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Is Our Lady the Co-Redeemer?

 

By Bro. Peter Dimond, O.S.B.

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Refuting a Response on Co-Redemptrix; defending the necessity of devotion to Our Lady; and defending the truth that Jesus Christ is our Sole Redeemer

 

[Dennis M. sent out an e-mail complaining that our answer that Mary is not Co-Redemptrix is wrong.  He writes:]

 

This latest posting from the MHFM website - run by Peter and Michael Dimond - seems to show forth their absence of the proper understanding of Our Lady as Co-Redemptrix.

 

What follows is the posting of a question to their website, with the Dimonds' answer revealing a very "Protestant Fundamentalist" interpretation of Our Blessed Lord being our sole Redeemer without Our Lady's role. Of course, as Catholics, we firmly profess that Jesus Christ is Our Redeemer, since there is no other name by which man may be saved. However, Our Lady's role as Mediatrix, Advocate, and Co-Redemptrix is not some type of invention over time…

 

This is bad willed, illogical and heretical.  Mr. Dennis M. says “the Dimonds' answer revealing a very "Protestant Fundamentalist" interpretation of Our Blessed Lord being our sole Redeemer without Our Lady's role.”  What he says is a “Protestant Fundamentalist” interpretation is word for word the teaching of the Council of Trent.  The infallibly defined teaching of the Council of Trent is that Jesus Christ is our sole Redeemer (QUI SOLUS NOSTER REDEMPTOR).  Only a heretic would call that “Protestant” after he has seen it, which Mr. Dennis M. has.  Mr. Dennis M. is a heretic.  Read it again, Dennis M., and weep for insulting Trent as “Protestant”:

 

Pope Pius IV, Council of Trent, Sess. 25, On Invocation, Veneration and Relics of Saints, and on Sacred Images, ex cathedra: “…the saints, who reign with Christ, offer up their prayers to God for me; and that it is good and useful to invoke them suppliantly and, in order to obtain favors from God through His Son JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, WHO ALONE IS OUR REDEEMER and Savior….But if anyone should teach or maintain anything contrary to these decrees, let him be anathema.” (Denz. 984-987)

 

Those who have a problem with the fact that we have said that Mary is not Co-Redemptrix or Co-Redeemer don’t have a problem with us; they have a problem with the dogmatic Council of Trent, the teaching of the Holy Catholic Church, which erred according to them when it infallibly defined that Jesus alone is our Redeemer.  Further, look at the context of this dogmatic definition of the Catholic Church.  The context deals with devotion to Our Lady and the Saints; and yet not only does it not say that Our Lady is Co-Redemptrix, it specifically contradicts the idea by infallibly declaring that Christ alone is Our Redeemer.

 

Pope Pius IV, Council of Trent, Sess. 25, On Invocation, Veneration and Relics of Saints, and on Sacred Images, ex cathedra: “…the saints, who reign with Christ, offer up their prayers to God for me; and that it is good and useful to invoke them suppliantly and, in order to obtain favors from God through His Son JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, WHO ALONE IS OUR REDEEMER and Savior….And they must also teach that images of Christ, the virgin mother of God and the other saints should be set up and kept… But if anyone should teach or maintain anything contrary to these decrees, let him be anathema.” (Denz. 984-978)

 

Before I proceed with further dogmatic teaching proving that Mary is not Co-Redeemer or Co-Redemptrix, I must say that correctly pointing out that Our Lady is not the Redeemer or Co-Redeemer (Co-Redemptrix) is not to insult Our Lady, as bad willed heretics imply; it is to state the truth. 

 

Our Lady, ever faithful to God, is ever faithful to the truth, in which she rejoices completely.  She was the vessel by which The Truth came to humanity.  To state untruths or falsehoods about Our Lady doesn’t honor her or her Son.  It dishonors her and her Son.  It is truly a sad situation when one is criticized by false devotees of Our Lady, such as Dennis M. (who, if he were truly devoted to Our Lady, would denounce evil and split from heretics) as if one were demeaning Our Lady when one correctly asserts that Mary is not God and is not the Redeemer.  These people seem incapable of grasping the fact that Our Lady is not the Redeemer or Co-Redeemer does not diminish her absolutely unique role in the salvation of souls, her absolutely unique role in the Incarnation, the necessity for devotion to Mary for salvation, or the necessity of her consent in the Incarnation.  It doesn’t diminish the fact that her union with the Son of God in the Incarnation is so profound that St. Alphonsus calls her “omnipotent by grace,” meaning that, while being totally a creature, she has such an influence with God by grace that her requests are almost irresistible to Him.  And this union in the Incarnation and in the salvation of souls is why devotion to Mary is not like devotion to other Saints; it is far more necessary and more powerful.

