The Novena of Mary Undoer of Knots

As we close out the old year and await the new, we tend to reflect upon our life as it has transpired so far. We notice how messed up it can be. No matter how long we’ve been clean and sober, regardless of how serene we are: upon a closer examination we can often see that our life has messy parts. If fact, one can say that the messy parts are all knotted up. To assist my readers in cleaning up the mess and undoing the knots, I would like to introduce to you all the Novena of Mary, Undoer of Knots.

The devotion and accompanying novena are old. According to the Holy Rosary site:

“How this devotion started?

To show us the mission granted to the Virgin Mary by Her Son, an artist Johann Melchior Georg Schmittdner painted Mary Undoer of Knots with great grace. Since 1700, his painting has been venerated in the Church of St. Peter in Perlack, Augsburg, Germany. It was originally inspired by a meditation of Saint Irenaeus (Bishop of Lyon and martyred in 202) based on the parallel made by Saint Paul between Adam and Christ. Saint Irenaeus, in turn, made a comparison between Eve and Mary, saying:“Eve, by her disobedience, tied the knot of disgrace for the human race; whereas Mary, by her obedience, undid it”.

But what are these knots?

There 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. There 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.”

As you can see from the above paragraph on what the knots are, this is a devotion and novena that can be extremely useful for people struggling with alcoholism, addiction and sobriety (their own, or others’. So maybe this can also be of help to members of Al-Anon and related family groups).

These are short excerpts from each day’s meditations, they give you an idea as to how relevant this Novena can be for you:

Day 1: this knot….and all the negative consequences that it provokes in my life…

Day 2: sins of egoism, pride, rancor and my lack of generosity and humility…

Day 3: this knot in my life…and all the rancor and resentment it has caused in me…

Day 4: this knot which robs the peace of my heart, paralyzes my soul and keeps me from going to my Lord and serving Him with my life…

Day 5: the bitterness, anger and hatred which this knot has caused me…

Day 6: persevere in the living word of Jesus, in the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Confession…

Day 7: free me from the snares of Evil…

Day 8: to practice the virtues of courage, joyfulness, humility and faith…

Day 9: this knot in my life…You know very well the suffering it has caused me…

So, pray it! It can be said at any time of the year, whenever you’re inspired or just feel the need. I figured that New Years’s Day can be a good time, especially as it is also the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. The following link contains the Opening and Closing Prayers and Daily Meditations: The Unfailing Novena of Mary Undoer of Knots. Although the above excerpts should help you in thinking about the intentions  you wish to pray for and offer up through the Blessed Virgin to Jesus, I would suggest that you read it over once before starting.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"