Mary, The Undoer of Knots

Our Lady has many titles and has been depicted by artists over the centuries in many ways to convey those titles. One such unique image is in The Church of Mary The Door to Heaven in Brazil. There one will find a unique copy of an original painting venerated in Perlack, Germany since 1700. Created by an unknown artist and inspired by a meditation of Saint Irenaeus in which he surmised that “the knot created by Eve’s disobedience had been undone by Mary’s obedience,” this work gives us a simple yet powerful spin on how we think about Our Blessed Mother. The painting depicts Mary untangling the knots on a ribbon.

In the painting itself ~ we see the Archangel Gabriel, to the right, bringing our ‘knots’ to Her, as She easily undoes the complications in our lives ~ our pain, our sorrows, our needs and our desperate cries for help ~ and as She undoes these ‘knots’, She hands the ribbon of our lives to the Archangel Raphael, who sends these simplified matters back to us here on Earth ~ free of any problems which we find impossible to handle, and cures for illnesses, help in financial trouble, rancor against our fellow man, anything else we require to persevere in Faith on this road to Heaven.

Observers have opined that the ribbon represents our lives and the knots represent the difficulties, sinful inclinations, addictions, interpersonal issues, and general struggles of our lives. Clearly, the painting tells us that Mary can come to our aid in these struggles and circumstances if we seek her help. What can seem like unsolvable to us is simple handiwork to The Mother of God, a loving Mother helping her children as loving mothers everywhere are supposed to do every day. If we ask Her to help us in humility, trust, and faith as our mediator and have that same attitude toward asking God Almighty as well, we may be sure that She will help us untangle, in some way, the struggles of our lives.

The devotion to Mary, Undoer of Knots, really goes back for centuries,  but there is a novena to this devotion proclaiming Our Lady’s virtues and Her enormous intercession with Her Divine Son. This Novena, available here: , is said to be unfailing and great in graces bestowed upon anyone who runs to Our Lady for Her assistance.

If Mary is our Great Undoer of Knots, then the devil is he who creates those knots. Either through our own weak humanity or his indirect or direct influence, the evil one relishes in binding us and enslaving us to sin, despair, surrender, frustration, and every other evil and harmful disposition that draws us away from God Almighty and toward perdition. Recall that we have been given the great image of Mary stepping on that evil entangler, coiled and knotted in his own defeat rather than around our souls.

It is no mere coincidence that these knots sound the same as the “nots” proclaimed by our present society, which tells us “not” to believe in God, “not” to follow so-called outdated codes of conduct, and every other “not” in answer to the idea of surrendering oneself to the Will of an all-knowing, all-loving, and all-powerful God. Each of those “nots” is in itself a further “knot” binding us to sin and away from God.

Ever since the time of St. Dominic we have had the tool to undo the knots of the world, the flesh and the devil. That tool is Mary’s holy Rosary. This beaded bouquet is the fail-safe method to unravel the devil’s agenda. It is the bridge to Heaven through Mary the Gate of Heaven or, as She is called in Brazil at the church bearing her title where the beautiful painting resides: Mary Door of Heaven. The Rosary is the knotless direct line to Heaven, faster than DSL, fiber optics, broadband or any other frequency; instant communication with no static, no “can you hear me now” for God hears everything and everyone. It is His Blessed Mother who prioritizes needs, untying encumbrances that would prevent us from striving for holiness and being someday at her side in the presence of the Beatific Vision.

The present state of the Church, of religion in general, and of morality and traditional values, is by no mere coincidence in a present state of  “nots” twisted as knots preventing us from seeing God alone as the true Purpose and Goal of our lives. It is ironic that present society views religion, morality, and tradition as a sea of “nots” preventing us from the freedom of doing as we wish yet, in truth, it is this very society which strangles us from placing God above all else, as alone what should matter in our lives.  This society preaches simplicity masking sin yet delivers complication masking perdition. May Our Lord help us to simplify our lives by seeing only Him as our ultimate destiny.

Copyright  2011  Gabriel Garnica


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