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Mary, Mediatrix of all Graces...


"I am the Queen of Heaven, Mother of earth, and Mediatrix of all graces. I will stand here through the turmoil that lies ahead within the holy House of God.” - Our Lady of the Roses, October 6, 1972 



We are greatly indebted to many Mariologists, particularly Fr. Felix Unger, O.F.M. Cap.; Armand J. Robischaud. S.M.; Juniper B. Carol, O.F.M.; Mark Miravalle, S.T.D.; and the Mediatrix Foundation, for having researched this subject so thoroughly.



“Mary, strong as an army, give victory to our troops. We are so weak and our enemy waxes furious with such arrogance. But with Your standard, we feel sure of overcoming him; he knows the strength of Your foot, he fears the majesty of Your glance. Save us, O Mary, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army in battle array." (Pope Pius XII, December 8, 1953, proclaiming the solemn opening of the Marian Year)



There have been four dogmas formally defined concerning the Blessed Virgin Mary. They are Mary, the Mother of God; the Perpetual Virginity of Mary; the Immaculate Conception; and the Assumption. Yet a fifth dogma awaits to be proclaimed by the Church, one which has been prophesied by many Marian saints. This dogma is Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces.


A lay movement called Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici has been actively promoting the proclamation of this doctrine.  Inside the Vatican magazine reports that “currently it has collected from all around the world more than 4 million signatures, including more than 300 bishops. The credentials of the movement are impressive. There are 32 cardinals on its advisory board....” (Inside the Vatican, “A New Marian Dogma,” by Leonie Caldecott, June‑July 1996, p. 18). Dr. Mark Miravalle, Associate Professor of Theology and Mariology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, has authored a book entitled, Mary: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix. Advocate in which he proposes the dogmatic definition of Mary, Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate. Cardinal Luigi Ciappi, O.P., who served as Papal Theologian for all popes from Pope Pius XII to Pope John Paul II, endorsed this work with the words, "I share the hope of Dr. Mark Miravalle.”


Pope John Paul II himself has used the title Coredemptrix on at least six different occasions: "Clearly the Pope himself would have no problem with the definition, and indeed is on record as using the term 'Coredemptrix’ (for example, at an address in Guayaquil on 31 January 1985).” (Inside the Vatican, ibid., p. 19)



Fr. Reginald Garrigou‑Lagrange, O.P. discusses the office of mediator:


"The office of mediator belongs fully only to Jesus, the Man‑God, Who alone could reconcile us with God by offering Him, on behalf of men, the infinite sacrifice of the Cross, which is perpetuated in Holy Mass. He alone, as Head of mankind, could merit for us in justice the grace of salvation and apply it to those who do not reject His saving action. It is as man that He is mediator, but as a Man in Whom humanity is united hypostatically to the Word and endowed with the fullness of grace, the grace of Headship, which overflows on men. As St. Paul puts it: 'For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus: Who gave Himself for a redemption for all, a testimony in due times' (I Tim. ii, 56).
     "But, St. Thomas adds: 'there is no reason why there should not be, after Christ, other secondary mediators between God and men, who co‑operate in uniting them in a ministerial and dispositive manner.’  Such mediators dispose men for the action of the principal Mediator, or transmit it, but always in dependence on His merits.” [1]


Fr. Garrigou‑Lagrange also notes that the liturgy, one of the voices of the ordinary magisterium, has not hesitated to maintain that Our Lady is universal mediatrix:


"The question arises, is Mary, in subordination to and in dependence on the merits of Christ, universal mediatrix for all men from the time of the coming of the Saviour, in regard to obtaining and distributing all graces, both in general and in particular? Does it not appear that she is? Nor is her role precisely that of a minister, but that of an associate in the redemptive work….
     "Though non‑Catholics answer the question with a denial, the Christian sense of the faithful, formed for years by the liturgy, which is one of the voices of the ordinary magisterium of the Church, has no hesitation in maintaining that, by the very fact of her being Mother of the Redeemer, all the indications are that Mary is universal mediatrix, for she finds herself placed between God and men, and more particularly between her Son and men.” [2] 


St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe, Franciscan martyr of Auschwitz, explains the mediatory role of Our Lady:


"There are two kinds of mediation. The first is that one receives something from another, but with some purpose in mind; then the one who has received the gift is not the owner, but must use the gift in such a way as has been told to him; meanwhile another received the same gift but for his exclusive property and has the right to administer it as he chooses.