 

St. Louis De Montfort, True Devotion to Mary #39: “We must not confuse devotion to the Blessed Virgin with devotions to the other saints, as if devotion to her were not far more necessary than devotion to them, and as if devotion to her were a matter of supererogation [extra special devotion].”

 

St. Louis De Montfort (+1706): “Make for me, if you will, a new road to go to Jesus, and pave it with all the merits of the blessed, adorn it with all their heroic virtues, illuminate and embellish it with all the lights and beauties of the angels, and let all the angels and saints be there themselves, to escort, defend and sustain those who are ready to walk there; and yet in truth, I say boldly, and I repeat that I say truly, I would prefer to this new, perfect path the immaculate way of Mary.” (True Devotion to Mary #158)

 

It is precisely because most don’t understand Mary’s unique connection to Jesus, and her role in the Incarnation and the salvation of souls, that they never make much progress in the way of perfection.

 

St. Louis De Montfort: “As there are secrets of nature by which natural operations are performed more easily, in a short time and at little cost; so are there secrets in the order of grace by which supernatural operations, such as ridding ourselves of self, filling ourselves with God, and becoming perfect, are performed more easily.  The practice which I am about to disclose [of true devotion to Mary] is one of these secrets, unknown to the greater number of Christians, known even to few of the devout, and practiced and relished by a lesser number still.” (True Devotion to Mary #82)

 

At the end of this article there are more points about the necessity and power of devotion to Our Lady.  This being true, it must be affirmed again that Mary is not God and is not the Redeemer or Co-Redemptrix.

 

St. Louis De Montfort, True Devotion to Mary #14: “I avow, with all the Church, that Mary, being a mere creature that has come from the hands of the Most High, is in comparison with His Infinite Majesty less than an atom; or rather, she is nothing at all, because He only is ‘He who is’ (Exod. 3:14)...”

 

THE COUNCIL OF FLORENCE ALSO DOGMATICALLY DEFINED THAT CHRIST ALONE REDEEMED US

 

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Cantate Domino” 1441, ex cathedra: “The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes, and teaches that no one conceived of man and woman was ever freed of the domination of the Devil, except through the merit of the mediator between God and men, our Lord Jesus Christ; He who was conceived without sin, was born and died, THROUGH HIS DEATH ALONE LAID LOW THE ENEMY OF THE HUMAN RACE BY DESTROYING OUR SINS, and opened the entrance to the kingdom of heaven, which the first man by his own sin had lost with all succession…” (Denz. 711)

 

This is an infallible dogmatic definition on the Redemption.  The Church infallibly defines that CHRIST’S DEATH ALONE redeemed us.  Another translation has it: “He alone by His death (SOLUS SUA MORTE) overthrew the enemy of the human race…”  It couldn’t be more clear.  Christ alone is our Redeemer; Our Lady is not.  And the language of Florence is strikingly similar to the dogmatic teaching of Trent.

 

Pope Pius IV, Council of Trent, Sess. 25, On Invocation, Veneration and Relics of Saints, and on Sacred Images, ex cathedra: “…the saints, who reign with Christ, offer up their prayers to God for me; and that it is good and useful to invoke them suppliantly and, in order to obtain favors from God through His Son JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, WHO ALONE IS OUR REDEEMER and Savior….But if anyone should teach or maintain anything contrary to these decrees, let him be anathema.” (Denz. 984-987)

 

It was only the God-man that could redeem man.  It was only the Precious Blood of Christ that could re-purchase man’s salvation. 

 

Pope St. Leo the Great, Dogmatic letter to Flavian, Council of Chalcedon, 451:

Let him heed what the blessed apostle Peter preaches, that sanctification by the Spirit is effected by the sprinkling of Christ’s blood (1 Pet. 1:2); and let him not skip over the same apostle’s words, knowing that you have been redeemed from the empty way of life you inherited from your fathers, not with corruptible gold and silver but by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, as of a lamb without stain or spot (1 Pet. 1:18).”

