The unique cooperation of the Blessed Virgin Mary with and entirely subordinate to her divine Son, Jesus Christ, in the historic work of redemption is a doctrine consistently taught by the papal magisterium over the past two centuries (1). This Marian doctrine is also found in several ecclesiastically approved Marian apparitions from the same historical period.
Marian coredemption classically refers to the unparalleled participation of the Mother of Jesus in the historic accomplishment of the redemption by Jesus Christ, the divine and human redeemer of all humanity (2). Pope Benedict XVI’s instruction for incorporating a “hermeneutics of continuity” (3) rather than any “hermeneutics of rupture” must also be applied to contemporary Mariology, in seeking a proper respect and appreciation for the Mariology that came before the Council, while at the same time including the new inspirations brought to Mariology by the Council and the postconciliar magisterium. Clearly, the Church’s Tradition which directly articulates the doctrinal truth of Mary’s unique share in the redemption accomplished by Jesus Christ has indeed been continued by the Council and the postconcilar magisterium (4).
Servant of God, Pope John Paul II, refers to Mary’s unique sharing in the passion of her Son, which, mysteriously, was an authentic and objective contribution to the redemption of all humanity, in his 1984 document, Salvifici Doloris:
After the events of her Son’s hidden and public life, events which she must have shared with acute sensitivity, it was on Calvary that Mary’s suffering, beside the suffering of Jesus, reached an intensity which can hardly be imagined from a human point of view but which was mysterious and supernaturally fruitful for the redemption of the world. Her ascent of Calvary and her standing at the foot of the Cross together with the Beloved Disciple were a special sort of sharing in the redeeming death of her Son (5).
Another dimension of the Mother of Jesus’ saving function in the order of grace is her coredemptive role with the Redeemer in mediating to humanity the saving graces of Jesus Christ obtained at Calvary. The Second Vatican Council instructs us that taken up into heaven, the Mother of God did not lay aside her “saving office” but rather continues to “intercede for the gifts of eternal life” (Lumen Gentium, 62). This ongoing aspect of Marian coredemption is referred to in John Paul II’s 1985 homily at Guayaquil, Ecuador, where he refers both to Mary’s “spiritual crucifixion” with Jesus in the historic accomplishment of the world’s redemption ( in his commentary of Lumen Gentium 58), and her continuing role as Co-redemptrix even after the “glorification” of her Son at Calvary:
Mary goes before us and accompanies us. The silent journey that begins with her Immaculate Conception and passes through the “yes” of Nazareth, which makes her the Mother of God, finds on Calvary a particularly important moment.
There also, accepting and assisting at the sacrifice of her son, Mary is the dawn of redemption; … Crucified spiritually with her crucified son (cf. Gal. 2:20), she contemplated with heroic love the death of her God, she “lovingly consented to the immolation of this Victim which she herself had brought forth” (Lumen Gentium, 58) …
In fact, at Calvary she united herself with the sacrifice of her Son that led to the foundation of the Church; her maternal heart shared to the very depths the will of Christ “to gather into one all the dispersed children of God” (Jn. 11:52). Having suffered for the Church, Mary deserved to become the Mother of all the disciples of her Son, the Mother of their unity. …
The Gospels do not tell us of an appearance of the risen Christ to Mary. Nevertheless, as she was in a special way close to the Cross of her Son, she also had to have a privileged experience of his Resurrection. In fact, Mary’s role as Coredemptrix did not cease with the glorification of her Son (6).
Pope Benedict XVI, in his February 11, 2008, letter for the World Day of the Sick on the celebrated Lourdes anniversary, continues the consistent papal teaching on Marian coredemption by discussing Mary’s special sharing in the Redeemer’s passion at Calvary, and even goes on to identify some form of the Mother’s sharing in the suffering on her earthly children in the midst of their own trials and difficulties:
For this reason, Mary is a model of total self-abandonment to God’s will: she received in her heart the eternal Word and she conceived it in her virginal womb; she trusted in God and, with her soul pierced by a sword (cf. Lk. 2:35), she did not hesitate to share the Passion of her Son, renewing on Calvary at the foot of the Cross her “yes” of the Annunciation. … Associated with the Sacrifice of Christ, Mary, Mater Dolorosa, who at the foot of the Cross suffers with her divine Son, is felt to be especially near to the Christian community, which gathers around its suffering members who bear the signs of the Passion of the Lord. Mary suffers with those who are in affliction, with them she hopes, and she is their comfort, supporting them with her maternal help. And is it not perhaps true that the spiritual experience of very many sick people leads us to understand increasingly that “the Divine Redeemer wishes to penetrate the soul of every sufferer through the heart of his holy Mother, the first and the most exalted of all the redeemed” (7)?
At the February 11, 2008, liturgical celebration for the World Day for the Sick in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, His Eminence, Javier Cardinal Lozano Barragán, President of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, preached on the united sufferings of the Mother and the Son at Calvary and referred to Our Lady as on Calvary as the “Co-redemptrix (corredentrice) of the Savior. … Christ on the cross suffered all the pains that his Most Holy Mother suffered. And she in Christ suffers all our pains, she assumes them and knows how to commiserate with us. Our suffering is also her suffering” (8).
Our present Holy Father again accentuated the doctrine of Marian coredemption and its two most foundational scriptural bases, the “fiat” of the Annunciation (Lk. 1:38) and her co-suffering at Calvary (Jn. 19:25-27), in his May 24, 2008, prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan, dedicated to the Church and the peoples of China:
Virgin Most Holy, Mother of the Incarnate Word and our Mother …
When you obediently said “yes” in the house of Nazareth,
you allowed God’s eternal Son to take flesh in your virginal womb
and thus to begin in history the work of our redemption.
You willingly and generously cooperated in that work,
allowing the sword of pain to pierce your soul,
until the supreme hour of the Cross, when you kept watch on Calvary,
standing beside your Son, Who died that we might live.
From that moment, you became, in a new way,
the Mother of all those who receive your Son, Jesus in faith
and choose to follow in His footsteps by taking up His Cross.
Mother of hope, in the darkness of Holy Saturday you journeyed
with unfailing trust towards the dawn of Easter.
Grant that your children may discern at all times,
even those that are darkest, the signs of God’s loving presence (9).
Yet another invaluable dimension of Marian coredemption is its rich ecclesio-typical call to all disciples of Christ to cooperate in the salvation of others through intercessory prayer, penance, and the patient endurance of sufferings united to the sufferings of the divine Redeemer, all offered in Christian response to the call of St. Paul to “make up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of his body, which is the Church” (Col 1:24). John Paul II, as did his predecessor Pius XI, identified all Christians as “co-redeemers” in Christ (10), in which each member of Christ’s body, through prayer, penance, and their patient offering of suffering and trials in union with Christ, truly cooperate in the mysterious release of the graces obtained by the one divine Redeemer for the salvation of the world (11).
The present Roman Pontiff recently confirmed this ecclesio-typical dimension of coredemption and its vital relevance to contemporary society in his August 6, 2008, comments concerning the later life and sufferings of John Paul II. Pope Benedict speaks of the powerful “redeeming force” of love released through the “passion” of his Totus Tuus predecessor through the spiritual uniting of the Servant of God’s sufferings with the Passion of Christ:
(With his growing weakness), John Paul II …who had been a master of words, thus showed us visibly – it seems to me – the profound truth that the Lord redeemed us with his cross, with the passion, as an extreme act of his love…He showed us that suffering is not only a “no,” something negative, the lack of something, but a positive reality. ..He showed us that suffering accepted for love of Christ, for love of God and of others is a redeeming force, a force of love and no less powerful than the great deeds he accomplished in the first part of his pontificate.
