As a student in Germany in the 1980s, Jorge Bergoglio, the future Pope Francis, saw a painting that struck his heart. He brought a postcard of the painting back with him to Argentina, promoting its veneration in Latin America and, with this, something of a ‘religious craze’ spread!
A 17th century Baroque painting, the ‘Wallfahrtsbild’ (‘Pilgrimage Image’) by German artist Johann Georg Melchior Schmidtner, was of Mary, Undoer of Knots. Schmidtner had been inspired to create the piece by the words of St. Ignatius of Loyola, in the 2nd century:
“The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by the obedience of Mary; what the virgin Eve bound by her unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosened by her faith.”
The painting is housed in the pilgrimage church of St. Peter am Perlach, in Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany.
Tours Peregrinos Mexico invites you to read the traditional German Marian devotion for Mary, Undoer of Knots, at the end of this article.
Following Jorge Bergoglio’s discovery of the image and subsequent devotion of Mary, Undoer of Knots (sometimes known as Mary, Untier of Knots), its popularity spread first in Argentina, then to Brazil and then throughout Latin America. Pope Francis has such a deep reverence for Mary, Undoer of Knots that, although the Marian devotion is a traditional German one, it has now spread throughout the world. An ornate silver chalice bearing the image of Mary, Undoer of Knots, has even been crafted and gifted to His Holiness by an Argentinian artisan.
There are now devoted centers of worship across the globe. The first, in Styria, Austria, was completed in 1989 as a response to the Chernobyl Nuclear Tragedy. Now, there are dedicated places of worship in Austria, Switzerland, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, the United States of America, the Ukraine and France.
“We are living in difficult times where the problems, the knots, the temptations, the lack of peace and the evils are all around us”. (1 Peter 5,8)
The Santuario Maria Desatadora de Nudos (Sanctuary of Mary, Undoer of Knots), is Mexico’s place of worship dedicated to Mary, Untier of Knots; it is set in the incredible natural beauty around Cancun. Surrounded by the bountiful Selva Maya jungle and close to endless sandy white Caribbean beaches, the Santuario is tucked away in a breathtakingly peaceful corner of the rainforest. The grounds are home to myriad ancient trees, a plethora of incredible tropical plants, and atmospheric trickling streams.
The entire space is outdoors, with a special altar area just on the cusp of the rainforest. Sermons take place under pleasant natural coverings, with seating arranged in pews and a calm breeze passing through the wall-less space. While there are plans in place to create a more permanent building, the space as it is currently stands is truly remarkable.
Mary, Undoer of Knots has become emblematic of the resolution of marital problems, as well as those ‘knots’ we all carry with us in our lives. As the website dedicated to Mary, Undoer of Knots puts it:
“But what are these knots? They are the problems and struggles we face for which we do not see any solution."
Knots of discord in your family, lack of understanding between parents and children, disrespect, violence, the knots of deep hurts between husband and wife, the absence of peace and joy at home. They are also the knots of anguish and despair of separated couples, the dissolution of the family, the knots of a drug addict son or daughter, sick or separated from home or God, knots of alcoholism, the practice of abortion, depression, unemployment, fear, solitude…Ah, the knots of our life! How they suffocate the soul, beat us down and betray the heart’s joy and separate us from God.”
No person is perfect, and neither is any marriage. We all need hope, help and blessings in our marriage sometimes, and this is why Santuario de Maria Sesatadora de Nudos, Cancun has become a particular destination for pilgrims to Mexico. In this beautiful place, couples brought together and joined by God can ask Mary, Undoer of Knots to bless their union, to reach in and untie those knots that may have formed over the years, and reunite man and wife as a happy couple living their lives together.
The Santuario’s astonishingly tranquil atmosphere gives partners the space they need to reconnect and focus on the important things in their life together. Visitors can receive God’s word and Mary’s blessing on their union in this unique spiritual place.
Tours Peregrinos Mexico invites you to consider visiting The Sanctuary of Mary, Undoer of Knots, Cancun to receive The Blessed Virgin’s humility, love, and dedication to all her children. Discover more here.
Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.
Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exist in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exists in my life. You know very well how desperate I am, my pain, and how I am bound by these knots. Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of his children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life. No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone. Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot.
[Mention your request here]
I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all. You are my hope..
O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution, and, with Christ, the freedom from my chains. Hear my plea
Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!