Marian Maximalism from Various Perspectives. By Monsignor Arthur B. Calkins

Despite reservations about certain passages in the documents of the Second Vatican Council, which I believe still require serious correction, I am nevertheless convinced that chapter 8 of Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church’s teaching on Our Lady, is one of the Council’s greatest triumphs, even after many fairly bloody battles. It clearly teaches about Mary as Coredemptrix without using the word, which it was forbidden to do, and it highlights many facets about the mystery of Mary, without, of course, exhausting any of them. Near the end of the treatment this statement occurs:

This Sacred Synod … exhorts theologians and preachers of the word of God to abstain zealously both from all gross exaggerations as well as from petty narrow-mindedness in considering the singular dignity of the Mother of God (LG #67).

Although a footnote to this text cites two important documents of the Venerable Pius XII, I have always found this statement to be something of a “gross exaggeration” itself. The Fathers of the Church vied with each other in making ever more laudatory statements about the Mother of God, while very unfortunately, after the council the Marian minimalists have gained almost total control of academe, even despite the profound Marian magisterium of Pope Saint John Paul II. We must thank God for the Marian maximalist torchbearers like the late Father Peter Damian Fehlner, the Friars of the Immaculate, their collaborators and all those who are willing to take the knocks in promoting the solemn proclamation of the fifth Marian dogma.

As Father Peter Damian liked to point out, Saint Thomas Aquinas effectively says that, after God himself, there are three quasi-infinites:

The humanity of Christ, from the fact that it is united to the Godhead; and created happiness from the fact that it is the fruition of God; and the Blessed Virgin from the fact that she is the Mother of God; have all a certain infinite dignity from the infinite good, which is God. And on this account there cannot be anything better than these; just as there cannot be anything better than God (Summa Theologica P. 1 Q. 25 Art. 6, ad 4).

In effect, God’s most perfect creation is the human nature of Christ; he is a divine person, but his human nature is created even though it has an “almost infinite dignity”. So does the fruition of God, which we call the beatific vision, because, even though it has a beginning, it will last forever. After the humanity of Christ, God’s greatest creation is Mary. For the rest of this presentation I will attempt to explain why this is the case.

1. Mary belongs to the Hypostatic Order

In very simple language at the moment when the Word became flesh there was accomplished in Christ what is called the “hypostatic union”. I refer here to the profound clarification given by Ludwig Ott in the most recent edition of his celebrated Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma:

The Hypostatic Union is a mystery strictly speaking (mysterium stricte dictum), i.e. a mystery of Faith, the reality of which could not be known before its revelation, and the inner possibility of which cannot positively be proved even after its revelation. It is a unique union, for which there are no analogues, of a creature with God. St. Augustine speaks of a “uniquely wonderful or wonderfully unique assumption” (susceptio singulariter mirabilis vel mirabiliter singularis; St. Paul calls the Incarnation and the work of Redemption of Christ “a mystery hidden from eternity in God” (Sacramentum absconditum a saeculis in Deo; Eph. 3:9) and “a great mystery of piety” (magnum pietatis Sacramentum; 1 Tim. 3:16).

Pope Leo the Great says: “That both substances unite themselves in one Person no speech can explain if Faith does not hold fast to it” (Sermo 29, 1). The Hypostatic Union is the central mystery of the Christian faith, to which all other mysteries are coordinated.[1]

From all eternity the Son of God is a divine person, but at the moment of the Incarnation he takes on a human nature, the most perfect that God could create. He is one divine person with a divine nature and a human nature.

About Mary’s role in the Hypostatic Union Leo the Great in his Tome to Flavian states:

Perhaps [Eutyches] thought that our Lord Jesus Christ was not of our nature because the angel sent to Blessed Mary said: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God” [Lk. 1:35], as if to say that, because the conception of the Virgin was the result of divine action, the flesh of the one conceived was not of the nature of the one conceiving. But that begetting – uniquely miraculous and miraculously unique – must not be understood to mean that what is uniquely proper to our race was removed by the novelty of the creation: the Holy Spirit bestowed fertility on the Virgin, but the reality of a body was taken from her body, and “Wisdom was building up a house for you” [Prov. 9:1]. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” [Jn. 1:14], that is, in the flesh that he took from a human being and which he animated with the spirit of rational life.[2]