…In a world that thrives on activism, on youth, on being young, strong and beautiful, on succeeding in doing great things, (we) must learn the truth of love which becomes a “passion” and thereby redeems man and unites him with God who is love (12).
In light of the consistent and repeated teachings by the magisterium, as found in both papal and conciliar documents (cf. LG, 57, 58, 61), it should be no surprise that the doctrinal role of Our Lady as Co-redemptrix with Jesus, along with her example as the perfect type and model for the People of God in the Church’s mission to “co-redeem” for the salvation of humanity, would likewise be consistently revealed through the domain of authentic private revelation. These dimensions of Mary’s unique cooperation in redemption and its rich christo-typical and ecclesio-typical fruits, i.e., her unique roles with Jesus in the obtaining and dispensing of the graces of redemption, as well as her perfect model of Christian or “ecclesial coredemption” through intercessory prayer, penance and redemptive suffering, constitute a central foundation of the message of authentic Marian private revelation throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
We will only briefly examine here some principal references to Marian coredemption contained within several Marian apparitions which have at least received ecclesiastical approbation from their local ordinaries, which constitutes the first appropriate jurisdiction for Church discernment and approval of reported private revelation (13).
Rue du Bac, 1830 – Our Lady of Grace and the “Miraculous Medal”
In 1836, Msgr. de Quélen, Archbishop of Paris, gave ecclesiastical approbation to the visions received by St. Catherine Labouré at the motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity in Rue du Bac (14). Our Lady of Grace revealed to St. Catherine a vision with two distinct sides to it, the images from which would be struck the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, or more popularly referred to as the “Miraculous Medal.”
On the vision revealing what would become the front of the medal, Mary is depicted with her foot crushing the head of the serpent in a visual rendition of Genesis 3:15. Regardless of the issue of the gender of the pronoun (15) in this prophetic protoevangelium passage, what remains clearly revealed is: 1) the seed of victory over Satan and his seed of evil can only be Jesus Christ; 2) the Woman-mother of that seed must ultimately be Mary; and 3) the Woman-mother has a true participation with the seed of victory over the serpent and his seed (16).
The front vision for the eventual medal further reveals the image for Mary as the Mediatrix of graces with her arms outstretched and graces flowing from her opened hands (17). The prayer which encircles the front image refers to Our Lady’s role as intercessory Advocate as the prayer beseeches, “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee” (18).
The vision given to St. Catherine showed its reverse side which contained a large “M” connected to a cross, in another visual representing Mary’s unique association with the passion of Jesus and her presence before the cross of redemption. The reversed side of the vision also conveyed the united Hearts of Jesus and Mary, with a sword piercing through Mary’s heart in reference to the scriptural prophecy of Simeon (Lk. 2:35) in his prediction of the Mother’s climactic phase of coredemption with her crucified Son at Calvary.
In this first apparition of what has often been designated as the contemporary “Age of Mary,” the foundational theme of Mary’s unique cooperation in the redemption is clearly revealed.
Lourdes, France, 1858 – The Immaculate Conception
The message of Lourdes conveys the sustained plea by the “Immaculate Conception” for prayer and penance for the dual intentions of reparation to God and for the conversion of sinners, as well as her coredemptive mediation of grace and healing (19) Clearly, the call for prayer and sacrifice for the conversion of sinners enters into the ecclesial mystery of coredemption as the Mother of Jesus beckons cooperation by the members of Christ’s faithful for the salvation of others.
For example, in the sixth apparition on Feb. 21, 1858, the Lady directs 14-year-old Bernadette to, “pray for the sinners” (20). During the eighth apparition, Bernadette reports the woman in the vision repeating, “You are to pray to God for the sinners.” During the same apparition, the Lady conveyed to Bernadette an imperative, which she in turn repeated and was heard by the onlookers, “Penitence, penitence, penitence” (21).
This mysterious release of grace through the coredemptive prayers and penance by the People of God is explained by John Paul II in his commentary on the Pauline call of Col. 1:24:
Those who share in the sufferings of Christ preserve in their own sufferings a very special particle of the infinite treasure of the world’s redemption and can share this treasure with others…” (22).
For, whoever suffers in union with Christ—just as the Apostle Paul bears his “tribulations” in union with Christ—not only receives from Christ that strength already referred to but also “completes” by his suffering “what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.” This evangelical outlook especially highlights the truth concerning the creative character of suffering. The sufferings of Christ created the good of the world’s redemption. This good in itself is inexhaustible and infinite. No man can add anything to it. But at the same time, in the mystery of the Church as his Body, Christ has in a sense opened his own redemptive suffering to all human suffering. In so far as man becomes a sharer in Christ’s sufferings—in any part of the world and at any time in history—to that extent he in his own way completes the suffering through which Christ accomplished the redemption of the world.
Does this mean that the redemption achieved by Christ is not complete? No. It only means that the redemption, accomplished through satisfactory love, remains always open to all love expressed in human suffering (23).
The message of Lourdes, with its overall call for prayer and penance in reparation to God and for the conversion of sinners, constitutes the identical invitation to Christian coredemption.
The Immaculate Conception at Lourdes reveals her coredemptive mediation of grace and healing through the institution of the “miraculous spring,” from which 67 documented miracles which are naturally and scientifically inexplicable have been effected to date (24); as well as through her providential mediation of the entire Lourdes experience which has led to international spiritual conversions, healings, and fruits.
Fatima, Portugal, 1917 – The Lady of the Rosary
All fundamental aspects of Marian coredemption are revealed in the monumental Fatima apparitions. In the angelic apparitions of 1916-1917 which precede the Marian apparitions of May-October 1917, the guardian angel of Portugal summons the young Fatima visionaries to offer prayer, penance, and a form of Eucharistic reparation in coredemptive cooperation for the salvation of souls. We see this, for example, in the prayer taught to the children during the first 1916 “Angel of Peace” apparition as recorded in Sr. Lucia’s memoirs, which seeks pardon for the sins of others:
“Do not be afraid. I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me!”
Kneeling on the ground, he bowed down until his forehead touched the ground, and made us repeat these words three times:
“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love you. And I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love you”
Then rising, he said: “Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications” (25).
The directive for increased prayer and sacrifice by the Angel in the later 1916 anticipatory apparition to Our Lady’s visitation boldly calls for coredemptive offerings by the children in supplication to God and for the conversion of sinners::
“What are you doing?” he asked. Pray, pray very much! The Most Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High.”
“How are we to make sacrifices,” I asked.
“Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which he is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners. You will thus draw down peace upon your country. … Above all, accept and bear with submission the suffering which the Lord will send you” (26).
The 1917 angelic apparition reveals the same directives for the salvific conversion of sinners, but adds a profound dimension of Eucharistic reparation and coredemption through the revelation of a prayer that calls for the spiritual offering of consecrated hosts by the laity in reparation to God and for the conversion of sinners (in a manner reminiscent of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and its prayer of offering the Eucharistic Jesus in the tabernacles throughout the world in atonement for the world’s sins):
“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I adore you profoundly, and I offer you the most precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifference with which he himself is offended. And through the infinite merits of his Most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of you conversion of poor sinners.”
Then, rising, he took the chalice and the host in his hands. He gave the Host to me, and shared the Blood from the chalice between Jacinta and Francisco, saying as he did so: “Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men! Make reparation for their crimes and console your God” (27).