 

These facts considered, it is contrary to Catholic Teaching to say that Mary is Co-Redemptrix.  Certainly, it’s possible for people to express themselves erroneously on this topic in good faith before the specific dogmatic definitions above are presented to them.  But once they have seen these dogmatic definitions they must reject this idea; it is, strictly speaking, a heresy which contradicts the dogmatic teaching of Trent and Florence.  Mr. Dennis M. defended it and insulted this teaching as “Protestant” after he saw the dogmatic definition of Trent, which shows that he has no fidelity to the infallible teaching of the Church.  It shows that he is of bad will.  And he cannot have it both ways.  He cannot hold with Trent and Florence that Christ alone is our Redeemer while he obstinately defends that Christ and Mary are our Redeemers.  That is a clear contradiction, which is evident even in his words:

 

Mr. Dennis M.: “Of course, as Catholics, we firmly profess that Jesus Christ is Our Redeemer, since there is no other name by which man may be saved. However, Our Lady's role as Mediatrix, Advocate, and Co-Redemptrix is not some type of invention over time…”

 

No, Mr. Dennis M., you don’t hold that Christ alone is our Redeemer, as Trent teaches (QUI SOLUS NOSTER REDEMPTOR); you obstinately hold that there are two Redeemers.

 

I can already anticipate certain people illogically comparing these points I’m making to the often used false Protestant dichotomy (which Protestants wrongly employ in many areas) of “either or” but not “both and.”  That analogy won’t work here; because, in this case, the Catholic Church has infallibly excluded anyone as Redeemer other than Christ; so it truly is “either or” while “both and” is not acceptable.  Either Christ ALONE is our Redeemer, as Trent and Florence infallibly define, and Mary is not; or Christ and Mary are our Co-Redeemers and Christ ALONE is not – in which case both Trent and Florence would be wrong, WHICH IS HERESY.

 

WHAT ABOUT CERTAIN THEOLOGIANS AND A FEW PAPAL STATEMENTS POST-TRENT THAT MARY IS CO-REDEMPTRIX?

 

There are a few non-infallible quotations that people bring forward to attempt to show that Mary is Co-Redemptrix.  The answer is that they are not infallible and they are simply wrong.  They cannot be defended.  They are refuted by the facts above.  This issue is an example of people attempting to emphasize a truth (Mary’s absolutely unique role in the salvation of souls and the Incarnation) and falling into erroneous statements in the process.  For instance, in his book True Devotion to Mary, St. Louis De Montfort says that man becomes God.

 

St. Louis De Montfort: “He who is cast in this mold is presently formed and molded in Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ in Him.  At a slight expense and in a short time he will become God, because he has been cast in the same mold which has formed a God.” (True Devotion to Mary #219)

 

This statement is heretical.  It is condemned by the Church to assert that any man becomes God.  There is only one God.

 

Pope John XXII condemned the following proposition, among similar other ones: “A good man is the only begotten Son of God.”  - Condemned (Denz. 520).

 

Pope Pius XII condemned the same thing.

 

Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi (# 78), June 29, 1943: "But let this be a general and unshaken truth, if they do not wish to wander from sound doctrine and the correct teaching of the Church: namely, every kind of mystic union, by which the faithful in Christ in any way pass beyond the order of created things and wrongly enter among the divine, so that even a single attribute of the eternal Godhead can be predicated of these as their own, is to be entirely rejected."

 

The fact is that St. Louis De Montfort didn’t really mean that we become God.  He was emphasizing in an exaggerated and erroneous fashion a man’s union with Christ and conformity to His will.  This is proven by what he says in True Devotion to Mary #157:

 

St. Louis De Montfort: “…it is by Mary that we, who are nothing, can become like God by grace and glory…” (True Devotion to Mary #157)

 

If you were to challenge St. Louis De Montfort and ask him about what he says in #219 above, he would surely admit that he doesn’t really believe that man becomes God.  He would also surely admit that it is heretical for one to really believe and defend that man becomes God.  This example shows us that we cannot defend or apply an erroneous statement that a Saint or Pope may make (in a fallible capacity) which exaggerates something in a way that contradicts Catholic dogma.  If we defend such erroneous statements, which contradict the infallible teaching of the Church, we become heretics.  This is exactly the case with a few quotations on Mary as Co-Redemptrix.  Those who made such statements were simply wrong; they were falsely exaggerating Mary’s absolutely unique role in our salvation.   Take the next quote, for example.

 

In defending the idea of Co-Redemptrix, Dennis M. cites Pius XI (with no footnote, by the way):

 

Pius XI: “You young people [Spanish pilgrims] ought to associate yourselves with the thoughts and desires of our Blessed Lady, who is our Mother and Co‑redemptrix. You too must make every effort to be co‑redeemers and apostles in the spirit of Catholic Action."