Effectively, Leo tells Eutyches and tells us as well that Mary contributed to the Hypostatic Union. Meditating on this reality and using terminology developed by the great scholastic Francisco Suarez (1548-1617), Fr. Emil Neubert (1878-1967) puts is simply and clearly:

Mary Belongs to the Hypostatic Order. In virtue of the divine maternity, Mary belongs to the hypostatic order. Not, of course, to the hypostatic union, but to the hypostatic order, that is, to that entirety of realities which is directly orientated toward that union, just as the order of grace includes the entirety of realities which is directly orientated toward union with God through habitual grace. For Mary, as Mother of Jesus, provided one of the two elements of the hypostatic union, the human nature of Christ, which, from the very first instant, was hypostatically united to the divinity of the Word. And, just as the order of grace surpasses the order of natural life by an immeasurable distance, so the order of the hypostatic union surpasses the order of grace and even that of glory.

Mary therefore occupies a place apart in creation, infinitely lower than God, but incomparably higher than any other creature. The first time we read certain sayings of the saints exalting the greatness of Mary, insisting that God would prefer her to all other creatures taken together, that He has given her a grace superior to that of all the angels and saints combined, we may be tempted to consider these expressions as exaggerations. And yet, the really astounding thing is not that the Mother of God is superior to all other creatures, but rather that a creature should have been elevated to the dignity of Mother of God.[3]

Try to grasp this: because Mary contributed to the hypostatic union, she belongs to the hypostatic order. Here is yet another way in which this metaphysical reality is explained by Fr. Étienne Richer of the Community of the Beatitudes, who cites the Dominican theologian M.-J. Nicholas:

[T]he hypostatic union is the principle of an order which includes two members, namely the human nature of Christ (which does not subsist apart from his divine Person) and the Mother of God. As the French Dominican Mariologist M.-J. Nicolas explains: “There are two in this order because God wished to bring about the Incarnation by means of birth and not by way of creation”[4]. In the final analysis, this is to take into account the fact that the Virgin Mary is party to the divine decree, constitutive of the hypostatic order, which ordained the Incarnation of the Word. It is this belonging of Mary to the hypostatic order which fully justifies the Church’s practice of rendering to the Mother of God a cultus which is entirely special, having as its foundation a grace of another order than that venerated in the other saints, that is to say the grace of the divine maternity: “Mary, by her divine maternity is above the entire order of common grace and comes closer to God than any other creature. That is why we owe her an exceptional veneration. It is not only the Incarnate Word whom we honor in her, it is she herself in her own person, for her own greatness which she is ever endowed from her relation to HIM”[5].[6]

2. Mary’s Creaturely Pre-eminence – Her Immaculate Conception

Yet another way of underscoring this reality is to consider the hierarchy of living being: 1.) God; 2.) angels; 3.) man; 4.) animals and 5.) plants. In the order of nature Mary belongs to the third category, that of human beings, but in order for her to contribute to the formation of the human nature of Christ it was necessary to raise her to the highest and most perfect level of creaturely being so that nothing in her could mar the formation of Christ’s humanity. Hence, even before the Church reached maximum clarity about the reality of Mary’s preservation from original sin, she was being hailed as the “Panhagia”, the “All-holy-one” from the earliest centuries.[7] The Church’s deepest intuitions were to recognize the all-holiness of the Mother of God, even long before the genius of Blessed John Duns Scotus provided the key to the breakthrough on her preservative redemption,[8] which the Second Vatican Council referred to as her being “redeemed in a more sublime manner” [sublimiore modo redempta][9] and “enriched from the first instant of her conception with the splendor of an entirely unique holiness” [singularis prorsus sanctitatis splendoribus a primo instante suæ conceptionis ditata].[10] Mary then, by virtue of her belonging to the hypostatic order, has been raised above the angels, a fact beautifully testified to in the Byzantine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom in the commemorations after the Consecration where Mary is praised as “Higher in honor than the Cherubim and more glorious without compare than the Seraphim.”[11]

For millennia the Church has read the Protoevangelium, Genesis 3:15, according to the translation of the Vulgate made by St. Jerome. In speaking to the serpent, the Lord God says: “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel” [Inimicitias ponan inter te et mulierem, et semen tuum et semen illius: ipsa conteret caput tuum, et tu insideaberis cancaneo ejus]. While there have been arguments over the identity of the woman and whether “she shall crush” [ipsa conteret] or “he shall crush” [ipse conteret] renders the Hebrew better,[12] I believe that the Marian interpretation, i.e. that the New Eve, Mary, is the one who, through her union with Jesus, crushes the head of Satan and this has been the understanding throughout the ecclesiastical tradition[13] and the papal magisterium from at least Blessed Pius IX to the Venerable Pius XII.[14] Hence I believe that the present translation found in the new Lectionary is an egregious violation of the tradition as is the Neo-Vulgate from which it is taken.

