Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces

Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces

Source: CatholicCulture

According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today [June 8th] is the feast of Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces. Pope Leo XIII declared in his Encyclical of September 22, 1891: “We may affirm that nothing, by the will of God, is given to us without Mary’s mediation, in such way that just as no one can approach the almighty Father but through His Son, likewise no one, so to speak, can approach Christ but through His Mother.”

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Traditionally, today is the feast of Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces. All the graces which flow from the redemption of Jesus Christ are granted to the human family through the motherly intercession of Mary. Mary mediated Jesus Christ, the Author of all graces, to the world when she agreed to be the human mother of God made man (cf. Lk 1:38). And from the cross at Calvary (Jn 19:26) and as the final gift to humanity, Jesus gives Mary as a spiritual mother to us all: “Son, behold your mother” (cf. Jn 19:26). For this reason, Vatican II refers to Mary as a “mother to us in the order of grace ” (Lumen Gentium, n. 62) and several twentieth century popes have officially taught the doctrine of Mary as Mediatrix of all graces, quoting the words of St Bernard: “It is the will of God that we obtain all favours through Mary.” The Mediatrix performs this task in intimate union with the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, with whom she began the drama of our Lord’s Redemption at the Annunciation (cf. Lk. 1:35).

Thirdly, Mary is our Advocate for people of God, in that she takes the petitions of her earthly children, especially in times of difficulties, and brings them through her maternal intercession before her Son and our Lord Jesus.

In the Old Testament, the Queen Mother brought the petitioned needs of the people of Israel to the throne of her son the king (cf. 1 Kings 2:19). Now Mary is the new Queen Mother and Advocate in the new Kingdom of her Son, who brings the petitioned needs of the people of God to the throne of her glorious Son, Christ the King, particularly in our present difficult times.

The universal mediation of the Mother of Jesus as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces, and Advocate for the people of God is already contained in the official and authoritative teachings of the Church’s Magisterium. Now, at the summit of the Marian era, what remains is the final proclamation by the Church of this final Marian doctrine as Christian dogma revealed by God.

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2 comments on “Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces

  1. The Litany of The Blessed Virgin Mary Mediatrix of All Grace

    Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
    Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
    God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
    God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
    God the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
    Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.

    Holy Mary, pray for us!
    Mother of God, and our Mother, pray for us!
    True Mother of the living, pray for us!
    Mother regenerating men in Christ unto God, pray for us!
    Mother of piety and of grace, pray for us!
    Mother of pardon and remission, pray for us!
    Partner in human redemption, pray for us!
    Recoverer of a lost world, pray for us!
    Recoverer of the ages, pray for us!
    Petitioner of all graces, pray for us!
    Suppliant all-powerful, pray for us!
    Advocate with thy Son for thy sons, pray for us!
    Obtainer of the divine mercy, pray for us!
    Dispenser of heavenly treasures, pray for us!
    Handmaid of divine blessings, pray for us!
    Fullness of grace to overflow upon all, pray for us!
    Succor of the Church Militant, pray for us!
    Ready helper of those in peril, pray for us!
    Devoted consoler of the sorrowful, pray for us!
    Conqueress of all error, pray for us!
    Protectress of the world, pray for us!
    Impregnable protection, pray for us!
    Propitiation of the divine wrath, pray for us!
    Refuge of all the unhappy, pray for us!
    Shelter of orphans, pray for us!
    Assured safety of the faithful, pray for us!
    Hope of all who despair, pray for us!
    Stay of the falling, pray for us!
    Uplifter of the fallen, pray for us!
    Cheer and comfort of the dying, pray for us!
    Peace and joy of mankind, pray for us!
    Our life, our sweetness and our hope, pray for us!
    Gate of Paradise, pray for us!
    Mystical stair of Jacob, pray for us!
    Key of the heavenly kingdom, pray for us!
    Channel of divine graces, pray for us!
    Throne of divine clemency, pray for us!
    Fountain of living waters, pray for us!
    Fountain sealed by the Holy Spirit, pray for us!
    Unfailing stream of mercy, pray for us!
    Asylum of the erring, pray for us!
    Haven of the shipwrecked, pray for us!
    Shining star of the sea, pray for us!
    Light of those who sit in darkness, pray for us!
    Chamber of spiritual nuptials, pray for us!
    Mediatrix of men with God, pray for us!
    Mediatrix after the Mediator, pray for us!
    Mediatrix reconciling us to the Son, pray for us!
    Mediatrix of sinners, staunch and true, pray for us!
    Mediatrix of all beneath the sky, pray for us!
    Mediatrix ever pleading for us, pray for us!
    Mediatrix set between Christ and His Church, pray for us!
    Mediatrix who hast found favor with God, pray for us!
    Mediatrix to win salvation for the world, pray for us!
    Mediatrix of the mysteries of God, pray for us!
    Mediatrix of all graces, pray for us!

    Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
    Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
    Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

    V. Pray for us, our powerful Mediatrix,
    R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ!

    Let us Pray.
    O Lord Jesus Christ, our Mediator with the Father, Who hast deigned to appoint the Blessed Virgin, Thy Mother, to be our Mother also and our Mediatrix with Thee, graciously grant that whosoever goes to Thee in quest of blessings may be gladdened by obtaining them all through her, Thou Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

    Prayer of Petition

    O Ever-Virgin Mother of God and Mediatrix of Grace who art the House of Gold within which dwells thy Son, our Mediator, Jesus Christ, we humbly beseech thee to grant our requests for our salvation and the salvation of the entire world. (Here pause and make your requests) Keep us close to the Vicar of thy Son in the unity of the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church. Hear our prayer and grant the requests we make to thee.

    St. Joseph, Intercede for us.
    St. Jude Thaddeus, Pray for us.
    St. Mary of Cleophas, Pray for us.
    St. Philip Neri, Pray for us.
    St. Louis Grignion de Montfort, Pray for us.
    St. Maximillian Kolbe, Pray for us.

  2. Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces

    Excerpted and adapted from Theology 523: Our Lady in Doctrine and Devotion, by Father William G. Most.

    Closely related to the Catholic teaching on Mary’s cooperation in the redemption is the teaching that, with through and under her Son, she is Mediatrix of all graces. What exactly does this mean?

    The term Mediatrix in itself could refer to either the objective redemption (the once-for-all earning a title to grace for all men), to the subjective redemption (the distribution of this grace to individual men), or to both. It is most usual to use it to refer only to subjective redemption, i.e. , the process of giving out the fruits of the objective redemption, throughout all centuries. We must consider whether or not the term Mediatrix applies to all graces or only to some. We will ask also about the nature of the mediation: is it only by way of intercession, that is, does Mary simply pray to her Son that he may give us grace, or does God also use her as an instrument in distributing grace.

    To begin, we can say without doubt that the title “Mediatrix” is justified, and applies to all graces for certain, by her cooperation in acquiring all graces on Calvary.

    The Second Vatican Council (Lumen gentium ## 61-62), said:

    … in suffering with Him as He died on the cross, she cooperated in the work of the Savior, in an altogether singular way, by obedience, faith, hope, and burning love, to restore supernatural life to souls. As a result she is our Mother in the order of grace.

    This motherhood of Mary in the economy of grace lasts without interruption, from the consent which she gave in faith at the annunciation, and which she unhesitatingly bore with under the cross, even to the perpetual consummation of all the elect. For after being assumed into heaven, she has not put aside this saving function, but by her manifold intercession, she continues to win the gifts of eternal salvation for us. By her motherly love, she takes care of the brothers of her Son who are still in pilgrimage and in dangers and difficulties, until they be led through to the happy fatherland. For this reason, the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adiutrix, and Mediatrix. This however it to be so understood that it takes nothing away, or adds nothing to the dignity and efficacy of Christ the one Mediator. For no creature can ever be put on the same level with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer….”

