The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Co-Redemptrix of the World

Catholic Candle note:  The article below pertains to another scandalous error of Pope Francis.  However, a reader would be mistaken if he assumed that Pope Francis’s grave error somehow means that he is not the pope.

Sedevacantism is wrong and is (material or formal) schism.  Catholic Candle is not sedevacantist.  On the contrary, we published a series of articles showing that sedevacantism is false (and also showing that former Pope Benedict is not still the pope).  Read the articles here: 

Here is what St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church, teaches concerning the need to recognize and respect the authority of a superior – such as the pope – even when he is very bad:

Even should the life of any superior be so notoriously wicked as to admit of no excuse or dissimulation, nevertheless, for God’s sake, Who is the source of all power, we are bound to honor such a one, not on account of his personal merits, which are non-existent, but because of the divine ordination and the dignity of his office.[1]

However, even while recognizing the pope’s authority and our duty to obey him when we are able, we know we must resist the evil he says and does.  Read more about this principle here:


Defending the pre-Vatican II teaching against Pope Francis’s Scoffing

What the title “Co-Redemptrix” means

God caused the universe to be the best possible one for His own greater honor and glory.[2]  “The Lord hath made all things for Himself”.  Proverbs, 16:4.  No other motive would be worthy of Him.

God could have caused the universe to be different than it is.  Two ways God could have caused the universe to be different, is not to redeem man after his fall, or not to use the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in redeeming man.  However, God did redeem man and did use the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary because God does all things in the best possible way.[3] 

One way God used the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary is to have God the Son become Man through her Divine maternity.  Another way God chose to use the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary is to employ her as an integral part of His redemption of mankind, as Co-Redemptrix. 

Here is how Dom Guéranger explained this truth in The Liturgical Year:

Our Lady’s co-operation in the redemption of the world gives us a fresh view of her magnificence.  Neither the Immaculate Conception nor the Assumption will give us a higher idea of Mary’s exaltation than the title of co-redemptress.  Her dolors were not necessary for the redemption of the world, but, in the counsels of God, they were inseparable from it.  They belong to the integrity of the divine plan.[4]

Again, God could have redeemed man in a different way, without the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  But He chose the best way for His own glory and this way involved using her unique and integral help.


The Feminine Suffix of the word “Redemptress” (and of the word “Redemptrix”)

The Divine Law and the Natural Law[5] require that men and women have different roles in our life on earth.[6]  The differences between the sexes are naturally (and traditionally) manifest in countless visible ways, e.g., in clothing, as Sacred Scripture commands:

A woman shall not be clothed with man’s apparel, neither shall a man use woman’s apparel: for he that doth these things is abominable before God.

Deuteronomy, 22:5.

God and Nature require these distinctions in dress not only for modesty’s sake but also because such exterior manifestations reinforce these truths in our thoughts, help us to live them, and to oppose the errors and corruptions of the world around us.

Another important way in which the natural distinction between the sexes is (and should be) manifest in everyday life, is in grammatical differences in our speech, which reinforce this distinction between the sexes.  For example, we use feminine pronouns for women and girls and male pronouns for men and boys.  Likewise, in a wholesome society, parents don’t give their children unisex names or (even worse) names of the other gender.  Parents give feminine names to girls and masculine names to boys. 

The destruction of these wholesome customs is perverse and corrupts society.  The enemies of Our Lord have advanced far in trying to destroy these good practices.  Minimizing the outward signs which show the differences in gender leads to blurring the distinction between the sexes.  Gender-blurring is designed to minimize our understanding of the differences between the sexes.  The eventual goal is to promote gender confusion (a lunacy we see today).  This whole corrupting process has its roots in the centuries-old apostasy from the Catholic Faith.[7]

Among many other wholesome grammatical distinctions between the sexes, is using sex-specific endings to indicate the gender of a person who has a certain role.  For example, a man who delivers food to the tables in a restaurant is called a “waiter” and a woman who does this is called a “waitress”.  This “-tress” ending feminizes the word.  There are countless words with such feminized endings, e.g., empress and shepherdess.

A similar Latinized feminine ending to words is “-trix” (instead of “-tress”).  Thus:

  a female executor of a person’s will is called an “executrix”.[8]

  likewise, Our Lady is called the “Mediatrix of all Graces”.