Could it be that the Church’s magisterium has been mistaken in so serious a matter until recent times? I don’t believe so. Surely, Jesus is the ultimate Victor over Satan, but he won the victory in union with Mary and just as she is “higher than the Cherubim and more glorious than the Seraphim”, she is also most dreaded by the demons as testified to by many exorcists.[15]

As I have already indicated, Saint Thomas Aquinas affirmed that “the Blessed Virgin, from the fact that she is the Mother of God, has a kind of infinite dignity [quandam dignitatem infinitam] from the infinite good which is God”. Before him Saint Anselm had already declared that “it was appropriate that this Virgin should shine with a purity than which under God no greater can be conceived”,[16] a declaration which was taken up almost verbatim in Ineffabilis Deus, the Apostolic Constitution, which declared the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, to the effect that Mary possessed

that fullness of holy innocence and sanctity than which, under God, one cannot even imagine anything greater, and which outside of God, no mind can succeed in comprehending fully [innocentiæ et sanctitatis plenitudinem præ se ferret, qua maior sub Deo nullatenus intellegitur, et quam præter Deus nemo assequi cogitando potest].[17]

The fact is that the statements of Saint Anselm and Blessed Pius IX, which I cited above, cannot be understood other than as “maximalist” expressions and this maximalism is rooted precisely in the eternal plans of God. Those who downplay or minimize the magnitude of those plans as the Church has gradually come to understand them in the course of the centuries are, consciously or not, attempting to reverse the development of Catholic doctrine.[18] In attempting to justify their minimalism, they will often say that at the council the Church chose a different direction. Since this very frequently seems to be the case among contemporary mariologists, we should not be surprised that not many of them have shed great light on the mystery of Mary’s Immaculate Conception.

Nonetheless the Holy Spirit continues to breathe where he wishes (cf. Jn. 3:8) and thus to make the mystery of the Immaculate Conception shine brightly often when least expected. What I would now like to do is to indicate various ways in which the mystery of the Immaculate has continued to be illumined in our days. Obviously, I make no pretension at being exhaustive. I only hope to share some insights which I have discovered in recent years, which have drawn me to marvel at the person and role of the Immaculate in God’s eternal plans. All of them remain to be further developed.

3. Kecharitomene – the Positive Statement of the Immaculate Conception

Already in drafting the Bull Ineffabilis Deus it was confirmed that, for Catholics, it is always necessary to read the biblical texts in the light of the patristic interpretation. This latter point has been further corroborated and validated in the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum.[19]

Without doubt the fundamental biblical text in which the Church finds the mystery of the Immaculate Conception is the term “full of grace” [kecharitomene] in Lk. 1:28. Pope John Paul II offers us an insightful preamble on this expression:

The title “made full of grace,” which the angel addressed to Mary at the annunciation, refers to the exceptional divine favor shown to the young woman of Nazareth in view of the motherhood which was announced. But it indicates more directly the effect of divine grace in Mary. Mary was inwardly and permanently imbued with grace and thus sanctified. The title kecharitomene has a very rich meaning and the Holy Spirit has never ceased deepening the Church’s understanding of it.[20]

While Father Stefano Manelli provides us with a very useful résumé on the appellation kecharitomene, consistently translated in the Catholic tradition as “full of grace”,[21] I believe that the exegetical work of the late Father Ignace de la Potterie, S.J. furnishes us invaluable background for appreciating the richness and uniqueness of this biblical word as it applies to Mary.[22] He points out that the verb charitoun is a “causative” verb, indicating an action which effects something in an object, and proposes that the perfect passive participle kecharitomene should be translated as “transformed by grace.”[23] He goes on to ask:

What precisely has the grace of God properly produced, changed and realized in Mary? Certain authors like R. Brown and J. Fitzmyer, believe that here it is a question of the grace of the divine maternity which is announced to her. That appears impossible to us, for the maternity of Mary must yet begin. Here, as we have pointed out, the perfect passive participle is used by Luke to indicate that the transformation by grace has already taken place in Mary, well before the moment of the Annunciation.[24]

