Our Lady Undoer
FEast: Sept. 27th
Patron of: anxieties, marital problems, unsolvable issues and worries
As early as the late second century, St. Irenaeus wrote in his book, “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”, but the particular devotion was not made popular until the early 1600s when a German couple named Sophie and Wolfgang Langenmantel were on the brink of divorce until they sought counsel from a local priest. They prayed to St. Mary to be able to save their relationship, and Wolfgang brought the couple’s wedding ribbon (which had been used to tie the two together symbolically during the ceremony) on his last visit to the priest. While praying, the priest lifted the ribbon to an image of Mary and asked her to “untie the knots” of Wolfgang’s marriage. The ribbon miraculously brightened and untangled itself, and the couple reconciled afterwards. A painting of Mary untying knots was donated by their grandson who became a priest.
Most recently, Pope Francis has again made this devotion popular with themes not just of marital problems, but also for anxieties and unsolvable issues and worries.
We find knots in our families, our friendships, our communities, and our society as a whole. We find them in our own hearts and sometimes we speak or work them into existence ourselves. For all the things we cannot seem to figure out, make better, make right, or untangle, please use your swift, precise, loving hands to undo. Amen.
Mary, as someone who was married to a regular person like so many of us, does understand the problems in out relationships and in our lives. I want her to look like she knows how we feel when we just can't figure something out or fix it. Her nails assist her in her work, and her hair mimics the thread, made completely of purposeful "knots".