     "The Blessed Mother is in the second category, having received graces in that manner from the Godhead. She is not like a mailcarrier. She does not receive graces from God for an appointed purpose so that She might use them in one way or another. The Immaculate Virgin receives graces from God for Her own exclusive property and She dispenses them to us how She wills, to whom She wills, and inasmuch as She wills, for these are Her own. Here, finally, do we see how holy and great God made His Blessed Mother, and how much we should honor Her.” [3]


As we shall see, the doctrine of Mary's universal mediation is taught by the ordinary Magisterium of the Church through the liturgy, papal encyclical letters and in the works of theologians approved by the Church.



Apparently, the first use of the title Mediatrix as applying to Our Lady was used by St. Ephraem (373): "I call upon you, Mediatrix of the world; I invoke your prompt protection in my necessities." In his fourth sermon on Our Lady, he calls her “dispensatrix of all gifts... Mediatrix of the whole world.” [4]


A Father of the Council of Ephesus, Antipater of Bostra, wrote, "Hail, you who acceptably intercede as a Mediatrix for mankind." (In S. Joannem Bapt., PG, 1772C) [5]  St. Andrew of Crete (660-740) referred to Mary as the "Mediatrix of the law and grace” and that “she is the mediation between the sublimity of God and the abjection of the flesh.”


Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange cites numerous other references from the early centuries of the Church:


"From the 8th century we may quote the Venerable Bede (homil. I in fest. Annunc. and hom. I in fest. Visit.; P.L., t. XCIV, col. 91, 16). St. Andrew of Crete calls Mary Mediatrix of grace, dispenser and cause of life (In Nativit. B. M. , hom. Iv, and in Dormit. S.M., III; P.G.. t. XCVII, cols. 813 and 1108). St. Germanus of Constantinople says that no one has been saved without the cooperation of the Mother of God (In dormit. B.M., P.G., t. XCVIII, c. 349). The title of mediatrix is given by St. John Damascene also, who asserts that we owe to her all the benefits conferred on us by Jesus (In dormit. B.M., hom. 1, 3, 8, 12; 11, 16; P.G., t. XCVI, cols. 705, 713, 717, 744). In the 9th century we find St. Peter Damien teaching that nothing is accomplished in the work of our redemption without her (Serm. 15; P.L. . t. CXLIV, cols. 741, 743).  The teaching of St. Anselm (Orat. 47, 52; PL, t. CLVIII, cols. 741, 743), Eadmer, and St. Bernard in the 12th century is the same.” [6]



St. Cyril of Alexandria: "Hail Mary Theotokos, venerable treasure of the whole world, light unextinguished, crown of virginity, sceptre of orthodoxy, indestructible temple, which contains the uncontainable... it is through you that the Holy Trinity is glorified and adored, through you, the precious cross is venerated and adored throughout the whole world, through you that heaven is in gladness, that angels and archangels rejoice that demons are put to flight, through you that the tempter, the devil is cast from heaven, through you that the fallen creature is raised up to heaven, through you that all creation, once imprisoned in idolatry, has reached knowledge of the truth, that the faithful obtain baptism and the oil of joy, churches have been founded in the whole world, that peoples are led to conversion." [7]


St. Germanus:  Our Lady is “truly a good Mediatrix of all sinners.” (Hom. in Dorm. II, PG 98, 321, 352‑3)


St. Tarasius of Constantinople: Our Lady is “the Mediatrix of all who are under Heaven.” (In SS. Deiparae Praesentionem. PG 98, 1499).” [8]


St. Bernard of Clairvaux:


