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Offline XavierSem

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Fr. G-L: The Sufferings of Mary as Co-Redemptrix
« on: September 15, 2018, 07:43:07 AM »
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  • For the Feast of Our Lady's Dolors, let us call to mind the unspeakable Sorrows Our Lady experienced together with Her Son, all Her life, culminating in the Sword of Sorrows piercing Her Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart at the Foot of the Cross. On account of these sufferings, Mary is and deserves to be acknowledged by all the faithful as our Co-Redemptrix with Christ. Thoughts?

    Quote from: The Mother of Our Savior and the Interior Life, Article III, p.214-223
    The Sufferings of Mary as Co-Redemptrjx 
    How Did Mary Make Satisfaction For us?

    The purpose of satisfaction is to repair the offence offered to God and to make Him once more favourable to the sinner. The offence offered by mortal sin has about it a certain infinity, since offence is measured by the dignity of the person offended. Mortal sin, by turning the sinner away from God, his final end, denies in practice to God His infinite rights as the Supreme Good and destroys His reign in souls. 

    It follows from this that only the Incarnate Word could offer to the Father perfect and adequate satisfaction for the offence of mortal sin (45). For satisfaction to be perfect, it must proceed from a love and oblation which are as pleasing to God as, or more pleasing than, all sins united are displeasing to Him (46). But every act of charity elicited by Jesus had these qualities for His Divine Person gave them infinite satisfactory and meritorious value. A meritorious work becomes satisfactory (or one of reparation and expiation) when there is something painful about it. 
    Hence, in offering His life in the midst of the greatest physical and moral sufferings, Jesus offered satisfaction of an infinite and superabundant value to His Father. He alone could make satisfaction in strict justice since the value of satisfaction, like that of merit, comes from the person, and the Person of Jesus, being divine, was of infinite dignity. 

    It was, however, possible to associate a satisfaction of becomingness (de congruo) to Jesus' satisfaction, just as a merit of becomingness was associated to His merit. In explaining this point, we shall show all the more clearly the depth and extent of Mary's sufferings. 

    Mary offered for us a satisfaction of becomingness (de convenientia) which was the greatest in value after that of her Son. 

    When a meritorious work is in some way painful it has value as satisfaction as well. Thus theologians commonly teach, following upon what has been explained in the previous section, that Mary satisfied for all sins de congruo in everything in which Jesus satisfied de condigno. Mary offered God a satisfaction which it was becoming that He should accept: Jesus satisfied for us in strict justice. 

    As Mother of the Redeemer, Mary was closely united to Jesus by perfect conformity of will, by humility, by poverty, by suffering— and most particularly by Her compassion on Calvary. That is what is meant when it is said that She offered satisfaction along with Him. Her satisfaction derives its value from Her dignity as Mother of God, from Her great charity, from the fact that there was no fault in Herself which needed to be expiated, and from the intensity of Her sufferings. 

    The Fathers treat of this when they speak of Mary "standing " at the foot of the Cross, as St. John says (John xix, 25). They recall the words of Simeon, "Thy own soul a sword shall pierce " and they show that Mary suffered in proportion to her love for her crucified Son; in proportion also to the cruelty of His executioners, and the atrocity of the torments inflicted on Him Who was Innocence itself (47). The liturgy also has taught many generations of the 
    faithful that Mary merited the title of Queen of Martyrs by Her most painful martyrdom of Heart. 

    That is the lesson of the Feasts of the Compassion of the Blessed Virgin and of the Seven Dolours, as well as of the Stabat Mater. 

    Leo XIII summed up this doctrine in the statement that Mary was associated with Jesus in the painful work of the redemption of mankind (48). [Pope St.] Pius X calls her "the repairer of the fallen world " (49) and continues to show how She was united to the priesthood of her Son: " Not only because She consented to become the mother of the only Son of God so as to make sacrifice for the salvation of men possible, but also in the fact that She accepted the mission of protecting and nourishing the Lamb of Sacrifice, and when the time came led Him to the altar of immolation— in this also must we find Mary's glory. 

    Mary's community of life and sufferings with Her Son was never broken off. To Her as to Him may be applied the words of the Prophet: My life is passed in dolours and My days in groanings. To conclude this list of Papal pronouncements we may refer to the words of Benedict XV: "In uniting Herself to the Passion and Death of Her Son she suffered almost 
    unto death; as far as it depended on Her, She immolated Her Son, so that it can be said that with Him She redeemed the human race"(50). 

    The Depth and Fruitfulness of Mary's Sufferings as Co-Redemptrix

    Mary's sufferings have the character of satisfaction from the fact that like Jesus and in union with Him, She suffered because of sin or of the offence it offers to God. This suffering of Hers was measured by Her 
    love of God Whom sin offended, by Her love of Jesus crucified for our sins, and by Her love of us whom sin 
    had brought to spiritual ruin. In other words, it was measured by Her fulness of grace, which had never ceased to increase from the time of the Immaculate Conception. Already Mary had merited more by the easiest acts than the martyrs in their torments because of Her greater love. What must have been the value of her sufferings at the foot of the Cross, granted the understanding She then had of the mystery of the Redemption! 

    In the spiritual light which then flooded Her soul, Mary saw that all souls are called to sing the glory of God. Every soul is called ,to be as it were a ray of the divinity, a spiritual ray of knowledge and love, for our minds are made to know God and our wills to love Him. But though the heavens tell God's glory unfailingly, thousands of souls turn from their Creator. Instead of that divine radiation, instead of God's exterior glory and His Kingdom, there are found in countless souls the three wounds called by St. John the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life: living as if there were no desirable love except carnal love, no glory except that of fame and honour, and no Lord and Master, no end, except man himself. 

    Mary saw all that evil, all those wounds in souls, just as we see the evils and wounds of bodies. Her fulness of grace had given Her an immense capacity to suffer from the greatest of evils, sin. She suffered as much as She loved God and souls: God offended by sin and souls whom it rendered worthy of eternal damnation. Most of all did Mary see the crime of deicide prepared in hearts and brought to execution: She saw the terrible paroxysm of hatred of Him Who is the Light and the Author of salvation. 

