LEO XIII 1878-1903

The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mediatrix of Graces *

 

[The Encyclical, “Octobri mense,” on the Rosary, Sept. 22, 1891]

 

1940a The eternal Son of God, when He wished to assume the nature of man for the redemption and glory of man, and for this reason was about to enter upon a kind of mystic marriage with the entire human race, did not do this before He received the wholly free consent of His designated mother, who, in a way, played the part of the human race itself, according to that famous and truthful opinion of Aquinas: “Through the Annunciation the Virgin’s consent was looked for in place of all human nature.” * Therefore, no less truly and properly may it be affirmed that nothing at all of the very great treasure of every grace, which the Lord confers, since “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” [John 1:17], nothing is imparted to us except through Mary, God so willing; so, just as no one can approach the highest Father except through the Son, so no one can approach Christ except through His Mother.

 

[From the Encyclical, “Fidentem,” on the Rosary, Sept. 20, 1896] *

 

For, surely, no one person can be conceived who has ever made, or at any time will make an equal contribution as Mary to the reconciliation of men with God. Surely, she it was who brought the Savior to man as he was rushing into eternal destruction, at that very time when, with wonderful assent, she received “in place of all human nature” * the message of the peace making sacrament brought to earth by the Angel; she it is “of whom was born Jesus” [Matt. 1:16], namely, His true Mother, and for this reason she is worthy and quite acceptable as the mediatrix to the Mediator.

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