Thursday, February 6, 2014
The Catholic Nook: Our Lady Undoer of Knots
The image was painted by an artist named Johann Melchior, and the original has been venerated in a church in Augsburg, Germany for centuries. The artist was inspired by a meditation of St. Irenaeus, in which he stated: "Eve, by her disobedience, tied the knot of disgrace for the human race; Mary, by her obedience, undid it."
Since then, the faithful have asked for the intercession of Mary under this title for aid in the "knots" of their life. Things that seem particularly challenging for us to deal with, and may not have a very positive outlook. Sort of like when you get a tight knot in a thin gold chain. You pick away at it with your nail, but you just know that knot isn't coming out unless someone with a pointy tool and a lot of patience comes to your aid. That's how I see this devotion.
I prayed the novena to Mary under this title about a year ago, and indeed the intention is a particularly snarly one. I can't say that the situation is *resolved*, but I have seen small changes that give me hope. I originally heard about the devotion on "The Catholics Next Door" podcast with
Greg and Jennifer Willits. I remember Jennifer saying something similar, that the intention was a tough one, things were happening slowly, but she had so much peace after praying the novena that somehow, in some way, *eventually*, things would work out.
The novena itself is very simple. For 9 days, you pray a rosary, asking Our Lady to intercede for your intention. Before you begin, pray an Act of Contrition. Pray the first 3 mysteries of the Rosary for that particular day of the week. Then, pause to read a short meditation (will come back to this in a moment). Pray the final 2 mysteries of the rosary, and pray a final prayer to Our Lady Undoer of Knots.
I have a lovely little book with all of the meditations and prayers in it, plus some history of the devotion, which you can see and purchase here.The prayers are also online here. This devotion has brought me so much peace, and I plan to pray the novena again within the next few weeks. I'll let you all know when I will be starting, so that you can pray along with me if you like. Cristina is joining in as well! I will add a tab at the top of the blog next to "About Me" with the links to the prayers stickied in, and the applicable dates.
I even have a rosary (a Christmas gift :)) that I pray with daily that is modeled after this devotion:
Unbreakable Rosaries on Etsy. She has a similar one currently listed if anyone else would like their very own. :)
Do I have any other Our Lady Undoer of Knots devotees? Anybody want to join in the upcoming novena? Leave me a comment!
*Historical information and image from http://www.maryundoerofknots.com/history.htm