    To understand Her sufferings, we must think too of Her love, both natural and supernatural, of Her only Son Whom She not only loved but, in the literal sense of the term, adored since He was Her God. She had conceived Him miraculously. She loved Him with the love of a Virgin — the purest, richest and most tender charity that has ever been a mother's. Nor was Her grief diminished by ignorance of anything that might make it more acute. She knew the reason for the crucifixion. She knew the hatred of the Jews, His chosen people — Her people. She knew that it was all for sinners. 

    From the moment when Simeon foretold the Passion — already so clearly prophesied by Isaias — and Her compassion, She offered and did not cease to offer Him Who would be Priest and Victim, and Herself in union with Him. This painful oblation was renewed over years. Of old, an angel had descended to prevent Abraham's immolation of his son Isaac. But no angel came to prevent the immolation of Jesus. 

    In his sermon on the Compassion of Our Lady, we read the following magnificent words of Bossuet: " It is the will of the Eternal Father that Mary should not only be immolated with the Innocent Victim and nailed to the Cross by the nails that pierce Him, but should as well be associated with the mystery which is accomplished by His death ... Three things occur in the sacrifice of Our Saviour and constitute its perfection. There are the sufferings by which His 
    humanity was crushed. There is His resignation to the will of His Father by which He humbly offered Himself. There is the fruitfulness by which He brings us to the life of grace by dying Himself. He suffers as a Victim who must be bruised and destroyed. He submits as a Priest who sacrifices freely; voluntarie sacrificabo tibi (Ps liii, 8). Finally He brings us to life by His sufferings as the Father of a new people ..."

    "Mary stands near the Cross. With what eyes She contemplates her Son all covered with blood, all covered with wounds, in form now hardly a man! The sight is enough to cause Her death. If She draws near to that altar, it is to be immolated there: and there, in fact, does she feel Simeon's sword pierce Her Heart ...

    "But did Her dolours overcome Her, did Her grief cast Her to the ground? Stabat juxta crucem: She stood by the Cross. The sword pierced Her heart but did not take away Her strength of soul: Her constancy equals Her affliction, and her face is the face of one no less resigned than afflicted. 

    "What remains then but that Jesus Who sees Her feel His sufferings and imitate His resignation should have given Her a share in His fruitfulness. It is with that thought that He gave Her John to be Her son: Woman, behold thy son. Woman, who suffer with Me, be fruitful with Me, be the mother of My children whom I give you unreservedly in the person of this disciple; I give them life by My sufferings, and sharing in the bitterness that is Mine Your affliction will make You fruitful." 

    In the sermon, of which the paragraphs I have quoted are the opening, Bossuet develops the three main points outlined and shows that Mary's love for Jesus was enough to make Her a martyr: "One Cross was enough for the well-beloved Son and the Mother." She is nailed to the Cross by Her love for Him. Without a special grace she would have died of Her agony. 

    Mary gave birth to Jesus without pain: but She brings the faithful forth in the most cruel suffering. "At what price She has bought them! They have cost Her Her only Son. She can be mother of christians only by giving her Son to death. O agonising fruitfulness! It was the will of the Eternal Father that the adoptive sons should be born by the death of the True Son. What man would adopt at this price and give his son for the sake of strangers? But that is what the Eternal Father did. We have Jesus' word for it: God so loved the world as to give His only begotten Son (John hi, 16). 

    " (Mary) is the Eve of the New Testament and the mother of all the faithful; but that is to be at the price of Her First-born. United to the Eternal Father She must offer His Son and Hers to death. It is for that purpose that Providence has brought Her to the foot of the Cross. She is there to immolate Her Son that men may have life . . . She becomes mother of christians at the cost of an immeasurable grief ..." 

    We should never forget what we have cost Mary. The thought will lead to true contrition for our sins. The regeneration of our souls has cost Jesus and Mary more than we can ever think. 

    We may conclude this section by noting that Mary the Co-Redemptrix has given us birth at the foot of the Cross by the greatest act of faith, hope and love that was possible to Her on such an occasion. One may even say that Her act of faith was the greatest ever elicited, since Jesus had not the virtue of faith but the beatific vision. In that dark hour when the Faith of the apostles themselves seemed to waver, when Jesus seemed vanquished and his work annihilated, Mary did not cease for an instant to believe that Her Son was the Saviour of mankind and that in three days, He would rise again as He had foretold. When He uttered His last words " It is consummated" Mary understood in the fulness of Her Faith that the work of salvation had been accomplished by His most painful immolation. The evening before Jesus had instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice and the Christian Priesthood; She sees now something of the influence 
    the Sacrifice of the Cross will exercise. She knows that Jesus is the true Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world, that He is the conqueror of sin and the demon, and that in three days He will conquer death, sin's consequence. She sees the hand of God where even the most believing see only darkness and desolation. Hers was the greatest act of faith ever elicited by a creature, a faith higher than that of the angels when they were as yet in their period of 

    Calvary saw too Her supreme act of hope at a moment when everything seemed lost. She grasped the force of the words spoken to the good thief: "This day thou Shalt be with Me in paradise"; heaven, She realised, was about to be open for the elect. 

    It was finally Her supreme act of charity : so to love God as to offer His only Son in the most painful agony : to love God above everything at the moment when He tried Her in the highest and deepest of Her loves, even in the object of Her adoration — and that because of our sins. 

    It is true that the theological virtues grew in Mary up to the time of Her death, for these acts of faith, hope and charity were not broken off but continued in Her as a kind of state. They even expanded in the succeeding calm, like a river which becomes more powerful and majestic as it nears the ocean. The point which theology wishes to stress is not that of Mary's subsequent growth in the virtues but the equality between Her sacrifice and Her merits at the 
    foot of the Cross itself: both Her sacrifice and Her merits were of inestimable value and their fruitfulness, while not approaching that of Christ's sacrifice and merits, surpasses anything the human tongue can utter. Theologians express this by saying that Mary made satisfaction for us de congruo in proportion to Her immense charity, while Jesus made satisfaction de condigno. 