 

This is an example of an erroneous statement by Pius XI; it is similar to the case of St. Louis De Montfort above.  Even in these words of Pius XI we can see that his statement that Mary is Co-Redemptrix is erroneous.  This is proven because he says that we should also be CO-REDEEMERS.  So according to this quotation which Dennis M. gives, we are all Co-Redeemers!  But this is clearly false.  This shows us again that the idea that Mary is Co-Redemptrix is theologically indefensible.  People need to grasp the concept that because Our Lady (in a unique way) and the Church help dispense the graces of the Redemption that does not make them our Co-Redeemers.  We see this clearly in the next citation.

 

Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi (# 12), June 29, 1943: "He [Christ] willed to do so only through a visible Church made up of men, so that through her all might cooperate with him in dispensing the graces of Redemption.  As the Word of God willed to make use of our nature, when in excruciating agony He would redeem mankind, so in the same way throughout the centuries He makes use of the Church that the work begun might endure."

 

In this we see clearly that all can cooperate in dispensing the graces of the Redemption, but that Christ alone is the Redeemer.  In summary, therefore, the quotation above from Pius XI was simply erroneous and indefensible.  He erroneously asserted that all those who are dispensing and helping to carry out the work of the Church are Co-Redeemers.  Our Lady played an absolutely unique role in the Incarnation and is involved in our salvation like no other creature, but she is not the Co-Redeemer.

 

St. Paul says in Colossians 1:24- “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting in the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his Body, which is the Church.”

 

St. Paul says that his sufferings make up for what is wanting in the sufferings of Christ for the Church.  Now, there was nothing lacking in the sufferings of Christ, which were superabundant for the salvation of the world.  But our Redeemer’s Passion did not save our souls for us; it opened the gates of heaven to man (with the opportunity for salvation) which were previously closed.  We still have to fulfill His will, endure trials, sufferings and tribulations.  In working through these trials and sufferings and offering them up, as well as laboring for the salvation of souls through prayer, work, etc., we can obtain graces for ourselves and others in and outside the Body of Christ.  That is the meaning of St. Paul’s statement that he fills up those things that are wanting in the sufferings of Christ.  Hence, my point is that if cooperation in dispensing the graces of Redemption constituted being a Co-Redeemer, then we would have to call St. Paul Co-Redeemer as well.  But there is only one Redeemer, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Dennis M. also quotes Benedict XV (again with no footnote):

 

BENEDICT XV:  'The Blessed Virgin suffered with her suffering Son and nearly died with Him when He died; she abdicated her maternal rights over her Son for the salvation of men, and so far as it appertained to her she immolated her Son to placate the divine justice; so that she may rightly be said to have redeemed the human race with Christ."

 

This is not infallible and it is simply wrong.  It directly contradicts the Council of Florence and Trent, which both infallibly define (with no possibility of error) that Christ alone redeemed the human race.  The Holy Roman Church firmly believes and preaches that Christ ALONE redeemed us.

 

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Cantate Domino” 1441, ex cathedra: “The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes, and teaches that …He who was conceived without sin, was born and died, THROUGH HIS DEATH ALONE LAID LOW THE ENEMY OF THE HUMAN RACE BY DESTROYING OUR SINS, and opened the entrance to the kingdom of heaven, which the first man by his own sin had lost with all succession…” (Denz. 711)

 

Pope Pius IV, Council of Trent, Sess. 25, On Invocation, Veneration and Relics of Saints, and on Sacred Images, ex cathedra: “…the saints, who reign with Christ, offer up their prayers to God for me; and that it is good and useful to invoke them suppliantly and, in order to obtain favors from God through His Son JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, WHO ALONE IS OUR REDEEMER and Savior….But if anyone should teach or maintain anything contrary to these decrees, let him be anathema.” (Denz. 984-987)

 

So, just like those who would obstinately defend the statement from St. Louis De Montfort that man becomes God (which is, strictly speaking, heretical) would become heretics, those who obstinately defend the erroneous statements of certain individuals (in fallible capacities) that Mary is Co-Redemptrix (after seeing the dogmatic definitions above) are heretics.

 

In Pope Pius IX’s Bull Ineffabilis Deus, in which he defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, we find an excellent summation of Mary’s unique role.  [It should be pointed out that the many pages of Ineffabilis Deus which precede the actual dogmatic definition at the end of the Bull are not per se infallible like the definitions of Trent and Florence; but they are nevertheless important and instructive.] In these pages we see Pius IX clearly distinguishing between Mary and her role and that of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer.

