Skip to comments.Padre Pio and the Mother Co-redemptrix(CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
Posted on 09/10/2007 6:18:13 AM PDT by stfassisi
Padre Pio and the Mother Co-redemptrix By Fr. Stefano Maria Manelli, F.I. Saturday, 08 September 2007 It has been written, and rightly so, that "if there is an aspect of the mystery of Mary especially fitting to the life and work of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, it is certainly the coredemptive aspect of the person and mission of the Immaculate in Gods salvific plan of love" (1).
The mystery of Mary Coredemptrix is present in the life and writings of St. Pio of Pietrelcina at the highest levels of mystical experience which he lived out in body and soul, and of the theologia cordis transmitted by him to his spiritual children in the language of that wisdom transcending by far a language limited to the solely notional and conceptual (2).
St. Pio of Pietrelcina in the first place lived the mystery of Marian Coredemption in his exceptional mystical experience of the Passion of Christ Crucified, of which he bore the living and bleeding stigmata in his body for fifty entire years, from 1918 to 1968. He became an "imprinted reproduction of the wounds of the Lord," according to the happy expression of Pope Paul VI (3). In this exceptional mystical experience he co-immolated himself with Christ, assimilating himself in a most extensive and profound manner to the Mother Coredemptrix who immolates herself with the Son on the Cross in order to bring to pass the universal Redemption (4). It has been written that, "Padre Pio penetrated the sorrows of Mary and participated in them, mirrored them, relived them; as his soul had been a partaker in the sorrows of the Passion, so too he had the gift of participating in the sorrows of Mary" (5).
Into this area of mystical experience, however, the inexperienced are not allowed to enter nor are they in a position to speak of it. St. Bonaventure, the "Seraphic Doctor," teaches expressly that, with regard to the mystical, "those who are not experts and who do not wish to become experienced, must absolutely keep silent" (6).
What is more within the range of our intelligence, then, is the coredemptive aspect of St. Pio of Pietrelcinas active ministry. He exercised the ministry of the confessional for more than fifty years, administering the Sacrament of Reconciliation to such a vast family of penitents that Pope Paul VI called it, in yet another happy expression, a "worldwide clientele" (7). But to administer the Sacrament of forgiveness and of reconciliation between mankind and God means to operate on the same wavelength, so to speak, as Marian Coredemption. In fact, Mary Most Holy, being united with the Redeemer"under Him and with Him," as Vatican II teaches (LG 56)reconciled humanity with God through the sacrificial offering consummated on Calvary; and after Calvary she continues unceasingly to reconcile man to God with her Mediation and Distribution of all the graces of Redemption. Consequently, she is proclaimed the Mother of universal reconciliation.
The spiritual director of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, Fr. Benedict of San Marco, once told St. Pio in a letter of spiritual direction that his particular vocation was a "vocation to coredeem" by means of the daily trials, battles, sufferings, and toils coming from the exercise of his ministry. And in reference particularly to his work as a confessor, it has been accurately observed that "in the ministry of reconciliation, Padre Pio prolonged or, in a certain sense, actualized the fruitfulness of grace of Marian Coredemption which 'restores the supernatural life in souls' (LG 61). In fact, the divine grace acquired by the Redeemer and the Coredemptrix in the 'effecting' of the Redemption is here distributed and applied to every soul in need by means of the sacramental absolution given by Padre Pio to his penitents" (8).
To understand St. Pios "vocation to coredeem" better, one must also consult his writings, of primary value where he speaks of the Coredemptrix in the salvific mystery. And one recognizes immediately that his discourse is not theoretical or notional, but reflects instead the most profound and moving characteristics of the theologia cordis, of theology lived at the level of ascetical and mystical experience , one which gives a knowledge of the mystery characteristically sapiential and experiential, as St. Bonaventure explains (9).
The pages in which St. Pio speaks of the Blessed Virgin Marys sorrows are exceedingly numerous (10). In these pages the figure of Our Lady of Sorrows is present in her immense coredemptive suffering, and she is seen walking along the way to Calvary "immediately behind Jesus... burdened with her own cross" (11). A cross for Jesus, a cross for Mary. It is of value here to recall the insight of Arnold of Chartres who speaks of a double altar on Calvary: "one in the Heart of Mary, the other in the Body of Christ. Christ sacrificed His flesh, Mary her soul" (12). And St. Pio recommends to all "to keep always right behind this Blessed Mother, to walk always close to her, since there is no other road which leads to life, except the one trod by our Mother" (13).
