Mary and the Church: Mediation and Intercession©

The charts below are direct quotes from Post-Vatican II Magisterial Documents concerning the theme, Mary, Mediation and Intercession. These teachings of the Catholic Church may prove useful to include in talks, in homilies or for research. For the full title and document data, click on the abbreviation code (for example, BYM leads you to the document, Behold Your Mother). This will also lead you to the complete document on this website or assist you in locating it elsewhere.

For an index of the documents used in the study see: List of Magisterial Documents
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Documents IV. Mary and the Church / 4. Mediation and Intercession
Lumen Gentium, 1964
  • imploring the gift of the Spirit ["with his brethren" Acts 1:14] 59
  • The Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper (auxiliartrix), Benefactress (adjutrix), and Mediatrix. 62
  • Cana...she brought about by her intercession 58
  • the Blessed Virgin's salutary influence on men originates...in the disposition of God 60
  • Mary's function as mother in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. 60
  • motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly [Mary's role of mediation] 62
  • by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation 62
  • The Church does not hesitate to profess this subordinate role of Mary, which it constantly experiences and recommends to the heartfelt attention of the faithful so that encouraged by this maternal help they may the more closely adhere to the Mediator and Redeemer [Christ]. 62
  • From earliest times the Blessed Virgin is honored under the title of Mother of God, whose protection the faithful take refuge together in prayer in all their perils and needs [Sub tuum praesidium] 66
  • urgent supplications to the Mother of God...who...may now...intercede before her Son 69
Mense Maio, 1965
  • Every encounter with her can only result in an encounter with Christ himself. 5
  • we continually turn to Mary...to seek...Christ she holds in her arms 6
  • The gifts of God's mercy come down to us from her throne. 5
  • [because it is May] our petitions find their way more easily to the compassionate heart of our Blessed Lady 6
  • to obtain God's light and blessings...we place our confidence in her...Mother of the Church 7
  • From the beginning of the Council she has been unstinting in her loving help and will certainly not fail to continue her assistance to the final stage of the work. 7
  • in a special way calling on the intercession and protection of the VM, who is the Queen of Peace 10
  • may she...bring help to the needs of the Church and the world, 11
  • may she...heed the appeals for peace rising to her from every part of the world 11
  • may she...enlighten those who rule the destinies of men 11
  • may she prevail on God...to still...tempests in...conflicting hearts 11
  • May she 'grant us peace in our time'. 11
  • may she...grant...love which prevents egoism...[to safeguard rights] 11
Mysterium Fidei, 1965
  • [Conclusion: pro forma] May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary from whom Christ our Lord took the flesh which under the species of bread and wine "is contained, offered and consumed" (CIC, 1917, Can. 801),... intercede before the Father of mercies so that from this same faith in, and devotion toward, the Eucharist may result and flourish a perfect unity of communion among all Christians. 75
Christi Matri Rosarii, 1968
  • As the Church in uncertain and troubled times used to turn for refuge to His Mother Mary, most ready intercessor, it is right for us to direct our attention, yours, venerable brothers, and that of all the to her who, as St. Irenaeus says, "was made the cause of salvation for the whole human race." (Adv. Haer. 3, 22; PG 7, 959) 12
  • We can see nothing more appropriate or efficacious than for the whole Christian family to raise its voice amid its many stresses and difficulties to pray the Mother of God, whom we also address as Queen of Peace, to be generous, as a good mother, with her gifts. 13