    Even the saints who have been most closely associated with the sufferings of the Saviour did not enter as Mary did into the most secret depths of the Passion. St. Catherine de Ricci had every Friday during twelve years an ecstasy of pain which lasted twenty-eight hours and during which she lived over again all the sufferings of the way of the Cross. But even such sufferings fell far short of those of Mary. Mary's Heart suffered in sympathy with all the agony of the Sacred Heart to such a point that She would have died of the experience had She not been especially strengthened. 

    Thereby She became the consoler of the afflicted, for She had suffered more than all, and patroness of 
    a happy death. We have no idea how fruitful these sufferings of Hers have been during twenty centuries ...

    (45) It is easier to knock down than to build up. The offence of a creature's mortal sin has a certain infinity from the side of the Person offended, whereas the creature's love is limited because of the limitations of its principle. Besides, mortal sin destroys the life of grace, and once that has been lost, we cannot be restored to it by ourselves. 

    (46) Ilia, q.l, a.2, ad 2; q 48, a.2. 

    (47) Cf St. Ephrem, Oratio ad Virginem; St. Ambrose, De Instit. Virg., c.V. Epist. 25 ad Eccles. Vercell.; St. Bernard, Sermo de Passione, Sermo de duodecim stellis, Sermo Dom. infra Oct. Ass.; St. Albert the Great, MaHale, q.42; St. Bonaventure, Sermo I de B. V.-; St. Laurence Justinian, Sermo de nativ. Virginis. 

    (48) Encycl. Jucunda Semper, Sept. 8th. 1894: "Consors cum Christo existlt laboriosae pro humano genere expiationts. 

    (49) Encycl. Ad diem Wum, Feb. 2nd, 1904: " Reparatrix perditi orbis." 

    (50) Cf. Denz. 3034. no. 4. In this same place reference Is made to the words of Pius XI: "Virgo perdolens redemptionis opus Jesu Christo participavit " and to a decree of the Holy Office praising the custom of adding after the name of Jesus that of His Mother, our Co-Redcmptrix, the Blessed Virgin Mary. The same Congregation has indulgenced (Jan. 22nd, 1914) the prayer in which Mary is addressed as Co-Redemptrix of the human race. Cf. Diet, de Theol. Cath., art. Marie, coi 2396: "Since the word 'Co-Redemptrix' signifies of itself simple co-operation in the work of redemption, and since it has received in the theological usage of centuries the very precise meaning of secondary and dependent co-operaticn ... there can be no serious objection to its use on condition that It be accompanied by some expression indicating that Mary's role in this co-operation is secondary and dependent." 
    Do make Acts of Consecration to the Twin Hearts, Spiritual Offerings of the Precious Blood of Jesus in Union with the Holy Mass, like in St. Gertrude's Chaplet, along with Spiritual Communions at least every hour. "Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world." ~ Our Lady of the Rosary.

    Offline hollingsworth

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    Re: Fr. G-L: The Sufferings of Mary as Co-Redemptrix
    « Reply #1 on: September 15, 2018, 11:37:09 AM »
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  • Xavier:
    For the Feast of Our Lady's Dolors, let us call to mind the unspeakable Sorrows Our Lady experienced together with Her Son, all Her life, culminating in the Sword of Sorrows piercing Her Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart at the Foot of the Cross. On account of these sufferings, Mary is and deserves to be acknowledged by all the faithful as our Co-Redemptrix with Christ. Thoughts?

    I treat it as fixed dogma at this point. Mary is both Co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix.  I wonder, however, how many Catholics, even traditional Catholics, recognize the fact that Jesus has appointed His Mother to be our Mother also.  He has willed in these last days that we should receive all of His favors and graces through her.  I am not certain that this major premise is, even today among many Catholics, universally accepted and acted upon.
    Remember again the words of Fr. Augustin Feuntes in 1957, in an exclusive interview with Sr.Lucy.  He wrote:
       Finally, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, our Most Holy Mother, consists in considering Her as the Seat of Mercy, of goodness, and of pardon, and the certain door by which we are to enter Heaven.
    Fr. Fuentes was censured gravely by his superiors for these remarks, which can only mean that the memory of Sr. Lucy must suffer under the same censure.

    Offline trad123

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    Re: Fr. G-L: The Sufferings of Mary as Co-Redemptrix
    « Reply #2 on: September 15, 2018, 12:34:58 PM »
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  • Below, the paragraph spacing is my own. The formatting doesn't paste over.

    Faber, Fr Frederick William. At the Foot of the Cross; or, The Sorrows of Mary (pp. 434-449). Veritatis Splendor Publications. Kindle Edition.




    AT first we stood on the shore of Mary's sorrows and gazed upon them as one vast ocean. We then sounded, one after another, the seven abysses of that ocean, which the Church selected and presented to us. Now we look at her dolors again as one, but pouring their waters through the strait of Calvary into the mightier ocean of the Precious Blood. This peculiar point of view is called the Compassion of Mary, the right understanding of which involves several grave theological questions, and yet is most necessary to make our devotion to the dolors real and profound. There are, in fact, seven questions for us to consider: the Divine purpose of her Compassion, its nature and characteristics, what it actually effected, the relation in which it stands to our own compassion with her, a comparison of the Passion with Mary's Compassion, the seeming excess of the Compassion over the Passion, and, lastly, the measures and dimensions of her Compassion.

    First of all, then, we have to consider the Divine purpose of her Compassion. It is very questionable whether we might ever say of anything in God's works that it was "merely ornamental." There is something in the idea of mere ornament which seems at variance with the actuality of God, with the magnificence of His simplicity, with His adorable reality.

