BOOK OF THE ABOVE TITLE BY
Garrigou-Lagrange, O. P.
Obstat and Imprimi Potest 1941 and 1948
Universal Mediation during her Earthly Existence
We shall see fIrst of
all in what this mediation consists and what are its principal
After that we shall examine the two ways in which Mary exercised her
during her life on earth, by her merits and her satisfaction.
UNIVERSAL MEDIATION IN GENERAL
Our Holy Mother the
Church approved during the pontificate of Benedict XV the proper Mass
Office of Mary, Mediatrix of all Graces.  Many
theologians consider that the doctrine of Mary's universal mediation is
sufficiently contained in the deposit of revelation to be one day
solemnly as an object of faith by the infallible Church. It is taught
the ordinary magisterium of the Church through the liturgy, through
letters, through pastoral letters, in preaching, and in the works of
approved by the Church. Let us see first what is meant by this
and then inquire if it is affirmed by tradition and proved by theology.
What is meant by Mary's
St. Thomas says, speaking
of the mediation of the Savior (IIIa, q. 26, a. I): 'It pertains to the
office of a mediator between God and men to unite them.' That is, as he
explains in the following article, the Mediator offers to God the
of men, and most particularly, sacrifice which is the principal act of
the virtue of religion, and distributes as well to men God's
gifts, light from on high and grace. There is, thus, a double movement
in mediation: one upwards in the form of prayer and sacrifice, and the
other downwards in the form of God's gifts to men.
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
Cross, which is perpetuated in Holy Mass. He alone, as Head of Mankind,
could merit for us injustice the grace of salvation and apply it to
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
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
all, a testimony in due times' (1 Tim. ii, 5-6).
But, St. Thomas adds
(loc. cit.): 'there is no reason why there should not be, after Christ,
other secondary mediators between God and men, who co-operate in
them in a ministerial and dispositive manner.' Such mediators dispose
for the action of the principal Mediator, or transmit it, but always in
dependence on His merits.
The prophets and priests
of the Old Testament were mediators of this kind, for they announced
Savior to the chosen people by offering sacrifices which were types of
the great sacrifice of the Cross. The priests of the New Testament may
also be spoken of as mediators between God and men, for they are the
of the supreme Mediator, offering sacrifice in His Name, and
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
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
that of a minister, but that of an associate in the redemptive work, in
the words of St. Albert already quoted.
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
magisterium of the Church, has no hesitation in maintaining that, by
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.
Since she is a creature
she is, of course, altogether below God Incarnate. But at the same time
she is raised far above men by the grace of the Divine maternity, which
is of the hypostatic order, and by the fulness of grace which she
even from her Immaculate Conception. Hence, the mediation attributed by
the liturgy and the Christian sense of the faithful to Mary is,
speaking, subordinated to that of Jesus and not co-ordinated; her
depends completely on the merits of the Universal Mediator. Nor is her
mediation necessary [for that of Jesus is superabundant and needs no
it has however been willed by God as a kind of radiation of the
mediation, and of all radiations the most perfect. The Church regards
as most useful and efficacious to obtain from God all that we need to
us directly or indirectly to salvation and perfection. Last of all,
mediation is perpetual and extends to all men, and to all graces
any exception whatever.
The above is the precise
sense in which universal mediation is attributed to Mary in the
in the Feast of Mary Mediatrix, and by the theologians who have
treated the question at great length.
Testimony of Tradition
Mary's mediation was
affirmed in a general and implicit way from the earliest centuries by
use of the titles, the New Eve, the Mother of the Living. There is all
the more reason for so understanding tradition in that the titles were
attributed to her not solely because she gave birth physically to the
but because she co-operated morally in His redemptive work, especially
by uniting herself very intimately to the sacrifice of the Cross. 
From the 4th century onwards, and notably in the 5th century, the
affirm clearly that Mary intercedes for us, that all the benefits and
to salvation come to us through her, by her intervention and her
protection. From the same time too she is called mediatrix between God
and men or between Christ and us. Recent studies have thrown much light
on this point. 
The antithesis between
Eve, cause of death, and Mary, cause of salvation for all men is
by St. Cyril of Jerusalem,  St. Epiphanius, 
St. Jerome, 
St. John Chrysostom. 