When St. Pio wants to describe the sufferings of Our Lady of Sorrows, he finds a very valid point of reference in his very own suffering, be it moral or physical, a suffering so terrible as to dry up every tear and to petrify him in sorrow (14). For this reason in contemplating Our Ladys sorrows he can expand his soul and say: "Yes, now I understand, oh Jesus, why in admiring You Your Mother did not weep beneath the Cross" (15), because "by the excess of sorrow, she remained petrified before her crucified Son" (16); and on another page of sublime contemplation touching his own measureless sorrows and those of Our Lady, he exclaims movingly: "Now I seem to be penetrating what was the martyrdom of our most beloved Mother (...). Oh, if all people would but penetrate this martyrdom! Who could succeed in suffering with this, yes, our dear Coredemptrix? Who would refuse her the good title of Queen of Martyrs?" (17)
The words "dear Coredemptrix" express most exactly soteriological value of the Blessed Virgin Marys maternal mission in the tones of a pure theologia cordis. She coredeemed humanity by offering the divine Victim, her Son Jesus, in the bloody immolation of the Cross, and co-immolating herself with Him in order to "restore supernatural life to souls" (LG 61), became in this way our "Mother in the order of grace" (LG 1.c.) (18). She "gave birth to us in sorrows," affirms St. Pio. She is, therefore, the Mother Coredemptrix. She desires to raise her children and, what is more, to make them grow even unto the stature of Christ. She is, therefore, the Mother Mediatrix and Dispensatrix of all graces (19), always "associated with Jesus in applying the fruits of the Redemption to souls," as Fr. Melchior da Pobladura writes (20). The Coredemptrix reacquired the grace lost. The Mediatrix distributes the grace reacquired. There is an operative continuity between the Coredemption and Distribution of saving grace. And, according to the teaching of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, we should be eternally grateful to "our dear Coredemptrix" and to our "Mediatrix and Dispensatrix of all graces."
Fr. Stefano Maria Manelli, F.I., is Founder and Minister General of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. He is internationally known for his distinguished preaching and biblical, Mariological scholarship. His Biblical Mariology has recently appeared in English under the title: All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed.
(1) N. Castello, S.M. Manelli, La "dolce Signora" di Padre Pio, Cinisello Balsamo, IT 1999, p.119.
(2) On this theme cf. the more far ranging and elaborate study: S.M. Manelli, Maria SS.ma Corredentrice nella vita e negli scritti di Padre Pio da Pietrelcina, in AA.VV., Maria Corredentrice, Frigento, IT 1999, vol. II, pp.277-294; see also: N. Castello, S.M. Manelli, La "dolce Signora" di Padre Pio, edition cited, pp.119-128.
(3) Paolo VI, Discorso, Feb. 20, 1971.
(4) It has been written, with good reason, that in the life and writings of St. Pio "the transparent, close and indissoluble union of Mary Coredemptrix and Mediatrix of all graces with Jesus the one Mediator between God and men is (found) everywhere" Melchiorre da Pobladura, Alla scuola spirituale di Padre Pio da Pietrelcina, San Giovanni Rotondo, IT 1978, p.93.
(5) A. Negrisolo, N. Castello, S.M. Manelli, Padre Pio nella sua interiorità, Rome, IT 1997, p. 58. Of considerable importance and interest would be a comparative study of the mystical experience and coredemptive thought of St. Pio and St. Veronica Giuliani (cf. Sr. Maria Francesca Perillo, Il mistero di Maria Corredentrice in santa Veronica Giuliani, in AA.VV., Maria Corredentrice, Frigento, IT 1999, vol. II, pp.169-217).
(6) St. Bonaventure, Apologia Pauperum, c.9, n.27; VII, 303.
(7) Discorso, Feb. 20, 1971.
(8) N. Castello, S.M. Manelli, work cited, pp.127-128. It should also be noted that St. Pio frequently recalled Our Lady of Sorrows to his penitents in giving them the sacramental penance of reciting seven Hail Marys to Our Lady of Sorrows, "and sometimes he could not succeed in finishing the word Addolorata (Our Lady of Sorrows) without an outburst of tears!" (ibid. p. 123).
(9) Cf. St. Bonaventure, Questio disputata de perfectione evangelica, Q.1, conclusion.
(10) Cf., for example, the first volume of the Epistolario, San Giovanni Rotondo, IT 1992, pp.213, 345, 384, 601, 639, 993 (here cited as: Ep.).
(11) Ep. I, p.597.
(12) Arnold of Chartres, De septem verbis Domini in cruce, 3, PL 189, 1694. This is a text quoted by Pope John Paul II in a catechesis on the Marian Coredemption on Oct. 25, 1995.
(13) Ep. I, p.602.
(14) So he writes, for example, in a letter: "Oh God, what torture I feel... Would that I could at least have the satisfaction of pouring out this interior martyrdom with tears. The sorrow is immense and has overwhelmed me." (ibid. 993).