    To suppose our Lady's dolors to be so much ornamental pathos added to the Incarnation even for the holy end of exciting some additional degrees of love, would involve still further questions regarding the character and perfections of God, His tenderness toward His creatures, and the merciful significance which there is in every pain and sorrow through all creation.
    It is not easy to see how he who should hold such a view of our Blessed Lady's sorrows could be excused from the highest irreverence, or even from implicit blasphemy. God certainly had a purpose in them. He has a purpose in everything which He ordains. But His purpose in so very marked a feature of the Incarnation as the unutterably woeful destiny of the Mother of God must have been proportioned to the magnitude of the mystery itself, and of that larger mystery of which it is a part. It could not have been a simple pathos. God could not have martyred one of His creatures only to throw a poetical halo round the intense realities of Calvary. Neither could it have been merely a lesson to us. For much of her Compassion is not only inimitable by us, and so beyond our reach, but also incomprehensible to us, and so beyond our understanding. It is true we learn lessons from it, because there is teaching in all that God does. But this is a different thing from God's having no further intention in a mystery than that it should be a lesson to us. Neither can it have been only for her sanctification, though no doubt this was one great purpose in it. She had become the Mother of God before her dolors commenced; and they were a consequence of her Divine maternity, not a preparation for it. They did sanctify her. Indeed, they were in an especial sense the sanctification of one who, being sinless, could not be sanctified, as the Saints have been, by struggle, evil propensity, or inward temptation. But it is hard to contemplate them at all studiously and believe that their purpose ended here. We crave a deeper and diviner purpose, and one more closely knit to the whole scheme of the Incarnation; and we may be sure that such a one exists, even though it may be beyond our discovery.

    If, then, we reject all the views mentioned above, as unreal and unworthy, and clearly at variance with the phenomena to be explained, are we, on the other hand, to suppose that our Lady's Compassion was part of the redemption of the world, that the salvation of souls was merited by it, and that sin was expiated by it? Many writers have used language which seems to imply as much as this. Saints and doctors have united in calling-----our Blessed Lady co-redemptress of the world.

    There is no question of the lawfulness of using such language, because there is such overwhelming authority for it. The question is as to its meaning. Is it merely the hyperbole of panegyric, the affectionate exaggeration of devotion, the inevitable language of a true understanding of Mary, which finds common language inadequate to convey the whole truth? Or is it literally true, with an acknowledged and recognized theological accuracy attached to it? This is a question which has presented itself to most minds in connection with devotion to our Blessed Mother, and there are few questions to which more vague and unsatisfactory answers have been made, than to this. On the one hand, it seems rash to assert of language used both by Saints and Doctors, that it is only exaggeration and hyperbole, flowery phraseology intended to startle, but without any real meaning hidden beneath it. On the other hand, who can doubt that our most Blessed Lord is the sole Redeemer of the world, His Precious Blood the sole ransom from sin, and that Mary herself, though in a different way, needed redemption as much as we do, and received it in a more copious manner and after a more magnificent kind in the mystery of the Immaculate Conception?

    Thus, so far as the literal meaning of the word is concerned, it would appear that the term co-redemptress is not theologically true, or, at least, does not express the truth it certainly contains with theological accuracy. We are distracted between the desire to magnify our Blessed Mother, the authority of the Saints and Doctors, and the supremely sovereign requirements of a sound theology. We certainly shrink from asserting that the language of the Saints has no meaning, or is inadvisable; and, at the same time, we have no doubt that our Blessed Lady is not the co-redemptress of the world in the strict sense of being redemptress, in the unshared sense in which our " Lord is Redeemer of the world, but she is co-redemptress in the accurate sense of that compound word. But these are not times in which it is desirable to use words the real meaning of which we have not distinctly ascertained. Hence, while it would be sad indeed for anyone to attempt to deprive Mary of a title which Saints and doctors have conferred upon her,-----for we are living in days when the growth of devotion to our Blessed Mother is our surest augury of a better future,-----at the same time it is of importance, even in a devotional point of view, for us to know what we mean by a title which certainly conveys a real truth and a truth which could not very easily be otherwise expressed.

    The following conclusions may perhaps be taken as true, finding truth in the mean, and avoiding both the somewhat violent alternatives of censuring the Saints, or of infringing on the prerogatives of our Blessed Lord:-----

    1. Our Blessed Lord is the sole Redeemer of the world in the true and proper sense of the word, and in this sense no creature whatsoever shares the honor with Him, neither can it be said of Him without impiety that He is co-redeemer with Mary.

    2. In a secondary dependent sense, and by participation, all the elect co-operate with our Lord in the redemption of the world.

    3. In the same sense, but in a degree to which no others approach, our Blessed Lady co-operated with Him in the redemption of the world.

    4. Besides this, and independent of her dolors, she co-operated in it in a sense, and after a manner, in which no other creatures did or could.

    5. Furthermore, by her dolors, she co-operated in the redemption of the world in a separate and peculiar way, separate and peculiar not only as regards the co-operation of the elect, but also as regards her own other co-operation, independently of the dolors.

    These five propositions seem to place the whole question in a tolerably clear light. It does not appear to be necessary to say any thing about the first. It is of faith that our Blessed Lord alone redeemed the world. The elect co-operate with Him in this work as His members. They have become His members by redeeming grace, that is, by the application to their souls of His sole redemption. By His merits they have acquired the ability of meriting. Their works can satisfy for sin, the sins of others as well as their own, by their union with His. Thus, to use St. Paul's language, by their sanctified sufferings or by their voluntary penances they "fill up in their bodies that which is lacking of the sufferings of Christ, for His Body's sake, which is the Church." Thus by the Communion of the Saints in their Head, Jesus Christ, the work of redemption is perpetually going on by the accomplishment and application of the redemption effected on the Cross by our Blessed Lord. It is not a figurative and symbolical, but a real and substantial, co-operation of the elect with our Blessed Redeemer.

    There is a true secondary sense in which the elect merit the salvation of the souls of others, and in which they expiate sin and avert its judgments. But it is by permission, by Divine adoption, by participation, and in subordination to the one sole and complete redemption of Jesus Christ. But the holiness of all the Saints together does not even approximate to the holiness of Mary. Her merits have a sort of infinity as compared with theirs. Their martyrdoms and dolors are little more than shadows when placed by the side of hers. Thus in their own sense of co-operation she exceeds them in degree immeasurably, so that her co-operation with our Lord almost throws theirs into the shade. On this account she might be called co-redemptress with a truth, which would be far less applicable to the Saints.