Not only is the heavenly request for prayer and sacrifice to save souls an obvious dimension of Christian coredemption, but the call for reparation to God in atonement for humanity’s offenses is likewise coredemptive, insofar as it effects a mitigation of God’s justice as applied to mankind, which advances the greater salvation of human family.
During the Marian apparitions in 1917, Our Lady of the Rosary refers to her own universal and preeminent role in coredemption, as well as continuing the call for ecclesial coredemption with yet greater specificity. For example, in the May 13 apparitions, Our Lady asks the children:
Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the suffering he wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which he is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners?
“Yes, we are willing.”
“Then you are going to have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort” (28).
In the June13, 1917, Our Lady makes a “promise of salvation” for those who embrace devotion to Her Immaculate Heart, which certainly identifies her unique role with Jesus in human redemption:
(Jesus) wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I promise salvation to those who embrace it, and those souls will be loved by God like flowers placed by me to adorn his throne (29).
At the end of the apparition, she opened her hands as Our Lady had done in the previous apparition and in a manner at least symbolic of her role as mediatrix of graces, she “communicated to us the rays of that same immanent light” in which the children saw themselves immersed in God and then saw a heart encircled with thorns in Our Lady’s right hand which they understood to represent “the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity and seeking reparation” (30).
On July 13, 1917, in arguably the single most historically significant Marian message to the modern world, Our Lady of Fatima calls for salvific human cooperation manifested through active devotion and consecration to her Immaculate Heart in order to save sinners from the fires of eternal damnation, to avoid a conditional second world war, various persecutions of the Church and specific sufferings for the Holy Father, the errors of atheistic communism from spreading throughout the world, and even in avoidance or mitigation of the potential annihilation of nations (31).Within this historic message, Our Lady of the Rosary refers to her own unparalleled role with and under Jesus for human salvation and for peace in the world, when she reveals to the children her unique coredemptive role that “only she can help you”:
“… Continue to pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, because only she can help you” (32).
The October 13, 1917, apparition and its series of images include the depiction of Mary as the Lady of Sorrows, her traditional image as Co-redemptrix (33). Again, Our Lady of the Rosary calls humanity to assist in the salvation of others through the daily praying of the Rosary and through the cessation of divine offenses, because “he is already so much offended” (34).
On December 10, 1925, Our Lady appeared to Sr. Lucia at the convent of Pontevedra in Spain with the specific request for the Five First Saturdays of Reparation (35). Within this request, we see the call for reparation directed specifically to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in light of the offenses that her Heart receives mystically through the offenses, blasphemies, and ingratitudes by her earthly children.
Heaven’s call for humanity to offer the reception of the sacraments of Holy Communion and Reconciliation, as well as the Rosary and meditation on the Rosary mysteries, in an effort to atone for the mysterious mystical suffering experienced by the Heart of Mary profoundly attests to her unique sharing with Jesus in the ongoing work of redemption in virtue of her unparalleled role as ” a mother to us in the order of grace” (cf. Lumen Gentium, 61). The Five First Saturday “promise” of the graces of eternal salvation for those who cooperate with these conditions of prayer and sacramental life (36) offered in reparation to her Immaculate Heart present us with a concrete expression of her motherly role as the coredemptive “mediatrix,” who intercedes to brings us the “gifts of eternal life (LG 62).”
On June 26, 2000, the third part or the “secret” of the July 13, 1917, Fatima message was released. Within this third part of the Fatima message was the exhortation from the angel with a flaming sword for, “Penance, penance, penance!” (as an echo to the words of Bernadette during the Feb. 24, 1858, Lourdes message) (37). The Lord’s Mother was also seen in this part of the vision with the angel, where the “splendor” from her right hand put out the flames from the angel’s sword. Amidst a variety of potential interpretations, what appears certain is the consistent theme of Our Lady’s privileged role in human salvation (for example, in the July 13, 1917, message that “only she can help you” ) and her sublime intercessory and protective role as universal Advocate. God continues to reveal and beckon humanity’s acknowledgement of Mary’s providential role as the universal Advocate in bringing peace to the world and mitigation from punishment, all of which would advance towards the fulfillment of the Fatima prophecy that “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph … and a period of peace will be granted to the world” (38).
Akita, Japan, 1973 – Our Lady of Akita
On April 22, 1984, Bishop John Shojiro Ito of the Diocese of Niigata, Japan, issued a pastoral letter, where, after direct consultation with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (39), the Bishop of Niigata declared: “After long prayer and mature reflection …(and) after the investigation conducted up to the present day, I recognize the supernatural character of a series of mysterious events concerning the statue of Holy Mother Mary which is found in the convent of the Institute of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist at Yuzawadai, Soegawa, Akita” (40). After a later meeting of Cardinal Ratzinger in his dicastery office with former Philippines ambassador to the Vatican, Howard Dee, the Ambassador stated that Cardinal Ratzinger directly confirmed to him that the message of Fatima and the message of Akita “are essentially the same” (41).
Bishop Ito issued his 1984 pastoral letter, after ten years of theological, scientific, and medical research, which declared the supernatural character of the messages and concurring phenomena associated with a statue of the Lady of All Nations as experienced by Sr. Agnes Sasagawa at the convent of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist in Akita, Japan (42). The messages of Our Lady at Akita as well as the 101 occurrences of lachrymations, or tears, issued from a wooden statue carved after the image of the “Lady of All Nations,” at that time the reported series of apparitions from Amsterdam from 1945 to 1959 which likewise emphasize Mary’s role as Co-redemptrix (43).
In his 1982 report to Cardinal Ratzinger regarding the lachrymations of the statue of the Lady of All Nations in the chapel convent of Sr. Agnes, Bishop Ito made the following conclusions:
1. I, who am Bishop, witnessed the weepings of the statue four times. I observed tears well up and overflow from the eyes of the statue and stream down just as a human being sheds tears. I watched the tears stream down the statue’s cheek, accumulate on the chin, then flowing down the statue’s garment, reaching the feet and then flowing along the globe on which the statue stands. Then the tears reached the pedestal that supports the globe and statue.
I can never forget the profound emotion I experienced when I first watched the tears from the statue. I was so strongly touched at the sight that I felt like wiping away the tears by bringing cotton. In actuality, I wiped away the tears from the statue of the Holy Mother. Twice, I tasted the tears, which tasted salty just like human tears.
2. The statue shed tears 101 times from 1975 until 1981 and more than 400 persons witnessed these weepings. If these weepings had been performed by someone as trickery, it would have been discovered and uncovered as such during this long period.
3. The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Gifu officially analyzed and examined the tears which were collected with absorbent cotton. The university identified the tears as human fluid and proved that the blood type of the tears is type O. Therefore, it is an impossibility to arrange for the statue to shed tears of a human being in such a large quantity (44).
In his 1984 pastoral letter, Bishop Ito again commented on the mysterious phenomena of the Lady of All Nations statue shedding tears and his conclusion of authenticity:
The most remarkable fact, in our opinion, and the most evident, is the overflowing of an aqueous liquid, similar to human tears, from the eyes of the statue of Our Holy Mother.
This began on the 4th of January, 1975 (Holy Year), and some tears flowed 101 times, until the 15th of September, 1981, Feast of Our Lady of the Seven Dolors. I was able myself to witness four lachrymations. About 500 persons have also been eyewitnesses. I twice tasted this liquid. It was salty and seemed to me truly human tears. The scientific examination of Professor Sagisaka, specialist in legal medicine in the faculty of medicine at the University of Akita, has proved that this liquid is indeed identical to human tears.