Here, I believe, he makes his greatest contribution:

In taking account of the later doctrine of the Church, we can now pose the question: can we see in the phrase “full of grace” used by the angel in addressing the Virgin, a relationship to the Immaculate Conception of Mary? In the bull of 1854, Ineffabilis Deus, in which Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, it is said that in Luke 1:28, “full of grace,” read in the Tradition, is the biblical text which furnishes the most sure foundation (not the proof) in favor of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. This is a way of looking at the dogma from which many commentators recoil. Exegesis does not have as its task the definition of dogmas. Yet, if we take account of the explanations just given, the meaning of the phrase “full of grace” – which in the course of time was looked at more profoundly by the Church – seems effectively to establish the better foundation of the dogma. ... If it is true that Mary was entirely transformed by the grace of God, that then means that God has preserved her from sin, “purified” her, and sanctified her.[25]

4. The Franciscan Charism

In treating of the mystery of Jesus’ agony in the Garden of Gethsemane in his Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte of 6 January 2001 Pope John Paul II stated:

Faced with this mystery, we are greatly helped not only by theological investigation but also by that great heritage which is the “lived theology” of the saints. The saints offer us precious insights which enable us to understand more easily the intuition of faith, thanks to the special enlightenment which some of them have received from the Holy Spirit, or even through their personal experience of those terrible states of trial which the mystical tradition describes as the “dark night”.[26]

While we are concentrating our attention here on Marian Maximalism or the mystery of Mary Immaculate, John Paul’s words mutatis mutandis retain their value. The saints are theologians par excellence. As Father François-Marie Léthel boldly puts it, “All the saints are theologians and only the saints are theologians.”[27]

Without wishing to lessen in any way all that it owed to the immense “cloud of witnesses” (cf. Heb. 12:1) “from every nation and race, people and tongue (cf. Rev. 7:9) who have testified to the truth of the Immaculate Conception, it seems that among these the holy sons and daughters of Saint Francis of Assisi hold a special place and this was given expression immediately after the solemn proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.[28] This, it would seem, is far from being mere happenstance and here I can only cite just a few works of recent scholarship that confirm this.

The patient historical work of Father Johannes Schneider, O.F.M. has brought to light with great clarity the Marian intuitions of the Seraphic founder,[29] which have served as a “capital grace” for all of his spiritual sons and daughters throughout the centuries. This he brings out especially in the second part of his work, which is given to the meticulous exegesis of the antiphon Sancta Maria Virgo.[30] This link between St. Francis and the Immaculate Conception was convincingly developed by Father Peter Damian M. Fehlner, F.I. in a conference given to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the dogmatic definition of the Immaculate Conception.[31] He was a giant among Franciscan scholars and I pray that his promotion of Marian Maximalism will come to be known and studied far more after his death than it was before.

Surely there can be no doubt about the role of Blessed John Duns Scotus in articulating this patrimony in a way that proved decisive for the progress of the truth of the Immaculate Conception.[32]Here is the way that our Holy Father described his role in the development of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception:

Following several 12th century theologians, Duns Scotus found the key to overcoming these objections to the doctrine of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. He held that Christ, the perfect Mediator, exercised the highest act of mediation precisely in Mary by preserving her from original sin. Thus, he introduced into theology the concept of redemption by preservation. According to it, Mary was redeemed in an even more wonderful way, not by being freed from sin, but by being preserved from sin.[33]

Because of his profound penetration into the mystery of Mary Blessed John Duns Scotus left us a marvelous rule of thumb about Mary:

One should attribute to her whatever is objectively most “excellent”, provided that it be not contrary to the authority of the Church and of Scripture. [Si auctoritati Ecclesiæ vel auctoritati Scripturæ non repugnet, videtur probabile quod excellentius est attribuere Mariæ.][34]

It is effectively that we should always favor Marian Maximalism unless it is contrary to the authority of the Church and its understanding of Scripture.

