With the hope of saving his marriage, a young man sought counsel from a Jesuit priest. During their talks, they would pray together, asking Mary's intercession. As they did so, the priest would untie the knots in the husband's wedding ribbon. Years after the man and his wife had reconciled, their grandson commissioned a painting --Mary Untier of Knots by Johann Schmidtner, which came to symbolize this unique devotion to Our Lady.
Almost three centuries later, another young Jesuit priest, Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis), while studying in Germany, came across a painting that depicts Mary patiently undoing knots in a long cord. He took a copy of the painting to Argentina and began to encourage the devotion. He realized that this picture portrayed how Mary can help us to undo the difficulties and hardships that represent the "knots" in our lives. When he became pope, many more people were inspired to take up devotion to Mary under the title of Our Lady Undoer of Knots, and have found consolation and encouragement through her powerful intercession.
Since 1976, Marianne Lorraine Trouvé, FSP, has been a member of the Daughters of St. Paul, an international congregation of women religious. She has an M.A. in theology from the University of Dayton, with a specialization in Marian studies. Since 1994 she has served on the editorial staff of Pauline Books & Media publishing house in Boston, Massachusetts, and has written several books, including Angels: Help from on High, and Mary: Help in Hard Times.