The Mother of God really merited our salvation as Pope St. Pius X taught, and her suffering participated in the satisfaction of our sin, as we’ve shown in the last two articles. By continuing the comparison with the Passion of Christ, the following inquiry examines whether Mary’s compassion was a true sacrifice.
There are two magisterial texts, two texts from popes that suggest it. Leo XIII, in his encyclical Jucunda semper, one of the numerous encyclicals that have been consecrated to the holy Rosary, tells us: Mary “ in a miracle of charity, so that she might receive us as her sons, offered generously to Divine Justice her own Son, and died in her heart with Him, stabbed with the sword of sorrow.”
St. Pius X, in the encyclical Ad diem illum for the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, wrote: “Moreover it was not only the prerogative of the Most Holy Mother to have furnished the material of His flesh to the Only Son of God, Who was to be born with human members (S. Bede Ven. L. Iv. in Luc. xl.), of which material should be prepared the Victim for the salvation of men; but hers was also the office of tending and nourishing that Victim, and at the appointed time presenting Him for the sacrifice.”
What must a sacrifice include?
--A person who offers—and more precisely who immolates the victim.
--A thing offered – that is immolated.
--The person to whom the sacrifice is offered.
--The purpose of this offering, its reason.
It is possible to say that the Blessed Virgin causes our salvation by mode of sacrifice if she stands at the side of the victim or at the side of the priest, that is, if she participates in any way in the role of one or the other in the sacrifice of the Cross that causes our salvation.
The role of the Mother of God in the sacrifice of Christ
--Is the Mother of God a victim in the sacrifice of the Cross?
*As for the exterior sacrifice properly speaking, it must be stated that Christ is the unique victim.
*As for the sacrifice in the larger and interior sense, in other words the virtuous dispositions that express the act of sacrifice, anyone having these dispositions is in some way a victim. This is the case with Our Lady. Incidentally, she has her “own cross” which is to have given over Christ to suffer by being His mother.
--Did the Mother of God offer the sacrifice of the Cross?
*The priest at Calvary is Jesus Christ alone: it is He who is immolated, because it is He who delivers up His life. This is not the case for Our Lady.
*Those who participate in the oblation of the victim participate in the sacrifice alongside the priest; this is the case with the Virgin, who prepared the material of the sacrifice. She is singular in that the matter of the sacrifice is something from herself, her Son, and that she made the sacrifice possible through her Fiat.
*Those who unite themselves with the intention of sacrifice participate in some manner with the priesthood: this is the case with Our Lady, more than with anyone else. This intention is qualitatively superior to that of any baptized person, because the Mother of God has, by right, solicitude that all men to be saved, as they are potential members of her Son.
As much by her intention as by her maternity, the Virgin is united in a sacrificial manner to the Passion of her divine Son, in a very special and unique way, through her compassion which is a true sacrifice.