 

Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, Dec. 8, 1854: "By this divine prophecy  [Gen 3:15], the merciful Redeemer of mankind, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was clearly foretold; that His most blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, was prophetically indicated; and, at the same time, the very enmity of both against the Evil One was significantly expressed. Hence, just as Christ, the Mediator between God and man, assumed human nature, blotted out the handwriting of the decree that stood against us, fastened it triumphantly to the cross, so the most holy Virgin, united with Him by a most intimate and indissoluble bond, was, with Him and through Him, eternally at  enmity with the evil Serpent, and most completely triumphed over  him .... Mary was eternally in complete and absolute opposition to Satan, for with and through her Son the Redeemer, the Woman was to intimately share in the complete redemptive triumph over Satan.”

 

Notice here that Pius IX emphasizes that Mary’s role was so unique and important that it was prophetically indicated.  He also indicates that she shares in the redemptive triumph; yet he identifies Christ alone as “the merciful Redeemer of mankind.”  Later on, in further confirmation of this point, Pius IX specifically declares that Mary was redeemed in a special way by Christ.

 

Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, Dec. 8, 1854: “All are aware with how much diligence this doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God has been handed down, proposed and defended by the most outstanding religious orders, by the more celebrated theological academies, and by very eminent doctors in the sciences of theology. All know, likewise, how eager the bishops have been to profess openly and publicly, even in ecclesiastical assemblies, that Mary, the most holy Mother of God, by virtue of the foreseen merits of Christ, our Lord and Redeemer, was never subject to original sin, but was completely preserved from the original taint, and hence she was redeemed in a manner more sublime.”

 

Mary was redeemed in a special and sublime way; she is not the Redeemer or Co-Redeemer.  Further, Pius IX specifically identifies Christ alone in this context as “our Lord and Redeemer,” and not Mary as a Co-Redemptrix.  And even if Pius IX did call Mary “Co-Redemptrix” in this part of the Bull which is not infallible and dogmatic (which he didn’t), he simply would have been speaking erroneously and in contradiction to the infallible definitions of Trent and Florence above. 

 

Mary leads us to Jesus in a way that no one else can, but she is not the Redeemer; she is the Mother of the Redeemer.

 

Pope Pius XI (+1931): “She is the Mother of God; therefore whatever privilege (in the order of sanctifying grace) has been granted to anyone of the Saints, she obtains it more than all.  Why, therefore, do the Reformers and not a few non-Catholics bitterly condemn our piety towards the Virgin Mother of God, as though we were withdrawing the worship due to God alone?  Do they not know, or do they not attentively consider that nothing can be more pleasing to Jesus Christ… than that we should venerate her as she deserves…” (Lux Veritatis # 42)

 

Pope Pius XI, Lux Veritatis #45, Dec. 25, 1931: “…that she, because she brought forth the Redeemer of mankind, is also in a manner the most tender mother of us all…”

 

CONCLUSION ON CHRIST AS SOLE REDEEMER

 

With these facts in mind we can see the teaching of the Catholic Church that Christ ALONE is our Redeemer.  The idea that Mary is a Co-Redeemer or Co-Redemptrix is a heresy, even though many could be confused about it in good faith until they see the specific dogmatic definitions contradicting it above.  At that point all must reject this notion.  Those who obstinately insist that Mary is a Co-Redeemer not only contradict Catholic dogma, but they disgrace the Catholic Church before the Protestants.  They give the Protestants an opportunity to assert that the Catholic Church believes in more than one Redeemer, and that the Church is not really faithful to the truth of Jesus Christ.  The truth is that the Catholic Church alone is Biblical and faithful to the truths of Jesus Christ, which include that He alone is the Redeemer.

 

Pope Pius XI, Lux veritatis (#36), Dec. 25, 1931: “…this Roman Church, in which alone Christ is believed in with whole and perfect faith, is worshipped with the sincere worship of adoration, and is beloved with the perpetual flame of burning charity.”

 

Of course, the Catholic Church alone is also faithful to those many truths about Our Lady.  The dogma that Our Lord Jesus Christ alone is our Redeemer does not detract from or diminish Our Lady’s incredibly unique role in the salvation of souls and in the Incarnation; and it does not diminish the necessity of having devotion to her.  On the contrary, understanding and believing that Our Lady is not the Co-Redeemer or Co-Redemptrix increases the purity of our devotion to her, because it increases the purity of our Faith in Jesus Christ; it increases the purity of our Faith in Truth, and our understanding of Our Lady’s true role.

