Jesus gives us His Own Mother as Mediatrix of all Graces


I think it’s important to remind everyone of the weight of the various Vatican teaching documents… in descending order of formal authority: apostolic/dogmatic constitution, encyclical letter, encyclical epistle, apostolic exhortation, apostolic letter, letter and message. Therefore, Lumen Gentium, am Apostolic Constitution would hold a higher place than the Apostolic Letters and Encyclicals typically mentioned to support claims about certain Marian privileges

At Vatican II. Lumen Gentium very purposefully stopped short of declaring Mary the Mediatrix of *All **Graces when it said *“Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix, and Mediatrix. These, however, are to be so understood that they neither take away from nor add to the dignity and efficacy of Christ the one Mediator.”

This fact becomes quite clear when you understand how the teaching was formed at the Council. Archbiship Corrado Mingo of Monreal, Italy argued at the Council that the title “Mediatrix” should be amplified to “Mediatrix of All Graces”, yet it was omitted from Lumen Gentium. Several other Council fathers made that argument as well, still it was not included. It’s a well documented fact that it was considered a compromise between disparate groups at the Council to include the title ‘Mediatrix’, let alone ‘of All Graces’.

Also at the Council, Bishop Ancel, of Lyons, France said that title “Mediatrix” was given in the Constitution, but at the same time it was given no endorsement, thus leaving the door open for further study as the topic is still heavily debated among theologians. "Perhaps the title ‘Mediatrix might be listed with the other titles, in order to avoid the impression that it is a privileged one’ he said.

To reinforce the point that the doctrine was not fully formed in the Constitution…during the Council, Cardinal Alfrink of the Netherlands said “the title ‘Mediatrix’ should not be insisted upon, since it generates such great difficulties.” There was a clear divisions between the Council Fathers on whether or not to even include the title 'Mediatrix", let alone define it… And there is no mention of ‘Mediatrix of All Graces.’

Last point, which I brought up earlier… the last formal action on this subject was in the mid-90’s, at the request of the Holy See a commission was formed to determine whether or not a 5th Marian Dogma should be defined addressing the titles Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate. The commission unanimously decided not to define a Marian dogma on those titles.


To sum up, A Dogmatic Constitution holds the Church’s highest teaching authority. Lumen Gentium did not declare Mary ‘Mediatrix of All Graces.’ and purposefully omitted it from the Constitution. The Church has yet to define a teaching on Mary a ‘Mediatrix’ and the last formal action on the subject ended with a unanimous decision not to pursue a definition. No way can all Catholics be expected to submit to a belief that has no basis in scripture or revelation and, further, there is no definition on what it even means.

This piece of Marian devotion seems to fall in to the category of personal devotion. The Church may one day declare Mary to be "Mediatrix of All Graces’, but it does not teach that today… and I like many don’t see how it could ever be defined.

I hope this shows that not supporting the ‘all graces’ topic is not an argument from silence… this topic has been openly debated for the better part of 150 years and the Church has wisely decided against pursuing the topic based on well reasoned logic and the guidance of the Holy Spirit


I only know what I’ve read in some Papal Encyclicals, Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium, and in books or quotations from the saints, like St. John Paul II, who repeatedly said that all graces are given through Mary.

Are there any Popes, councils, or saints who say that some graces are given without our Mother’s mediation?


I’ve presented what VII teaches in Lumen Gentium about this topic. The Church thoroughly contemplated the topic and decided against pursuing it. Do you have questions about that?

Plus, as stated earlier, the church convened a panel to study this again in the mid-1990’s and decided unanimously against pursuing this as it is so ambiguous creates such difficulties. That was the last formal action in the topic.

Next… Here is a link from JPII, a great Mary devotee, to the Montfort religious family where states that Montfort’s teaching must be read anew according to the direction set by VII.

Here is the key excerpt from JPII
However, the considerable development of Marian theology since St. Louis Marie’s time is largely due to the crucial contribution made by the Second Vatican Council. The Montfort teaching, therefore, which has retained its essential validity should be reread and reinterpreted today in the light of the Council.

Last here is a pretty good and thorough synthesis of VII’s direction which further confirms the Church’s thought…

To answer your question… no, I have not seen where a Pope, council or the Church have authoritively taught that all graces come through Mary… in fact, the contrary is true and really has to be true because there is no evidence for this idea in scripture, revelation or the teachings of the patristic fathers


Why not just listen to the hymns and services of the Church?

