and because Christ lives in him, it is said to him of Mary: Behold thy Son Christ" (Com. in Ioan I 4, 23). St. Epiphanius derives Mary's Spiritual Motherhood from the Eve-Mary parallel: "She (Mary) is she of whom Eve is the prototype, who, as such received the appellation 'mother of the living' ... as to externals the whole human race stemmed from that Eve.. Thus in truth, through Mary, the very life of the world was born, so that She bore the Living One, and became Mother of the Living" (Haer 78, 18). St. Augustine bases Mary's Spiritual Motherhood on the "mystical unity of the faithful with Christ. As the bodily Mother of God, she is, in a spiritual fashion, also the Mother of those who are articulated with Christ" (cf. De s. virginitate 6, 6).
The title Co-Redemptrix (sometimes also said as Co-redemptress), has been current since the 15th century, and also appears in some current Church documents under St. Pope Pius X (cf. D 1978 a). This must not be conceived n the sense of an equation of the efficacy of Mary with the redemptive activity of Christ, the sole Redeemer of humanity (1 Timothy 2:5). As She Herself required redemption and was in fact redeemed by Christ, she could not of Herself merit the Grace of the redemption of humanity in accordance with the principle: Principium meriti non cadit sub eodum merito (The author of an act of merit cannot be a recipient of the same act of merit). Her co-operation in the objective redemption is an indirect, remote co-operation, and derives from this that She voluntarily devoted Her whole life to the service of the Redeemer, and, under the Cross, suffered and sacrificed with Him.
The Church Fathers contrast Mary's obedience at the Annunciation with Eve's disobedience. Mary by Her obedience became the cause of the Salvation, while Eve by her disobedience became the cause of death. St. Irenaeus teaches "As she (Eve) who had Adam as her husband, but was nevertheless a virgin, was disobedient, and thereby became the cause of death to herself and to the whole of mankind, so also Mary, who has a pre-ordained husband, and was still a virgin, be Her obedience became a cause of Her own salvation and the salvation of the whole human race" (Adv. Haer. III 22, 4; cf. V 19, 1). St. Jerome says "By a woman the whole world was saved" (cf. Tertullian, De carne Christi 17).
As Pope Pius XII says in the Encyclical Mystici Coporis in 1943, She "offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father together with the holocaust of Her maternal rights and Her motherly love like a new Eve for all children of Adam." (D 2291). As "the New Eve," She is, as the same Pope declares, in the Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus in 1950 "the sublime associate of our Redeemer" (cf. D. 3031).
Pope John Paul II on March 31, 1985 as part of the Angelus prayer: "May Mary our Protectress, the Co-Redemptrix, to whom we offer our prayer with great outpouring, make our desire generously correspond to the desire of the Redeemer."
Pope John Paul II on October 6, 1991 after Mass to honor the canonization of St. Birgitta: "Birgitta looked to Mary as her model and support in the various moments of her life. She spoke energetically about the divine privilege of Mary's Immaculate Conception. She contemplated her astonishing mission as Mother of the Savior. She invoked her as the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Sorrows, and Co-Redemptrix, exalting Mary's singular role in the history of salvation and the life of Christian people."
Pope John Paul II on November 4, 1984 while visiting Arona to honor St. Charles Borromeo: "To Our Lady - the Co-Redemptrix - Charles turned with singularly revealing accents."
The Church Fathers called Mary the "Go-between" (Mediatrix). A prayer by St. Ephrem says of Her: "After the Mediator thou art the Mediatrix of the whole world" (Oratio IV ad Deiparam. 4th Lesson of the Office of the Feast). The title Mediatrix is attached to Mary in official Church documents such as the Bull "Ineffabilis" of Pope Pius IX in 1854, in the Rosary Encyclicals "Adiuricem" and "Fidentem" of Pope Leo XIII in 1895 and 1896, and in the Encyclical "Ad Diem Illum" by Pope St. Pius X in 1904. More references are shown in detail below. The doctrine of Mary's universal Mediation of Grace is based on Her co-operation in the Incarnation which is definitely manifest in the sources of Faith. Her position as Mediatrix of All Grace is organically associated with Mary's Spiritual Motherhood which is in turn based on Scripture and with Her intimate participation in the work of Her Divine Son. Logically, since Mary gave the source of all Grace to men, it is to be expected that She would also co-operate in the distribution of all Grace. And since Mary became the Spiritual Mother of all the redeemed, it is fitting that She, by Her constant Motherly intercession should care for the supernatural life of all Her children (i.e. including advocacy). What remains is to formalize the constant doctrine of Her position into dogma.
Vatican II Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen
62. This maternity of Mary in the order of grace began with the consent which she gave in faith at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, and lasts until The eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this salvific duty, but by her constant intercession continued to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and cultics, until they are led into the happiness of their true home. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix, and Mediatrix. This, however, is to be so understood that it neither takes away from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficaciousness of Christ the one Mediator.
For no creature could ever be counted as equal with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer. Just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by the ministers and by the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is really communicated in different ways to His creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source.
The Church does not hesitate to profess this subordinate role of Mary. It knows it through unfailing experience of it and commends it to the hearts of the faithful, so that encouraged by this maternal help they may the more intimately adhere to the Mediator and Redeemer.