  • We are anxious for you, venerable brothers, to give a lead and urge by exhortation a more persevering prayer to the gracious Virgin Mary by the devout recitation of the Rosary during the month of October as we have already indicated. This prayer is well suited to God's people, acceptable to the Mother of God and [she is] powerful in obtaining gifts from heaven. 15
  • that through her intercession there may dawn for all men the light of true peace 18
  • the Virgin Mother of God, the protector of Christians and our intercessor for peace 20
  • Through your intercession may the demands of God's justice, which have been caused by sin, be turned into mercy.... 21
  • Encouraged by the firm hope that the most high Mother of God will in her kindness grant our humble prayer... 22
Signum Magnum, 1967
  • How does the Mother of God help to foster the life of grace in the Church's members? First and foremost, by her unceasing supplications, which are prompted by her deep love. 11
  • United with Jesus Christ, who "lives always to make intercession for them," [Heb 7:25] she sees them in God and understands their needs; so she offers herself as their "Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix and Mediatrix." [LG 62] 11
  • From its earliest days the Church has always been thoroughly convinced that Mary intercedes unceasingly before her Son for the sake of God's People [Sub tuum]. 12
  • Mary's maternal intercession takes nothing at all away from...Christ. 13
  • [St. Ambrose] "May we deserve to ascend to Jesus, your Son, through you, Blessed Lady, as he deigned to come down to us through us." 21
  • "To Jesus through Mary." ... For the help of Mary...does not demean our dignity... 24
  • She never ceases to exercise her maternal office or to help us. 33
Creed, Paul VI, 1968
  • [pro forma introduction] trusting in the aid of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of...for the profit and edification of the Church 7
Recurrens Mensis October, 1969
  • We exhort the clergy and faithful to beg earnestly from God, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, peace and reconciliation among all men and between all peoples. 3
  • It is through Christ, in whom all grace is given us, (See Rom 8:32) that we dispose ourselves to welcome the gift of peace. And in that undertaking, how can we do otherwise than to depend lovingly upon the incomparable intercession of Mary, his Mother, of whom the Gospel tells us that she "found favor with God"? (See Lk 1:30) 5
  • At Cana, she did not hesitate to intervene, to the joy of the villagers invited to a wedding feast  (Jn 2:15) How, then, would she not intervene in favor of peace, that precious possession, if we only pray to her with a sincere heart? 7
  • The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council reminds us most opportunely that Mary continues to intercede with her Son in favor of her children on earth. (LG 62) 8
  • When she quite simply told Him, "They have no wine," Christ responded most generously. How, then, would He not show the same generosity to her when she says, "They have no place?" 8
  • May the frequent meditation upon the mysteries of our salvation make you peacemakers, in the image of Christ, after the example of Mary. 15
Behold Your Mother (USA), 1973
  • The intercession of Mary extends not only to individuals but to the whole community of believers. 5
  • She has a place in the ongoing work of redemption.... 5
  • Her motherly intercession, the Council made clear, in no way diminishes the unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. 5
  • We believe in the power of Mary's intercession to bring us, as individuals and as a community, under the influence of Christ's redeeming mercy. 9
  • [Cana] her willingness to make compassionate intercession. "She was moved by pity, and her intercession brought about the beginning of miracles by Jesus the Messiah." (LG 58) 36
  • [Cana] On behalf of the Church she greets the messianic Bridegroom. At her request the new wine is supplied. 36

