Our Lady Undoer of Knots

Mary Undoer of Knots (also Untier of Knots) is a title of Mary derived from a 1700 painting by Johann Schmittdner. The image, called Maria Knotenlöserin in German, is located in St Peter am Perlach church in Augsburg, Germany.  Earliest reference to Mary using the image of untying knots is in an ancient text of St. Ireneus in the late 2nd century. He wrote "the knot of Eve's disobedience was loosed by Mary's obedience."  "For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith." (Adversus haereses, 3, 22). This is one of the earliest examples of describing Mary as the New Eve. We see here the beginnings of the devotion to Our Lady, Untier of Knots. 

The painting depicting Our Lady untying the knots of a white wedding ribbon was commissioned around 1700 by Fr. Hieronymus Ambrosius Langenmantel in thanksgiving for her intervention in his family. The history and story of that intervention can be found her at the website of the International Fraternity of the Virgin Mary Untier of Knots.

In the lower portion of the painting, Wolfgang Langenmantel can be seen being guided by the Archangel St. Raphael in his journey to resolve the crisis in his marriage. The advocation of Mary, Untier of Knots, has become widespread and efficacious particularly in the resolution of marital and family conflicts. 

Pope Francis has a special devotion to this image and is responsible for bringing it to Argentina and other parts of South America where it is highly regarded. Because of this we are seeing more and more about Our Lady under this title and understanding her intercession in struggles of family life and marriage.  It is a beautiful image. Since it is an image that may be new to many this it would be a great year to spend some time focusing on learning more about it and introducing your family to the devotion. 

The feast days listed for this title of Mary are of course August 15 and December 8 which cover her under many different titles. September 28 is also listed as a day to commemorate her under this title - sources indicate that is the date of the intervention in the Langenmantel  family. It also seems symbolic that there is a connection to St. Raphael and the archangels whose feast is the day following. With St. Raphael being pictured and the image associated with healing of marriage struggles it is that Raphael/marriage connection.

The visual of a knots being untied is so sensory and physical.  There are many great menu or treat ideas that you could easily incorporate into your day.

Bread Knots come to mind as very fitting and easy to do. Whether you make them from scratch or use a prepared refrigerator dough. The two classics are garlic knots and cinnamon knots. Cinnamon knots would be a fun option for a breakfast or brunch while the garlic knots seem more suited to lunch or dinner.

String Cheese Knots is a fun snack idea that can easily be achieved by using the longer skinny cheese sticks or taking some "strings" from a packaged cheese stick and tying it in a knot. 

Licorice Knots are another sting-like food that can be tied in a knot, and untied too, making it a fun and interactive treat for the day. The thin string licorice works well but the thicker is fine too. There are even blue flavors available that make this even more fitting as a remembrance of our lady in blue. 

Pretzels or pretzel styled snacks are an easy and ready made "knot" to pull out to remember Our Lady today. 

The prayer to Our Lady Undoer of Knots, written by our Holy Father Pope Francis, when he was a bishop in Argentina. 

Holy Mary, full of God's presence during the days of your life,
you accepted with full humility the Father's will,
and the Devil was never capable to tie you around with his confusion
Once with your son you interceded for our difficulties,
and, full of kindness and patience you gave us example of how to untie the knots of our life.
And by remaining forever Our Mother,
you put in order, and make more clear the ties that link us to the Lord.
Holy Mother, Mother of God, and our Mother,
to you, who untie with motherly heart the knots of our life, we pray to you to receive in your hands (the name of person),
and to free him/her of the knots and confusion with which our enemy attacks.
Through your grace, your intercession, and your example,
deliver us from all evil, Our Lady, and untie the knots that prevent us from being united with God,
so that we, free from sin and error, may find Him in all things, may have our hearts placed in Him, and may serve Him always in our brothers and sisters. Amen

Pin It


  1. Yes, excellent ideas! Thank you for posting!

  2. I so needed to learn about this beautiful image today, thanks for posting Mary!

  3. This image saved our marriage

  4. Thank you for all of this! I'm excited to learn more about this beautiful image!

  5. Fr. Marvin, M.I.C.April 13, 2016 at 6:30 AM

    I have that image now.. thanks be to God :)