A Catholic Monthly Magazine

The Final Marian Dogma

by Pat Barrett

by Pat Barrett

A recent article in the Marist Messenger (July 2015) questioning the need for, or indeed the authenticity, of  proclaiming a final Marian Dogma - that of Mary Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate, has brought to mind some important truths concerning this much hoped for definition.

While the aforementioned article attempted to address this issue with some success it failed to acknowledge the constant teaching of Mother Church regarding the proposed three-fold dogma, and questioned whether it was even Scriptural. It is an unfortunate outcome of the pervasive spirit of Modernism, much at work in the Church today, that Mary’s role is much diminished and little understood, despite the role of numerous Popes and Saints in revealing her final title to the faithful, and the world.

For example Popes Benedict XV, Pius XI, XII, and St John Paul II have all confirmed Our Blessed Mother’s subordinate but authentic role as Co-redemptrix alongside her Son, Jesus. Pope St John Paul II, one of the greatest Marian popes of the Church, stated in 1985,  “…..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 co-redemptrix did not cease with the glorification of her Son.”

His words are an echo of the teaching of the Church and follow on from those enunciated in the Second Vatican Council; “Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and 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...”(Lumen Gentium 58). Vatican II has also called for a proper theological development and completion of authentic Marian doctrine (LG 54).

St Maximilian Kolbe, the martyr and witness to mercy at Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp, is perhaps the foremost saint of our age. In his profound teaching on Our Lady and her roles, which reconnect with two other great Marian saints, St Bernard of Clairvaux (Doctor of the Church) and St Louis de Monfort, he said,   “The union between the Immaculata and the Holy Spirit is so inexpressible yet so perfect that the Holy Spirit acts only by the Most Blessed Mother, his Spouse. This is why she is the mediatrix of all graces given by the Holy Spirit. And since every grace is a gift of God the Father through the Son and by the Holy Spirit, it follows that there is no grace that Mary cannot dispose of as her own, which is not given to her for this purpose.”

And further still he goes on to say, through his deep and life long reflection on the Immaculate Conception, that she who was created immaculate, and remains immaculate, is united completely with ‘the uncreated eternal conception’ – the Holy Spirit. “ The Third Person of the Blessed Trinity never took flesh; still our human word ‘spouse’ is far too weak to express the reality of the relationship between the Immaculata and the Holy Spirit. We can affirm that she is, in a certain sense, the “incarnation” of the Holy Spirit.” St Maximilian’s words are bold indeed, even shocking, yet they are an attempt to convey, as much as is possible through language, the union of the Virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit and in so doing to allow us to see how the Spirit acts solely and completely through her and the rationale of the Church’s constant teaching that Mary is most certainly Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate. 

Though this fifth Marian dogma has not yet been defined by the Church it has in fact been taught for centuries and is contained in Holy Scripture, notably:

“Hail, Full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee.” Lk 1:28. The Wedding Feast at Cana (Jn 2:1-11) where Mary intercedes for the host and guests (her children) with her Son to, “Do whatever He tells you.” At the Cross (Jn 19:25-27), where Mary is given to us as a Spiritual Mother, “Woman behold thy Son…Son behold thy Mother.”

In the Upper Room (Acts 1:13-2:4) where Mary acts and intercedes for the apostles at the heart of the infant Church, heralding the events of Pentecost, bringing the graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit in her unique role as Mediatrix and Advocate.

And the many references in Scripture to ‘the woman,’ where Mary is identified as ‘She who will crush the head of the serpent’, revealing her role from Genesis to Revelation as the vessel through whom God entrusted the task of bringing to us the Saviour and His unprecedented gift of mercy for fallen humanity.

Our Lady of All Nations and the Dogmaour_lady_of_all_nations

From 1945-59, Ida Peerdeman, a woman of Dutch nationality, received visions and locutions from the Blessed Mother under the title, ‘Our Lady of All Nations.’ During this period the Blessed Mother told Ida that this title, together with the picture and the prayer associated with it, that she gave to Ida for the whole world, was the summation of her three-fold crowning title of Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate, which when it was defined by a future pope, would usher in the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the era of peace promised for the world at Fatima. She proclaimed, “I will save the world under this title. I come in order to be the Lady of All Peoples, not of one people in particular, but of All Peoples….Christians will have to unite throughout the entire world. I appeal again to all peoples; it is already late, unite.”

“When the dogma, the last dogma in Marian history, has been proclaimed, the Lady of All Nations will give peace, true peace to the world. The Nations, however, must say my prayer in union with the Church.” Our Blessed Mother further defined the coming of the New Pentecost – she, who as St Maximilian stated, “because all God’s marvels of grace take place in Mary Immaculate who is full of grace – and in her alone.”  Our Lady said of this supernatural event, “The Lady remained with her apostles until the Spirit came. In the same way the Lady will come to her apostles and all the nations, in order to bring them the Holy Spirit anew.” And in regard to the picture she said, “My feet are firmly planted upon the globe, for it is the wish of the Father and the Son to send me into the world in these times as Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate…. This time is our time.”

On May 31, 2002, Bishop Josef Maria Punt, of Haarlem, Holland, solemnly declared: “The apparitions of the Lady of All Nations in Amsterdam consist of supernatural origin….And the signs of our times are dramatic. The devotion to the Lady of All Nations, can help us, in my sincere conviction, in guiding us on the right path during the present serious drama of our times, the path to a new and special outpouring of the Holy Spirit, Who alone can heal the great wounds of our times.”

Returning to St Maximilian’s catechesis on Mary, we can see why the proclamation of the three-fold dogma is pivotal now for the Second Pentecost. “The eternal ‘Immaculate Conception’ (which is the Holy Spirit) produces in an immaculate manner divine life itself in the womb (or depths) of Mary’s soul, making her the Immaculate Conception, the human Immaculate Conception….”   

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