There are very few Catholic titles for the Blessed Virgin Mary more likely to get Evangelical Protestants upset than Mary Co-Redemptrix or Mary Mediatrix. Immediately the Bible Christian will quote I Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and Man–the man Christ Jesus.” For them it is a done deal. “The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it.”
So how do Catholics understand Mary’s participation in the redemptive work of Christ, and why does it matter? First of all, what do these words mean? “Co-Redeemer” and “Mediatrix”? The first means that the Blessed Virgin Mary shared in a real way in the redemption of the world accomplished by her Son. The second means “female mediator” and teaches that she mediates between us and Jesus. Protestants complain that this decreases the once for all unique sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He is the Redeemer–not him and his Mother! The second directly and blatantly contradicts I Timothy 2:5 which says, “There is ONE mediator between God and Man–the man Christ Jesus.” How could it be any clearer?Tough one.
The Catholic view can be explained, but it is best to start not with the Catholic doctrines of Mary Mediatrix and Co-Redeemer, but with the Catholic devotion of Mary, Mother of Sorrows. This devotion developed in the Middle Ages and it focusses on the Seven Sorrows of Mary. The Sorrows of Mary takes the Christian into the meditation of the suffering that the Blessed Mother experienced as part of her role in the salvation of the world. Read more.