    We notice that Vatican II did not add the words “of all graces.” However, as many papal texts point out, Mary’s role in dispensation flows logically from her role in acquiring all graces. Further, the Council itself added a note on the above passage, in which it refers us to the texts of Leo XIII, Adiutricem populi, St. Pius X, Ad diem illum, Pius XI, Miserentissimus Redemptor, and Pius XII, Radiomessage to Fatima.

    Leo XIII, in the text referred to, spoke of her, as we saw above, as having “practically limitless power.” St. Pius X said she was the “dispensatrix of all the gifts, and is the “neck” connecting the Head of the Mystical Body to the Members. But all power flows through the neck. Pius XII said “Her kingdom is as vast as that of her Son and God, since nothing is excluded from her dominion.” These and many other texts speak in varied ways of Mary as Mediatrix of all graces, so often that the teaching has become infallible.

    Objection

    Protestants object to this , saying that there is only one mediator: 1 Tim 2:5. We agree that there are many ways in which Christ is the only mediator between God and man. 1) There is only one mediator who is such by very nature, being both true God and true man. 2) There is only one mediator whose whose work is necessary, without whom, in God’s plan, there could be no salvation. 3) There is only one mediator who depends on no one else for power.

    Mary differs on all three counts. 1) Mary only a creature, but it was appropriate that God be freely choose her as Mediatrix because he had made her Mother of the God-man, the Redeemer–it was she who on behalf of the whole human race consented to God’s plan of salvation by proclaiming herself the handmaid of the Lord. 2) Her role was not necessary, since Christ was and is the perfect Redeemer and the perfect Mediator. Rather, Mary was associated with her Son by the free decision of the Father, a decision which we cannot ignore. 3) Her whole ability to do anything comes entirely from her Son, and hence we are not contradicting Lumen gentium # 62 which says no creature can be ever counted together with Him.

    Really, the Father did not need her at all, except that if He decreed the incarnation, He necessarily decreed a Mother: she was and is that Mother. But everything else in which He has employed her is not needed.

    Yet, if we recall the economy of redemption, it is clear that the Father wants everything to be as rich as possible, so that He will not stop with something lesser if there is more than can be done. Really, the incarnation in a palace, without death, would have been infinite in merit and satisfaction, as we have seen in the section on her cooperation in the redemption.

    Further, the principle of St. Thomas helps here. In Summa Theologiae I. 19. 5. c., Thomas says that it pleases God to have one thing in place to serve as a title or reason for granting something further, even though that title does not move Him. It is His love of all goodness and good order that leads Him to act this way. Hence too, even though Calvary earned infinite forgiveness and graces, the Father wills to provide titles for giving out these, in the Mass. Even though He did not need even our Lady, yet He willed to employ her. Even though there is no need of any other saints, in objective or subjective redemption, yet He wills to add them–all to make everything, every title, as rich as possible.

    Lumen gentium speaks of her as taking care of all her children. We are extremely numerous, but yet not infinite in number. Therefore, we are not too numerous for her to see and care for. For her capacity for that infinite vision of God is in proportion to her love on earth, so great that Pius IX, as we saw, said it was so great that “none greater under God can be thought of, and no one but God can comprehend it.”

    Is her mediation merely by intercession, prayer for us to her Son and to God the Father? Or does she also play a role in the distribution of graces from the Father through her Son to us? Many today, influenced by Protestant theology, tend to speak of grace merely as favor, and so say grace is not a thing given. But that would imply Pelagianism, the heresy that says that we can be saved by our own power. For if God merely sits there and smiles at me, and gives me nothing, that would mean that I had to do it by my own power.

    So we answer, since Mary was associated with her Son in acquiring grace for us, she will also share with him in distributing that grace to us. This fits well with the words of the Popes, who call her the administra of grace, meaning that she administers or dispenses it. So Pope Leo XIII, Iucunda semper, said:

    “… when He [the Father] has been invoked with excellent prayers, our humble voice turns to Mary; in accordance with no other law than that law of conciliation and petition which was expressed as follows by St. Bernardine of Siena : ‘Every grace that is communicated to this world has a threefold course. For by excellent order, it is dispensed from God to Christ, from Christ to the Virgin, from the Virgin to us.'”

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