Mary as Coredemptrix

Dear Catholic Exchange:

Wouldn’t it be easier for Catholics (and others) to accept Mary as Coredemptrix if the dogma placed more emphasis on our own responsibility to help one another get to heaven? What I mean is, aren’t we ALL to strive to be coredemptors, through prayer, reinforcement, love, etc.? Aren’t all saints in heaven — from whom we seek intercession through prayer — coredemptors? Of course, none of us measure up to our holy Mother. I’m just curious about our role as sharers in Christ’s work of salvation and would like to hear your response.

Thank you for the work you do.

A Friend in Christ

Dear Friend in Christ,

Actually, you are pretty close to the mark. A Marian doctrine is always a commentary on Christ and/or the Church. Mary was acclaimed Theotokos to underscore the fact that Jesus is fully God, not God in a man’s suit. The Assumption of Mary was made dogma to underscore our true destiny in Christ. We are made for heavenly glory, not for the gulag, the ovens of Auschwitz, or the Playboy Mansion.

In the same way, it's quite true that we participate in bringing the redemption of Christ to the world and share in His suffering for the sake of His Body, the Church (Colossians 1:24). Mary, by her unique sufferings, is the supreme case-in-point of what we all go through as we join our sufferings to Christ's for the sake of the redemption of the world. We are made "co-laborers" with Christ, entirely by His grace. Should the Church ever get around to making this a dogma, one of the central reasons for doing so would be to alert us to the dignity of our work and sufferings in Christ. Mary doesn't eclipse us. She highlights who we are in Christ.


Mark Shea
Senior Content Editor
Catholic Exchange

For more information about Mary as Coredemptrix, please see the Faith Fact, What's A Mother to Do? Mary's Role in Our Salvation.

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  • Guest

    Ave Maria!


    I would just like ot go on the record for saying that Mary does indeed eclipse me!! I am not even on the radar screen with Our Lady.

    Yes, we are all called to be co-laborers in the vineyard but Mary had a most unique and singular role as Rev. Dr. Mark Miravalle does write about so well.  Only Our Lady was sinless and it was she who admitted it to St. Bernadette at Lourdes as she said, "I am the Immaculate Conception".  Her role in salvation history is unrepeatable.  She is the Mother of the Redeemer and coredemptrix by the mystery of her unique cooperation in salvation history.

    As we see from Genesis there was ONE big emnity from the beginning of time among God's creatures and it is between satan and Mary, whose seed crushes his head.  Many depictions of Our Lady show her crushing the head of the serpent. Crush away, Mother!

    Our Lady is like the moon that reflects the light from the Son. By her I am eclipsed.



  • Guest

    does mary eclipse us… hmm..

    There was a woman who said: Blessed be the womb that bore you to which christ replied ‘those who keep my commands are my mother’.

    The point is all of as can , in a way , be the mother of God, the brother of God, the sister of God, by following his way , keeping his command. That isn’t to take anything away from those who have the unique physical realtionship of being the biological mother God, but the reason it’s important that Mary acted as a co-redemptrix is bacause we are all called to do the same ? if we were not would it be anything other then historical trivia? certainly it would not approach a required article of faith that might be even be a Dogma unless it was much more significant then historical or even spirtitual reality of what one creature of God did.

    The point is mary is our model and those who take consercation to her do so because she is the perfect model. The perfect model of what WE should be.
    By her intersession and help we hope to approach that same perfection and do as she did, participating in the redemption of the world.