    But this is not all. She co-operated with our Lord in the redemption of the world in quite a different sense, a sense which can never be more than figuratively true of the Saints. Her free consent was necessary to the Incarnation, as necessary as free will is to merit according to the counsels of God. She gave Him the pure blood, out of which the Holy Ghost fashioned His Flesh and bone and Blood. She bore Him in her womb for nine months, feeding Him with her own substance. Of her was He born, and to her He owed all those maternal offices which, according to common laws, were necessary for the preservation of His inestimable life. She exercised over Him the plenitude of parental jurisdiction. She consented to His Passion; and if she could not in reality have withheld her consent, because it was already involved in her original consent to the Incarnation, nevertheless she did not in fact withhold it, and so He went to Calvary as her free-will offering to the Father. Now, this is co-operation in a different sense from the former, and if we compare it with the co-operation of the Saints, their own co-operation, in which Mary herself alone surpassed them all, we shall see that this other peculiar co-operation of hers was indispensable to the redemption of the world as effected on the Cross. Souls could be saved without the co-operation of the Saints. The soul of the penitent thief was saved with no other co-operation than that of Mary, and, if our Blessed Lord had so willed it, could have been saved without even that.

    But the co-operation of the Divine Maternity was indispensable. Without it our Lord would not have been born when and as He was; He would not have had that Body to suffer in; the whole series of the Divine purposes would have been turned aside, and either frustrated, or diverted into another channel. It was through the free will and blissful consent of Mary that they flowed as God would have them flow. Bethlehem, and Nazareth, and Calvary, came out of her consent, a consent which God did in no wise constrain. But not only is the co-operation of the Saints not indispensable of itself, but no one Saint by himself is indispensable to that co-operation. Another Apostle might have fallen, half the Martyrs might have sacrificed to idols, the Saints in each century might have been a third fewer in number than they were, and yet the co-operation of the Saints would not have been destroyed, though its magnificence would have been impaired. Its existence depends on the body, not on the separate individuals. No one Saint who can be named, unless perhaps it were in some sense St. Peter, was necessary to the work, so necessary that without him the work could not have been accomplished.

    But in this co-operation of Mary she herself was indispensable. It depended upon her individually. Without her the work could not have been accomplished. Lastly, it was a co-operation of a totally different kind from that of the Saints. Theirs was but the continuation and application of a sufficient redemption already accomplished, while hers was a condition requisite to the accomplishment of that redemption. One was a mere consequence of an event which the other actually secured, and which only became an event by means of it. Hence it was more real, more present, more intimate, more personal, and with somewhat of the nature of a cause in it, which cannot in any way be predicated of the co-operation of the Saints. And all this is true of the co-operation of Mary, without any reference to the dolors at all. But her dolors were of themselves another co-operation still more peculiar. The Incarnation might have taken place without its sorrowful mysteries. Indeed, if there had been no sin, it would have taken place in glorious and impassible Flesh, and of the same Mother with a different destiny, a destiny of joy as marvelous and inexplicable as was in fact her destiny of sorrow.

    The joys of Mary are like flashes from some other set of Divine decrees, which was not wholly overlaid by the present dispensation. This is their peculiarity. They are tokens of a mystery existing in the mind of God, but which to us is no more than a possible world, or rather a world which our sin would not allow to realize itself. Thus it is impossible to separate the dolors of Mary from her Divine Maternity. They follow from it in the way of consequence as necessarily as in the free Divine counsels the Incarnation of shame and suffering followed from the necessity of expiating sin. Her sorrows were caused by and inextricably commingled with His sorrows. They came from the same source; they led into the same depths; they were connected with the same circumstances. The two sorrows were but one sorrow afflicting two hearts. Besides this, as we shall see afterward, there were many peculiar points not only of striking resemblance, but of actual union, between her dolors and His. Yet, though we cannot separate her dolors from her Maternity in fact, her Maternity is quite conceivable without her dolors, and its peculiar co-operation with our Lord in the redemption of the world depends on other things than the dolors, things to which the dolors are by no means indispensable. So in like manner, or rather as a consequence, the co-operation of her dolors was a distinct co-operation from that of her Maternity, and has a character of its own.

    Thus, Mary has three distinct rights to the title of co-redemptress.

    She has a right to it, first of all, because of her co-operation with our Lord in the same sense as the Saints, but in a singular and superlative degree.

    She has a second right to it, which is peculiar to herself, because of the indispensable co-operation of her Maternity.

    She has a third right to it, because of her dolors, for reasons we shall see presently.

    These last two rights are unshared by any other creature, or by all creatures collectively. They belong to the incomparable magnificence of the Mother of God.

    It has been our privilege, more than once during the course of this inquiry into our Lady's dolors, to ascend some fresh height from which a new view of her grandeur has presented itself to us. Like the great summits in the mountain-ranges of Alps, Andes, or Himalaya, each new aspect of Mary's glory looks grander than the others. In truth, it is with her greatness as with the greatness of sublime mountain-scenery: we cannot carry its magnitude away with us in our minds. We see it, and appreciate it, while we are actually gazing on it: but when we turn away, the image of it in our minds is less than the reality. So, when we see the mountain again, from whichever side we get the view, it looks larger than it did before, because it is larger than our remembrance of it. So is it with our Blessed Lady.

    The moment we cease to rest our eye upon her in deep meditation, our idea of her is less than it ought to be. We never do her justice except when we gaze upon her. Perhaps it is so with all God's greatest works, as we know it is with God Himself. Hence it is that we so often hear objections to statements about the glory of Mary, coming even from pious believers. Their eye is not on her, and therefore what is said is incredible to them. Nay, they are the more convinced that the statements are exaggerated, because they so far transcend the image of Mary which is impressed upon their minds. They believe more of her, and they believe it more readily, as her feasts come round, for then their eye is on her, and they conceive more justly of her vastness. In nothing is she more like God than in having to be thus learned in order to be understood, and in having to be kept before us in vision, because our memory is not wide enough to hold her vast proportions when she is out of sight. This co-operation of our Blessed Lady, is, therefore, another summit from which we gain a fresh view of her magnificence.

