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 Header - Our Lady Undoer of Knots

 

The practice of devotion to Our Lady Undoer of Knots originated with events that led to the painting of the image you see pictured here; whereas the theology of the devotion actually goes back to the second century. At that time, Saint Irenaeus wrote that, “The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by the obedience of Mary.”

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Painting of Our Lady Undoer of KnotsThe painting was donated in the early eighteenth century by Hieronymus Ambrosius Langenmantel (1641-1718), a canon of the Monastery of Saint Peter in Augsburg.

The donation is said to be connected with something that happened in his family that would resonate with families up to the twenty-first century.

His grandfather Wolfgang Langenmantel (1586-1637) was on the verge of separation from his wife Sophia Rentz (1590-1649) and therefore sought help from Father Jacob Rem, the Jesuit priest in Ingolstadt.

Consequently, on September 28th, 1615, in a solemn ritual act, Father Rem prayed to the Blessed Virgin Mary and said: "In this religious act, I raise the bonds of matrimony, to untie all knots and smoothen them," elevating the wedding ribbon1 and untying the knots one by one. While smoothing the ribbon out, the white ribbon attained such an intense brightness, that not even the palette of any painter could have reproduced it.

Immediately peace was restored between the husband and wife, and the separation did not happen. In thanksgiving and to keep alive the memory of this event, their grandson commissioned the painting of the "Untier of Knots."

The original Baroque painting of Mary Untier of Knots, by Johann George Melchior Schmidtner, is found in the church of St. Peter am Perlach, in Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany. It measures six feet in height and almost four feet in width. The painting has survived wars, revolutions, and secular opposition, and continues to draw people to it.

In the eighteenth century the devotion to Mary Untier of Knots was localized to Germany. The devotion was augmented during the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster (1986), when victims sought help through the intercession of Mary Untier of Knots. The first chapel to be named Mary Untier of Knots was constructed in 1989 in Styria, Austria.

On December 8, 2000, a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary Untier of Knots was inaugurated in Formosa, Argentina. Since 1998, the devotion has been spreading in South America thanks to the booklet, Mary, Undoer of Knots Novena, published with ecclesiastical permission.

 

Devotion to Our Lady Undoer of Knots

Statue of Our LadyThe image of Our Lady Undoer of Knots depicts Mary suspended between heaven and earth, resplendent with light. The Holy Spirit in the form of a dove is above her head, reminding us that she became Mother of God and full of grace by virtue of the third person of the Trinity.

She is dressed resplendently in crimson, and a deep blue mantle representing her glory as Queen of the Universe. A crown of twelve stars adorning her head signifies her Queenship of the Apostles.

Her feet crush the head of the serpent indicating her victory over Satan. She is surrounded by angels, signifying her position as Queen of the Angels and Queen of Heaven. In her hands is a knotted white ribbon, which she is serenely untying.

Assisting her at the task are two angels: one presents the knots of our lives to her, while another angel presents the ribbon, freed from knots, to us.

Mary’s faith unties the knot of sin; but what are these knots we may ask?

They are the 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 Couple fightingabsence of peace and joy at home.

There are also the knots of anguish and despair of separated couples, the dissolution of the family, the knots of a drug addicted son or daughter, sick or separated from home or God, knots of alcoholism, the practice of abortion, depression, unemployment, fear, solitude; all the knots of our life that suffocate the soul, beat us down and betray the heart’s joy and separate us from God.

KnotIt is like when a ball of yarn gets tangled, and it is impossible to untangle because of our impatience; it is as difficult to solve as a “Gordian knot.”2 In many cases the solving of the puzzle is so difficult that is destroyed.

The first thing we need to do is to place ourselves under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, our help, our advocate and our intercessor. Thru prayer and meditation, we will be able to see how those knots were “made” and the reason why they were made.

With Our Lady’s maternal assistance, one by one you will untie every knot. Start with the simplest knots, so that you may have more clarity until you reach the main ones. This is why patience is so necessary. We need to use self-examination, analyze ourselves and pray. Prayer is what will give us the determination to continue and never give up.

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Pray:  Novena to Our Lady Undoer of Knots

NOTES:
1 The ribbon was placed by the maid of honor to represent an invisible union of the bride and the groom for the rest of their life. Their arms were joined together during the wedding ceremony.
2 The origins of the “Gordian knot,” a term commonly used to describe a complex or unsolvable problem, can be traced back to a legendary event in the life of Alexander the Great.

