Pope St. John Paul II and Mary as Co-Redemptrix

It is important to understand from the beginning that there is no competition between Jesus and Mary.Giving love for Mary, we are not decreasing at all love for Jesus.

I present to you the thought of John Paul II. He had a school of devotion to the Virgin Mary, in the book called: “True Devotion to Mary”, this little book was the school of holiness of John Paul II. Many people found this holy lighthouse, a model of holiness being followed. 

I remember at the time that John Paul II was sick I was awake seeking news of this holy man, because I do not want to lose a moment of the Easter of this saint of our times.God has his ways, he passed away on Saturday Vespers of the 2nd Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday. Thus joining the two devotions in one day, the Sabbath which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary of Mercy and Sunday, a feast instituted by him at the request of Jesus to Saint Faustina. 
Pope John Paul II gathered the largest number of people in human history, 6 million young people in Manila in the Philippines. He was a Pope who swam against the current. This man gave himself fully to Jesus Christ. He configured himself to Him.In the Arms of John Paul II were represented two hearts that love us.The golden cross of our Lord, who loved us with a divinely human heart, and the co-redemptive M of Mary who loves us deeply.John Paul II used the phrase “co-redeemer” seven times, let us explain. The Church experienced a golden age of Mariology. Never has the Church developed so much Mariology (Study of Mary) in any century as in this past one. And at this same time happened two appearances recognized by the magisterium of the Church, Lourdes and Fatima.

There are two dogmas of Mary herself, Mother of God and the perpetual virginity. But there was still a part of Mary for us. What Mary is for us? Mary is mediatrix of all graces, all graces come to us through Mary. She participates in the redemption, so it is co-redeemer, as part of the redemption as any other saint participates.

Maria is a member of the Church, but she is also the mother of the Church. It seems contradictory, but it is not. When we look at Mary in relation to the Father  she is like us, but in relation to Jesus she is the mother, so she is more, she is our mother.

During the Second Vatican Council some priests wanted these two approvals in respect of the Virgin Mary, as the Council was pastoral and ecumenical, these dogmas were not approved. After the council, theology about Our Lady was diminishing, until we get to the 80’s, where one theologian said that we were in the “Ice Age of Mariology”. Coming up Pope John Paul II, the Marian Pope wanted to rekindle our devotion to the Mother of God.

Mary at the foot of the cross, co-redeemer. There is salvation in no other name but in Christ Jesus. When we call Mary Co-redeemer, we are not saying that he saved half or 99% of humanity and Mary saved elsewhere. Not this! Jesus saved all mankind, 100%.

God could make redemption come into the world by a decree. He could save us by a decree, a snap, but he would not do that. It would be humiliating for the man. Sin entered the world through one man, and it was necessary that sin be removed from the world by a man.

At first I was not one the man in the garden when they sinned.Theologically, according to the Patristic Fathers, Jesus is called the New Adam, and Mary the New Eve; this is from the time of the Apostles. Damnation entered the world through Adam, salvation entered the world through Jesus. And destruction entered the world through Eve salvation entered the world through Mary. 

An angel visited a virgin betrothed to a man, who is this woman? Eve The woman who was visited by an angel, and this angel was Satan and disobedience entered the world. Years later, an angel visited a virgin betrothed. Who is this woman? Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel.And salvation entered the world.

In heaven God could not suffer, could not suffer a passion and death, because in heaven there is no suffering, there, nobody dies. In his divine goodness, God willed that Mary collaborated with Christ giving the body He was about to sacrifice on the cross.

“Adam was God made man and Jesus was God and became man.”; Father Paulo Ricardo Teaches
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When Mary saw Jesus die on the cross, she fulfilled the prophecy of Simeon, who had said at the presentation of Jesus in the temple that a sword of sorrow will pierce her soul. Imagine the pain of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and  how much she suffered through her Son.

One day there was a Virgin at the foot of a tree that wanted to pick the fruit for themselves and be like God. So were Adam and Eve, wanted for themselves the gift of God, they wished to grab it for you.

“He had the divine condition, but did not cling to his equality with God.Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave and becoming like men. So presenting yourself like a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even death on a cross “Philippians 2, 6 – 8 Adam and Eve were not gods, but wanted to be God. Jesus was God, not holding on to His  divine status. Adam was man and made himself God. Jesus was God and became man.

Thousands of years later the woman was at the foot of a tree and there was the fruit of her womb. She did not cling to him, she gave, offered it. And for this reason Mary is the new Eve. Understand that Mary is not only a saint of the Church, there is a qualitative participation of Mary in salvation.

John Paul II with his arms, Mary at the foot of the cross invites us to return to the faith, the devotion to the Virgin Mary. Everyone was scared of faith in the Virgin Mary, but the saint of our times rekindle the flame.

God our Father, Creator, calls us to be as collaborators with God in creation, with parents who generate their children. Can we clearly accept that we mere humans are collaborators in creation and we can not accept that God wanted to use His creation, Mary, in salvation?

Just as the moon does not have its own light, so is Mary, she reflects the light that comes from God. She is like the moon.

You may think, “Why do not we directly at the sun?” be careful not to burn your retina.

Come to Mary first because the original sin makes us afraid of God, just like Adam and Eve after the sin in paradise; When God descends in the evening breeze they are afraid of God. When we place ourselves under the mantle of Our Lady we are welcoming the solution that God himself has given us. God’s Word says the pregnant woman about to give birth to a child and the old serpent is expecting this woman to give birth to a son he’s ready to devour. This woman is Mary.

Intellectually we give our lives to God, but not our hearts. We need to deliver them to Mary, so we do not have them. She is a poor woman keeping nothing for herself, automatically surrender it to Jesus. When we give our hearts to Mary she delivers them too.

Intellectually I know that God’s love is infinite, is perfect. But inside of the heart we do not understand this and this is a consequence of original sin.When we give something to God, the head understands, but the heart flounders. It Should not be so, but it is! And God knows our limitations.But nothing can shake the lordship of Jesus, not our surrender to Mary, because she does not retain she gives us to her Son.

The problem is not in the sun, but in my eyes. Because they are sensitive, looking directly at the sun burns the retina. The problem is not the love of God, but in my limited ability, reflecting the original sin that was in me. The consecration to the Virgin Mary by definition, is the consecration to Jesus, Incarnate Wisdom. What in  truth is actually desired in the consecration to the Virgin Mary is that people submit to the Lordship of Jesus through the hands of the Virgin Mary.

Many people do not understand when Jesus calls Mary “woman”, think it is a neglectful act of Jesus. But what He said in calling her that, is that Mary is not just any woman, but she is WOMAN from the beginning who was in the plan to collaborate with salvation. And she repeats the scene of the Garden of Eden, the woman under the tree now does not take the fruit for herself but to deliver.

At the Cross, Jesus gives Mary to the son, and delivers the child to the mother. From there John welcomes Mary intimately. Thus Jesus’ defeats the Devil. Since there is no heaven without the cross God knows the ways for their children to embrace the cross in order to reach salvation. Knowing that surrendering to Mary one would no longer be afraid of the cross, we would not fear to abandon ourselves to God, Jesus gives our mother to us.

Transcription and adaptation: Rogéria Nair


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Father Paulo Ricardo

Priest of the Archdiocese of Cuiabá (MT)