The following invocation of St. Ephrem deserves to be quoted in full:
most excellent mediatrix of God and men, hail most efficacious
of the whole world.' 
St. Augustine speaks
of Mary as mother of all the members of our Head, Jesus Christ. He
us that by her charity she co-operated in the spiritual birth of all
faithful who are Christ's members.  St. Peter
Chrysologus says that Mary is the mother of all the living by grace
Eve is the mother, by nature, of all the dying. 
It is evident that he considers Mary as associated with the Divine plan
for our redemption.
From the 8th century
we may quote the Venerable Bede.  St. Andrew of Crete
calls Mary Mediatrix of grace, dispenser and cause of life. 
St. Germanus of Constantinople says that no one has been saved without
the co-operation of the Mother of God.  The title
of mediatrix is given by St. John Damascene also, who asserts that we
to her all the benefits conferred on us by Jesus. 
In the 9th century we
find St. Peter Damien teaching that nothing is accomplished in the work
of our redemption without her.  The teaching of St.
and St. Bernard
in the 12th century is the same. St. Bernard speaks of Mary as: gratiae
inventrix, mediatrix, salutis restauratrix saeculorum. 
From the middle of the
12th century the explicit affirmation of Mary's co-operation in our
becomes quite common. Her co-operation is looked on as consummated by
consent to her sacrifice at the Annunciation, and its accomplishment on
Calvary. Among names that may be cited are those of Arnold of Chartres,
Richard of St. Victor, St. Albert the Great,  and
Richard of Saint- Laurent. St. Thomas seems to be of the same opinion.
is found quite explicitly in St. Bernadine of
Siena, St. Antonine,  Suarez ,
and St. Alphonsus. St. Grignon de Montfort
is one of those who, in the 18th century, did the most to spread the
by bringing out its practical conclusions. 
In the encyclical Ad
Diem IlIum, Pius X stated that Mary is the all-powerful mediatrix of
world before her Son: 'Totius terrarum orbis potentissima apud
Filium suum mediatrix et conciliatrix.' The title of mediatrix has been
consecrated by the institution of the Feast of Mary, Mediatrix of All
on January 21St, 1921.
The theological arguments
invoked by the Fathers and still more explicitly by theologians are
Mary deserves the title
of universal mediatrix, subordinated to the Redeemer, if she is an
between Him and men, presenting to Him their prayers and obtaining
from Him for them. But that is precisely Mary's role. For, though a
she reaches by her divine maternity to the frontiers of the Divinity ,
and she has received a fulness of grace which is intended to overflow
us. She has, too, co-operated in saving us by consenting freely to be
Mother of the Savior and by uniting herself as intimately as possible
His sacrifice. We shall see later that she has merited and made
for us, and we know from the teaching of the Church that she continues
to intercede for us so as to obtain for us all graces that contribute
our salvation. These different offices pertain to the exercise of her
, as we have already seen.
Thus Jesus is the
and perfect Mediator, in dependence on whose merits
they are superabundant and sufficient of themselves
exercises her subordinate mediation.  But Mary's
mediation has nevertheless been willed by God because of our weakness
because God wished to honor her by allowing her the exercise of
in the order of salvation and sanctification.
The work of redemption
proceeds therefore entirely from God as First Cause of grace, entirely
from Jesus as principal and perfect Mediator, and entirely from Mary as
subordinate mediatrix. These three causes are not partial and
---- as are three men who drag the same load
total and subordinated: the second acts under the influence of the
and the third under the influence of the second. An example which may
the point clear is that of the fruit which proceeds entirely from God
Author of nature, entirely from the tree, and entirely from the branch
on which it grows. It does not proceed in its different parts from
causes: neither is our redemption the work in part of the Divinity, in
part of the Humanity, and in part of Mary. 
It is worth noting how
becoming it is that Mary who was redeemed by the Savior in a most
manner and preserved from all sin, Original and actual, should
in this way in our justification and our final perseverance.
Mary's mediation is
of a much higher order than that of the Saints, for she alone has given
us the Savior, she alone was so intimately united to the sacrifice of
Cross, she alone is universal mediatrix for all mankind and for all
in particular ---- even for that
grace which is
all the most particular, the grace of the present moment which assures
our fidelity from instant to instant.