It is beyond human powers to produce water where there is none, and I believe that to do this the intervention of a non-human force is necessary. Moreover, it is not the question of pure water, but of a liquid identical to liquid secreted by a human body, and that more than 100 times over a period of several years and before many numerous witnesses. It has been established that it could not have been by trickery or human maneuvers (45).
The Akita call for Christian coredemption is evident in the experience of Sr. Agnes who received a stigmatization in the palm of her left hand in the form of a cross. Bishop Ito in his report to Cardinal Ratzinger reported his own witnessing of the cross-shaped wound, which was approximately two centimeters by three centimeters in length (46). Sr. Agnes reported the wound first formed in the palm of her left hand on June 28, 1973, the eve of the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and that the wound caused an “almost unbearable pain” (47). The wound in her palm would renew itself each week, appearing in the form of a cross and beginning to shed blood on Thursdays; bleed profusely on Friday’s; and then return to a cross-shaped pink blister on Saturdays (48). This mystical coredemptive offering by Sr. Agnes continued to and through the time period leading up to the first message of Our Lady on July 6, 1973, and is recorded in Bishop Ito’s pastoral letter (49). Later observations also record instances where blood issued from the left palm of the statue of the Lady of All Nations as well, which can be understood in continuity with the Amsterdam apparitions, as the original image of the Lady of All Nations in Amsterdam depicts healed wounds in the palms of Our Lady’s hands, which make refer to her union of suffering with her Son at Calvary (50).
On July 6, 1973, Our Lady revealed to Sr. Agnes the first Akita message. After being awakened and led to the chapel at 3:00 a.m. by her guardian angel (in a manner similar to an angelic escort received by St. Catherine Labouré before her first visitation from Our Lady at Rue du Bac (51)), the Mother of Jesus revealed the following to Sr. Agnes, “…Does the wound in your hand give you pain? Pray in reparation for the sins of humanity” (52). Our Lady goes on to pray the prayer of the Handmaids of the Eucharist with Sr. Agnes, which includes a consecration and offering to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, truly present in the Eucharist, which is “being sacrificed at every instant on all the altars of the world” (53), and a self-offering of the religious to be used “for the glory of the Father and the salvation of souls” (54). The Lady of Akita ends this first message with the instruction: “Pray very much for the pope, bishops, and priests. … Continue to pray very much … very much” (55).
In a published letter of February 28, 1989, from Bishop Ito of Niigata to Bishop Hendrik Bomers, Bishop of Haarlem, the diocese in which the apparitions of the Lady of All Nations occurred, Bishop Ito highlights several links between the approved Akita apparitions and the apparitions of the Lady of All Nations. Bishop Ito reports as one link the mystical occurrence that on the occasion of the first Marian message at Akita on July 6, 1973, an angel appeared and prayed with Sr. Agnes the Prayer of the Lady of All Nations, which had been previously revealed to the Amsterdam visionary, Ida Peerdeman on February 11, 1951 (56). Bishop Ito also pilgrimaged to the Lady of All Nations Chapel in Amsterdam after the Akita approval and offered Mass at the apparition chapel (57).
The second Marian message occurs on August 3, 1973. Sr. Agnes was physically deaf at the beginning of these mystical phenomena surrounding the statue of the Lady of all Nations, but was promised a miraculous healing during the July 6, 1973, message (a healing which took place on the Fatima anniversary of October 13, 1973, and then after a relapse some time later, a permanent and complete healing on the feast of Pentecost, May 30, 1982) (58). As Sr. Agnes was deaf during the revelation of the messages, she described hearing a beautiful voice of a woman with her “spiritual ears,” a voice which was coming from the Lady of All Nations statue (59).
In this August 3 messages, Our Lady repeats key imperatives for Christian reparation and the coredemptive offering of suffering and sacrifices for the salvation of souls, in expressions most parallel to the Fatima message:
“Many men in this world grieve the Lord. I seek souls to console Him. In order to appease the anger of the Heavenly Father, I wish, with my Son, for souls who will make reparation for sinners and the ungrateful by offering up their sufferings and poverty to God on their behalf” (60).
“Prayer, penance, honest poverty, and courageous acts of sacrifices can soften the anger of the Heavenly Father … please make much of poverty, deepen repentance, and pray amid your poverty in reparation for the ingratitude and insults toward the Lord by so many men…offer your lives to God in reparation for sins …” (61).
The third Marian message was delivered on October 13, 1973, the 60th anniversary of the Fatima solar miracle. The message conveys a strong call for coredemptive prayer, especially the Rosary, and sacrifice, in the face of a significant conditional chastisement for the increasing sins of humanity (62). In a near identical reference to Our Lady’s unique coredemptive role in human salvation as revealed in the Fatima words, “only she can help you” (63), Our Lady of Akita reveals in the midst of this warning of possible world purification that, “I alone am able to save you from the calamities which approach. Those who place their total confidence in me will be given the necessary help” (64). Once again we see that the “Mediatrix of mercy” (65) has been given the task by God to intercede for the graces of world peace and mitigation from the full claim of divine justice.
The final weeping of the statue of the Lady of All Nations at Akita took place on September 15, 1981, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. On September 28, 1981, the fourth supernaturally revealed message was given to Sr. Agnes. This message was conveyed by the guardian angel of Sr. Agnes, which took place in the context of a vision of a “majestic Bible” with a particular verse emphasized. The following is the account and commentary of the fourth Akita message by the spiritual director of Sr. Agnes, Fr. Thomas Yasuda:
“The most important message among the various Divine messages in Akita is the one imparted by the angel to Sr. Agnes on the 28th of September of 1981. Even the three previous Marian messages were precursor to this last manifestation which occurred 13 days after the final weeping of the statue.”
…Sr. Agnes suddenly felt the presence of her guardian angel at her side during adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament. She saw the vision of a large, majestic Bible appear before her eyes, and then the guardian angel instructed her to read a passage.
She recognized the reference—verse 15 of chapter 3 of Genesis.
Then, the guardian angel explained the meaning of the number 101 of the one hundred and one episodes of the weepings of the Blessed Mother of Akita. The angel said:
“There is a meaning to the figure one hundred and one. This signifies that sin came into the world by a woman and it is also by a woman that salvation came into the world. The zero between the two signifies the eternal God who is from all eternity until eternity. The first one represents Eve, and the last, the Virgin Mary” (66).
…The miracles of the bleeding and weeping of the statue of the Blessed Mother of Akita were brought about by God in order to illustrate the truth of Mary’s role as ‘Co-redemptrix’”… “For Roman Catholics, the Bible is the most powerful authority by which the truthfulness of a certain teaching or dogma is proved, and so God arranged for Sr. Agnes to see it in a vision in Akita to prove that Mary is the Co-redemptrix” (67).
Fr. Thomas Yasuda goes on to describe the overall Akita apparitions as an identification of Mary as the “Co-redemptrix of humanity,” whose lachrymations testify to her sorrows for the present condition of humanity:
Amidst this mystical and real process of the joint distribution of all graces, Jesus and Our Holy Mother are jointly struggling against Satan to help believers courageously join in the subjective redemption, or the application of the effects of Christ’s sacrifice. Because of this mystical struggle with Satan—where the eternal lives of souls are at stake—one can affirm that our heavenly Mother is still offering up her mystical pains of childbearing for us, all believers, while acting as an instrument of graces to sanctify us. …
Because this struggle continues until our Mother completes the process of giving birth to all members of the Mystical Body of Christ, and in this sense, her mystical pains of childbearing will continue until the end of the world. This is the profoundest meaning of her coredemption. The tears shed by the wooden statue of Our Lady in Akita is the hard evidence God has manifested in history, in order to prove the lasting enmity between Satan and our Heavenly Mother (68).