(found on Wikipedia) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:%22Johann_Georg_Schmidtner%22,_by_Johann_Georg_Schmidtner.jpg 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for July 14, 2020

You cannot be half a saint; you must be a whole saint or...

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July 14

 

You cannot be
half a saint;
you must be a whole saint
or no saint at all.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Kateri stood before the church until it opened at four o’c...

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St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Tekakwitha, baptized Kateri, “The Lily of the Mohawks” was born in 1656 near the town of Auriesville, New York, the daughter of a Mohawk warrior, and a captured, Christian Algonquin woman, Tagaskouita.

Between 1661 and 1663 a small pox epidemic afflicted Kateri’s tribe. Both her parents and her brother died, and though also contracting the disease, she survived though her face was left scared and her eyesight affected. She was adopted by a paternal aunt and her husband, a chief.

At seventeen the young Mohawk girl turned down an offer of marriage, and though pressed, still refused.

Under the influence of missionary priests introduced into her tribe after the Mohawks were defeated by the French, Kateri converted to Catholicism at eighteen, and was baptized when twenty. Members of her tribe were hostile to her by reason of her Faith, but she persevered.

The Jesuit missionaries described Tekakwitha as a modest girl who covered most of her head with a blanket because of her scars.

In 1677 Kateri moved to the new Christian colony of Indians in Canada under the direction of Jesuit fathers where she found peace. There, she lived a life dedicated to prayer, penance and the care of the sick and the aged.

Every morning, even in the bitterest cold, young Kateri stood before the church until it opened at four o’clock. Once inside, she attended every Mass, her greatest devotions being the Eucharist and Christ Crucified. She undertook severe penances, seeking to mortify her flesh so as to help her soul reach union with her beloved God.

In the Lent of 1680 friends noticed that Kateri was failing. She died on Wednesday of Holy Week around three o’clock. Her last words were, “Jesus, I love You.”

As she lay still in death, those around her noticed that her scars had disappeared and her face was white and beautiful.

Pope Benedict XVI canonized Kateri Tekakwitha on October 21, 2012.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protest...

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Walk to Conversion

In September, I brought the statue of Our Lady of Fatima to the home of Mr. John Black and his family in Kings City, California.  John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about thirteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California (though these are holy sites, they also serve as tourist attractions.)

“Who is this Junipero Serra anyways?”  he asked, as the tour guide shared the history of the mission. “Well,” the guide responded, “you are standing on his grave!”  Surprised, John looked down and read inscription on the stone. Sure enough, Blessed Father Junipero Serra was buried right there. “I became electrified,” John told me, “I had to learn more about this man and about the missions.”  The more he studied Blessed Serra, the founder of the first nine missions, the more impressed he became, and he decided to travel on-foot to all 21 missions. 

With the blessing of his wife, now left at home with their two infant sons, John left for his solo expedition, taking with him a single backpack, the bible and little money.  He told me that every mission he visited he felt the presence of someone receiving him, even if the mission was empty. He felt this ambiance in the missions so serene and uplifting, and began to realize it was the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament that made him feel so at home.

At one point, John collapsed from exhaustion near a mission run by Franciscans, who kindly hosted him for the night. Before he left the next day, one of the friars gave him a first-class relic of Blessed Serra. Since he was Protestant, John did not know what a relic was, but not wanting to appear rude, he accepted it. Not long after he left the Franciscans, John became lost in the wilderness in the middle of the night. Through his exhaustion and fear he heard a voice say, “Let’s help John.” He had the distinct feeling that Blessed Serra was guiding him, and gathered the strength and courage to continue. About six hours later, he stumbled upon the next mission. “It was kind of a miracle,” he said, “I was really lost!”

During his journey, John slowly came to a realization. “I know what you want from me, God,” he thought to himself one day, “you what me to became a Catholic. That is what this is all about!” However, he still had many questions about aspects of Catholicism that have been rejected by his Protestant faith – mainly about the Blessed Mother. Yet, from that point on he received answers to all of his questions, especially his reservations about devotion to Mary: he believed that it was once again Blessed Serra answering him.

With the help of Blessed Serra, one problem after another was resolved in the solitude of his travels. By the time John reached the final mission, he wholly decided to become a Catholic. “I realized that by having devotion to Mary, you love Our Lord even more,” he told me.

John returned home, filled with zeal and enthusiasm for his newfound faith. He shared his astonishing experiences with his wife, and she too converted. “I feel at home in the Catholic church,” John said, “and I have never loved Our Lord Jesus Christ more than I do now.”

by Joseph Ferrara

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John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about fourteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California 

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