Cf. The decree of January 21st, 1921, of the Sacred Congregation of
'De Festo Beatae Mariae Virginis Mediatricis omnium gratiarum.'
Cf. St. Justin, Dial., 100; P. G., t. VI, col. 711; St. Irenaeus,
haer., III, xxii, 4; V, xix, I: P. G., t. Vll, col. 958 sqq., 1175;
De carne Christi, 17; P. L., t. II, col. 782.
Cf. Dittremieux, De mediatione universali B. Mariae Virginis, 1926;
1936; Dublanchy in Dict. de Theol. Cath. also Marie Mediatrice in La
Spirituelle, 1921-22. Dover, S.l., La Mediacion universal de la Segunda
Eva en la Tradici6n patristica, Madrid, 1923-1924. Frietoff, O.P.,
alma socia Christi mediatoris, 1936. Merkelbach, Mariologia, 1939, pp.
309-323. Genevois, O.P., La maternite spirituelle de Marie en sainte
Revue Thomiste, 1935. Galtier, S.J., La Vierge qui nous regenere, Rech.
de sc. rel. 1914.
Cat., XII, 5, 15.
Haer., LXXVIII, 18; P. G., t. XXll, col. 728.
Epist., XXII, 21; P. L., XXII, col. 408.
Hom. in sanctum Pascha, 2; P. G., t. LV, co1. 193 and in Gen., III,
XVll, I; P. G., t. LIII, col. 143.
Opera omnia, edit. Assemani, Rome, 1740, t. III, graecolat., col. 528
531 sqq., 551; in Lamy's edit. II p. 547 and t. I, pro1eg., p. xlix.
De sancta virginitate, VI, 6; P. L., t. XI, cot. 399.
Serm. 140 and 142, P. L., t. LII, cot. .576, .579.
Homil. I infest. Annunc. andhom. I infest. Visit.; P. L.,t. XCIV.C01.
In Nativit. B. M., horn. IV, and in Dormit. S. M., III; P. G., t.
cots. 813 and 1108.
In dormit. B. M.; P. G., t. XCVIII, c. 349.
In dormit. B. M., horn. I, 3, 8, 12; II, 16; P. G., t. XCVI, cots.
713, 717, 744.
Serm. 45; P. L., CXLIV, cots. 741,743.
Orat. 47,52; P. L., t. CLVIII, cots. 945, 955, 964.
De excellentia B. M., IX, XI; P. L., t. CLIX, cots. 573, 578.
Ep. 174; P. L., t. CLXXXII, cot. 333; Super Missus est. horn. IV, 8; P.
L., t. CLXXXIII, c. 83.
Mariale, q. 42. He terms Mary the coadjutrix et socia Christi.
He says that on the day of the Annunciation Mary gave her consent in
name of all humanity, loco totius humanae naturae. C£ also his
He terms Mary adjutrix nostrae redemption is et mater nostrae
regenerationis. Summa Theol., part IV, tit. XV, c. xiv, 2.
In lIIam S. Thomae, t. II, disp. XXIII, sect. I, n. 4. He shows from
that Mary merited de congruo what Christ merited de condigno. This is
the teaching oflohn of Cartagena, Novatus, Chr. de Vega, Theophile
4th sermon for the Feast of the Annunciation. Cf. also the index to his
works under the word Marie.
Treatise of True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, chs. I and II.
Jesus' merits needed no complement on the part of Mary; that is why she
is compared in the mystical body to the neck which unites the head to
members. She is compared also with an aqueduct through which grace
For the moment we are attributing to Mary only moral causality which,
we shall see, is exercised by merit, satisfaction and intercession.
it is probable, as we shall show later, that she exercises a physical
causality as well in the spiritual order for the trans- mission and
of the graces which we receive through her. This is no more than a
probability, but we believe it cannot be denied without running the
of diminishing Mary's influence, which must be greater than is commonly
believed. Cf. infra pp. 203-215.
THE IMAGE ABOVE IS A DESKTOPWALLPAPER FOR PERSONAL