·         St. Bernard speaks of Mary as “gratiae inventrix, mediatrix, salutis restauratrix saeculorum.” [9]

·         "God Has willed that we should have nothing which would not pass through the hands of Mary." (Hom. III in vig. nativit., n. 10, PL 183, 100)


·         "God has placed in Mary the plenitude of every good, in order to have us understand that if there is any trace of hope in us, any trace of grace, any trace of salvation, it flows from her." [10]


·         "God could have dispensed His graces according to His good pleasure, without making use of this aqueduct (Mary); but it was His wish to provide this means whereby grace would reach you." [11]


St. Albert the Great:


·         “To her [Mary] alone was given this privilege, namely, a communication in the Passion; to her the Son willed to communicate the merit of the Passion, in order that He could give her the reward; and in order to make her a sharer in the benefit of Redemption. He willed that she be a sharer in the penalty of the Passion, insofar as she might become the Mother of all through re-creation even as she was the adjudtrix of the Redemption by her co-passion. And just as the whole world is bound to God by His supreme Passion, so also it is bound to the Lady of all by her co-passion.” (Mariale, Opera Omnia, v. 37, Q. 150, p. 219)


·         "… every single grace passes through the hands of Mary.” [12]


·         “The Blessed Virgin is very properly called ‘gate of heaven,’ for every created or uncreated grace that ever came or will ever come into this world came through her.” (Mariale 147)


St. Thomas Aquinas writes, "Mary is the whole hope of our salvation,” [13] and "Through the intercession of Mary any souls are in Paradise who would not be there had she not interceded for them, for God has entrusted her with the keys and treasures of the heavenly kingdom.” [14]


St. Gregory Palamas:  “No divine gift can reach either angels or men, save through her mediation. As one cannot enjoy the light of a lamp … save through the medium of this lamp, so every movement towards God, every impulse towards good coming from Him is unrealizable save through the mediation of the Virgin. She does not cease to spread benefits on all creatures….” [15]


Theophanes of Nicaea:  “[Mary] is the dispenser and distributor of all the wondrous uncreated gifts of the divine Spirit, which make us Christ’s brothers and co-heirs, not only because she is granting the gifts of her natural Son to His brothers in grace, but also because she is bestowing them on these as her own true sons, though not by ties of nature but of grace.” [16]


St. Louis De Montfort:


·         "To Mary, His faithful spouse, God the Holy Ghost has communicated His unspeakable gifts; and He has chosen her to be the dispensatrix of all He possesses, in such sort that she distributes to whom she wills, as much as she wills, as she wills and when she wills, all His gifts and graces. The Holy Ghost gives no heavenly gift to men which does not pass through her virginal hands." [17]


·         “… Mary whom He has appointed to be … treasurer of His riches, Distributor of His graces, Worker of His great miracles, Restorer of the human race, Mediatrix of men, Destroyer of God’s enemies, and faithful Companion of His great works and triumphs.” (W.G. 28)


St. Alphonsus Liguori: "God, who gave us Jesus Christ, wills that all graces that have been, that are, and will be dispensed to men to the end of the world through the merits of Jesus Christ, should be dispensed by the hands and through the intercession of Mary." (The Glories of Mary, Ch. 5).  Against the contention that this doctrine is "a pious exaggeration," St. Alphonsus replied, "I consider it as indubitably true that all graces are dispensed by Mary.” [18]


St. John Vianney: "All the saints have a great devotion to Our Lady: no grace comes from Heaven without passing through her hands. We cannot go into a house without speaking to the doorkeeper. Well, the Holy Virgin is the doorkeeper of Heaven.”