    More on Mediatrix 65-70:

  • Although it used the word, mediatrix, only once, and altogether avoided the words "co-redemptrix" and "dispensatrix," the Council both retained and deepened Catholic understanding of our Lady's mediatorial role. 65
  • restricted use...ecumenical...pastoral [see these topics] 66
  • As mediatrix, Mary takes away nothing from Christ's all-sufficient mediatorship. 66
  • Pope Paul put it this way: "Since Mary is rightly to be regarded as the way by which we are led to Christ, the person who encounters Mary cannot help but encounter Christ likewise." (Mense Maio) 67
  • "Mary is not a bridge over the gap that separates us from a remote Christ....her mediation continues to create the spiritual climate for our immediate encounter with Christ." (Jelly) 67
  • Mary's mediatorial role, correctly understood, is in perfect accord with the centrality of Christ. 68
  • What is the positive value of Mary's role as mediatrix, and how does she exercise it? ... [by her] faith 69 [Additional, see 70]

    More on intercession 80-90

    [Chapter 4: Mary's Intercession. Her Place in the Communion of Saints]

  • We also believe that she remains inseparably joined to Him, associated with the intercession the glorified Jesus makes for us forever at the throne of His Father (Heb 7:25). 84 [See also 116: she shares in the everlasting intercession of our great High Priest]
  • In Eucharistic Prayer III, ... "on their constant intercession we rely for help." Intercession means that the blessed who are one with the risen Christ are still interested in us; they can and do pray for us.... 84
  • The emphasis on the heavenly intercession of the Mother of God strengthened the sense of community between the pilgrim Church on earth and the Church triumphant in heaven. [speaking in historical perspective of Middle Ages Church/Mary] 106
  • No one can help us more, by her example and by her intercession. 130
  • May her motherly intercession make us worthy of the promises of Christ. 146
Marialis Cultus, 1974
  • shines forth as Queen and intercedes as Mother. (August 22, collect) 6
  • [liturgy, doctrinal theme] merciful intercession 11
  • prayerful presence of Mary ... having been assumed into heaven, she has not abandoned her mission of intercession and salvation. (LG 62) 18
  • the intercession of her advocate and helper; (LG 62) 22
  • Above all [the Fathers] had recourse to the Virgin's intercession in order to obtain from the Spirit the capacity for engendering Christ in their own soul 26
  • [discussed in ecumenical context, see below] For Catholics, devotion to the Mother of Christ and Mother of Christians is also a natural and frequent opportunity for seeking her intercession with her Son in order to obtain the union of all the baptized within a single People of God. (LG 69) 32 [See also 33, Cana intercession as example]
  • her unceasing and efficacious intercession which, draws her close to those who ask her help, including those who do not realize that they are her children 56
  • The Virgin's maternal intercession, her exemplary holiness and the divine grace which is in her become for the human race a reason for divine hope. 57
Gaudete in Domino, 1975
  • And it is with good reason that her children on earth, turning to her who is the mother of hope and of grace, invoke her as the cause of their joy: Causa nostrae laetitiae.
Catechesi Tradendae, 1979
  • May the Virgin of Pentecost obtain this [renewal of catechetical dynamism of the Church through the Spirit of the Father and the Son 72] for us through her intercession. 73
  • May the presence of the Holy Spirit, through the prayers of Mary, grant the Church unprecedented enthusiasm in the catechetical work that is essential for her. 73
Dives in Misericordia, 1980
  • In her and through her, this love continues to be revealed in the history of the Church and of humanity. This revelation is especially fruitful because in the Mother of God it is based upon the unique fact of her maternal heart, on her particular sensitivity, on her particular fitness to reach all those who most easily accept the merciful love of a mother. This is one of the great life-giving mysteries of Christianity, a mystery intimately connected with the mystery of the Incarnation. 9
  • Let us have recourse to God through Christ, mindful of the words of Mary's Magnificat, which proclaim mercy "from generation to generation." Let us implore God's mercy for the present generation. 15
Ephesus, 1550th Anniversary, 1981
  • The Second Vatican Council summarizes in felicitous words Mary's unbreakable relationship with Christ and with the Church: "Since it had pleased God not to manifest solemnly the mystery of the salvation of the human race before he would pour forth the Spirit promised by Christ, we see the Apostles before the day of Pentecost 'with one accord devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren' (cf. Acts 1:14), and we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation." [LG 59] 8
  • With these words the Council text links the two moments in which Mary's motherhood is most closely united with the work of the Holy Spirit: firstly, the moment of the Incarnation, and secondly, that of the birth of the Church in the Upper Room in Jerusalem.8
Redemptoris Mater, 1987
  • She puts herself "in the middle," that is to say she acts as a mediatrix not as an outsider, but in her position as mother. 21
  • - She knows that as such she can point out to her Son the needs of mankind
    - in fact, she "has the right" to do so.
    - Her mediation is thus in the nature of intercession: Mary "intercedes" for mankind....
    - As a mother she also wishes the messianic power of her Son to be manifested, that salvific power of his which is meant to help man in his misfortunes, to free him from the evil which in various forms and degrees weighs heavily upon his life.
    - Another essential element of Mary's maternal task is found in her words to the servants: "Do whatever he tells you."
    - The Mother of Christ presents herself as the spokeswoman of her Son's will, pointing out those things which must be done so that the salvific power of the Messiah may be manifested. 21
  • At Cana, thanks to the intercession of Mary and the obedience of the servants, Jesus begins "his hour." At Cana Mary appears as believing in Jesus. Her faith evokes his first "sign" and helps to kindle the faith of the disciples. 21
  • [Vatican II] It is important to note how the Council illustrates Mary's maternal role as it relates to the mediation of Christ. Thus we read: "Mary's maternal function towards mankind in no way obscures or diminishes the unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its efficacy," because "there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." (I Tim. 2:5) This maternal role of Mary flows, according to God's good pleasure, "from the superabundance of the merits of Christ; it is founded on his mediation, absolutely depends on it, and draws all its efficacy from it." (LG 60) 22 [This topic is discussed in detail in Part III, 38f.]
  • From the text of John it is evident that it is a mediation which is maternal. 22 [See also 39, 40]

