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December 2005

A Reflection

THE BLESSED MOTHER'S ROLE
AS THE CO-REDEMPTRIX

 

In Fr. Luigi Gambero's book: Mary in the Middle Ages (Ignatius Press 2005), we read the following message that the Blessed Mother gave to St. Bridget of Sweden (d. 1373): 

". . .  For this reason I boldly say that his worry was my sorrow, because his heart was my heart.  Just as Adam and Eve sold the world for one apple, so my Son and I redeemed the world, as it were, with one heart.  Therefore, my daughter, imagine how I felt in the instant of my Son's death, and you will not find it burdensome to abandon the world."

 

Fr. Gambero added:

The Mother's words are confirmed by the words of her Son, who seems to give an unequivocal confirmation of Mary's participation in the objective redemption of the human race:

"Therefore I can well affirm that my Mother and I saved man, as it were, with a single heart, I by suffering in my heart and flesh, and she with the suffering and love of her heart."       

 

Our Lord repeated the same theme in His message to Julia Kim in Naju, Korea, on October 19, 1996:

"As I first took My Body in the womb of Mary, My Holy Mother, My Heart began beating for you in unison with hers."

The two Hearts of Jesus and Mary are completely united as One for the purpose of our salvation.  This also is the key to our better understanding of Mary's role as the Co-Redemptrix.  Jesus did not need anyone else's help to be able to redeem the world as He was divine.  Pope Clement VI said, "A little drop of His Blood would have been sufficient for the redemption of the whole human race on account of its union with the Word" (Unigenitus Dei Filius, 1343).   Also, Mary alone could not redeem even one single soul, as her role and power are always subject to and dependent on her Son's.  But it was the Father's Will that Mary be chosen as the Savior's associate and partner and that Jesus and Mary restore life to humans together, as Adam and Eve brought death to all humans together (as taught by many Popes and early Church Fathers).  Since Mary has been elevated to the divine motherhood and filled with the graces and virtues worthy of it, her merits, though far less than those of Jesus, must have an immense atoning and mediating value far exceeding those of other humans'.  From the moment she consented to the Father's Will delivered to her by the angel at the Annunciation to the time of the Crucifixion on Mt. Calvary, Mary participated in His Son's redemptive sufferings in intimate union with Him to save all humans.  It only seems natural and so appropriate that the Savior had Mary as His Associate in saving the world, just as Adam had Eve as his associate in falling into sin and bringing death to all humans.  Also, to God Who created humans as men and women, Mary's supportive but essential role in the Savior's work would give more glory and would be more pleasing.  We, the sinners in need of salvation, have every reason to thank God for giving us the Blessed Mother as our Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix of All Graces, and Advocate, as this greatly enhances the chances of our being saved as she mentioned in Naju:  The reason why I was chosen as the Lord's Helper was to give the opportunity of salvation to everyone." (August 27, 1991)


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