Former Philippines Ambassador Howard Dee makes the observation that 28 years spanned the time between the 1917 Fatima apparitions and the 1945 Amsterdam apparitions, and another 28 years span the time between the Amsterdam apparitions and the 1973 Akita apparitions (69). More substantial to the indissoluble link between Fatima, Amsterdam, and Akita is the organic continuity of message, phenomena, and fruits.
What should be taken as definitive is the fact that God in his perfect providence would never take the image from a false apparition and then utilize it for a miraculous purpose, i.e., the Lady of All Nations image which has led to documented supernatural events of lachrymations, messages, bleedings, and healings. These constitute supernatural phenomena and fruits, sustained by documentable empirical and scientific evidence directly associated with the Amsterdam image which have received official approval as consisting of supernatural origin by the local ordinary after repeated consultation and approval by the Holy See.
The essential links noted by Bishop Ito between the 1973 Akita apparitions from the Lady of All Nations statue image (coupled with its strong message of Marian and ecclesial coredemption), and the 1945 Amsterdam apparitions with its quintessential call for the solemn definition of Mary as Co-redemptrix, surface connaturally from a study of both apparitions. Akita and Amsterdam organically and logically stand together.
Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1945 – The Lady of All Nations
In 1996, Bishop Hendrik Bomers of the Diocese of Haarlem, Netherlands, after consultation with Cardinal Ratzinger as presiding prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, approved the title of “The Lady of All Nations,” and gave permission for the public devotion according to individual conscience associated with the Lady of All Nations apparitions to the visionary, Ida Peerdeman from 1945 to 1959 (70). On May 31, 2002, Bishop Jozef Maria Punt of the Diocese of Haarlem, Netherlands issued at pastoral statement in which he concluded, after extended study, that the Lady of All Nations apparitions consisted essentially of a supernatural origin (71). Since 2002, the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith and the Diocese of Haarlem have had continued consultation regarding the Amsterdam apparitions (72).
The Amsterdam messages continue the perennial revelation of Marian coredemption throughout the past two centuries of Marian messages, with 23 references to Our Lady as “Co-redemptrix;” 21 references to the “dogma” of Mary Co-redemptrix (as well as her consequential roles as Mediatrix and Advocate) and at least 11 requests for prayer and petitioning for the solemn papal definition of Mary as the “Co-redemptrix, along as well as her consequential mediatorial roles as Mediatrix and Advocate (73). The Lady of All Nations apparitions also provide several explanatory messages of her role as Co-redemptrix, some specific to the theological community. For example, the Amsterdam message of October 5, 1952:
“And I am not reproaching theologians now as I say: why can you not come to an agreement about this dogma? I will explain it yet again and make it even clearer.
“The Father sent the Lord Jesus Christ as Redeemer for all peoples. The Lord Jesus Christ was this from the beginning. He became this at the Sacrifice and at his departure to the Father.
“Miriam, or Mary, became the Handmaid of the Lord, chosen by the Father and the Holy Spirit. At the beginning she was—by this election—the Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate of all nations. Only at the departure of the God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ, did she become the Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate.
At the departure of the Lord Jesus Christ, He gave Miriam, or Mary, to the nations in one act, giving her as ‘The Lady of All Nations.’ For He spoke the words, ‘Woman, behold your son; son, behold your mother.’ One act, and by this Miriam, or Mary, received this new title.
“How is it that this is entering the world only now: ‘The Lady of All Nations’? Because the Lord has awaited this time. The other dogmas had to precede, just as her life first had to precede the Lady of All Nations. All the dogmas that preceded comprise the life and the departure of the Lady. For the theologians, this simple explanation will be sufficient” (74).
Further mariological explanation of her role as Co-redemptrix is offered to the theological community in this April 4, 1954, message:
“Here I am again. Listen carefully. From the beginning, the Handmaid of the Lord was chosen to be the Co-redemptrix. Tell your theologians that they can find everything in their books…I am not bringing a new doctrine. I am now bringing old thoughts.”
She pauses again and then says,
“Because Mary is Co-redemptrix, she is also Mediatrix, she is also Advocate. Not only because she is the Mother of the Lord Jesus Christ, but—and mark this well—because she is the Immaculate Conception. Theologians, I ask you: do you still have objections to this dogma? You will be able to find these words and thoughts. I ask you to work for this dogma… Fight for and ask for this dogma. It is the crowning of your Lady!”
… “The Lady, the Handmaid of the Lord, was chosen and made fruitful by the Holy Spirit.”
Now the Lady pauses and I see a haze, a radiant veil coming about her. Then she says, very slowly,
“The Lady was chosen. She was also to be present when the Holy Spirit was received. The Holy Spirit had to come over the Apostles,” and raising her finger, the Lady says with emphasis, “the first theologians! For this reason, the Lord wanted His Mother to be present there. His Mother, the Lady of All Nations, at the departure of Her Son became the Lady of All Nations, the Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate in the presence of one Apostle, one theologian as witness. For he had to care for ‘thy Mother.’ She had to care for ‘her Apostles’” (75).
Our Lady’s reference to the presence of the doctrine of Marian coredemption, mediation, and advocacy being rather ubiquitously present in theological books and writings from the 1940s and 1950s is certainly documentable. Most every introductory mariological text or manual had at least a chapter on Coredemption and mediation (76). Not only had major works on these three dimensions of Mary’s universal mediation been offered. but also theological and Mariological journals of the time in a diversity of languages contained treatments and discussions of Marian coredemption (77).
In her May 31, 1954, message, the Lady again calls theologians to work for this dogma of the Co-redemptrix, and gives a type of visual explanation of how the three roles of Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate are actually simply three aspects of her singular role as spiritual mother, which is instituted in one act of Calvary (and that the first title of Co-redemptrix, in spite of difficulty, will eventually be recognized):
Here I am again. The Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate is now standing before you. I have chosen this day—on this day the Lady will be crowned. Theologians and apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, listen carefully. I have given you the explanation of the dogma. Work for and ask for this dogma. You are to petition the Holy Father for this dogma…On this date the Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate will receive her official title as ‘The Lady of All Nations.’ Mark well, these three thoughts in one act. These three.”
Now the Lady shows me three fingers and moves her other hand around herself, and then it is as if a haze, a radiant veil, is coming about her.
“And now I let your theologians see these three thoughts, these three thoughts in one act. I say this twice because there are some who want only one thought. The Holy Father will agree to the former. You, however, shall help him to get there. Understand all of this well” (78).
It was in fact on May 31, 1996, that Bishop Hendrik Bomers, after consultation with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and the Congregation, gave official approval to the title, “Lady of all Nations” and approved the devotion for acceptance according to the conscience of the individual believer. On the same date of May 31, 2002, Bishop Punt released his declaration that the Our Lady of All Nations apparitions “consist of a supernatural origin” (79).
