Thursday, May 16, 2013

Two Devotions to Mary

Mary, Untier of Knots

  In honor of the month of May, here are two beautiful devotions to Mary.  I’d love to hear the results if you participate in either of these.
Pope Francis’s Devotion
      The first one,  “Mary Undoer of Knots” also known as “Our Lady Untier of Knots,"  I came across in Dr. Matthew Bunson’s new book, Pope Francis.  Bunson, one of America’s leading authorities on the papacy and the Church, gives a personal glimpse into the life of Jorge Mario Bergoglio from his early days as a “street priest” to his work as a Cardinal, and finally his appointment as Pope Francis.

     In his book, he writes: “During his time in Germany in the early 1980s, Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio saw an early eighteenth-century painting by Johann Schmidtner in the Church of Saint Peter Perlach, in Augsburg. The painting is of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the unusual title of the “Untier of Knots.” Devotion to the Blessed Mother under that name dates at least to the early part of the seventeenth century when a priest saved the marriage of a German noble couple by using the image of knots being unraveled to show the way to marital peace. The image of Mary as an untier of knots was first cast by Saint Irenaeus of Lyons when he spoke of the knot of Eve’s disobedience being loosed by the obedience of Mary (Adversus haerses, Book III, chapter 22).
     “Years later, the grateful grandson of the married couple donated an altarpiece to the long-dead priest’s church, and the painter Schmittdner, being aware of the family story, depicted the Virgin Mary as the Knoten- löserin, “Untier of Knots.”
     “Bergoglio was so struck by the work that he purchased a copy and brought it back to Argentina. Through his encouragement, the Virgen Desatanudos, as she is known, became increasingly popular, growing even more so after his appointment as Archbishop of Buenos Aires. The Blessed Mother under this title is a source of comfort, strength, and inspiration for those facing the many difficulties — the knots — of life”
Our Lady of Surprises 
     The next devotion “Our Lady of Surprises” was  reported on Spirit Daily.  Although I had never heard of it until recently, it makes sense. After all, doesn't God surprise us all at times?   How often does it seem as though nothing is happening when we pray but then suddenly, everything changes?
     The Bible is full of surprises. To name just a few: the shepherd David kills the giant Goliath and becomes King, the parting of the Red Sea, manna from heaven, and getting water from a rock.  In the New Testament, the apostles, while still fishermen, came up empty at Lake Gennesaret after fishing all night.  Then, they  pulled in an overflowing net after Jesus told them to let it back down. There was Peter walking on water, Lazarus surprising even his sisters who were followers of Jesus, and so many other miracles. 
     Our Blessed Mother was present for many of these surprises. The very first recorded miracle of Jesus was through the intercession of his Mother when she sought his help at the Wedding of Cana after the wine had run out.  The water was turned into wine and everyone was so surprised that it seemed the best wine had been saved for last.

"Our Lady of Surprises" Prayer
      “O Mary my mother and Our Lady of surprises, what a happy joy you caused the wedding guests when you asked your divine Son to work the miracle of water into wine. What a happy surprise for them since they thought the wine had run dry.  I, too Mary, love surprises and as your child, may I ask you to favor me with one today?  I ask this only because you are my ever caring mother.”
      For more inspiration, check out Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories From Everyday Families. Your children will laugh while learning big spiritual lessons with Dear God, I Don't Get It! and Dear God, You Can't Be Serious. 

      Follow Patti at Twitter or like her Facebook pages at Dear God Books ,  Big Hearted Families, A GPS Guide to Heaven and Earth

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