Pope John Paul II Encyclical Mother of the Redeemer
(Redemptoris Mater) of March 25, 1987
40. After the events of the Resurrection and Ascension Mary entered the Upper Room together with the Apostles to await Pentecost, and was present there as the Mother of the glorified Lord. She was not only the one who "advanced in her pilgrimage of faith" and loyally persevered in her union with her Son "unto the Cross," but she was also the "handmaid of the Lord," left by her Son as Mother in the midst of the infant Church: "Behold your mother." Thus there began to develop a special bond between this Mother and the Church. For the infant Church was the fruit of the Cross and Resurrection of her Son. Mary, who from the beginning had given herself without reserve to the person and work of her Son, could not but pour out upon the Church, from the very beginning, her maternal self-giving. After her Son's departure, her motherhood remains in the Church as maternal mediation: interceding for all her children, the Mother cooperates in the saving work of her Son, the Redeemer of the world. In fact the Council teaches that the "motherhood of Mary in the order of grace . . . will last without interruption until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect." 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. This is clearly indicated by the Council in the words quoted above.
"For," the text goes on, "taken up to heaven, she did not lay aside this saving role, but by her manifold acts of intercession continues to win for us gifts of eternal salvation." With this character of "intercession," first manifested at Cana in Galilee, Mary's mediation continues in the history of the Church and the world. We read that Mary "by her maternal charity, cares for the brethren of her Son who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties, until they are led to their happy homeland." 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, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix and Mediatrix."
Pope John Paul II Encyclical Mother of the Redeemer
(Redemptoris Mater) of March 25, 1987
41. ... By the mystery of the Assumption into heaven there were definitively accomplished in Mary all the effects of the one mediation of Christ the Redeemer of the world and Risen Lord: "In Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ" (1 Cor. 15:22-23). In the mystery of the Assumption is expressed the faith of the Church, according to which Mary is "united by a close and indissoluble bond" to Christ, for, if as Virgin and Mother she was singularly united with him in his first coming, so through her continued collaboration with him she will also be united with him in expectation of the second; "redeemed in an especially sublime manner by reason of the merits of her Son," (109) she also has that specifically maternal role of Mediatrix of mercy 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)." ...
Pope John Paul II Encyclical Mother of the Redeemer
(Redemptoris Mater) of March 25, 1987
21. ... What deep understanding existed between Jesus and his mother? How can we probe the mystery of their intimate spiritual union? But the fact speaks for itself. It is certain that that event already quite clearly outlines the new dimension, the new meaning of Mary's motherhood. Her motherhood has a significance which is not exclusively contained in the words of Jesus and in the various episodes reported by the Synoptics (Lk. 11:27-28 and Lk. 8:19-21; Mt. 12:46-50; Mk. 3:31-35). In these texts Jesus means above all to contrast the motherhood resulting from the fact of birth with what this "motherhood" (and also "brotherhood") is to be in the dimension of the Kingdom of God, in the salvific radius of God's fatherhood. In John's text on the other hand, the description of the Cana event outlines what is actually manifested as a new kind of motherhood according to the spirit and not just according to the flesh, that is to say Mary's solicitude for human beings, her coming to them in the wide variety of their wants and needs. At Cana in Galilee there is shown only one concrete aspect of human need, apparently a small one of little importance ("They have no wine"). But it has a symbolic value: this coming to the aid of human needs means, at the same time, bringing those needs within the radius of Christ's messianic mission and salvific power. Thus there is a mediation: Mary places herself between her Son and mankind in the reality of their wants, needs and sufferings. She puts herself "in the middle," that is to say she acts as a Mediatrix not as an outsider, but in her position as mother. She knows that as such she can point out to her Son the needs of mankind, and in fact, she "has the right" to do so. Her mediation is thus in the nature of intercession: Mary "intercedes" for mankind. And that is not all. As a mother she also wishes the messianic power of her Son to be manifested, that salvific power of his which is meant to help man in his misfortunes, to free him from the evil which in various forms and degrees weighs heavily upon his life. Precisely as the Prophet Isaiah had foretold about the Messiah in the famous passage which Jesus quoted before his fellow townsfolk in Nazareth: "To preach good news to the poor . . . to proclaim release to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind . . . " (cf. Lk. 4:18).
Pope Leo XIII Encyclical on the Rosary (Octobri Mense) of 1891
"From that great treasure of all graces, which the Lord has bought, nothing, according to the Will of God, comes to us except through Mary, so that, as nobody can approach the Supreme Father except through the Son, similarly nobody can approach Christ except through His Mother."
Pope Pius X calls Mary "the Dispenser of all gifts, which Jesus has acquired for us through His death and His Blood" (D 1978 A).
Pope Benedict XV declared "All gifts which the Author of all good (God) has deigned to communicate to the unhappy posterity of Adam, are, according to the loving resolve of His Divine Providence, dispensed by the hands of the Most Holy Virgin" (AAS 9, 1917, 266).
Pope Pius XI in the Encyclical "Ingravescentibus Malis" in 1937 quotes with approval St. Bernard: "Thus it is His (God's) Will that we should have everything through Mary" (AAS 29, 1937, 373). Similarly, Pope Pius XII said the same in his Encyclical "Mediator Dei" of 1947.
Explicit testimonies to Mary's position as Mediatrix of Grace are found since the eighth century. The became more numerous during the peak period of the middle ages. St. Germanus of Constantinople ( 733) says "Nobody can achieve salvation except through thee ... O Most Holy One ... Nobody can receive a gift of Grace except through thee ... O Most Chaste One" (Or. 9, 5. Lesson of the Office of the Feast). St. Bernard of Clairvaux ( 1153) says of Mary: "God wished that we had nothing, except by the hands of Mary." (In Vig. Nativit. Domini serm. 3, 10). Albert the Great calls Mary: "The universal dispenser of all riches" (omnium bonitatum universaliter distributiva; Super Missus est q. 29). Other saintly advocates include St. Peter Canisius (Doctor of the Church) and St. Alphonsus Ligouri.