Because we make these wholesome grammatical distinctions between the sexes, a female redeemer is called a “redemptrix” or a “redemptress”.  Thus, the Blessed Virgin Mary is called the “Co-Redemptrix” because she co-redeems man with her Son.


Comparison of Our Lady’s titles, “Co-Redemptrix” and “Mediatrix of all Graces”

To better understand the Blessed Virgin Mary’s title “Co-Redemptrix”, let us compare it to her title “Mediatrix of all Graces”.  These two titles correspond to her two unique roles helping her Son, in meriting and distributing all Graces.

Her title “Co-Redemptrix” refers to her unique role (and privilege) assisting her Son in His Redemption of the world, through which she assisted Him in meriting forgiveness and grace for sinners, in a fitting way (as explained below).  By contrast, her title “Mediatrix of all Graces” refers to her unique role (and privilege) assisting her Son in distributing all those Graces to sinners.

Our Lady’s assistance to her Son in the works of redemption and salvation is analogous to a nurse playing a uniquely important role in both helping a physician prepare a lifesaving medicine and also distribute the medicine for him to his patients.  Our Lady uniquely aided her Son although she is not Divine and although she herself depends on her Son, just as the nurse is not a physician but can be a unique aid in his work.


Pre-Vatican II teaching that Mary is Co-Redemptrix of the world

Pope St. Pius X

Pope St. Pius X taught that, in the work of redemption, the Blessed Virgin Mary merited in a way of fittingness, what her Son merited strictly speaking.  Here are St. Pius X’s words:

We are then, it will be seen, very far from attributing to the Mother of God a productive power of grace – a power which belongs to God alone.  Yet, since Mary surpasses all in holiness and union with Jesus Christ, and has been associated by Jesus Christ in the work of redemption, she merits for us “de congruo,” [i.e., according to fittingness] in the language of theologians, what Jesus Christ merits for us “de condigno,” [i.e., according to strict deserving] .…[9]

Also, St. Pius X’s Holy Office (viz., his guardian of the Catholic Faith) approved the orthodoxy of a prayer praising Our Lady as “Co-Redemptrix”.  Here is a portion of this prayer:

I praise thine exalted privilege of being truly Mother of God, ever Virgin, conceived without stain of sin, Co-Redemptrix of the human race.[10]


Pope Benedict XV 

Pope Benedict XV taught that the Blessed Virgin Mary redeemed the world, along with Christ.  Here are his words:

As the Blessed Virgin Mary does not seem to participate in the public life of Jesus Christ, and then, suddenly appears at the stations of his cross, she is not there without divine intention.  She suffers with her suffering and dying Son, almost as if she would have died herself.  For the salvation of mankind, she gave up her rights as the mother of her Son and, in a sense, offered Christ’s sacrifice to God the Father as far as she was permitted to do.  Therefore, one can justly say that she together with Christ has redeemed the human race.[11]


Pope Pius XI

Pope Pius XI called the Blessed Mother the Co-Redemptrix.  Here are his words:

By necessity, the Redeemer could not but associate [non poteva, per necessità di cose, non associare] his Mother in His work.  For this reason, we invoke her under the title of Co-Redemptrix.  She gave us the Savior, she accompanied Him in the work of Redemption as far as the Cross itself, sharing with Him the sorrows and the agony and in the death in which Jesus consummated the Redemption of mankind.[12]


Honoring Our Lady as Co-Redemptrix, in the devotional life of the Church

Before Vatican II, not only did the popes teach that Our Lady is Co-Redemptrix, but she was also honored under this title in Catholic devotion.  For example, Dom Guéranger quotes and promotes a 600-year-old liturgical sequence and hymn, praising Our Lady as Co-Redemptrix.  Here is this sequence:

Come, sovereign Lady,

Mary, do thou visit us,

illumine our sickly souls,

by the example of thy

duties performed in life.


Come, Co-Redemptrix of the world,

take away the filth of sin,

by visiting thy people,

remove their peril of chastisement.


Come, Queen of nations,

extinguish the flames of the guilty,

rectify whatsoever is wrong,

give us to live innocently.


Come, and visit the sick,

Mary, fortify the strong with

the vigor of thy holy impetuosity,

so that brave courage droop not.