    It the grandest privilege of the creature to be a fellow-laborer with the Creator, just as it will be our home and blessedness to enjoy His everlasting sabbath. But what is to be said of co-operating with Him in such a work as the redemption of the world, and co-operating in it with such efficacy, intimacy, and reality, nay, with a co-operation simply indispensable to its accomplishment? What an idea does it convey to us of immeasurable holiness! What gifts and graces does it not presuppose! What marvelous union with God does it not imply! It is as if He vouchsafed to select the very things about Him which are most incommunicable, and, in a most mysteriously real way communicate them to her. It is as if, in those things in which He stands alone and solitary, He drew her so nearly to Himself, that to us it should seem as if He was not solitary, because she was with Him. See how He had already mixed her up with the eternal designs of creation making her almost a partial cause and partial model of it. Yet this, while it accounts also for her share in the redemption, does not make her co-operation less wonderful. Divine works grow more wonderful in our eyes as we discern more of their consistency and unity.

    No wonder then the Saints should have sought to invent a word, a bold and startling word, which should express such an indescribable grandeur in a creature as is involved in this threefold co-operation of Mary in the redemption of the world.

    Our Lord had taken a created nature, in order that by its means He might accomplish that great work; so it seemed as if the highest honor and the closest union of a sinless creature with Himself should be expressed in the title of co-redemptress.

    In fact, there is no other single word in which the truth could be expressed; and, far off from His sole and sufficient redemption as Mary's co-operation lies, her co-operation stands alone and aloof from all the co-operation of the elect of God. This, like some other prerogatives of our Blessed Lady, cannot have justice done it by the mere mention of it. We must make it our own by meditation before we can understand all that it involves. But neither the Immaculate Conception nor the Assumption will give us a higher idea of Mary's exaltation than this title of co-redemptress, when we have theologically ascertained its significance.

    Mary is vast on every side, and, as our knowledge and appreciation of God grow, so also will grow our knowledge and appreciation of her His chosen creature. No one thinks unworthily of Mary, except because he thinks unworthily of God. Devotion to the Attributes of God is the best school in which to learn the theology of Mary; and the reward of our study of Mary lies in a thousand new vistas that are opened to us in the Divine Perfections, into which except from her heights we never could have seen at all. What then is the place which our Lady's Compassion holds in the purposes of God?

    This grandeur of co-operation in a great measure answers the question. Her dolors were not necessary for the redemption of the world, but in the counsels of God they were inseparable from it. They belong to the integrity of the Divine plan; and they doubtless perform many functions in it which we are unable to apprehend, and which perhaps we do not so much as suspect.

    According to God's ordinance, without shedding of blood there is no remission for sin. One of our Lord's infantine tears had enough in it of worth, of humiliation, of merit, and of satisfaction, to redeem the sins of all possible worlds. Yet as a matter of fact we were not redeemed by His tears, but only by His Blood. Hence Bethlehem was not necessary for our salvation, nor the worship of the three kings, nor the presentation in the temple, nor the flight into Egypt, nor the disputing with the doctors. Nazareth was not necessary for our salvation, with all the beautiful mysteries of those eighteen years of hidden life. The public ministry, with its three years of miracles, parables, sermons, conversions, and vocations of apostles, was not necessary to our salvation. Indeed, our Lord might have suffered as a Child, or He might have come full-grown like Adam, and simply suffered death at once. His Blood was all that was absolutely necessary. But Bethlehem and Nazareth and Galilee belonged to the integrity of the Divine plan. They were not only congruous, and beautiful, and significant, and full of teaching; but there are deeper mysteries in them, and a diviner reality, simply because God planned it so. All His works partake in their degree of His perfections: in what degree then must the mysteries of the Thirty-Three Years partake of His perfections? The creation of the world was as nothing compared to the spiritual cosmogony of those Thirty-Three Years, except that it was the root of them. No one would dream of thinking lightly of the mysteries of our Blessed Lord's Sacred Infancy because we were not redeemed by them. They are a part of a whole, a Divine whole. We do not know what would have happened, or what we should have lost, and what eternal consequences might have come, if they had not been there. So it is with our Lady's dolors.

    Her Maternity was indispensable to the Passion. Her dolors do not appear to be so. But they were an inevitable consequence of her Maternity under the circumstances of the Fall. They take their place among the Gospel mysteries. They rank with the mysteries of Bethlehem and Nazareth, not perhaps, in their intrinsic importance, but in the relation in which they stand to the redemption of the world. Indeed, we may be allowed to say that even in their intrinsic importance they might be compared with some of our Lord's Own mysteries. For is it quite clear that His mysteries and hers can be divided off in this way? Are not her mysteries His, and His mysteries hers? Is not the Immaculate Conception a glory of His redeeming grace? Is not her Purification as much His mystery as His Own Presentation? And in the case of the dolors the union of the Mother and Son is greater than any other mystery. He is Himself her one dolor seven times repeated, seven times changed, seven times magnified. In our belief, the dolors of our Blessed Lady rank very high indeed among the Divine mysteries, and have a more privileged precedence there than is commonly suspected. But, at any rate, so far as their relation to the redemption of the world is concerned, they are not further off from it than the unbloody mysteries of Jesus, and perhaps nearer, because of the immediateness of their connection.

    The truth appears to be, that all the mysteries of Jesus and Mary were in God's design as one mystery. We cannot break it up, and divide and parcel it out, and classify the importance of its various glories. This is a task beyond our science. Who can doubt that it is true to say that many, who now are saved, would have been lost except for Mary's dolors,-----while yet her dolors do not bear the same relation to us as the Passion of our Blessed Lord, even in their subordinate degree? The whole of the Three-and-Thirty Years, and the Hearts of Jesus and Mary in all the mysteries of those Years, are tinctured with the Passion; yet outside the Passion itself, where are the colors deeper, and the traits more lifelike, than in the Mother's dolors? Mary's Compassion was the Passion of Jesus as it was felt and realized in His Mother's Heart. Is this then the whole account of the matter, that the Passion it was necessary, and the Compassion unnecessary? Who would venture to say so? Who would dare to say that the Hidden Life of Nazareth was unnecessary? There is surely a very grave sense in which all the component parts of a Divine work are necessary; for God is not such an artificer as man.