 

Dennis M. attacked us for upholding the teaching of the Church.  In so doing, he specifically attacked exactly what Trent defined as “Protestant.”  Notice how Dennis M. word for word repeated the teaching of Trent and labeled it Protestant.  Notice the bolded and underlined portions:

 

Dennis M.: “What follows is the posting of a question to their website, with the Dimonds' answer revealing a very "Protestant Fundamentalist" interpretation of Our Blessed Lord being our sole Redeemer without Our Lady's role.”

 

Pope Pius IV, Council of Trent, Sess. 25, On Invocation, Veneration and Relics of Saints, and on Sacred Images, ex cathedra: “…JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, WHO ALONE IS OUR REDEEMER….But if anyone should teach or maintain anything contrary to these decrees, let him be anathema.” (Denz. 984-987)

 

One can see that he described the teaching of Trent word for word and labeled it “Protestant”!  Since this was after Dennis M. had read the dogmatic teaching of Trent which we simply reiterated, this shows him to be a bad willed heretic who insults Catholic dogma.  If he were of good will he would have realized that his view that Mary is Co-Redemptrix is false and contradicted by Trent; he would have realized that we are basing our position squarely on defined and infallible dogma; and he would have amended his position to conform it to this dogma.  Instead, he attacked this teaching because he wanted to give the false impression that we attack Our Lady – as a false and very dishonest way of throwing a jab at us – when in fact we are defending Our Lady when we state the truth about her and her Son, the Redeemer.

 

Another person who had been influenced by the heretic Dennis M. wrote in and told us that we are false teachers for saying that Mary is not Co-Redemptrix.  This person also has no fidelity to Catholic teaching and, if he were of good will, would have seen that he is denying the infallible teaching of Trent.  But because he – like Dennis M. – doesn’t really believe in the infallible teaching of the Church – and cares only about appearances – he is very shallow and dishonest; so that if you don’t accept anything anyone says about Our Lady (even if it contradicts Catholic teaching), it’s as if you are attacking Our Lady.  They don’t care about the truth of the assertion or the infallible authority upon which it is based, but only the impression that is given.  All these people are dishonest and despicable.  To use the words of St. Louis De Montfort: “All these are false devotees, pleasing neither to God nor to His holy Mother.” (True Devotion to Mary #103)

 

It reminds me of a Novus Ordo heretic with whom I was discussing the Vatican II apostasy.  To expose the Vatican II apostasy I quoted many scriptures which condemned it; in response she said that I didn’t sound like a person of her religion, because her religion also accepts Tradition.  In other words, if you quote Scripture you are a Protestant.  I then proceeded to cite things from Tradition and the Catholic Magisterium against the Vatican II apostasy.  I told her that the reason that I didn’t begin with those was because I didn’t think she was familiar with the Council of Florence, etc.  But my point is that we have gotten to the point that when one emphasizes Sacred Scripture (which is Catholic) or the dogmas about Our Lord Jesus Christ, false Catholics are accusing one of being a Protestant. 

 

Pope Pius IV, Council of Trent, Sess. 25, On Invocation, Veneration and Relics of Saints, and on Sacred Images, ex cathedra: “…the saints, who reign with Christ, offer up their prayers to God for me; and that it is good and useful to invoke them suppliantly and, in order to obtain favors from God through His Son JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, WHO ALONE IS OUR REDEEMER and Savior….But if anyone should teach or maintain anything contrary to these decrees, let him be anathema.” (Denz. 984-987)

 

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Cantate Domino” 1441, ex cathedra: “The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes, and teaches that …He who was conceived without sin, was born and died, THROUGH HIS DEATH ALONE LAID LOW THE ENEMY OF THE HUMAN RACE BY DESTROYING OUR SINS, and opened the entrance to the kingdom of heaven, which the first man by his own sin had lost with all succession…” (Denz. 711)

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF DEVOTION TO MARY

 

In addition to understanding that Mary is not God or the Redeemer, Catholics must absolutely understand and practice true devotion to Mary.  It is because people lack true devotion to Mary – or don’t understand its extreme importance – that almost all of their spiritual failures and problems arise.

