Why Do We Call Mary ‘Co-Redemptrix’?

By pintswaquinas May 9, 2024

For some time there has been talk of the Church declaring another Marian dogma: Mary as Co-Redemptrix. This has ruffled some feathers inside and outside the Church, although the teaching has been part of Catholic theology for some time.

Many Protestants are alarmed by this title of Our Lady and think that it means we’re making Mary equal to Christ. Some Catholics even wonder whether it makes too much of a humble handmaid of the Lord.

As Scripture shows, this is not the case. In 1 Cor. 3:9, St. Paul says that he is a co-laborer with Christ. He means that he’s an instrument by which the Corinthians have come to believe in Christ. It does NOT mean that St. Paul is equal to Jesus. He cooperated with the Lord in bringing salvation to the people, such that they could say, “Without Paul, I would never have known Jesus.”

It’s the same with Mary. When we say she is “Co-Redemptrix,” we don’t mean that she equally shared in Jesus’ work of redemption. We simply state that she cooperated in a special way as an instrument of the Lord.

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All of us are called to be co-redeemers with Christ. Even our Protestant brothers and sisters acknowledge that Jesus wants them to freely participate in His mission to save souls. When they accept this mission, they become co-redeemers. You can’t escape that title!

But why do we single out Mary with this title instead of, say, St. Francis of Assisi or St. Teresa? The answer is simple: Mary is a unique instrument in God’s plan of salvation. After all, she alone can claim the title “Mother of God.” When God asked her to become the Mother of the Lord, she said yes. Things would have turned out very differently if she declined.

She also committed no personal sin and was free from the stain of Original Sin. This made her a more effective instrument in the Lord’s vineyard.

There is no reason to fear the title “Co-Redemptrix.” If nothing else, it shows what a powerful intercessor Our Lady is.


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