Why does Pope Francis have a special devotion to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots?

Pope Francis does have a special devotion to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots. While studying in Germany in the 1980s, he discovered this devotion at the Church of St. Peter am Perlach in Augsburg. In the church, there is a painting from about 1700 that depicts Mary in heaven surrounded by angels. She stands on the crescent moon crushing the head of the serpent, Satan. She holds a long ribbon and is untying a large knot, one of several on the ribbon.

Perhaps the inspiration for this depiction of the Blessed Mother arises from the writing of St. Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons (martyred in 203) in his treatise “Adversus Haereses” (Against Heresies): “Mary, the Virgin, is found to be obedient, saying: ‘Behold, O Lord, your handmaid. Be it done to me according to your word.’ Eve, however, was disobedient; and when yet a virgin, she did not obey. … Having become disobedient, (Eve) was made the cause of death for herself and for the whole human race; so also Mary, betrothed to a man but nevertheless still a virgin, being obedient, was made the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race. … Thus, the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. What the virgin Eve had bound in unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosed through faith.”

This devotion had a profound impact on the devotional life of Pope Francis. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, he introduced and encouraged the devotion to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots. The devotion was so intensely popular throughout Argentina and Brazil that the British Guardian called it “a religious craze.”

The Prayer to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots is as follows:

“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 exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist 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 petition 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.”

This beautiful prayer, similar to the “Memorare,” moves us to invoke the compassion of our Blessed Mother. In her maternal care for each of us, she wants us to remain close to her Son, Jesus. Never would she want the burdens of life to cause us to lose hope or despair.

Yes, sometimes our lives may seem one big knot due to circumstances beyond our control, as when we face the medical problem, financial disaster and difficulties in relationships. Yet, we look to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, who stood faithfully at the foot of the cross with her Son, trusting that every Good Friday will pass to the glory of Easter.

Moreover, poor children of Adam and Eve, we must look to the humble obedience of our Blessed Mother. So often the “knots” of life are of our own making. How often we “knot-up” our own life by disobeying the commandments and the teachings of the church, and then even blame God and others (as did Adam and Eve) for what we chose to do. Nevertheless, with humble and contrite hearts, we can depend upon the prayers and intercession of our Blessed Mother to show us the way and to help us unknot our lives so as to live in the freedom of God’s children.



  1. Margaret Mclaughlin Reply

    How can I get a copy of this prayer

    1. annharkin20@gmail.com Reply

      Margret you will get this prayer on youtube

  2. Binu Thomas Reply

    Thanks for enlightening me about this, it really touched me. I love to hear more and more about my dearest mother Mary.



  4. Jacinta Reply

    Our mother really unties knots. Go to her and she will intercede for you…

  5. megan rankin allred Reply

    Oh Mother Mary, please heal my family. Please mend the hatred for love for one another. Please undo the knots in my family. Please make my family whole again. I trust in your love, Amen.

  6. Emeka Reply

    Mary, my Mother, my life…the Queen of my heart – I love you!


      Mary is dead and rotting in her grave. It is wrong to pray to anyone but God through Jesus. Priest have no power to forgive sins, that is a lie. Pray to a priest and you go to hell

  7. C Reply

    This is an awful story. This is not the message of Christ who loved the Magdelene. This is a story of sheer hatred of womankind. Women are people. We are not here for you to act out upon us. We are here, identically like men, to see the divine in all things and pray for the communion of souls.


    Why does the Catholic church teach such non-biblical nonsense and superstition? The Pope is a fraud and the Antichrist. Protestants teach true Christianity.

  9. Ilse Knauf Reply

    No, Mary did not crush the serpent’s head, it was Jesus alone who did this, you all better be careful, we are not allowed to venerate anyone but God alone, no matter what any other human being does or says, you better read the ten commandments in the original version.

  10. Salome gathoni Reply

    My beloved mother Mary pray for and my family

  11. Denise Morris Reply

    Actually what you Southern Baptist fail to understand, is that the Bible is Catholic and as a result of Luther, the bible you chose to read and one which has been radically altered, is now missing several important Gospels and as such you are heretics in breaking from the Church that Christ himself desired and began when he said to Peter, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The Pope has the seat of Peter and is the head of the Universal Church, whether you like it or not. I would also remind you of the Wedding feast at Cana, where Mary implores Jesus to change the water into wine. No one has Jesus’ ear more than his Mother and he has a very great respect for her. That is one reason why Catholic’s ask her to intercede for them, because no one is closer to Jesus than she. She is indeed the new Eve and as such a co-redemtrix, as chosen by God himself.

    1. Anna Reply

      Most dearest loving mother pray for us your children. Amen

  12. Aflonia Reply

    My dear mother Mary come to my aid and ask your son to heal me and to help me and my children to accomplish our goals.

  13. augustine Reply

    our lady of mercy….intercede for the many challenges im facing will be over i believe

  14. Rani of Cochin Reply

    In this terrible times, what would be the future of the Universal Church relies on the question of who really Jesus was? Is he was a ;god; as he claimed or not, is still a longtime unresolved riddle. Even great minds had perished to the ground unable to solve this great riddle. It would a source of mental energy, once the true identity is known to the world. If Mary had regain her virginity after she has delivered the ‘son of god’, possibly she would’ve undergone a metabolic change in her body constitution, as same as Jesus’ body constitution. Both cases required a scientific study to find out what constitute their mystical body.

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