    If we are to rest simply on the doctrine that it was precisely blood-shedding by which our redemption was accomplished, then in the Passion itself, were there not many things which were by no means necessary? There were the mental agonies, the public shame, the varieties of corporal torture, the insults, the lassitude, the thirst, the fear, the dereliction on the Cross. In that sense none of these things were necessary for our redemption. Even in the matter of Blood-shedding one drop would have sufficed: why was it all shed? Why the Sweat, the Scourging, the Crowning, the violent Unvesting, the Piercing after death? The profusion of the infinite was surely unnecessary, in our sense of that word. Now, these are precisely the mysteries among which we ought to rank the dolors of Mary. They belong to the class of what we call the Unnecessary Sufferings of the Passion. Indeed, they were literally our Lord's Own Unnecessary Sufferings; for were not her sorrows by far the most cruel instruments of His Passion? Her co-operation with the Passion by means of her dolors is wanting certainly in that indispensable necessity which characterizes the co-operation of her Maternity. But it far more than compensates for that by the heroic detailed endurance of such griefs, the ever-flowing fountain of free will and promptitude, the unmingled and disinterested suffering, and its immediate contact with the Cross of Christ, which distinguishes it. In her Maternity she had joy as well as sorrow, and an unexampled dignity. Her consent to it was given once for all; and the co-operation of her Motherhood with the Passion was rather material than formal. This second co-operation of her dolors had more of herself in it and more similitude to her Son; it cost her more, and the very absence of necessity for it made the sacrifice the more generous and wonderful. Her Maternity had to do with the Incarnation as the Incarnation: her dolors with the Incarnation as it was redemption also.
    2 Corinthians 4:3-4

    And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost, In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.

    Offline Miseremini

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    Re: Fr. G-L: The Sufferings of Mary as Co-Redemptrix
    « Reply #3 on: September 15, 2018, 12:44:42 PM »
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  • Litany of Our Lady of Sorrows

    V. Lord, have mercy on us.
    R. Christ, have mercy on us.
    V. Lord, have mercy on us. 
    Christ, hear us.
    R. Christ, graciously hear us.

    God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
    God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
    God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
    Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

    Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
    Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us.
    Mother of the Crucified, pray for us.
    Mother most sorrowful, pray for us.
    Mother most tearful, pray for us.
    Mother afflicted, pray for us.
    Mother forsaken, pray for us.
    Mother bereft of thy Son, pray for us.
    Mother pierced with the sword, pray for us. 
    Mother consumed with grief, pray for us. 
    Mother filled with anguish, pray for us.
    Mirror of patience, pray for us.
    Rock of constancy, pray for us.
    Joy of the afflicted, pray for us.
    Ark of the desolate, pray for us.
    Refuge of the abandoned, pray for us.
    Shield of the oppressed, pray for us.
    Conqueror of the incredulous, pray for us.
    Solace of the wretched, pray for us.
    Medicine of the sick, pray for us.
    Help of the faint, pray for us.
    Strength of the weak, pray for us.
    Haven of the shipwrecked, pray for us.
    Calmer of tempests, pray for us.
    Companion of the sorrowful, pray for us.
    Treasure of the Faithful, pray for us.
    Theme of Prophets, pray for us.
    Staff of the Apostles, pray for us.
    Queen of Martyrs, pray for us.
    Light of Confessors, pray for us.
    Pearl of Virgins, pray for us.
    Comfort of Widows, pray for us.
    Joy of all Saints, pray for us.

    Pray for us, most Sorrowful Virgin,
    That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

    Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world.
    Spare us, O Lord.
    Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world.
    Hear us, O Lord.
    Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world.
    Have mercy upon us.

    Let us pray.

    Imprint, O Lord, thy wounds upon our hearts, that we may read therein sorrow and love; sorrow to endure all suffering for thee; love to despise all love but thine; who lives and reigns, world without end, Amen.

    O God, in whose Passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, a sword of grief pierced through the most sweet soul of Thy glorious Blessed Virgin Mother Mary: grant that we, who celebrate the memory of her Sorrows, may obtain the happy effect of Thy Passion, Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen.
    "Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and them that hate Him flee from before His Holy Face"  Psalm 67:2[/b]

    Offline Struthio

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    Re: Fr. G-L: The Sufferings of Mary as Co-Redemptrix
    « Reply #4 on: September 15, 2018, 09:53:45 PM »
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  • On account of these sufferings, Mary is and deserves to be acknowledged by all the faithful as our Co-Redemptrix with Christ. Thoughts?

    Since Mary is not Co-Redemptrix in the proper sense of the word, I think, there should be no such dogma and there never will be such dogma.

    It is absurd to imagine that he who is outside can command in the Church — Leo XIII., Satis Cognitum, 1896

    Offline XavierSem

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    • Immaculate Heart of Mary, May Your Triumph Come!
    Re: Fr. G-L: The Sufferings of Mary as Co-Redemptrix
    « Reply #5 on: September 16, 2018, 04:37:27 AM »
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  • Incorrect.

    Pope Benedict XV tells us, "With Her suffering and dying Son She suffered and almost died, so did She surrender Her mother's rights over Her Son for the salvation of human beings, and to appease the justice of God, so far as pertained to Her, She immolated Her Son, so that it can be rightly said, that She together with Christ has redeemed the human race." (Admodum probatur, June 20, 1917)

    Pope St. Pius X explains congruous and condign merit, "from this common sharing of sufferings and will, She merited to become most worthily the reparatrix of the lost world, and so the dispensatrix of all the gifts which were gained for us by the death and blood of Jesus. ... since She was ahead of all in holiness and union with Christ, and was taken up by Christ into the work of human salvation, She merited congruously, as they say, what Christ merited condignly, and is the chief minister of the dispensation of graces. (Ad diem illum, Feb. 2, 1904)

    "The word "Coredemptrix" makes its preliminary appearance on the magisterial level by means of official pronouncements of Roman Congregations during the reign of Pope Saint Pius X (1903-1914) and then enters into the papal vocabulary.