A positive pneumatology in relation to Marian coredemption and mediation is also presented in the message of May 31, 1954, where in relaying a prophecy and vision concerning the eventual dogmatic proclamation by the Roman pontiff, the Lady explains her advocacy to the Holy Spirit in interceding for a “descent of the Holy Spirit” in our age (80):
Now, all of a sudden, it is as if I were standing with the Lady above the dome of a big church. As we enter, I hear the Lady say, “I am taking you there. Relate what I let you see and hear.”
We are now in a very big church, in St. Peter’s. I see lots of cardinals and bishops gathered there. Then the Pope enters. It is a Pope I do not know. He is being carried in a kind of chair, but later he continues on foot. People cheer; the choir begins to sing. Now the Holy Father is announcing something in a language I do not understand, while holding up two fingers.
All at once the Lady stands on the globe again. She smiles and says,
“Child, thus have I let you see what is the will of the Lord Jesus Christ. This day will become the coronation of His Mother, the Lady of All Nations, who once was Mary.”
Now the Lady remains standing without saying anything, as she gazes far into the distance. This lasts a while and then she says, “And the Lady stayed with her Apostles until the Spirit came…””So also may the Lady come to her apostles and nations throughout the whole world, in order to bring them the Holy Spirit again and anew. For before great decisions, the true Holy Spirit must always be invoked.”
Now the Lady pauses again for a moment, and then she says very strikingly, in a low voice, “And Mary stayed with her Apostles.”
… Then the Lady looks in front of herself, as if into the distance, and says very clearly and slowly, “My prophecy, ‘From now onwards all nations will call me blessed,’ will be fulfilled more than ever before, when the dogma is proclaimed …” (81).
The promise of world peace as the direct fruit of the proclamation of this Marian dogma is conveyed by the Lady towards the end of this May 31, 1954, message:
“… The Lady of All Nations wishes for unity in the true Holy Spirit. The world is covered by a false spirit, by Satan. Once the dogma, the final dogma in Marian history, has been proclaimed, the Lady of All Nations will grant peace, true peace, to the world. The nations, however, must pray my prayer, together with the Church. They shall know that the Lady of All Nations has come as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate. So be it” (82).
It is not only in virtue of bringing to completion the organic development of doctrine regarding Marian Coredemption which has been consistently taking place over the course of the last two centuries, but also in light of important contemporary global issues such as war, terrorism, natural disaster, and moral decline that has motivated a significant number of cardinals and bishops to petition our present Pope Benedict for a solemn definition of Mary Co-redemptrix. On January 1, 2008, five cardinals wrote to every other cardinal and bishop throughout the world, inviting them to join their and other cardinals’ and bishops’ votum (petition) To the present Holy Father for the dogma of Mary as spiritual mother of all peoples under its three essential aspects as Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate, precisely as the necessary Marian “remedy” for some of the most serious issues facing the Church and the world today, including the critical and urgent issue of world peace (83).
On February 18, 1959, Bl. Pope John XXIII at the close of a Lourdes event, called all humanity to “listen with simplicity of mind and honesty of heart to the salutary warnings of the Mother of God,” in order to “guide us in our conduct” (84). While Marian private revelation could never provide a foundation for a Catholic doctrinal teaching nor authentic doctrinal development, both of which must rest firmly upon the public revelation contained in Scripture and Tradition as authoritatively interpreted by the magisterium (85), nonetheless authentic private revelation has served the purpose historically of providing a “spark” to the Church’s doctrinal development, a supernatural and external encouragement for a particular direction of doctrinal development for the greatest possible benefit for the Church at a particular point of human history.
Evidence of this positive influence of authentic private revelation for a particular direction in doctrinal development for the Church in a given age can be seen in the anticipatory Miraculous Medal apparitions and the consequential Lourdes apparitions which effected a greater appreciation of the Immaculate Conception. In the case of the former Rue du Bac apparitions and its prayer, “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee” (86), we see its favorable influence towards the solemn definition to the Immaculate Conception in 1854 (87); and in the case of the latter Lourdes apparitions, we perceive the benefit of a greater appreciation of the Marian truth among the common faithful of the time (88).
The consistent and climaxing revelation of the truth and importance of Marian coredemption from the domain of authentic private revelation from the last two centuries can have the same positive effect on the doctrinal development regarding the Mother of the Redeemer: our greater understanding of her, our proper response to her call for ecclesial coredemption, and her proper solemn recognition as unique Co-redemptrix.
Is not Christian coredemption also essentially linked to the imperative for the New Evangelization? Is not Christian coredemption an antidote for the erroneous perception of suffering as “valueless,” especially in an age where tragic suffering appears ubiquitous, from human-rights violations and family crises, to euthanasia and suicide, to unprecedented external global terrorism and internal terrorism in the womb through abortion, to natural disasters and world hunger on an ever-rising scale?
Our Lady’s unique role with Jesus in the redemption of humanity is obviously a theme that heaven desires to be intensely renewed in our contemporary minds and hearts – to utilize for our personal Christian sanctification, and as well as the advocating remedy for some of the greatest concerns of our society, including the growing daily imperative for world peace.
May the Church follow the guidance of our heavenly Mother towards the doctrinal development of Our Lady’s role as Co-redemptrix in the nature and to the degree most beneficial for the People of God and for the world in these significant times for humanity.
(1) Cf. Msgr. Arthur Burton Calkins, “The Mystery of Mary Coredemptrix in the Papal Magisterium” in Mary Co-redemptrix: Doctrinal Issues Today, Mark Miravalle, ed. (Goleta, CA: Queenship, 2002), pp. 25-92. Cf. also J.B. Carol, O.F.M., “Our Lady’s Coredemption,” in Mariology vol. 2 (Milwaukee: Bruce, 1957), pp. 377-425; Mark Miravalle, With Jesus: The Story of Mary Co-redemptrix (Queenship, 2003), pp. 189-212.
(2) Cf. J. Galot, S.J., “Maria: Mediatrice o Madre Universale?,” Civilta Cattolica, 1996, I, pp. 232-244. Galot, “Maria Corredentrice: Controversie e problemi dottrinali,” Civilta Cattolica, 1994, III, pp. pp.213-225; Galot, S.J., “Maria Corredentrice” in L’Osservatore Romano, September 15, 1997, Daily Italian Ed.; Carol, De Corredemptione Beatae Virginis Mariae, Romae, 1950; R. Garrigou-Lagrange, The Mother of Our Savior and Our Interior Life (Rockford, IL: Tan Publishers, 1993), pp 156-196.
(3) Insegnamenti di Benedetto XVI (2005) 1023-1031.
(4) Cf. Msgr. Arthur Burton Calkins, “Pope John Paul II’s Ordinary Magisterium on Marian Coredemption: Consistent Teaching and More Recent Perspectives,” in Mary at the Foot of the Cross II: Acts of the Second International Symposium on Marian Coredemption (Academy of the Immaculate, 2002), pp. 1-36.
(5) Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, Salvifici Doloris, February 11, 1984, n. 25.
(6) Pope John Paul II, Homily at Guayaquil, Ecuador, January 31, 1985, Inseg VIII/1 (1985) 318-319, ORE 876:7.
(7) Benedict XVI, Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI for the Sixteenth World Day of the Sick, February 11, 2008, Libreria Editrice Vaticana; cf. John Paul II, Salvifici Doloris, n. 26.
(8) Javier Cardinal Lozano Barragán, Homily on Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and World Day of the Sick, February 11, 2008; cf. Vatican Information Service, “Our Sufferings are also Christ’s Sufferings,” February 12, 2008.
(9) Prayer of the Pope to Our Lady of Sheshan, Vatican Information Services, May 16, 2008.