Come, thou Star, O thou

Light of the ocean waves,

shed thy ray of peace upon us,

let the heart of John exult with

joy before the Lord.[13]

Similarly, traditional devotional books contemplate Mary’s role as Co-Redemptrix.[14]


Pope Francis scoffs at Our Lady’s title and privilege of being Co-Redemptrix

On December 12, 2019, the great feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pope Francis scoffed at Our Lady’s title and her privilege of being “Co-Redemptrix”.  Here are his words, as quoted in a news report:

“She never wanted for herself something that was of her son,” Francis said. “She never introduced herself as co-redemptrix.  No.  Disciple,” he said, meaning that Mary saw herself as a disciple of Jesus.

Mary, the pope insisted, “never stole[15] for herself anything that was of her son,” …

When they come to us with the story of declaring her this or making that dogma, let’s not get lost in foolishness [in Spanish, tonteras],” he said.[16]

Pope Francis then showed his contempt not only for Our Lady’s title and privilege of being Co-Redemptrix, but also his contempt for all of her titles which show her unique glory and which show how Our Lord has honored His Mother through the Church.  Here are Pope Francis’s words of contempt for all of her glorious titles:

“Mary woman, Mary mother, without any other essential title,” Francis insisted.[17]


Pope Francis’s words are merely part of Vatican II’s and the conciliar church’s blasphemous minimization of the Glorious Mother of God

Pope Francis’s words (above) are among the countless conciliar attempts to “pull down” Our Lady from her unique, exalted position, and to put her on the level of everyone else.  According to him, she is merely “woman” and “mother”.

In his scandalous minimizing of Our Lady’s glory, Pope Francis reflects the teaching of Vatican II.  For example, Lumen Gentium says the Blessed Virgin Mary is only one of many examples of persons cooperating with Our Lord.[18] 

In his words (above), Pope Francis merely follows Vatican II’s warning not to “exaggerate” devotion to our Heavenly Mother.[19]  Here is Vatican II’s admonition:

[The council] exhorts theologians and preachers of the divine word to abstain zealously both from all gross exaggerations as well as from petty narrow-mindedness in considering the singular dignity of the Mother of God.

Lumen Gentium §67 (emphasis added).



One of the hallmarks of the conciliar revolution is its continual efforts to minimize the Glorious Mother of God.

One of the ways we must be counter-revolutionary is by devoting ourselves to her and honoring her at every opportunity, including as Co-Redemptrix! 

Let us continually pray to her and for Pope Francis!

[1]           Quoted from St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Third Sermon for Advent, entitled: On the Three Advents of the Lord and the Seven Pillars which we ought to erect within us.

Here is how St. Thomas explains this truth: 


[E]ach and every creature exists for the perfection of the entire universe. Furthermore, the entire universe, with all its parts, is ordained towards God as its end, inasmuch as it imitates, as it were, and shows forth the Divine goodness, to the glory of God.


Summa, Ia, Q.65., a2, respondeo.

Here is St. Thomas’ fuller explanation of this truth:


It is the part of the best agent to produce an effect which is best in its entirety; but this does not mean that He makes every part of the whole the best absolutely, but in proportion to the whole; in the case of an animal, for instance, its goodness would be taken away if every part of it had the dignity of an eye. Thus, therefore, God also made the universe to be best as a whole, according to the mode of a creature; whereas He did not make each single creature best, but one better than another.  And therefore, we find it said of each creature, “God saw the light, that it was good” (Genesis, 1:4); and in like manner, each one of the rest.  But of all together it is said, “God saw all the things that He had made, and they were very good” (Genesis, 1:31).


Summa, Ia, Q.47, a.2, ad 1 (emphasis added).


[4]           The Liturgical Year, by Dom Guéranger, volume 14, (also called volume 5 for the Time After Pentecost) New York, Benziger Bros., 1910, p. 212 (emphasis added).


[5]           The Natural Law is what we know we must do by the light of the natural reason God gave us.  One example of the Natural Law is that we must never tell a lie.  We naturally know this because we know that the purpose of speech is to convey the truth and so we naturally know that telling a lie is abusing the purpose of speech. 


Here is how St. Thomas explains what the Natural Law is:


[L]aw, being a rule and measure, can be in a person in two ways: in one way, as in him that rules and measures; in another way, as in that which is ruled and measured, since a thing is ruled and measured, in so far as it partakes of the rule or measure.  Wherefore, since all things subject to Divine providence are ruled and measured by the eternal law, as was stated above [in Summa, Ia IIae, Q.91, a.1]; it is evident that all things partake somewhat of the eternal law, in so far as, namely, from its being imprinted on them, they derive their respective inclinations to their proper acts and ends. 


