Holy Mary, the new Eve of the new Adam

Source: District of Asia

One of the distinctive features of the Catholic religion is the love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin, rooted in her dignity as the Mother of God, the love that Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word, had for her, whom all of His mystical Body must imitate, and the mission that God entrusted to her, namely, to be the indissoluble Companion of Christ in the work of the Redemption of souls.

1. Mary is the new Eve of Christ.

To explain this connection between Mary and Christ, Pope Pius XII proposes the title of Mary as the "new Eve" given by all the Holy Fathers. The reason for this is that God conceived the work of Redemption as a divine vengeance, in which He chose to use, in the opposite sense, the same weapons that Satan used to overcome humanity and, in a certain way, God Himself.

"Christ defeated and completely overcame the devil," affirms St. John Chrysostom, "with the same means and weapons that he had used to overcome first. And how? Hear it. A virgin, a tree, and a death were the symbols of our defeat. The virgin was Eve; the tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and death, the punishment of Adam. But listen again: a Virgin, a tree, and a death are also the means of victory. In the place of Eve is Mary; by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the wood of the cross, and by the death of Adam, that of Christ. Do you now see how the devil was defeated where he had previously won?"

Indeed, Satan's plan was as follows: through the woman, to lose the man, and through them, the entire human race. The first man, Adam, played a decisive role in the original fall, but the woman had a role of introduction, preparation, and later, cooperation.

God condescends, so to speak, to fight against Lucifer on the ground chosen by him and defeats him with his own weapons. To the first Adam, the transgressor, God opposes a new Adam, Jesus Christ, as taught by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Romans: “just as through the disobedience of one man, the first Adam, sin entered the world, giving us death to all because all sinned in Adam, so also through the obedience of one man, Jesus Christ, the new Adam, grace entered the world, and justification was granted to all men, giving life.”

But to the new Adam corresponds a new Eve. All the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, from St. Justin (2nd century) to St. Bernard (12th century), pointed out this role of Mary as the new Eve, comparing her to the first, and affirmed that in the work of Redemption, Mary was to Christ what Eve was to Adam. And just as in the order of the fall, everything began with the woman, so also in the order of repair and salvation, everything begins with another Woman, Mary.

Therefore, Mary has been essentially desired by God as the new Eve of Christ, the new Adam. It is difficult to find a more accurate and complete definition of her than the one God himself gave to Eve when he created the first woman: "I will make a helper suitable for him, a Help like him." "It is not good for man to be alone," God said before creating woman, "let us make a helper suitable for him." And since Adam and Eve were types and figures of Christ and Mary, we must say the same of them: it does not correspond to God's plans for Man to be alone, he demands a Help like Him to carry out His Work, the redemption of the human race. And so, Mary will be for Christ, in the order of redemption and grace, what Eve was for Adam in the order of the fall and sin.

2. Mary, similar to Christ.

  1. One acts as one is: "Operari sequitur esse." Therefore, to collaborate with Christ, Mary must first be like him in her being. And she will be like him in three ways: through her Immaculate Conception, by which she is totally free from original sin; through her fullness of grace, and by the singular eminence of her virtues, all perfected by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Because of this triple privilege, Mary's union with Christ through grace surpasses everything we can imagine. Jesus took possession of Mary in such a way that between them there was only one thought, one will, one desire, the same interests, the same desire for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.
  2. Furthermore, for this collaboration with Christ to take on a habitual and official character, Jesus Christ wanted Mary to be united to him by lasting and physical bonds. An ordinary marriage was evidently excluded because Jesus and Mary were to be the new parents of regenerated Humanity, not according to the flesh, like Adam and Eve, but according to the spirit. Therefore, for Mary to be the spiritual spouse and universal cooperator of Jesus Christ, God did something admirable: He made her the Mother of Jesus Christ according to the flesh, and thus definitively united her with Christ by the closest physical bonds imaginable. Through this divine motherhood, Mary was elevated to the level of Christ and equipped to carry out, in union with Christ and depending on Him, the great work of glorifying the Father and saving Humanity."

3. Mary, Helper of Christ.

Once she was like Christ, Mary could collaborate with Him.