 

St. Louis De Montfort: “… many others have proved invincibly, from the sentiments of the Fathers (among others, St. Augustine, St. Ephrem, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Germanus, St. John Damascene, St. Anselm, St. Bernard, St. Bernardine, St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure), that devotion to Mary is necessary to salvation, and that… it is an infallible mark of reprobation to have no esteem and love for the holy Virgin.” (True Devotion to Mary # 40)

 

St. Louis De Montfort: “… the greatest saints, the souls richest in graces and virtues, shall be the most assiduous in praying to our Blessed Lady, and in having her always present as their perfect model for imitation and their powerful aid for help.” (True Devotion to Mary #46)

 

St. Louis De Montfort: "When the Holy Ghost, her Spouse, has found Mary in a soul, He flies there. He enters there in His fullness; He communicates Himself to that soul abundantly, and to the full extent to which it makes room for His Spouse.  Nay, one of the great reasons why the Holy Ghost does not now do startling wonders in our souls is because He does not find there a sufficiently great union with His faithful and inseparable Spouse." (True Devotion to Mary, # 36)

 

St. Louis De Montfort: “If devotion to the most holy Virgin Mary is necessary to all men simply for working out their salvation, it is still more so for those who are called to any special perfection…” (True Devotion to Mary #43)

 

And because God chose Mary, the Immaculate Virgin, as the way to bring Himself to mankind, He wants us to remain with her at all times to unite ourselves to Him.

 

St. Louis De Montfort (+1710): “….there are some very sanctifying interior practices for those whom the Holy Ghost calls to high perfection.  These may be expressed in four words: to do all things by Mary, with Mary, in Mary and for Mary; so that we may do them all the more perfectly by Jesus, with Jesus, in Jesus and for Jesus.” (True Devotion to Mary #257)

 

St. Louis De Montfort (+ c. 1710): “By this practice [the True Devotion to Mary which he teaches], faithfully observed, you will give Jesus more glory in a month than by any other practice, however difficult, in many years…” (True Devotion to Mary #222)

 

St. Louis De Montfort (+1710): “The Blessed Virgin, St. Bernard says… retains and keeps the saints in their plenitude, so that it may not diminish.  She prevents their virtues from being dissipated, their merits from perishing, their graces from being lost, the devil from harming them, and even our Lord from punishing them when they sin.” (True Devotion to Mary #174)

 

And because Jesus Christ was conceived by Holy Ghost with the cooperation of Mary, the more the Holy Ghost finds Mary in a soul the more He conforms that soul to Jesus Christ.

 

St. Louis De Montfort (+1710): “The more the Holy Ghost finds Mary in any soul, the more active and mighty He becomes in producing Jesus Christ in that soul, and that soul in Jesus Christ.” (True Devotion to Mary # 20)

That is why we recommend the most effective method of devotion to God, which is the true devotion to Mary:

 

St. Louis De Montfort (+1710): “This [true] devotion [to Mary] consists, then, in giving ourselves entirely to our Lady, in order to belong entirely to Jesus through her.  We must give her (1) our body, with all its senses and its members; (2) our soul, with all its powers; (3) our exterior goods of fortune, whether present or to come; (4) our interior and spiritual goods, which are our merits and our virtues, and our good works, past, present and future… and we must do it, further, without pretending to, or hoping for, any other recompense for our offering and service except the honor of belonging to Jesus Christ through Mary and in Mary… (True Devotion to Mary #121)

 

That is why those who detract from devotion to Our Lady are moved by the evil spirit.

 

St. Louis De Montfort (+1710): “Where Mary is, there the evil spirit is not.  One of the most infallible marks we can have of our being conducted by the good spirit is our being very devout to Mary, thinking often of her and speaking often of her.” (True Devotion to Mary #166)

 

St. Louis De Montfort (+1710): “Saint Bonaventure said (in his Psalter) that whoever neglected Our Lady would perish in his sins and would be damned… If such is the penalty for neglecting her, what must be the punishment in store for those who actually turn others away from their devotions!” (The Secret of the Rosary, p. 30.)

 

And because Jesus’ humanity came from Mary, she is the easiest and shortest way to Him.

 

St. Louis De Montfort (+1710): “This [true devotion to Mary] is an easy, short, perfect and secure way of attaining union with our Lord… It [the way of Mary] is an easy way.  It is the way which Jesus Christ Himself trod in coming to us, and in which there is no obstacle in reaching Him.  It is true that we can attain divine union by other roads; but it is by many more crosses and strange deaths, and with many more difficulties, which we shall find it hard to overcome.  We must pass through obscure nights, through combats, through strange agonies, over craggy mountains, through cruel thorns, and over frightful deserts.  But by the path of Mary we pass more gently and more tranquilly.” (True Devotion to Mary #152)

 

St. Louis De Montfort (+1710): “…inasmuch as our good works pass through the hands of Mary, they receive an augmentation [increase] of purity, and consequently of merit, and of satisfactory and impetratory value.  On this account they become more capable of solacing the souls in purgatory and of converting sinners than if they did not pass through the virginal and liberal hands of Mary.” (True Devotion to Mary #172)

 

It was by the Hail Mary (the Angelic Salutation) of Gabriel (Luke 1:28) and Mary’s consent that God became man and the process of the salvation of the world began.  That is why the Hail Mary and the Rosary is so crucial, so powerful and so necessary.