The importance of Scotus’ intellectual patrimony continues to be demonstrated by modern scholars. His explanation of the preservative redemption of Mary[35] is intimately linked in his thought to the joint predestination and absolute primacy of Jesus and Mary in the eternal plans of God.[36] This, in fact, has come to be known as the “Franciscan thesis”,[37] which Blessed Pius IX confirmed in the Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus by stating that “God, by one and the same decree [uno eodemque decreto], had established the origin of Mary and the Incarnation of Divine Wisdom.”[38]

5. Mary Indissolubly Linked to Jesus

One of the ways in which the Church’s magisterium has chosen to speak about the union of Jesus and Mary, that in willing the Incarnation, God also willed Mary “by one and the same decree” is to speak of their indissoluble union. True, Jesus is the God-man and Mary is a mere creature, yet in willing that the Word would become flesh, God willed Mary. He did not need her in an absolute sense; he could have created a perfect human nature for his Son, but he willed that the New Adam should have the New Eve as his helpmate. Here are a few texts in which this indissoluble bond is described.

Our first text comes from Lumen Gentium:

Redeemed by reason of the merits of her Son and united to Him by a close and indissoluble bond, she [Mary] is endowed with the high office and dignity of being the Mother of the Son of God, by which account she is also the beloved daughter of the Father and the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because of this gift of sublime grace she far surpasses all creatures, both in heaven and on earth. [Intuitu meritorum Filii sui sublimiore modo redempta Eique arcto et indissolubili vinculo unita, hoc summo munere ac dignitate ditatur ut sit Genitrix Dei Filii, ideoque prædilecta filia Patris necnon sacrarium Spiritus Sancti quo eximiae gratiæ dono omnibus aliis creaturis, coelestibus et terrestribus, longe antecellit.][39]

Another important conciliar text on this matter is that stated in Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, #103.

In celebrating this annual cycle of Christ’s mysteries, holy Church honors with especial love the Blessed Mary, Mother of God, who is joined by an inseparable bond to the saving work of her Son. In her the Church holds up and admires the most excellent fruit of the redemption, and joyfully contemplates, as in a faultless image that which she herself desires and hopes wholly to be. [In hoc annuo mysteriorum Christi circulo celebrando, Sancta Ecclesia Beatam Mariam Dei Genetricem cum peculiari amore veneratur, quae indissolubili nexu cum Filii sui opere salutari coniungitur; in qua præcellentem Redemptionis fructum miratur et exaltat, ac veluti in purissima imagine, id quod ipsa tota esse cupit et sperat cum gaudio contemplatur.][40]

This text is particularly interesting because it insists that Mary is “bonded” to the saving work of her Son, thus referring to her role as Coredemptrix.

Recognizing the chaos that was overcoming the Church after the Second Vatican Council, Pope Saint Paul VI made a clear and concise profession of faith on 30 June 1968, that decisive year of contestation in the Church and in the world. This Professio Fidei is often referred to as the Credo of the People of God. In it Paul VI in recapitulating the fundamental teaching of the Church on Mary, states that she is

joined by a close and indissoluble bond to the mystery of the Incarnation and Redemption [Arcto et indissolubili vinculo mysterio Incarnationis et Redemptionis coniuncta].[41]

Notice again the insistence that Mary is indissolubly linked with Jesus both in the Incarnation and the Redemption. Mary’s active collaboration in the work of Redemption is willed by God. The Redeemer is indissolubly linked with the Coredemptrix.

Ever since the end of the Second Vatican Council there have been efforts, especially on the part of ecumenists, to ask about where Mariology belongs in the order of the “hierarchy of truths of the faith”; this has been a not-so-subtle way of indicating that Jesus is the center of our faith and Mary is some distance away. I would prefer, on the basis of what I have just been presenting, to state that Jesus is indeed the very center of our faith, but that Mary is right next to him, inseparable from him because she is indissolubly united with him.

6. The Immaculate Coredemptrix

We have already noted the importance of Gen. 3:15 for the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. This is a text, which has attracted preachers and scholars from the first days of Christianity. Pope Saint John Paul II rightly demonstrated that its Marian connotation points in two directions:

In the light of the New Testament and the Church’s tradition, we know that the new woman announced by the protoevangelium is Mary, and in “her seed” we recognize her son Jesus who triumphed over Satan’s power in the Paschal Mystery.

We also observe that in Mary the enmity God put between the serpent and the woman is fulfilled in two ways. God’s perfect ally and the devil’s enemy, she was completely removed from Satan’s domination in the Immaculate Conception, when she was fashioned in grace by the Holy Spirit and preserved from every stain of sin. In addition, associated with her Son’s saving work, Mary was fully involved in the fight against the spirit of evil.

