On Thursday, September 28, there is a lesser-known Marian Feast Day: Mary, the Untier of Knots. On that day in the 17th century, Mary interceded to prevent a tragic divorce with a miraculous intercession. The knots of the couple’s wedding ribbon came untied, just the sign the two needed to restore their marriage. (see post on Churchpop.com).
Mary, Untier of Knots, is the patron for people who are having marriage difficulties. She is also the patron of all family conflicts, addictions, anxieties, and personal challenges – pretty much anyone who has knots in their life that need untying.
I have turned to her frequently since I started my job as director of Catholic Conference Center. On my first day, a friend providentially gave me a bronze statue of Mary, Untier of Knots. I think she suspected I might need to gaze upon it from time to time. And boy, was she right. The statue has been on the corner of my desk ever since and has helped me untie many knots.
Not well-known to me when I started the job were a plethora of maintenance ‘knots’ which included a wastewater treatment plant, a boiler, a pump house, a half dozen HVAC units, 52 PTAC’s, and two retreat houses. By calling to Mary in prayer (and summoning a little engineering expertise from my past life) we kept things running. She’s also helped me through the knots of some challenging staffing changes and the ugly knots of running a retreat center in the midst of a pandemic. With Our Lady’s’ help, the center is prospering, and I’m sleeping better at night. She’s now helping me through the kind of knots I enjoy untying. Having a mostly full center, it’s been a challenge finding retreat spaces for the many new inquiries we receive.
Last year, I started doing spiritual direction in earnest. I sometimes meet in my office. The statue is situated beyond where the other person sits. When my directee is having difficulty sorting things out, I look at the statue and say a silent prayer. “Mary, please help this person untie whatever knot they’re struggling with.”
Pope Francis has a special devotion to the Mary, the Untier of Knots, going back to his days before he was elected Pope. Among many examples, I thought it significant that the last stop on his Rosary Marathon to End the Pandemic was the statue of Mary, Untier of Knots. He brought this to the Vatican upon his election. (Pope Francis turns to Mary, Undoer of Knots | CNA)
Do you have some ‘knots’ in your life that need untying? Consider spending a few minutes this week turning to Mary, and ask her to untie them.
O Virgin Mary,
Mother of God, who never refuses to come to the help of your children in need,
Mother whose hands never stop working for the welfare of your children,
moved as they are by the loving mercy and kindness that exists in your Immaculate Heart,
cast your compassionate and merciful eyes upon me and see
the snarl of knots that exists in my life.
O Mother! You know the difficulties, sorrow, and pain that I have had because of them.
O loving Mother, I place the ribbon of my life
and this knot (these knots) into your loving hands,
hands which can undo even the most difficult knot.
Most holy Mother, come to my aid and intercede for me before God with your prayers.
I cast this knot into your hands (mention your intention/need) and beg you to undo it,
in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, and for the glory of God, once and for all.
Our Lady, Untier of Knots, pray for us!