(16) Ep. III, p. 190.
(17) Ibid., p.384.
(18) The following is well stated: "As to the words 'dear Coredemptrix' it is important to verify how for Padre Pio of Pietrelcina the term Coredemptrix serves also to efficaciously explain the truth of the compassion and transfixion of Mary Most Holy in the universal work of Redemption. Here mystical theology, too, supports the usage of the term Coredemptrix, already common in Mariology and in the Church for centuries, used even by the Sovereign Pontiffs, and particularly by Pope John Paul II" (N. Castello, S.M. Manelli, work cited, pp.126-127).
(19) St. Pio himself wrote these expressions on a little memorial image for his fiftieth anniversary as a priest, calling Our Lady precisely the "most sweet Mother (mamma) of priests, Mediatrix and Dispensatrix of all graces" (reported by Ferdinando da Riese, P. Pio da Pietrelcina crocifisso senza croce, Foggia, IT 1991, p.428).
(20) Melchiorre da Pobladura, op. cit., p.96
Did you ever notice that caucuses are the shortest of threads?
Yeah, that was the one where some were permitted to come in and trash the thread, the first such posting at #3 while there was no known reference to anything challenging anything. Then others maintained that the title alone was so inflammatory that , in essence, no rules applied. Just believing what we believe and saying so is an offense to some.
Apparently so, given some of the posts I saw on that thread.
Well, we could make our own caucus rules and post them at the top of caucus threads.
When a Catholic/Orthodox caucus thread is posted and the RM refuses to honor it for any reason, we Catholics can refuse to engage the crashers. We can pretend that they aren’t there.
I can say from my view that I have not seen one of their posts which made a significant and valid point. Their posts might mislead other non-Catholics but they can’t touch my faith.
Sure I know what the first reaction is, but it is part of our ecclesiology to think that schools of thought which conflict advisedly and intentionally on matters which the Catholic Church considers de fide are by definition heretical.
Further, the term Protestant is so equivocal, that it's hard to see how to use it as the name of a "Faith" or a "confession". Do we mean merely those who disagree with the Catholic understanding of the role of the See of Peter or do we mean those who hold some variety of Calvinism, or what?
If the first, then the term is synonymous (for Catholics) with heretic -- just as Catholicism is considered a bundle of heresies by Protestants.
If you add to that holding a link to be equivalent to the post, then, as I say, the Caucus designation is toast.
I’m still interested in seeing a non-Catholic caucus that was immediately swarmed by Catholics.
For that matter, I would be interested in seeing ANY non-Catholic thread, OTHER THAN THOSE WITH INFLAMMATORY TITLES (i.e. “Proof that Peter wasn’t Pope”, which I know has never actually been a title, but you get the idea), that has been swarmed by Catholics.
Maybe I have blinders on, but I am not aware of Catholics on this forum seeking non-Catholic threads to attack the beliefs of Protestants.
The material on a link counts. For instance, if the website from which an article is posted includes links to Jack Chick material, it will be pulled.
Likewise, on the News Forum, if the link includes pornographic material, it will be pulled.
As to consistency in the application of Religion Forum guidelines, please be advised that I was on vacation last week. The Admin Moderators on duty used their best judgment in handling the notoriously hot thread.
Moreover, we have a policy of "stare decisis" - so that moderators do not disturb actions previously taken by other moderators.
For the record, unless the title includes a direct affront the caucus will not be broken on my watch. It would take something like "Protestants are heretics [Catholic Caucus]" to fail the test.
“... we Catholics can refuse to engage the crashers.”
We can try but I’m even being harrassed by FReepmail now by one of them.
See? A little touch-typing issue here.
Let me know the particulars by Freepmail - harassment via Freepmail is not allowed.
Not to be confrontational, but this isn't quite clear.
Let's say hypothetically, a Catholic write writes something and in it he mentions Jack Chick hating Catholics and has an illustration of one of Chick's publications, would that be considered a link?
Hope you had a great vacation!
I suspect I know which one.
I hope the record is adequately clear here: None of this involves referring to Mary as “Redemptrix.” Claims to the contrary are false.
I got a couple too. I just deleted them. They just wanted to get the last word in.
And yes, I had a great vacation! Thank you!
Why do you suppose it is that we rarely do caucuses?
I don’t know about you but when I read the caucus threads I learn alot. I love reading the responses and have learned from them too. I don’t often respond because most of the time I don’t have a lot to add.
That makes sense to a point. However, if a Catholic apologetic is writing something about religious bigotry and happens to mention the name, it would seem a little extreme to pull it.
Then again, you’re the one who makes the decisions.
Then take the second part of my post.