(10) Cf. John Paul II, Address to the sick at the Hospital of the Brothers of St. John of God, April 5, 1981, L’Osservatore Romano, English edition, April 13, 1981, p. 6; General Audience, Jan. 13, 1982, Inseg. V/1, 1982, 91; Address to candidates for the Priesthood, Montevideo, May 8, 1988, L’Osservatore Romano, English edition, May 30, 1988, p. 4; cf. Pius XI, Papal Allocution at Vicenza, Nov. 30, 1933.
(11) Cf. Pope Pius XII, Encyclical, Mystici Corporis, nn. 106, 110; John Paul II, Salvific Doloris, nn. 24, 25, 27.
(12) Zenit News Services, Pope Benedict XVI, Aug. 6 question-and-answer session with priests of Bressanone, Part II, August 19, 2008, http://www.zenit.org/article-23406?l=english.
(13) Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Norms for the Evaluation of Reported Apparitions, February 24, 1978. Cf. Miravalle, “Marian Private Revelation: Nature, Evaluation, Message” in Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons (Queenship, 2008), p. 831.
(14) J.M. Aladel, “Quentin” Canonical Inquiry, p. 2, p. 8 (Archives of the Priests of the Congregation of the Mission, Paris, France); cf. Dirvin, Saint Catherine Labouré, p. 114; cf. also R. Laurentin, The Life of Catherine Labouré, p. 88. Cf. “Marian Private Revelation” in Mariology, p. 848.
(15) Cf. Bro. Thomas Sennott, M.I.C.M., “Mary Co-redemptrix,” Mary at the Foot of the Cross II: Acts of the Second International Symposium on Marian Coredemption (Academy of the Immaculate, 2002), pp. 49-63. Cf. “Marian Private Revelation” in Mariology, note 131, pp. 846-847.
(16) Cf. Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, 1854. For an extended treatment, cf. Miravalle, With Jesus, pp. 17-30.
(17) Cf. St. Catherine, Autograph, August 15, 1841, Archives of the Daughters of Charity, Paris, France; Joseph Dirvin, C.M., Saint Catherine Labouré of the Miraculous Medal (1958, reprinted 1984 by Tan), p. 93; “Marian Private Revelation” in Mariology, p. 845.
(18) Emphasis mine, cf. St. Catherine, Autograph, August 15, 1841; cf. Dirvin, Saint Catherine Labouré, p. 94.
(19) Cf. “Marian Private Revelation” in Mariology, pp. 850-861.
(20) J.B. Estrade, J.H. Girolestone, tr., The Appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Grotto of Lourdes (Westminster, Art and Book Co., Ltd., 1912), pp. 61-62.
(21) Cf. R. Laurentin, Lourdes: Histoire Authentique, Vol. 4, pp. 229-277, 278-315; Alan Neame, The Happening at Lourdes (London, Catholic Book Club, 1968), p. 84; “Marian Private Revelation” in Mariology, pp. 852-853.
(22) SD, n. 27.
(23) SD, n. 24.
(24) Medical Reports of the Miracles at Lourdes. For recent reference, cf. for ex. Ficocelli, St. Bernadette and Lourdes, Zenit interview, Sept. 8, 2008.
(25) Louis Kondor, S.V.D., ed., Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words: Sister Lucia’s Memoirs (Postulation Center, Fatima, Portugal, 9th edition, 1995), Second Memoir, pp. 61-62.
(26) Memoirs, Second Memoir, p. 62.
(28) Memoirs, Fourth Memoir, pp. 156-158.
(29) Memoirs, Fourth Memoir, pp. 158-160.
(30) Memoirs, Fourth Memoir, pp. 160-161.
(32) Memoirs, Fourth Memoir, pp. 161-162.
(33) Cf. “Marian Private Revelation” in Mariology, p. 877.
(34) Memoirs, Fourth Memoir, pp. 168-170.
(35) Memoirs, Appendix I, p. 231; cf. “Marian Private Revelation” in Mariology, pp. 877-878.
(36) On five consecutive First Saturdays, to confess, receive holy communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and to keep Our Lady “company” by meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, all with the intention making reparation to her Immaculate Heart for the ingratitudes and offenses of humanity, cf. Memoirs, Fourth Memoir, pp. 166-167.
(37) L’Osservatore Romano, English edition, June 28, 2000, Special Insert, p. IV; cf. Estrade, Appearances, p. 90.
(38) Memoirs, Fourth Memoir, pp. 161-166.
(39) Note: Francis Mutsuo Fukushima, Secretary to Bishop Ito was himself present for the meeting of Cardinal Ratzinger and Bishop Ito at the Vatican; March, 13, 1982, Report of Bishop Ito to Cardinal Ratzinger, cf. Francis Mutsuo Fukushima, Akita: Mother of God as CoRedemptrix: Modern Miracles of the Holy Eucharist (Queenship, 1994), pp. 23-24.
(40) Pastoral letter of Bishop Ito, April 22, 1984, in Fukushima, Akita: Mother of God as CoRedemptrix, p. 219.
(41) Cf. interview with Ambassador Howard Dee, “‘Our Lady’s Ambassador,’” Inside the Vatican, November 1998, pp. 30-33.
(42) Cf. Pastoral letter of Bishop Ito in Akita: Mother of God as CoRedemptrix, Appendix C, pp. 209-220. Cf. Ibid., pp. 23-24.
(43) Cf. The Messages of the Lady of All Nations (Amsterdam: The Lady of All Nations Foundation, New ed., 1999).
(44) Fukushima, Akita: Mother of God as CoRedemptrix, pp. 23-24. For the scientific study of the tears and the blood that flowed from the statue, cf. ibid. appendices A and B, pp. 199-208.
(45) Fukushima, Akita: Mother of God as CoRedemptrix, p. 211.
(46) Cf. report of Bishop Ito to Cardinal Ratzinger, March 13, 1982; Fukushima, Akita: Mother of God as CoRedemptrix, p. 24.
(49) Cf. Pastoral letter of Bishop Ito in Akita: Mother of God as CoRedemptrix, Appendix C, pp. 214-215.
(50) Messages of the Lady of All Nations, May 31, 1951, message. Note: This can also refer to the minor mystical tradition that Our Lady experienced the invisible though truly physical stigmata in union with her crucified Son at Calvary. If saints such as St. Francis and St. Pio have experienced the physical wounds of Christ, all the more appropriate by the Queen of Martyrs and unique Co-redemptrix.
(51) Cf. “Marian Private Revelation” in Mariology, pp. 842-844; Fukushima, Akita: Mother of God as CoRedemptrix, p. 11.
(52) Fukushima, Akita: Mother of God as CoRedemptrix, p. 12.
(53) Ibid, p. 214.
(56) Letter from John Shojiro Ito, Bishop Emeritus of Niigata, to Hendrik Bomers, Bishop of Haarlem, February 28, 1989, http://www.de-vrouwe.net/.
(58) Fukushima, Akita: Mother of God as CoRedemptrix, pp. 45-54.
(59) Cf. ibid., p. 12.
(60) Ibid., p. 13.
(63) July 13, 1917, Fatima message, Memoirs, Fourth Memoir, pp. 161-162.
(64) October 13, 1973, message to Sr. Agnes. Fukushima, Akita: Mother of God as CoRedemptrix, p. 15.
(65) John Paul II, Encyclical, Redemptoris Mater, n. 41.
(66) Fukushima, Akita: Mother of God as CoRedemptrix, pp. 149-150.
