Why Do Titles of Mary End with the "-trix" Suffix (as in Mediatrix, Genetrix, Coredemptrix)?


Why do titles of Mary end with the “-trix” suffix (as in Mediatrix, Genetrix, Coredemptrix)?

The answer to this question is quite simple. In Latin, the masculine ending for an agent is “-tor” and the feminine ending for an agent is “-trix.”

For example, Christ is the SalvaTOR (“Savior”) and RedempTOR (“Redeemer”) of humanity. A male merchant is a “mercaTOR,” and a male governor is a “gubernaTOR.” However, a female merchant would be a “mercaTRIX,” and a female governor would be called a “gubernaTRIX.”

Incidentially, Queen Elizabeth II of England still bears the official title of “Gubernatrix Suprema” of the Church of England.

You can still hear the Indo-European likeness in English nouns denoting agency. For example, a “waiTER” is male and a “waiTRESS” is female. The masculine English ending “-ter” corresponds with the Latin masculine ending “-tor,” and the English feminine ending “-tress” corresponds to the feminine Latin ending “-trix.”

So the Marian title “Mediatrix” could be translated into English as “Mediatress.” However, one usually sees it in English literature with the authentic Latin ending: Mediatrix.

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