Thus, the titles “Immaculate Conception” and “Cooperator of the Redeemer” show the lasting antagonism between the serpent and the New Eve. The Church’s faith attributes these titles to Mary in order to proclaim her spiritual beauty and her intimate participation in the wonderful work of redemption.[42]

In other words, the enmity between the Woman and the serpent point both to the mystery of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, a totally gratuitous gift from God, and to the mystery of Mary’s active collaboration in the work of the redemption. The gratuitous gift was necessary in order for Mary to play the role, which God intended for her in our redemption. Here is the way the Pope drew this truth out for our benefit:

The same biblical text [Gen. 3:15] also proclaims the enmity between the woman and her offspring on the one hand and the serpent and his offspring on the other. This is a hostility expressly established by God, which has a unique importance, if we consider the problem of the Virgin’s personal holiness. In order to be the irreconcilable enemy of the serpent and his offspring Mary had to be free from all power of sin, and to be so from the first moment of her existence.

In this regard, the Encyclical Fulgens Corona, published by Pope Pius XII in 1953 to commemorate the centenary of the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, reasons thus: “If at a given moment the Blessed Virgin Mary had been left without divine grace, because she was defiled at her conception by the hereditary stain of sin, between her and the serpent there would no longer have been – at least during this period of time, however brief – that eternal enmity spoken of in the earliest tradition up to the definition of the Immaculate Conception, but rather a certain enslavement” (AAS 45 [1953] 579)[43]

Hence it is clear according to the papal magisterium, that Mary was conceived without original sin and filled with grace precisely so that she could fulfill her role as Mother of God and Coredemptrix. The enmity between the Woman and the serpent, according to God’s plan, must have begun at the first moment of her existence so that she would have no “Achille’s heel” whereby she could be attacked and so that she could be “God’s perfect ally” in the supreme battle fought on Calvary. In fact, the use of Gen. 3:15 in the modern papal magisterium almost always comprises these two points of reference: Mary’s Immaculate Conception and her role as Coredemptrix.[44]

7. Conclusion

Each of these ways of speaking about Our Lady are instances of Marian Maximalism:

1. that she belongs to the Hypostatic Order;

2. that she is pre-eminent among all creatures;

3. that “transformed by grace” is a positive way of speaking about her Immaculate Conception;

4. that Franciscans have been the bearers of what Saint Maximilian called “the golden thread” of the Immaculate Conception, i.e., Marian Maximalism;

5. that Mary is indissolubly linked with Jesus;

6. that Mary is immaculate not only to fulfill her role as Mother of Jesus, but also as Immaculate Coredemptrix.

Arthur Burton Calkins

7 October 2020

Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary

[1] Dr. Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (Baronius Press, translated by Patrick Lynch, edited in English by James Canon Bastible, fully revised and updated by Robert Fastiggi, 2018) 165.

[2] Heinrich Denzinger, Compendium of Creeds, Definitions, and Declarations on Matters of Faith and Morals, 43rdEdition edited by Peter Hünermann for the bilingual edition and for the English edition by Robert Fastiggi and Anne Englund Nash (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2012) #292.

[3] Emil Neubert, S.M., S.T.D., Mary in Doctrine (Milwaukee, WI: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1954) 34 (except for the first use of order, the rest of the italics are mine).

[4] Ibid., 176.

[5] M.-J. Nicolas, Marie Mère du Sauveur (Paris: Desclée, 1967) p. 116.

[6] This entire direct quotation comes from Étienne Richer, “Marian Devotion, the Rosary, and the Scapular” in Mark Miravalle (ed.), Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons (Goleta, CA: Seat of Wisdom Books, a Division of Queenship Publishing, 2008) 680-681.

[7] Cf. Edward Dennis O’Connor, C.S.C., (ed.), The Dogma of the Immaculate Conception: History and Significance (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1958); Christiaan W. Kappes, The Immaculate Conception: Why Thomas Aquinas Denied, While Duns Scotus, Gregory Palamas, and Mark Eugenicus Professed the Absolute Immaculate Existence of Mary (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, “Mariological Studies in Honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe II”, 2014).

[8] Cf. Ruggero Rosini, O.F.M., Mariology of Blessed John Duns Scotus (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, 2008); Peter Damian Fehlner, FI (ed.), Blessed John Duns Scotus and His Mariology: Commemoration of the Seventh Centenary of His Death (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, 2009).

[9] Lumen Gentium #53.

[10] Lumen Gentium #56.

[11] Most Reverend Joseph Raya and Baron José de Vinck, Byzantine Daily Worship (Allendale, NJ: Alleluia Press, 1969) 285.