(67) Ibid., p. 152.
(68) Fr. Thomas Teiji Yasuda, S.V.D., “The Message of Mary Coredemptrix at Akita and its Complementarity with the Dogma Movement,” Miravalle, Ed., Contemporary Insights on a Fifth Marian Dogma: Mary Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate: Theological Foundations III (Queenship, 2000), pp. 246-247.
(69) Howard Dee, Inside the Vatican, November 1998, p. 33. Cf. Contemporary Insights, “Our Lady’s Ambassador: John Paul II, Fatima, and the Fifth Marian Dogma” in Contemporary Insights on a Fifth Marian Dogma, p. 10.
(70) Cf. pastoral statement of Bishops Bomers and Jozef Maria Punt, May 31, 1996, the Lady of All Nations official Web site, http://www.de-vrouwe.net/english/index.html?d__May_31__1996__Approbation_of_ the_Title262.htm#top.
(71) Cf. pastoral statement of Bishop Punt on May 31, 2002, the Lady of All Nations official Web site, http://www.de-vrouwe.net/english/index.html?d__May_31__2002__Approbation_of_the_Apparitions 258.htm#top.
(72) For example, the 2007 pastoral adjustment of a phrase of the prayer of the Lady of All Nations through consultation between the Bishop of Haarlem and the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. Cf. Letter of Bishop Punt designating change of the prayer of the Lady of all Nations, August 8, 2005, http://www.de-vrouwe.net/english/index.html?d__Aug__8__2005______who_once_was_Mary492.htm#top.
(73) Cf. The Messages of the Lady of All Nations (Amsterdam: The Lady of All Nations Foundation, New ed., 1999) Co-redemptrix references: April 15, 1951; April 29, 1951;April 29, 1951;May 31, 1951; July 2, 1951; August 15, 1951; September 20, 1951; November 15, 1951; December 31, 1951; February 17, 1951; April 6, 1952; June 15, 1952 (coredemption); October 5, 1952; December 8, 1952; March 20; 1952; May 10, 1952; October 11, 1953; April 4, 1954; May 31, 1954; May 31, 1955; May 31, 1956; May 31, 1957; February 12-17, 1958. Dogma references: April 1, 1951; April 15, 1951; April 29, 1951;April 29, 1951;May 31, 1951; July 2, 1951; August 15, 1951; September 20, 1951; November 15, 1951; December 31, 1951; February 17, 1951; April 6, 1952; June 15, 1952 (coredemption); October 5, 1952; December 8, 1952; March 20; 1952; May 10, 1952; October 11, 1953; April 4, 1954; May 31, 1954; May 31, 1955; May 31, 1956; May 31, 1957; February 19, 1958. Requests for Dogma: August 15, 1951 (impliciter); December 31, 1951 (impliciter); April 6, 1952; December 8, 1952; May 10, 1953; October 11 1953; April 4, 1954; May 31, 1954; May 31, 1956; May 31, 1957.
(74) The Messages of the Lady of All Nations, 43rd message, October 5, 1952, p. 125.
(75) Ibid., 49th message, April 4, 1954, pp. 142-143.
(76) For example of a small sampling of the numerous works in many languages, cf. Carol, De Corredemptione; R. Laurentin, Le Titre de Corédemtrice; G Roschini, Maria Santissima Nella Storia della Salvezza, vol. 2, pp. 171-232; L Riley, “Historical Conspectus of the Doctrine of Mary’s Co-redemption”; Gregory Alastruey, The Blessed Virgin Mary, English translation of the original by Sr. M.J. La Giglia, O.P., Herder, 1964, ch. 2; Friethoff, O.P., A Complete Mariology, Blackfriars, 1958, English translation of Dutch original, Part III, ch. I-V; Carol, “Our Lady’s Coredemption,” in Mariology vol. 2, pp. 377-425.
(77) Cf. for example, the numerous articles and conferences dealing with coredemption and mediation from the 1940s up to and including the early 1960s as found in the Italian Marianum, the Spanish Ephemerides Mariologicae, the French Etudes Mariales, Bulletin de la Société francaise d’Etudes Mariales, the U.S. Marian Studies. For international episcopal approval of the “Co-redemptrix” title, cf. Carol, De Corredemptione Beatae Virginis Mariae, Civitas Vaticana, 1950, p. 608; as well as conference presentations on the subject; concerning “Mediatrix of all graces,” cf. Sacred Congregation of Rites under Pius XII, Miracles for the Canonization of Louis M. Grignion de Montfort, AAS 34, 1942, p. 44: “Gathering together the tradition of the Fathers, the Doctor Mellifluus (St. Bernard) teaches that God wants us to have everything through Mary. This pious and salutary doctrine all theologians at the present time hold in common accord” (my emphasis).
(78) The Messages of the Lady of All Nations, 50th message, May 31, 1954, pp. 145-146.
(79) Cf. pastoral statement of Bishop Punt on May 31, 2002, the Lady of All Nations official Web site, http://www.de-vrouwe.net/english/index.html?d__May_31__2002__Approbation_of_the_Apparitions 258.htm#top.
(80) A call reminiscent of the prayer of Bl. John XXIII at the opening session of the Second Vatican Council (Pope John XXIII, address at opening of Second Vatican Council, Oct. 11, 1962); Pope Benedict’s recent call for a “New Pentecost” in the United States (cf. Homily of Pope Benedict XVI at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, April 19, 2008); and his call for a “new age” of the Holy Spirit at the 2008 World Youth Day Closing Liturgy in Sydney (cf. Homily of Pope Benedict XVI on World Youth Day at Randwick Racecourse, Sydney, Australia, July 20, 2008).
(81) The Messages of the Lady of All Nations, 50th message, May 31, 1954, pp. 146-147.
(82) Ibid., p. 148.
(83) For example, Cardinal Aponte Martínez, one of the five cardinal promoters of the 2008 petition offered the following comment in support of the present timeliness of this potential dogma by Benedict XVI: “I believe the time is now for the papal definition of the relationship of the Mother of Jesus to the each one of us, her earthly children, in her roles as Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces, and Advocate. To solemnly proclaim Mary as the spiritual mother of all peoples is to fully and officially recognize her titles, and consequently to activate, to bring to new life the spiritual, intercessory functions they offer the Church for the New Evangelization, and for humanity in our serious present world situation.” Cardinals Initiate Petition for a Fifth Marian Dogma, January 1, 2008, cf. www.motherofallpeoples.com.
(84) Bl. John XXIII, Lourdes Closing Address, February 18, 1959, L’Osservatore Romano, Feb. 20-25, 1959.
(85) Cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum, nn. 9, 10.
(86) Cf. St. Catherine, Autograph, August 15, 1841; cf. Dirvin, Saint Catherine Labouré, p. 94.
(87) Cf. Dirvin, Saint Catherine Labouré, p. 178.
(88) Cf. “Marian Private Revelation” in Mariology, p. 808. Note: A similar Christological parallel to this phenomenon of private revelation on doctrinal development is the impact of the Divine Mercy messages to St. Faustina and its public effect for the Church in the new accentuation on God’s infinite mercy for our troubled world in the specific expressions of the 1980 encyclical, Dives in Misericordia; the public liturgical celebration of the Feast of Divine Mercy on the Sunday following Easter Sunday, and the new conference on Divine Mercy initiated by the Holy See and its renewed and enthusiastic promulgation of the scriptural and traditional truth of God’s mercy throughout the world.