St. Peter Julian Eymard: "Mankind was unworthy to receive the Word directly from God, so Mary was our Mediatrix in the Incarnation, and she continues to exercise that function. No one comes to the knowledge of Jesus Christ and embraces His holy law except through her; no one obtains the saving gift of faith except by her prayers. Her mission, to which she is ever faithful, is to give us Jesus. He must be received from her hands, and in vain do we seek Him elsewhere." [19]



Pope Leo XIII

In the first of his Rosary encyclicals, Supremi apostolatus (1883), Pope Leo XIII calls Our Lady "the guardian of our peace and the dispensatrix of heavenly graces." The following year his encyclical Superiore anno speaks of the prayers presented to God "through her whom He has chosen to be the dispenser of all heavenly graces.” [21] But it was perhaps in Octobri mense (1891) that his Holiness gave the most forceful exposition of this doctrine:


"With equal truth can it be affirmed that, by the will of God, nothing of the immense treasure of every grace which the Lord has accumulated, comes to us except through Mary.... How great are the wisdom and mercy revealed in this design of God.... Mary is our glory intermediary; she is the powerful Mother of the omnipotent God.... This design of such dear mercy realized by God in Mary and confirmed by the testament of Christ (Jn. 19:26‑27), was understood from the beginning and accepted with the utmost joy by the holy Apostles and the earliest believers. It was also the belief and teaching of the venerable Fathers of the Church. All the Christian peoples of every age accepted it unanimously.... There is no other reason for this than a divine faith."


     Armand Robischaud includes four observations about this statement of Pope Leo XIII: that the truth proposed by his Holiness that it is the will of God that Our Lady has this role; that his encyclical is addressed to the whole Church; that he appeals to the universal belief of the Church from the time of the Apostles; that this truth is implied in Holy Scripture in the Annunciation and in Christ's words from the cross addressed to His holy Mother and St. John. [20] Robischaud also writes, "At the present time we know of no Catholic theologian who seriously questions the truth of Mary's universal mediation in the sense already explained, and it is safe to say that the vast majority of them consider it sufficiently warranted by the sources to be defined by the Church.” He is also of the opinion that the doctrine of Our Lady's universal mediation of graces should be classified as de fide divina ex ordinario magisterio. This conclusion, he states, would be based particularly on Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Octobri mense. [21]


Pope Benedict XV

Pope Benedict XV (1914‑1922), writing to Cardinal Gasparri on April 27, 1917, affirms, “... since all the graces that the Author of all good designs to bestow upon the poor descendants of Adam are, by favorable design of divine Providence, dispensed through the hands of the most holy Virgin..." [22] In an allocution after the solemn reading of the decree approving the two miracles for the canonization of St. Joan of Arc, Benedict XV replied to the objection of the promoter of the faith for her cause, who objected that one of the two miracles should be attributed to Our Lady. His Holiness states:


"If in every miracle we must recognize the mediation of Mary, through whom, according to God's will, every grace and blessing comes to us, it must be admitted that in the case of one of these miracles the mediation of the Blessed Virgin manifested itself in a very special way. We believe that God so disposed the matter in order to remind the faithful that the remembrance of Mary must never be excluded, even when it may seem that a miracle is to be attributed to the intercession or the mediation of one of the blessed or one of the saints.” [23]


Benedict XV, in the Apostolic Letter, Inter Sodalicia, writes: " one can truly affirm that together with Christ she has redeemed the human race. For this reason, every kind of grace we receive from the treasury of the redemption is ministered as it were through the hands of the same Sorrowful Virgin…” (March 22, 1918, AAS 10, 1918, 182)


In the encyclical Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum, Pope Pius X writes that “by this companionship in sorrow and suffering already mentioned between the Mother and the Son, it has been allowed to the august Virgin to be the most powerful mediatrix and advocate of the whole world with her Divine Son.”


Pope Pius XI, in the 1924 Apostolic Letter, Exstat in civitate, affirms: "It is clear that many Roman Pontiffs... have stirred up devotion among the nations to the most clement Mother, the Virgin Mary, the Consoler of the afflicted, and the treasurer [sequestra] of all graces with God."  (Feb. 1, 1924, AAS 16 1924, 152) In 1926 he proclaimed, "We, to whom nothing is dearer than that the devotion of the Christian people be aroused more and more towards the Virgin who is the treasurer [sequestra] of all graces with God, think we should grant these wishes." (Pius XI, Apostolic Letter, Cognitum sane, Jan 14, 1926, AAS 18, 1926, 213)