Here is the Axion Estin, prayed in multiple services, including the Divine Liturgy:

It is truly proper to bless you, Theotokos, ever-blessed and blameless, and the Mother of our God.More honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim; without defilement you gave birth to God the Word, you who are truly the Theotokos, we magnify you.

What more needs to said or thought about the Panagia (All Holy Mother)? Don’t stress yourself with these angel on pinhead type questions.


It appears that there are no Popes, councils, or saints who say that some graces are given without our Mother’s mediation; or that Mary is not the Mediatrix of all graces.

Vatican II is cited. Vatican II taught that there is a union of Mary and Jesus in the work of salvation, and that Mary’s role as Mother in the order of grace fosters the immediate union of the faithful with the One Mediator.

Pope John Paul II was cited, who repeatedly affirmed that Mary is Mediatrix of all graces, as was taught explicitly (often in Encyclicals) by Popes such as Pius VII, Pius IX, Pius X, Leo XIII, Pius XI, Pius XII, etc–some of which are quoted above.

Here is an EWTN article listing many of the Papal statements that all graces are given through Mary:

Also, the speech of of John Paul II you cite affirms St. Louis DeMontfort’s spirituality, which JPII singles out in Redemptoris Mater as being a spirituality especially good and in line with Vatican II.

And the speech of JPII which was cited says:

"In addressing Jesus, St. Louis Marie expresses the marvel of the union between the Son and the Mother: “She is so transformed into You by grace that She lives no more, She is as though She were not. It is You only, my Jesus, Who lives and reigns in Her… Ah! If we knew the glory and the love which You receive in this admirable creature… She is so intimately united with You… She loves You more ardently and glorifies You more perfectly than all the other creatures put together” (ibid., n. 63)."

Also, according to an article at Catholic Culture (please let me know if this is inaccurate):

"Vatican Council II’s Theological Commission stated that Mary is the minister and dispenser of all graces because of her role with Christ in acquiring those graces."


I fully agree with you on this. The existing teaching and wonderful poetry to Mary are more than adequate for me. I do not understand the impulse to create a completely new doctrine about Mary’s role. It is clear that there is no evidence for this idea in scripture, revelation or the early Church… it truly is a novelty.


Patricius, in 1968, VII clearly and very purposely decided against stating that Mary is the mediatrix of all graces. After much debate and contemplation they arrived at that conclusion. This is clear and captured in the Apostolic Constitution Lumen Gentium - the highest teaching authority in the Church outside of an ex cathedra declaration from the Pope.

In 1997, The commission convened by the Holy See unanimously decided not to pursue this topic further because of the lack of theological foundation, ambiguity and the conflict with the direction laid out in VII. This was the last official action taken on the subject by the Church

in 2003, In the letter that I shared, JPII clearly stated that Montfort needs to be reread and reinterpreted in light of the council. He goes on to talk about Mary a perfect example to conform our faith to, but says nothing else about dispensing graces.

Therefore, following the clear logic above, JPII has taught against this idea despite some minor statements made over the year.

The Church take a long time to come to conclusions on these things. Who knows maybe one day she will decide to teach this… I, for one, hope not, as it is such a foreign idea to the revelation, scripture and the Church fathers. If there is no evidence in revelation, we are just making stuff up which undermines the integrity of the Catholic religion.

We have gone on long enough… we’ll have to agree to disagree. Thanks for chatting.


Any pious soul devoted to Our Blessed Mother (especially to the Holy Rosary); it is impossible, yes impossible, for that soul to have their “eyes on Mary alone”.


A man can make a false idol out of anything. Anything at all.


Hi g.i.g.,

Yes, thanks for the respectful discussion which is thought and prayer-provoking.

You don’t have to answer of course, as it sounds like you’re not going to continue. I realize we’re not convincing each other.Just some questions:

Where does Vatican II deny the repeated Papal teaching (in Encyclicals) that Mary is Mediatrix of All Graces? Didn’t Pope Benedict XVI say that Vatican II did not deny any previous teachings?

I haven’t seen any teaching from JPII–who called Mary “Mediatrix of All Graces” repeatedly–to the effect that this teaching is false. Nor have I seen any Pope state this. Pope Benedict XVI invoked Mary Mediatrix of All Graces when he announced he was stepping down I believe.

As far as the Mariological Congress in 1997 in Jasna Gora… where did they say that this idea lacks theological foundation?