[12] Cf. Michael O’Carroll, C.Sp.S., Theotokos: A Theological Encyclopedia of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Wilmington: Michael Glazier, Inc.; Dublin: Dominican Publications, 1982) 370-373.

[13] Cf. Tibertius Gallus, S.J., Interpretatio Mariologica Protoevangelii (Gen. 3:15); Tempore Postpatristico usque ad Concilium Tridentinum (Rome: Libreria Orbis Catholicus, 1949); Interpretatio Mariologica Protoevangelii Posttridentina usque ad Definitionem Dogmaticum Immaculatae Conceptionis Pars Prior : Aetas Aurea Esegesis Catholicae a Concilio Tridentino usque ad Annum 1660 (Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1953); Interpretatio Mariologica Protoevangelii Posttridentina usque ad Definitionem Dogmaticum Immaculatae Conceptionis Pars Posterior: Ab Anno 1661 usque ad Definitionem Dogmaticam Immaculatae Conceptionis (1854) (Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1954).

[14] This entire matter is studied at great length by Settimio M. Manelli, FI, “Genesis 3:15 and the Immaculate Conception” in Mary at the Foot of the Cross – V: Redemption and Coredemption under the Sign of the Immaculate Conception. Acts of the Fifth International Symposium on Marian Coredemption (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, 2005) 263-322. Cf. also Stefano M. Manelli, All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed: Biblical Mariology trans. Peter Damian Fehlner (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, revised and enlarged second edition, 2005) 20-37.

[15] Francesco Bamonte, The Virgin Mary and the Devil in Exorcisms trans. Scott Francis Binet (Cinisello Balsamo: Figlie di San Paolo, 2010).

[16] De conceptu virginali 18 [PL 158:451; F. S. Schmitt, S. Anselmi Opera Omnia II:159. Cf. the illuminating comments of Luigi Gambero, S.M. in his Maria nel pensiero dei teologi latini medievali (Cinisello Balsamo: Edizioni S. Paolo, 2000) 128, n. 4 on the analogy with St. Anselm’s Proslogion and with the prayer in which the saint expresses that Nihil est æquale Mariæ; nihil, nisi Deus, maius Maria.

[17]Amleto Tondini (ed.), Le Encicliche Mariane (Rome: Angelo Belardetti Editore, second edition, 1954) 30 [Our Lady: Papal Teachings, trans. Daughters of St. Paul (Boston: St. Paul Editions, 1961) = OL #31].

[18] Cf. The Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum #8.

[19] Cf. Dei Verbum, especially #8, 10, 23.

[20] Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II [=Inseg] XIX/1 (1996) 1252 [Pope John Paul II, Theotókos - Woman, Mother, Disciple: A Catechesis on Mary, Mother of God with a Foreword by Eamon R. Carroll, O.Carm, S.T.D. (Boston: Pauline Books and Media, 2000) = MCat 90]. Italics my own.

[21] All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed 162-164.

[22] Ignace de la Potterie, S.J., “Kecharitomene en Lc 1,28: Étude philologique,” Biblica 68 (1987) 357-382; “Kecharitomene en Lc 1,28: Étude exégétique et théologique,” Biblica 68 (1987) 480-508; Il mistero del cuore trafitto. Fondamenti biblici della spiritualità del Cuore di Gesù (Bologna: Edizioni Dehoniane, 1988) 147-153. A further corroboration of de la Potterie’s exegesis may be found in Ernesto della Corte, “Kecharitomene (Lc 1,28) Crux interpretum,” Marianum LII (1990) 101-148.

[23] Ignace de la Potterie, S.J., Mary in the Mystery of the Covenant trans. Bertrand Buby, S.M. (New York: Alba House, 1992) = MMC 17-18.

[24] MMC 18.

[25] MMC 19-20. This purification is also a major theme in Kappes, The Immaculate Conception.

[26] Inseg XXIV/1 (2001) 58 [L’Osservatore Romano (English edition) #1675:V].

[27] François-Marie Léthel, O.C.D., Connaître l’amour du Christ qui surpasse toute connaissance: La théologie des saints(Venasque: Éditions du Carmel, 1989) 3.

[28] Cf. Stefano M. Cecchin, O.F.M., L’Immacolata Concezione. Breve storia del dogma (Vatican City: Pontificia Academia Mariana Internationalis “Studi Mariologici,” No. 5, 2003) 195.