Now among all others, the rational creature is subject to Divine providence in the most excellent way, in so far as it partakes of a share of providence, by being provident both for itself and for others.  Wherefore it has a share of the Eternal Reason, whereby it has a natural inclination to its proper act and end: and this participation of the eternal law in the rational creature is called the natural law.  Hence the Psalmist after saying (Psalm 4:6): “Offer up the sacrifice of justice,” as though someone asked what the works of justice are, adds: “Many say, Who showeth us good things?” in answer to which question he says: “The light of Thy countenance, O Lord, is signed upon us”: thus implying that the light of natural reason, whereby we discern what is good and what is evil, which is the function of the natural law, is nothing else than an imprint on us of the Divine light.  It is therefore evident that the natural law is nothing else than the rational creature’s participation of the eternal law.


Summa, Ia IIae, Q.91, a.2, respondeo (emphasis added).

[7]           For further analysis of this issue, read the article The Direct Road from Apostasy to Gender Confusion, published in the December 2019 Catholic Candle.

[9]           Ad diem illum laetissimum (On the Immaculate Conception), Pope St. Pius X, February 2, 1904, §14 (emphasis added; bracketed words added for clarity).

[10]         January 22, 1914 decree of the Holy Office, taken from The Raccolta, Benziger Bros., 1957, pp. 228-229.  This prayer was indulgenced by the Vatican office of indulgences, which is part of the Sacred Apostolic Penitentiary, on Dec. 4, 1934.

[11]         Pope Benedict XV, Apostolic Letter Inter soldalica, March 22, 1918 (emphasis added), cited and quoted in The Church Teaches, John F. Clarkson, S.J., et al. (translators), Herder & Co., St. Louis, © 1955, pp. 210-211.


[12]         Pope Pius XI, Allocution to Pilgrims from Vicenza, Italy (a city west of Venice), November 30, 1933 (quoted in L’Osservatore Romano, December 1, 1933, p. 1; emphasis added.)


[13]         The Liturgical Year, by Dom Guéranger, volume 12, (also called volume 3 for the Time After Pentecost) James Duffy, Dublin, 1890, pp. 523-524 (emphasis added).

[14]         For example, this title is used in a meditation given in Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day of the Liturgical Year, By Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, TAN Books, Rockford, contained in the meditation for February Second – The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


[15]         Pope Francis insultingly suggests that the way Our Lady would receive a title or an honor is by “stealing” it from her Son.  On the contrary, her Divine Son is the One who Wills that these honors be given to her.  For example, in 1929, Our Lady of Fatima revealed God’s Will that she be honored through Russia being consecrated to her Immaculate Heart and that Russia would be saved by this means.  Here are her words to Sister Lucy of Fatima:


The moment has come when God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.…


The Whole Truth About Fatima, Frére Michel de la Sainte Trinité, translator John Collorafi, vol. II, Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, NY, © 1989 for English translation, p.464 (emphasis added).

[18]         The council says Our Lady is one of many [“manifold”] ways of cooperating with her Son just like ministers and laymen have various ways of cooperating with Christ’s priesthood.  Here are the council’s words concerning the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the section of Lumen Gentium pertaining to her:


[T]he Blessed Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix, and Mediatrix .  This, however, is to be so understood that it neither takes away from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficaciousness of Christ the one Mediator.


For no creature could ever be counted as equal with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer.  Just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by the ministers and by the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is really communicated in different ways to His creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source.


Lumen Gentium, §62 (emphasis added).


[19]         This pulling down of the Blessed Virgin Mary is like the conciliar church minimizing Our Lord Jesus Christ.  For example, he is called a “superstar” in a blasphemous (so-called) “rock opera”. 


To take only one more example of gross disrespect for Our Lord, the conciliar church has named many (of the relatively few) churches built after Vatican II, with the blasphemous title Christ the Servant Church.  (Do an internet search for the websites of the many conciliar churches given that name.)


Faithful Catholics honor the greatness of Our Lord’s Divinity and His Kingship, as well as the unique and sublime role of the holy Mother of God.  By contrast, the revolutionaries emphasize Our Lady being a “normal” woman and her Son being a servant.