  1. Above all, she will be the Co-Redeemer with Christ, being with Him a single moral principle of the redemptive act itself, and as this title (helper of Christ), a secondary ‘Sacrificer’ and a subordinate Victim of the Sacrifice of Calvary.
  2. And since the redemptive act deserves all the necessary or convenient graces for the salvation of humanity, Mary also participates in this aspect, meriting all the graces that will be granted to men. And just as Christ is the Mediator of all graces because He earned them at the price of His blood, similarly, Mary, being the Co-Redeemer and having merited all graces in union with Jesus, at the cost of the martyrdom of her immaculate Heart, is established by God as the universal Mediator of all graces: She has merited all grace for us, obtains it through her omnipotent prayer, and designates and consents to it through a free and conscious act of her will.
  3. Now, grace is the life of the soul, its supernatural life. Therefore, as Mary truly communicates life to souls, she becomes the spiritual Mother of all the redeemed, exercising a true motherhood over them: Mary fulfills in an eminent way all the functions that a mother performs in the life of her child.
  4. Redeeming souls, applying the fruits of redemption to them, communicating grace to them, thus giving birth to them in supernatural life, forming and making them grow in it. It is a difficult task, as powerful opposing forces are allied against God and souls: the devil, the world, and the evil inclinations that original sin has left in every man. This means that redemption, sanctification, and vivification are an incessant struggle. Well, in this struggle, Mary is the eternal adversary of Satan, behind whom Christ seems to hide, as in times past, the serpent had concealed itself behind Eve. Mary is the eternal and always victorious Fighter in the good fights of God.
  5. More than that: beneath Christ, she is the invincible General of the divine armies, for she leads and directs the battle. She is for the Church and for souls everything that a general is for his army: she gives souls and the authorities of the Church the necessary light to discover Satan's ambushes and direct the battle. She sustains the spirits of her children, continuously sends them back into battle, and supplies them with the suitable weapons to ensure victory. For all of this is evidently the work of grace: grace of light, courage, strength, perseverance; as all grace, after Christ, comes to us from Mary.
  6. Finally, as the Mother of God, the universal Companion of Christ, and Co-Redeemer of humanity, Mary is also the universal Queen alongside Christ the King; for Jesus Christ, after associating her with his redemptive work, that is, with labor, suffering, and pain, wants to associate her with his triumph and sovereignty. This is the reason for the Assumption of Mary into heaven: Christ associates his Mother with his own Ascension, taking her to heaven in body and soul, and establishing her as Queen of all creation.


What attitude, then, should each man adopt toward Her whom God has placed alongside Christ, in the very heart of the Mystery of Salvation? For if Jesus wanted Mary to be intimately associated with Him, at all times and in all places, in suffering and in glory, He now wants her to be equally associated with Him in the worship that the Church pays to her.

"Mary, in the Christian religion, is absolutely inseparable from Christ, both before and after the Incarnation: before the Incarnation, in the waiting and expectation of the world; after the Incarnation, in the worship and love of the Church. Indeed, we are called and bound again to heavenly things only by the blessed Pair that is the Woman and her Son. From this, I conclude that the worship of the Blessed Virgin is a negative note of true Christian religion. I say: a negative note; because it is not necessary that wherever this worship is found, the true Church is found; but at least where this worship is absent, by the same fact, true Christian religion is not found. And true Christianity could not be the one that cuts off the nature of our "religatio" by Christ, instituted by God, separating the blessed Son from the Woman from whom He proceeds" (Father Billot).

From this, it follows, according to the constant teaching of the Church:

  1. The devotion to the Blessed Virgin belongs to the very essence of Christianity. God, by associating Mary with the work of our Redemption, places her at the very heart of History and the Catholic religion. The formula of Christianity, whether as coming from God to us or as ascending from us to God, is not Jesus alone, but Jesus-Mary.
  2. Devotion to the Blessed Virgin is, therefore, necessary for salvation, and therefore, gravely obligatory. Anyone who refuses to show a minimum of devotion to Mary would seriously endanger their eternal salvation by refusing to use a means and mediation that God has wanted to use in all His redemptive and sanctifying work.
  3. Devotion to of the Blessed Virgin implies a full adaptation to God's salvific plans, who wants to communicate salvation and His divine life through Mary; for by this Marian devotion, we grant Our Lady the place that corresponds to her, by divine will, in our inner life. And it is evident that this adaptation to God's plans will bring the most precious advantages for each individual soul and for the Holy Church of God in general; and, on the contrary, voluntary and culpable shortcomings in this regard will always be disastrous for the Church and for souls.