[29] Johannes Schneider, O.F.M., Virgo Ecclesia Facta: The Presence of Mary in the Crucifix of San Damiano and in the Office of the Passion of St. Francis of Assisi trans. Peter Damian Fehlner (New Bedford: Academy of the Immaculate, 2004; German original: Eos Verlag Erzabtei St. Ottilien, 1998; Italian translation: Edizioni Porziuncula, 2003).

[30] Schneider 102-232.

[31] Cf. Peter Damian M. Fehlner, F.I., “Virgo Ecclesia Facta: The Immaculate Conception, St. Francis of Assisi and the Renewal of the Church,” in Donald H. Calloway, M.I.C., (ed.), The Immaculate Conception in the Life of the Church(Stockbridge, MA: Marian Press, 2004) 82-96.

[32] Cf. Cecchin 61-73.

[33] Inseg XIX (1996) 1454-1455 [MCat 98-99].

[34] Cf. Ruggero Rosini, O.F.M., Mariology of Blessed John Duns Scotus (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, 2008) 73 [Ioannis Duns Scoti Theologiæ Marianæ Elementa Edidit Carolus Balić, O.F.M. (Sibenici ex Typographia Kačić, 1933) 31].

[35] Cf. Rosini, O.F.M., Mariology of Blessed John Duns Scotus 70-96; Alessandro M. Apollonio, F.I., Mariologia Francescana da san Francesco d'Assisi ai Francescani dell'Immacolata (Rome: Dissertationes ad Lauream in Pontificia Facultate Theologica «Marianum», 1997) 75-82.

[36] Cf. Juniper B. Carol, O.F.M., Why Jesus Christ?: Thomistic, Scotistic and Conciliatory Perspectives (Manassas, VA: Trinity Communications, 1986) 121-149. The entire work is a lucid exposition on the primacy and the crowning opus magnum of this faithful son of St. Francis. Cf. Also Rosini 11-25; Apollonio 73-75.

[37] Cf. Peter Damian Fehlner, O.F.M. Conv., “Fr. Juniper B. Carol, O.F.M.: His Mariology and Scholarly Achievement,” Marian Studies XLIII (1992) 22-23, 38-42.

[38] Tondini 32 [OL #34]. This concept has been consistently and solemnly reaffirmed in the papal magisterium since first being enunciated by Bl. Pius IX; cf. Arthur B. Calkins, “The Franciscan Thesis as Presented by Father Peter Damian Fehlner and the Magisterium” in The Spirit and the Church: Peter Damian Fehlner’s Development of Vatican II on the Themes of the Holy Spirit, Mary, and the Church – Festschrift (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2018) 1-16.

[39] Italics my own.

[40] Italics my own.

[41] Acta Apostolicæ Sedis 60 (1968) 438; The Pope Speaks 13:278.

[42] Inseg XIX/1 (1996) 116-117 [MCat 63]. Italics in second paragraph my own.

[43] Inseg XIX/1 (1996) 1389-1390 [MCat 93-94]. Italics my own.

[44] With regard to the papal magisterium on Marian Coredemption, cf. Arthur Burton Calkins, “Il Mistero di Maria Corredentrice nel Magistero Pontificio” in Autori Vari, Maria Corredentrice: Storia e Teologia I (Frigento [AV]: Casa Mariana Editrice «Bibliotheca Corredemptionis B. V. Mariae» Studi e Richerche 1, 1998) 141-220; “The Mystery of Mary the Coredemptrix in the Papal Magisterium,” in Mark I. Miravalle, S.T.D. (ed.), Mary Coredemptrix: Doctrinal Issues Today (Goleta, CA: Queenship Publishing Company, 2002) 25-92; “Pope John Paul II's Teaching on Marian Coredemption” in Mark I. Miravalle, S.T.D., (ed.), Mary Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate, Theological Foundations II: Papal, Pneumatological, Ecumenical (Santa Barbara, CA: Queenship Publishing Company, 1997) 113-147; “Pope John Paul II's Ordinary Magisterium on Marian Coredemption: Consistent Teaching and More Recent Perspectives,” DivinitasXLV «Nova Series» (2002) 153-185.
Alex A
Excellent reflection for this time of the Churches time of Advent, and especially for those suffering from the second onslaught of COVID-19 in the Northern hemisphere. "May the best day of your past be the worst day of your future." A holy and Blessed Christmas to you all.