Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church
(The First Monday after Pentecost – today 10 June 2019, is the Second Universal Memorial of Mary, Mater Ecclesiae)
Mary’s Motherhood in the Order of Grace
Second Vatican Council
An excerpt from Lumen Gentium, #61-62
Predestined from eternity by that decree of divine providence which determined the incarnation of the Word to be the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin was on this earth the virgin Mother of the Redeemer and, above all others and in a singular way, the generous associate and humble handmaid of the Lord. She conceived, brought forth and nourished Christ. She presented Him to the Father in the temple and was united with Him by compassion as He died on the Cross. In this singular way, she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity, in the work of the Saviour in giving back supernatural life to souls. Wherefore, she is our mother in the order of grace.
This maternity of Mary in the order of grace, began with the consent which she gave in faith at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross and lasts, until the eternal fulfilment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this salvific duty bu,t by her constant intercession, continued to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth, surrounded by dangers and cultics, until they are led into the happiness of their true home. Therefore, the 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.
The Church does not hesitate to profess this subordinate role of Mary. It knows it through unfailing experience of it and commends it, to the hearts of the faithful, so that, encouraged by this maternal help, they may the more intimately adhere to the Mediator and Redeemer.
Maria, Mater Ecclesiae, Pray for Us!
O Blessed Lady,
Mediatrix and Advocate
By St Bernard (1090-1153)
Our Mediatrix and Advocate
O blessed Lady,
you found grace,
brought forth the Life,
and became the Mother of Salvation.
May you obtain the grace for us to go to the Son.
By your mediation,
may we be received by the One
who through you, gave Himself to us.
May your integrity compensate with Him
for the fault of our corruption;
and may your humility,
which is pleasing to God,
implore pardon for our vanity.
May your great charity
cover the multitude of our sins;
and may your glorious fecundity
confer on us a fecundity of merits.
our Mediatrix and Advocate,
reconcile us to your Son,
recommend us to Him,
and present us to your Son.
By the grace you found,
by the privilege you merited,
by the mercy you brought forth,
obtain for us the following favour,
O blessed Lady.