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Who is Mary, Undoer of Knots?

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This is one of Pope Francis' favorite devotions.

Pope Francis dearly loves the Blessed Virgin Mary under her title of “Undoer of Knots.” However, for many people this title is rather strange and unfamiliar.


Where did it come from?


This particular devotion to the Blessed Mother is both old and new. Concretely it dates to the 18th century, to a Baroque painting entitled Wallfahrtsbild painted by Johann Georg Melchior Schmidtner. It is currently on display in the St. Peter am Perlach church in Augsburg, Bavaria.


The painting features an image of the Virgin Mary holding a long ribbon and untying the knots in it. The painter is said to have been inspired by the following passage from St. Irenaeus of Lyons’ “Against Heresies.”

Quote:[T]hus also it was that the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith.

With this in mind, Mary is then invoked through a popular prayer to untie the knots in our own lives.

Quote:In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone. Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot.

Pope Francis discovered this painting while traveling in Germany and he took the devotion with him back to Argentina. According to the Catholic Herald, “[Pope Francis] bought a postcard of the painting at the German chapel in which the painting is displayed and brought it to Argentina sometime in the 1980s [and] prior to becoming Pope Francis, had this Marian image engraved on a chalice he gave to Pope Benedict XVI.”

It is a beautiful devotion, one that places our knotted lives in the hands of our Mother, trusting that she has the ability to untie what we thought was lost.


How this prayer to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, can set you free

Sometimes bad experiences take root in our souls and affect our outlook.

As the years go by, we accumulate positive and negative experiences that leave imprints in our souls. Extremely strong experiences can determine our outlook on reality and impact our decisions about the future.


Without even realizing it, we begin to see life through the prism of these experiences, and sometimes we can even allow ourselves to be trapped by the negative ones, becoming blocked and somehow paralyzed.


For example, if we’ve been in destructive relationships and felt rejection, we can develop a fear of rejection, and experience insecurity in
our relationships.


If we ignore these negative experiences, little by little they can take up a dwelling in our hearts, fettering our souls.


Sin is one of these negative experiences that mark our souls. Our sins are a betrayal of the One who loves us unconditionally and has given everything for us. They are a betrayal of ourselves, a rejection of the best that is in us and the plan for which we were created. As well, sin — as secret and private as it might seem — is a betrayal of our neighbor, of the members of the one body of Christ, of which we form a part.


The experience of sin and the awareness of guilt further tether the soul, draining strength from our capacity to love and give ourselves.


That’s why it is so important to go to confession: not only in order to receive God’s forgiveness and be taken again into his embrace, but also because the fact of recognizing my sinfulness and naming it is a step toward freedom from sin.


Along with confession, there is a tool for finding freedom from the negative experiences that bind our souls. This “tool,” in fact, will lead us closer to Christ, in confession and in the other sacraments.


This tool is a favorite of Pope Francis, and it is devotion to Our Lady, under the title Mary, Undoer of Knots.


For the situations in our life that seem a terrible tangle of knots, or that are tethering our souls, try this prayer:

Quote:Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exist in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exists in my life.  You know very well how desperate I am, my pain, and how I am bound by these knots. Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of his children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life. No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone. Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot.

[Mention your request here]

I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all. You are my hope.

O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution, and, with Christ, the freedom from my chains.

Hear my plea.

Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

Find a novena to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, here.



This article is adapted from a similar piece in Aleteia’s Spanish edition.
This is very beautiful. This devotion probably the best thing Francis has brought to the papacy. This and granting the SSPX jurisdiction to hear Confessions.
I adopted this devotion when I started RCIA. She has been a huge help in...well...helping me to start and get the stuff I was doing wrong sorted before baptism. I don't think I would have made as much progress - although, I still have a loooooong way to go - without Her assistance and prayers. Thank you for sharing Smile
I really like this devotion, despite being leary of anything Francis endorses.

Do you all know of its practice anytime before Vatican II in any large numbers?
(03-11-2018, 03:17 PM)BC Wrote: [ -> ]I really like this devotion, despite being leary of anything Francis endorses.

Do you all know of its practice anytime before Vatican II in any large numbers?

Ask, and ye shall receive! LOL

History of Our Lady Undoer of Knots
(03-11-2018, 05:31 PM)jovan66102 Wrote: [ -> ]
(03-11-2018, 03:17 PM)BC Wrote: [ -> ]I really like this devotion, despite being leary of anything Francis endorses.

Do you all know of its practice anytime before Vatican II in any large numbers?

Ask, and ye shall receive! LOL

History of Our Lady Undoer of Knots

Thank you.