    Part II: Maternal Mediation, Articles 38-50

  • [Major thoughts:]
  • - all Marian mediation from merits of Christ (LG 60)
    - The saving influences [LG 60] of Mary are constantly sustained by the Holy Spirit.
    - Her mediation is intimately linked with her motherhood distinguished from mediation of] other creatures who in various and always subordinate ways share in the one mediation of Christ, although her own mediation is also a shared mediation. 38, 40
    - [Christ's mediation] "... gives rise among creatures to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this unique source." (LG 62) [The same holds true for Mary.] 38
    - subordinate [LG 62] 38, 40
    - at the same time special and extraordinary 38
  • by submitting to the power of the Most High, as handmaid]... It can be said that this consent to motherhood is above all a result of her total self-giving to God in virginity. ... Mary's motherhood, completely pervaded by her spousal attitude as the "handmaid of the Lord," constitutes the first and fundamental dimension of that mediation which the Church confesses and proclaims in her regard (LG 62) and continually "commends to the hearts of the faithful," since the Church has great trust in her. 39
  • [her cooperation, collaboration] underwent a singular transformation, becoming ever more imbued with "burning charity" towards all those to whom Christ's mission was directed. Through this "burning charity," which sought to achieve, in union with Christ, the restoration of "supernatural life to souls," (LG 61) Mary entered, in a way all her own, into the one mediation "between God and men" which is the mediation of the man Christ Jesus. 39
  • She was also the "handmaid of the Lord," left by her Son as Mother in the midst of the infant Church: "Behold your mother." Thus there began to develop a special bond between this Mother and the Church. For the infant Church was the fruit of the Cross and Resurrection of her Son. Mary, who from the beginning had given herself without reserve to the person and work of her Son, could not but pour out upon the Church, from the very beginning, her maternal self-giving. 40
  • Mary's motherhood continues unceasingly in the Church as the mediation which intercedes, and the Church expresses her faith in this truth by invoking Mary "under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix and Mediatrix." (LG 62) 40
  • By the mystery of the Assumption into heaven there were definitively accomplished in Mary all the effects of the one mediation of Christ the Redeemer of the world and Risen Lord: "In Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ." (I Cor. 15:22-23) 41
  • singularly united with him in his first coming, so through her continued collaboration with him she will also be united with him in expectation of the second ... specifically maternal role of mediatrix of mercy at his final coming, when all those who belong to Christ "shall be made alive," when "the last enemy to be destroyed is death." (I Cor. 15:26) (ftn 110, Bernard) 41
  • Thus, throughout her life, the Church maintains with the Mother of God a link which embraces, in the saving mystery, the past, the present and the future, and venerates her as the spiritual mother of humanity and the advocate of grace. 47
The VM in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation, 1988
  • through her manifold acts of intercession, continuing to obtain the gifts of eternal salvation for the Church. By her maternal charity she cares for the brethren of her Son on their pilgrim way. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked by the Church with the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix and Mediatrix. (cf. LG 62) 9
  • post-conciliar debate to a more suitable illustration of dogmas brought about in: on grace and freedom (doctrine of the cooperation of Mary on the work of salvation) ... 12
  • the Virgin was actively present in the life of the Church ... performing a multiple function: of cooperation in the birth of the faithful in the life of grace ... of "maternal mediation", (Title of part III of the Encyclical Redemptoris Mater) 17
Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 1994
  • Veneration of her, when properly understood, can in no way take away from "the dignity and efficacy of Christ the one Mediator." (LG 62) 43
  • I entrust this responsibility of the whole Church to the maternal intercession of Mary, Mother of the Redeemer. She, the Mother of Fairest Love, will be for Christians on the way to the Great Jubilee of the Third Millennium the Star which safely guides their steps to the Lord. May the unassuming Young Woman of Nazareth, who two thousand years ago offered to the world the Incarnate Word, lead the men and women of the new millennium towards the One who is "the true light that enlightens every man." (Jn 1:9) 59
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994
Fidei Depositum, 1992

969 "This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation....Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix." (LG 62)

970 Mary's function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. But the Blessed Virgin's salutary influence on men...flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely on it, and draws all its power from it." (LG 60) "No creature could ever be counted along with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer; but just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source." (LG 62)

975 "We believe that the Holy Mother of God, the new Eve, Mother of the Church, continues in heaven to exercise her maternal role on behalf of the members of Christ." (Paul VI, CPG ' 15)