As far as Church Tradition, Vatican II affirms St. Irenaeus’s second century statement that Mary is–by Christ’s grace–“the cause of our salvation” and the New Eve. This is implicit teaching of Mary’s mediation, as is the idea that she’s immaculately conceived and the Mother of God. Since Jesus and the Holy Spirit are also God, we always need a mediatrix with them: namely, the woman exalted to be the Mother of God.

The Popes have repeatedly affirmed St. Bernard’s teaching, quoting him in their Encyclicals. And I found this article at Catholic Culture:

"By the fourth century, the Church Fathers manifested a profound understanding of Mary’s function as Mediatrix. In reference to the Blessed Virgin, St. Ephraem (373) said: “With the Mediator, you are the Mediatrix of the entire world” (S. Ephraem, Syri opera graeca et latine, ed., Assemani, v. 3, Romae, pp. 525, 528-9, 532). St. Cyril of Alexandria, in one of the greatest Marian sermons of antiquity, said: “Hail Mary Theotokos, venerable treasure of the whole world…it is you through whom the Holy Trinity is glorified and adored,…through whom the tempter, the devil is cast down from heaven, through whom the fallen creature is raised up to heaven, through whom all creation, once imprisoned by idolatry, has reached knowledge of the truth, through whom holy baptism has come to believers…through whom nations are brought to repentance…” (Hom. in Deiparam, PG 65, p.681). Antipater of Bostra, another Father of the Council of Ephesus (AD 431), wrote: “Hail you who acceptably intercede as a Mediatrix for mankind.” St. Andrew of Crete, St. John Damascene, St. Germanus of Constantinople, St. Peter Damian, St. Bernard of Clairvaux and St. Bernardine of Siena all spoke either explicitly of Mary as Mediatrix of all Graces or of Marian mediation. Such citations became ever more frequent by numerous Doctors of the Church, mystics, saints, and writers throughout the Middle Ages up to the modern era. St. Bernard of Clairvaux stated: “God has willed that we should have nothing which would not pass through the hands of Mary” (Hom. III in vig. nativit., n. 10, PL 183, 100).


Piety and idolatry cannot coexist; hence the term, ‘pious’.


I agree completely.


Wonderful! Now, if you desire to get as close as possible to Our Blessed Lord and His Most Sacred Heart, go through the Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart of Mary. :slight_smile:


Ah, I see the long-game. The savior requires an intermediary, then?

Sorry. The trinity is already full. :frowning_face:


I would not necessarily use the term ‘requires’, and, it depends on how you are using and defining the term ‘intermediary’.

“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.” “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.”


Hi Vonsalza,

I agree that one can have a false devotion to Mary, particularly if one were to somehow claim that she is God… But I don’t really see how one could ever honor Mary enough in the sense the Church venerates her, since she–a creature–has been exalted as the Mother of God. Any amount of honor we could give her would fall far short of what she has done for us as our Mother in the order of grace.

Here is a quotation from an Encyclical of Pope Pius XI:

"But rather, as We said in the beginning, shall We beseech God through the mediation of the Blessed Virgin, so acceptable to Him, since, to use the words of St. Bernard: “Such is the will of God, who has wished that we should have all things through Mary.” (Sermon on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.)"


I respect your views and if they’re fine with the Church, then they’re fine with me.

But I view Mary in the context of Christ. I do not view Christ in the context of Mary. As I understand it, my views don’t conflict with the Church either.

In order to follow our savior, I don’t think we have to be “all aboard the ‘Mary Train’”, blessed Theotokos though she be.



Hi Vonsalza,

What I’m hearing is that you want to clearly affirm that Mary’s role is subordinate to Jesus Christ, and that she adds nothing and subtracts nothing from His dignity and efficacy as the One Mediator.

That is entirely correct, and is explicitly taught by Vatican II.

At the same time, we need to affirm the others teachings of the Church about Mary, including that the Mother and the Son are united in the work of salvation; and that Mary’s role as our Mother in the order of grace (Mother of the Church) greatly fosters our immediate union with Jesus Christ.

I’m sure you didn’t mean anything, but I think we–me, for example, since I deserve hell-- need to be careful of our words about our Blessed Mother. As John Paul II says in Redemptoris Mater, her unique motherhood of each one of us emerges from the heart of the Paschal Mystery, at the center of which Mary stands with Jesus Christ.

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