Monday, October 19, 2015

Just Thoughts: Mary, the Undoer of Knots

Just Thoughts: Mary, the Undoer of Knots

As Pope Francis processed in his Popemobile to the altar in Philadelphia on September 27th, he asked his driver to stop at a beautiful art installation/shrine right next to the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. This shrine looked a bit like a ship, festooned with little white strips of cloth--100,000 of them! On each strip of cloth was written a petition, problem, sorrow, or concern. Nearby this beautiful work of art was a portrait of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, untying knots. This image is beloved of Pope Francis, who thinks of Mary as our great intercessor, undoing the knots (problems, sorrows) in our lives, and laying them in front of the Lord.

St. Mary parishioners who were there were struck by the thousands of petitions, how each life is confronted with challenges and sorrows. They were also struck by this kindly Pope, who visited the shrine, met with the nun who is the force behind the shrine, and gave his blessing and added his own prayers.

A week after this visit to Philadelphia, where Pope Francis was greeted by up to 800,000 people, we celebrated the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Our Pope took the name of St. Francis, the very first Pope to do so. He tries to live with the simplicity and directness of Francis, and like the great saint, Pope Francis lays his burden at the feet of Mary--our great intercessor, the solver of problems, undoer of knots.

Part of the Art Installation/Shrine--Mary, the Undoer of Knots

Examples of the petitions festooning this art installation

My own petition, for the Karpos Ministry to the Homeless, in Painesville, Ohio

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