Pope Pius XII:  "To the Beloved Mother of God, mediatrix of heavenly graces, We entrust the priests of the whole world...” [24]


Also, in a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites recognizing the miracles for the canonization of St. Louis de Montfort, Pope Pius XII called to mind the tradition of the Church and the teaching of theologians at that time:


"Gathering together the tradition of the Fathers, the Doctor Mellifluus (St. Bernard) teaches that God wants us to have everything through Mary. This pious and salutary doctrine all theologians at the present time hold in common accord.” [25]



In one of the tropars of the Coptic liturgy we read that our salvation is insured "because every help come to the faithful through Mary, the Mother of God.” [26]  A prayer in the Syriac liturgy read, "How can I praise thee duly, O most chaste Virgin? For thou alone among men art all‑holy; and thou givest to all the help and grace they need.” [27] The Armenian liturgy has the following prayer: “Rejoice, 0 Mother of God, throne of salvation and hope of the human race, Mediatrix of law and grace.” [28] And the Chaldean liturgy has this beautiful prayer: “O Queen of queens, all rich, enrich thy servants with benefits, O Mother of the Most High. For He has made thee the dispensatrix of His treasures and the universal Queen. It is in thy bosom that He has placed His treasures, and in thee He has gathered graces as in a sea, and He has made thee the source of life for mortals…” [29]



The Franciscan Order, which championed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception through the Franciscan theologian Duns Scotus, has many saints who have promoted devotion to Mary, Mediatrix of all graces:


St. Francis of Assisi:


·         "I therefore command all my Brothers, those living now and those to come in the future, to venerate the Holy Mother of God, whom we always implore to be our Protectress, to praise her at all times, in all circumstances of life, with all the means in their power and with the greatest devotion and submission." [30]


St. Bonaventure:


·         "No one can enter into heaven except through Mary, as entering through a gate.” [31]


·         "We believe that Mary opens the abyss of God's mercy to whomsoever she wills, when she wills, and as she wills; so that there is no sinner however great who is lost if Mary protects him.” [32]


St. Bernardine of Siena:


·         "Mary is the dispensatrix of all the graces God bestows on man.” [33]


·         "This is the process of divine graces: from God they flow to Christ, from Christ to His Mother, and from her to the Church.... I do not hesitate to say that she has received a certain jurisdiction over all graces.... they are administered through her hands....” (Sermon V de nativitate B.M.V., cap. 8: op. omn., v. 4, p. 96)



St. Maximilian Kolbe:


·         "Up to the present our relationship, within the whole scheme of redemption, to Mary, the Co‑redemptrix and Dispensatrix of all graces, has not been fully and completely understood. But in our time faith in her mediation grows day by day.” [34]


·         "As the Mother of Jesus our Savior, Mary was the Co‑redemptrix of the human race; as the spouse of the Holy Spirit, she shares in the distribution of all graces.” [35]


·         "When we reflect on these two truths: that all graces come from the Father, by the Son and the Holy spirit; and that our holy Mother Mary is, so to speak, one with the Holy Spirit, we are driven to the conclusion that this Most Holy Mother is indeed the intermediary by whom all graces come to us. (Conf. Sept. 25, 1937)” [36]


·         "The union between the Holy Spirit and the Immaculate Virgin is such that the Holy Spirit does not influence souls but through her mediation. Whence She is the Mediatrix of all graces, become the true Mother of Divine Grace, Queen of Angels and Saints, Help of Christians and Refuge of Sinners.” [37]


·         "The Fathers and Doctors of the Church teach that She, the Second Eve, corrected that which the first Eve spoiled, and that She is a channel of divine graces, our hope and refuge, and that through Her we receive grace from God. Pope Leo XIII in his Encyclical on the Rosary (22 September 1891) points out: 'It is permitted to affirm that from that generous treasure of graces that the Lord has brought us... nothing is given us except through Mary, because God so willed it.’” [38]


