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Mediatrix in Roman Catholic Mariology refers to the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a mediator in the salvation process. It is a separate concept from Co-Redemptrix.

The concept of Mediatrix has two meanings: Mary gave birth to the redeemer, who is the fountain of all grace. Therefore she participated in the mediating of grace. A second opinion states that Mary, assumed into heaven, participates in the mediating of divine graces of her son. Popes such as Leo XIII, Pius XII and John Paul II have traditionally supported both interpretations.

Mediatrix has not been formally defined as a Marian dogma, although petitions for declaring it (along with Co-Redemptrix) a dogma have been submitted to the pope by various Cardinals and bishops. It would become a fifth Marian dogma if approved by the Holy See.

Early references

Saint Thomas Aquinas argued that only Christ can be the perfect mediator between God and mankind. But this does not hinder the fact that others are called mediator because they assist and prepare the union between God and man. There is no question among Catholic theologians, that Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and the human race.

But this does not exclude a participation of the Virgin Mary vicariously in the one mediatorship of her Son. Early indications of this notions go back to a prayer attributed to Ephrem the Syrian (306-373):

After the mediator, the mediatrix of the whole world


19th century views

In the 19th century, mediatrix appears in the papal bull Ineffabilis Deus of Pope Pius IX and in several rosary encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII,. Pope Pius X used it in the encyclical Ad Diem Illum and Pope Benedict XV introduced it in his new Marian feast day Mary Mediatrix of all graces (1921) Popes traditionally use encyclicals and feast day to promote Christian teaching. The Feast Day of Mary Mediatrix of all graces is viewed as a clear sign, that Pope Benedict XV intended to promote the role of the Virgin Mary as mediatrix.

Recent papal views

In his encyclical Redemptoris Mater, Pope John Paul II said:

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.


Reported apparitions

Outside papal circles, some reported (but unapproved) Marian apparitions have also referred to the term mediatrix. The reported Marian messages from Međugorjemarker refer both to the term "mediator" and "mediatrix". A message from October 7, 1981 reported by the children at Međugorjemarker reads
The seers: "Is there, outside of Jesus, other intermediaries between God and man, and what is their role?"
There is only one mediator between God and man, and it is Jesus Christ."


Also a message from the same apparition site from 1983 reads
"The sole mediator of salvation is Jesus Christ."


And a message reported in 1984 states:

"You must know there is only one God and only one Mediator Jesus Christ".


A message attributed by the children to the Virgin Mary from July 17, 1986 states:
"I am the Mediatrix between you and God".


The Croatian original of this message reads
"Ja sam Posrednica između vas i Boga. (I am mediatrix/arbitratrix/intercessor/agent between you and God)"


In the Chronological Corpus of the Messages of Mariologian René Laurentin this message reads:
"I am the intercessor between you and God."


Or, in its French original:
J'exerce une médiation entre vous et Dieu. (I exercise a mediation between you and God)"


There are many messages of Medjugorje in which the apparition states that she intercedes between the addressed persons and Jesus or God.

Popular and clerical support

Popular support for Mary as Mediatrix has appeared in recent times both from lay groups and the clergy. A lay movement called Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici is promoting the doctrine of Mary as Mediatrix and provides petitions that can be signed by Roman Catholics at large and sent to the Pope in support of a formal dogmatic definition.

On February 8, 2008 five Roman Catholic Cardinals issued a petition asking Pope Benedict XVI to dogmatically declare the Blessed Virgin Mary as both Co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix. The five Cardinals were: Telesphore Toppo, Luis Aponte Martínez, Varkey Vithayathil, Riccardo Vidal, and Ernesto Corripio y Ahumada. The Cardinals also included a votum (i.e. petition) that would allow other cardinals and bishops to also request the same from the pontiff. This would in effect create a fifth Marian dogma if approved by the Holy See. To date over 500 bishops have sent in their votums to the Vatican in support of a fifth Marian dogma.

References

  • Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Mercier Press Ltd., Cork, Ireland, 1955.




Notes


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