Mary, Untier of Knots
The story behind this humble devotion is that a German nobleman in the early 17th century discovered that his wife was about to divorce him. Distraught, he brought to a local Jesuit the wedding ribbon which had joined the arms of bride and groom in their wedding ceremony. The Jesuit prayerfully untied its knots before an image of Our Lady of the Snows. The ribbon became dazzlingly white, and this was taken as confirmation that the prayer to save the marriage was heard. The divorce was averted!
About 1700 the event was painted and became known as ‘Mary, Untier of Knots’. It has survived wars, revolutions and secular opposition, and continues to attract interest.
The website ‘Mary, Undoer of Knots’ explains that among the ‘knots’ Mary can be asked to untie are the problems and struggles for which we do not see any solution. They include family discord, lack of understanding between parents and children, disrespect, violence, deep hurts between husband and wife, the absence 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 an addicted son or daughter, of those sick or separated from home or God. Included finally are the knots of alcoholism, depression, unemployment, fear, solitude, and the problems arising from abortion.