Writing on the British Jesuits’ site Thinking Faith, Hedwig Lewis, SJ, gives more background on the devotion to Mary the Untier (or Undoer) of Knots, which Pope Francis has promoted for years. You can also visit a website about the devotion. The devotion is especially appropriate for “problems and struggles we face for which we do not see any solution:”
Knots of discord in our family, lack of understanding between parents and children, disrespect, violence, the knots of deep hurts between husband and wife, the absence of peace and joy at home. They are also the knots of anguish and despair of separated couples, the dissolution of the family, the knots of a drug addict son or daughter, sick or separated from home or God, knots of alcoholism, the practice of abortion, depression, unemployment, fear, solitude. . .
H/T to Denise.
The notion of Mary untying knots dates back as far as Saint Irenaeus (120-200) who said “And so the knot of Eve’s disobedience received its unloosening through the obedience of Mary; for what Eve a virgin, bound by incredulity, Mary, a virgin, unloosed by faith.”
There is an old custom of tying knotted cords, or ribbons, from rosaries, reminding the pray-er of difficult situations in need of prayer. You will often see ribbons hanging down from filigree rosaries in museum paintings.
Never heard of this devotion — thanks for introducing us!
I appreciate the appropriateness of this devotion in our everyday lives. I’m learning to turn to Mary more but, as a convert, I have been slow to do so. Another convert wrote a beautiful song and posted the link on a related post on this blog “Mary Untier of Knots”; it is worth going back to listen.