    1. The term first occurs in the Acta Apostolicæ Sedis in a response to a request made by Father Giuseppe M. Lucchesi, Prior General of the Servites (1907-1913), requesting the elevation of the rank of the feast of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady to a double of the second class for the entire Church. The Sacred Congregation of Rites, in acceding to the request, expressed the desire that thus "the cultus of the Sorrowful Mother may increase and the piety of the faithful and their gratitude toward the merciful Coredemptrix of the human race may intensify". [18]

    2. Five years later the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office in a decree signed by Cardinal Mariano Rampolla expressed its satisfaction with the practice of adding to the name of Jesus that of Mary in the greeting "Praised be Jesus and Mary" to which one responds "Now and forever":

    There are Christians who have such a tender devotion toward her who is the most blessed among virgins as to be unable to recall the name of Jesus without accompanying it with the glorious name of the Mother, our Coredemptrix, the Blessed Virgin Mary. [19]

    3. Barely six months after this declaration, on 22 January 1914, the same Congregation granted a partial indulgence of 100 days for the recitation of a prayer of reparation to Our Lady beginning with the Italian words Vergine benedetta. Here is the portion of that prayer which bears on our argument:

    O blessed Virgin, Mother of God, look down in mercy from Heaven, where thou art enthroned as Queen, upon me, a miserable sinner, thine unworthy servant. Although I know full well my own unworthiness, yet in order to atone for the offenses that are done to thee by impious and blasphemous tongues, from the depths of my heart I praise and extol thee as the purest, the fairest, the holiest creature of all God's handiwork. I bless thy holy Name, I praise thine exalted privilege of being truly Mother of God, ever Virgin, conceived without stain of sin, Coredemptrix of the human race. [20]

    On the basis of these last two instances Monsignor Brunero Gherardini comments that

    The authority of that dicastery [the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office], now designated as 'for the Doctrine of the Faith', is such as to confer on its interventions a certain definitive character for Catholic thought. [21]

    4. The first papal usage of the term occurs in an allocution by Pope Pius XI (1922-1939) to pilgrims from Vicenza on 30 November 1933:

    From the nature of His work the Redeemer ought to have associated His Mother with His work. For this reason We invoke her under the title of Coredemptrix. She gave us the Savior, she accompanied Him in the work of Redemption as far as the Cross itself, sharing with Him the sorrows of the agony and of the death in which Jesus consummated the Redemption of mankind. [22]

    5. On 23 March 1934, the Lenten commemoration of Our Lady of Sorrows, Pius XI received two groups of Spanish pilgrims, one of which was composed of members of Marian Congregations of Catalonia. L'Osservatore Romano did not publish the text of the Pope's address, but rather reported his principal remarks to these groups. Noting with pleasure the Marian banners carried by these pilgrims, he commented that they had come to Rome to celebrate with the Vicar of Christ

    not only the nineteenth centenary of the divine Redemption, but also the nineteenth centenary of Mary, the centenary of her Coredemption, of her universal maternity. [23]

    He continued, addressing himself especially to the young people, saying that they must:

    follow the way of thinking and the desire of Mary most holy, who is our Mother and our Coredemptrix: they, too, must make a great effort to be coredeemers and apostles, according to the spirit of Catholic Action, which is precisely the cooperation of the laity in the hierarchical apostolate of the Church. [24]

    6. Finally Pope Pius XI referred to Our Lady as Coredemptrix on 28 April 1935 in a Radio Message for the closing of the Holy Year at Lourdes:

    Mother most faithful and most merciful, who as Coredemptrix and partaker of thy dear Son's sorrows didst assist Him as He offered the sacrifice of our Redemption on the altar of the Cross ... preserve in us and increase each day, we beseech thee, the precious fruits of our Redemption and thy compassion. [25]

    Because of this usage of the term Coredemptrix in magisterial documents and addresses by the Supreme Pontiff Canon René Laurentin wrote thus in 1951 about its employment: ... the term henceforth requires our respect. It would be gravely temerarious, at the very least, to attack its legitimacy. [26]"
    Do make Acts of Consecration to the Twin Hearts, Spiritual Offerings of the Precious Blood of Jesus in Union with the Holy Mass, like in St. Gertrude's Chaplet, along with Spiritual Communions at least every hour. "Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world." ~ Our Lady of the Rosary.

    Offline Struthio

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    Re: Fr. G-L: The Sufferings of Mary as Co-Redemptrix
    « Reply #6 on: September 16, 2018, 07:52:00 AM »
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  • Incorrect.


    Pope St. Pius X explains congruous and condign merit, "from this common sharing of sufferings and will, She merited to become most worthily the reparatrix of the lost world, and so the dispensatrix of all the gifts which were gained for us by the death and blood of Jesus. ... since She was ahead of all in holiness and union with Christ, and was taken up by Christ into the work of human salvation, She merited congruously, as they say, what Christ merited condignly, and is the chief minister of the dispensation of graces. (Ad diem illum, Feb. 2, 1904)


    That's what I said: Mary is not Co-Redemptrix in the proper sense of the word.
    It is absurd to imagine that he who is outside can command in the Church — Leo XIII., Satis Cognitum, 1896

    Online forlorn

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    Re: Fr. G-L: The Sufferings of Mary as Co-Redemptrix
    « Reply #7 on: September 16, 2018, 11:23:35 AM »
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  • That's what I said: Mary is not Co-Redemptrix in the proper sense of the word.
    Hi Michael Dimond.  

    Offline Struthio

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    Re: Fr. G-L: The Sufferings of Mary as Co-Redemptrix
    « Reply #8 on: September 16, 2018, 01:57:53 PM »
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  • Hi Michael Dimond.  

    I am not aware of the opinion of Michael Dimond on this subject, but he sure is right where he's right.

    I use the opportunity to mention that I am not Albert Pike either.
    It is absurd to imagine that he who is outside can command in the Church — Leo XIII., Satis Cognitum, 1896


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