Within the Franciscan tradition, long before the present feast of Mary Mediatrix was established, the Holy See permitted the Franciscan Order a special Mass and Office for the feast of Our Lady of the Angels (August 2), the prayer of which opens with these significant words: “O God, who hast wished to dispense all favors to men through thy most holy Mother…”


"I stand upon the head of the serpent. My heel will crush him, but not until man and the world have been cleansed. I come as a Mediatrix of all graces, Representative through My Son in the Father.”  - Our Lady of the Roses, March 18, 1973 

Directives from Heaven... http://www.tldm.org/directives/directives.htm

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D194 - Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces  PDF Logo PDF


Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici website


Why Now Is the Time for a Dogma of Mary Co-redemptrix, Mark Miravalle, President of Vox Populi

The Fifth Marian Dogma: Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix of All Graces, and Advocate, CatholiCity


Mediatrix of All Graces, Our Lady of Sorrows Church website

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[1] Fr. Reginald Garrigou‑Lagrange, O.P., The Mother of the Savior and Our Interior Life, p. 172.

[2] Ibid., pp. 172‑173.

[3] Sayings and Examples of St. Maximilian Kolbe, (Manila: Franciscan Conventual Publication), pp. 141‑142.

[4] Sancti Ephraem Syri opera graece et latine,. ed. Assemani, Vol. 3 (Rome, 1746), p. 525 and pp. 528‑529.

[5] Mark I. Miravalle, S.T.D., Mary: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate, (Santa Barbara, Queenship Publications, 1993), p. 36.
[6] Garrigou‑Lagrange, p. 175.

[7] St. Cyril, Homiliae diversae  4; PG 77,  992.
[8] Quoted in Miravalle, p. 37.

[9] Garrigou‑Lagrange, p. 175.
[10] Hom. in nativit. B.V.M., n. 6; PL, 183,441.

[11] Hom. in nativit., B.V.M., nn.3‑4; PL, 183, 440.

[12] Armand J. Robischaud, S.M., "Mary, Dispensatrix of All Graces," p. 446. Taken from Mariology, Vol. II, edited by Juniper B. Carol, O.F.M., Bruce Publishing Co., Milwaukee, 1957.

[13] "Marian Sermons," Complete Works, Augsburg: 1757, p. 499.

[14] St. Thomas Aquinas, "Exposition of the Salve Regina," IPM 27.

[15] Quoted in Miravalle, p. 136.

[16] Ibid., p. 141.

[17] St. Louis De Montfort, True Devotion to Mary, nn. 24‑25.

[18] St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Glories of Mary, p. 32.

[19] St. Peter Julian Eymard, Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament, New York: Eymard League, 1930, pp. 99‑100.

[20] Robischaud, p. 431.

[21] Ibid., p. 436.

[22] A.A.S., Vol. 9, 1917, p. 266.
[23] Robischaud, p. 432.

[24] Menti Nostrae, #143, (Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Pius XII to the clergy of the whole world on the development of holiness in priestly life), Sept. 23, 1950.
[25] A.A.S., Vol. 34, 1942, p. 44.

[26] Robischaud, p. 438.
[27] D. Attwater, Prayers from the Eastern Liturgy (London, 1931), p. 20.

[28] Robischaud, p. 438.
[29] Ibid., pp. 436‑439.

[30] St. Francis of Assisi, "Rule of the Friars Minor, cf. I.
[31] St. Bonaventure, "On St. Luke's Gospel," GM 160, note 4.

[32] St. Bonaventure, GM 238; VOS 145.

[33] St. Bernardine of Siena, "On the Birth of the Blessed Virgin, ch. 8, vol. 4, p. 96, Lyons: 1650. M.J. Scheeben, Mariology, Vol. 2, p. 271, St. Louis: B. Herder, 1948.
[34] H.-M. Manteau-Bonamy, O.P., Immaculate Conception and Holy Spirit, p. 89.

[35] Ibid., p. 97.
[36] Ibid., p. 102.

[37] Savings and Examples of St. St. Maximilian Kolbe, (Manila: Franciscan Conventual Publication), p. 140.
[38] Ibid., p. 142.