[See especially section on Prayer: 2618, 2619]

Ecclesia in Oceania, 2001
  • With her prayer and presence, she will surely support the new evangelization just as she supported the first. In times of difficulty and pain, Mary has been an unfailing refuge for those seeking peace and healing. 53
  • I commend all the peoples of Oceania to the maternal protection of the Blessed Virgin, trusting absolutely that hers is an ear that always listens, hers a heart that always welcomes, and hers a prayer that never fails. 53
  • O Stella Maris, light of every ocean and mistress of the deep, guide the peoples of Oceania across all dark and stormy seas, that they may reach the haven of peace and light prepared in him who calmed the sea. Keep all your children safe from harm for the waves are high and we are far from home. 53
  • As we set forth upon the oceans of the world, and cross the deserts of our time, show us, O Mary, the fruit of your womb, for without your Son we are lost. 53
  • Pray that we will never fail on life's journey, that in heart and mind, in word and deed, in days of turmoil and in days of calm, we will always look to Christ and say, "Who is this that even wind and sea obey him?" 53
  • Our Lady of Peace, in whom all storms grow still, pray at the dawn of the new millennium that the Church in Oceania will not cease to show forth the glorious face of your Son, full of grace and truth, so that God will reign in the hearts of the Pacific peoples and they will find peace in the world's true Saviour. 53
  • Plead for the Church in Oceania that she may have strength to follow faithfully the way of Jesus Christ, to tell courageously the truth of Jesus Christ, to live joyfully the life of Jesus Christ. 53
Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 2002
  • Through the Rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer. 1
  • ...she continually brings to birth children for the mystical Body of her Son. She does so through her intercession, imploring upon them the inexhaustible outpouring of the Spirit. 15
  • The Rosary mystically transports us to Mary's side as she is busy watching over the human growth of Christ in the home of Nazareth. This enables her to train us and to mold us with the same care, until Christ is "fully formed" in us (cf. Gal 4:19). This role of Mary, totally grounded in that of Christ and radically subordinated to it, "in no way obscures or diminishes the unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power." (LG 60) 15
  • In support of the prayer which Christ and the Spirit cause to rise in our hearts, Mary intervenes with her maternal intercession. "The prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary." (CCC 2679) If Jesus, the one Mediator, is the Way of our prayer, then Mary, his purest and most transparent reflection, shows us the Way. "Beginning with Mary's unique cooperation with the working of the Holy Spirit, the Churches developed their prayer to the Holy Mother of God, centering it on the person of Christ manifested in his mysteries." (CCC 2675) At the wedding of Cana the Gospel clearly shows the power of Mary's intercession as she makes known to Jesus the needs of others: "They have no wine." (Jn 2:3) 16
  • The Rosary is both meditation and supplication. Insistent prayer to the Mother of God is based on confidence that her maternal intercession can obtain all things from the heart of her Son. She is "all-powerful by grace," to use the bold expression, which needs to be properly understood, of Blessed Bartolo Longo in his Supplication to Our Lady. This is a conviction which, beginning with the Gospel, has grown ever more firm in the experience of the Christian people. 16
  • The supreme poet Dante expresses it marvelously in the lines sung by Saint Bernard: "Lady, thou art so great and so powerful, that whoever desires grace yet does not turn to thee, would have his desire fly without wings." When in the Rosary we plead with Mary, the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit (cf. Lk 1:35), she intercedes for us before the Father who filled her with grace and before the Son born of her womb, praying with us and for us. 16
  • From Mary's uniquely privileged relationship with Christ, which makes her the Mother of God, Theotokos, derives the forcefulness of the appeal we make to her in the second half of the prayer, as we entrust to her maternal intercession our lives and the hour of our death. 33
  • ...the Rosary truly becomes a spiritual itinerary in which Mary acts as Mother, Teacher and Guide, sustaining the faithful by her powerful intercession. 37
  • The Church has always attributed particular efficacy to this prayer, entrusting to the Rosary, to its choral recitation and to its constant practice, the most difficult problems. At times when Christianity itself seemed under threat, its deliverance was attributed to the power of this prayer, and Our Lady of the Rosary was acclaimed as the one whose intercession brought salvation.39

© This material has been compiled by M. Jean Frisk.
Copyright is reserved for The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute.

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