 

St. Louis De Montfort (+1710): “Blessed Alan de la Roche who was so deeply devoted to the Blessed Virgin had many revelations from her and we know that he confirmed the truth of these revelations by a solemn oath.  Three of them stand out with special emphasis: the first, that if people fail to say the Hail Mary (the Angelic Salutation which has saved the world) out of carelessness, or because they are lukewarm, or because they hate it, this is a sign that they will probably and indeed shortly be condemned to eternal punishment.” (Secret of the Rosary, p. 45)

 

St. Louis De Montfort (+1710): “Our Lady’s Psalter (or the Rosary made up of the Our Father and Hail Mary) is the direct work of the Blessed Trinity and was not made through a human instrument.” (Secret of the Rosary, p. 25)

 

St. Louis De Montfort (+1710): “The Hail Mary is a blessed dew that falls from heaven upon the souls of the predestinate.  It gives them a marvelous spiritual fertility so that they can grow in all virtues.  The more the garden of the soul is watered by this prayer the more enlightened one’s intellect becomes, the more zealous his heart, and the stronger his armor against his spiritual enemies.” (Secret of the Rosary, p. 46)

 

St. Louis De Montfort (+1710): “Few Christians, however enlightened, know the real value, merit, excellence, and necessity of the Hail Mary…salvation having begun with the Hail Mary, the salvation of each one of us in particular is attached to that prayer… a soul which is not watered by that prayer bears no fruit, and brings forth only thorns and brambles, and is ready to be cursed.” (True Devotion to Mary #249)

 

St. Louis De Montfort (c. +1710): “Blessed Alan De La Roche says that a nun who always had a great devotion to the Holy Rosary appeared after death to one of her sisters in religion and said to her: ‘If I were allowed to go back into my body, to have the chance of saying just one single Hail Mary – even if I said it quickly and without fervor – I would gladly go through the sufferings that I endured during my last illness all over again, in order to gain the merit of this prayer.” (The Secret of the Rosary, pp. 49-50)

 

And this is why Padre Pio told one of his spiritual children:

 

In all the free time you have, after you have finished your duties of state, kneel down and say the Rosary before the Blessed Sacrament or a Crucifix.” (Stories of Padre Pio)

 

St. Louis De Montfort (+1710): “The chronicles of Saint Francis tell of a young friar who had the praiseworthy habit of saying the Crown of Our Lady (the Rosary) every day before dinner.  One day for some reason or other he did not manage to say it.  The refectory bell had already been rung when he asked the Superior to allow him to say it before coming to the table, and having obtained permission he withdrew to his cell to pray.  After he had been gone a long time the Superior sent another Friar to fetch him, and he found him in his room bathed in a heavenly light facing Our Lady who had two angels with her.  Beautiful roses kept issuing from his mouth at each Hail Mary; the angels took them one by one, placing them on Our Lady’s head, and she smilingly accepted them.  Finally two other friars who had been sent to find out what happened to the first two saw the same lovely scene, and Our Lady did not go away until the whole Rosary had been said.” (The Secret of the Rosary, p. 26)

 

St. Louis De Montfort (+1710): “In the chronicles of St. Francis we read that the Saint saw in ecstasy a great ladder ascending into heaven, at the top of which stood the Blessed Virgin and by which it was shown him he must ascend to reach heaven.  There is another related in the chronicles of St. Dominic.  There was an unfortunate heretic near Carcassonne, where St. Dominic was preaching the Rosary, who was possessed by a legion of fifteen thousand devils.  These evil spirits were compelled, to their confusion, by the command of our Blessed Lady, to avow many great and consoling truths touching devotion to the Blessed Virgin; and they did this with so much force and so much clearness, that it is impossible to read this authentic account, and the eulogy which the devil made, in spite of himself, of devotion to the most holy Virgin Mary, without shedding tears of joy, however lukewarm we may be in our devotion to her.” (True Devotion to Mary #42)

 

St. Louis De Montfort (+1710): “….there are some very sanctifying interior practices for those whom the Holy Ghost calls to high perfection.  These may be expressed in four words: to do all things by Mary, with Mary, in Mary and for Mary; so that we may do them all the more perfectly by Jesus, with Jesus, in Jesus and for Jesus.” (True Devotion to Mary #257)

 

 

 

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