Facts about Mary Undoer of Knots Novena
Feastday: August 15th
Novena Starts: August 6th
Patron saint of knots, difficult problems
Birth: 16 BC
Death: Assumed to Heaven

👉 Pray the Mary Undoer of Knots Novena with the Pray app 👈

Mary Undoer of Knots
Mary Undoer of Knots

The Story Behind Mary, Undoer of Knots

The great Church Father St. Irenaeus of Lyons, writing in the second century, laid the foundation for the Mary Undoer of Knots devotion when he said: ‘The knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith.’

In the Bible, St. Paul contrasted the disobedience of Adam with the obedience of Christ, the New Adam. Similarly, St. Irenaeus in his seminal work, Against Heresies, portrayed the parallel between Eve’s disobedience and the Virgin Mary’s faithful obedience, through which the knot of sin and death was undone.

This novena has grown in popularity over the past several centuries, most recently with Pope Francis’s devotion to it.

Let’s look at how this unique devotion developed.

Johann Melchior Georg Schmittdner (1625-1707) painted the famous Baroque image of Mary Undoer of Knots with great grace. In the painting, our Lady is holding a ribbon and untying knots in it. She is in Heaven, surrounded by angels, and stands on a crescent moon while crushing the head of the serpent (the devil). The Holy Spirit, through the image of a dove, flies above her head.

The striking simplicity and beauty of the image is one of the reasons that many are drawn to this devotion. Beginning in 1700 AD, the image has been venerated in the Church of St. Peter in Perlach (Augsburg, Germany).

The Knots in Our Lives

We each have knots in our life: emotional wounds, fractured relationships, deaths of loved ones, personal problems that we cannot overcome, addictions, habitual sins, fears, sickness, and so many more.

These knots build up over time and can lead us to feel helpless, powerless, and hopeless about ever overcoming them.

This is where Mary Undoer of Knots comes in, to pray for us as only she can, with intercession that is unfailing, so that our Lord can heal us from these knots. Our Lady knows the struggles and pains that we face. She is our Mother, given to us by God, and for her honor and God’s glory she will obtain for us the untying of all our knots, if we but approach her faithfully, believing that God can and will deliver us.

Pope Francis Devotes Himself To It

Pope Francis, in the 1980s while still a priest, came upon this image while traveling and studying in Germany and was instantly struck by it. He returned to Argentina and began to spread the devotion to those around him there, including after he became Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

In the late 1990s, Denis and Suzel Frem Bourgerie published a Mary, Undoer of Knots Novena in a pamphlet, which helped educate people about the devotion and title of our Lady.

The Archdiocese of Campinas granted the couple approval to build a chapel called Mary Gate of Heaven and place a replica of the famous painting in it. The Bourgeries have continued promoting this beautiful devotion to this day.

With the elevation of Pope Francis to the papacy, the devotion has reached new heights of popularity.

Mary Undoer of Knots Unfailing Novena

Intro Prayer (to be said each day)

Holy Mary, full of God’s presence during the day of your life, you accepted with full humility the Father’s will, and the devil was never capable of tying you up 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 in our life. 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 a motherly heart the knots of our life, I ask for you to undo this knot: (mention request here).

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.

(Make an Act of Contrition)

Daily Novena Prayers

Day 1

Mother of Mercy, look with kindness upon me, your poor child, and obtain for me the grace to grow in merciful love. Through your maternal intercession with your Son, Jesus Christ, help me to be merciful to others, realizing that they, too, have knots in their life that they are struggling with.

Day 2

Mary, Seat of Wisdom, look with kindness upon me, your poor child, and obtain for me the grace to grow in wisdom. Through your maternal intercession with your Son, Jesus Christ, help me to use this wisdom to counsel others, when prudent, that they might more easily see how to untie the knots in their lives.

Day 3

Mother of Purity, look with kindness upon me, your poor child, and obtain for me the grace to grow in purity. Through your maternal intercession with your Son, Jesus Christ, help me to be freed from all lustful sins and help others who struggle with them.

Day 4

Mother of Fair Love, look with kindness upon me, your poor child, and obtain for me the grace to grow in charity. Through your maternal intercession with your Son, Jesus Christ, help me to love others with unselfish, heroic charity.

Mary Untier of Knots
Mary Untier of Knots

Day 5

Mary, Queen of Peace, look with kindness upon me, your poor child, and obtain for me the grace to maintain Christ’s peace in all situations. Through your maternal intercession with your Son, Jesus Christ, help me to not be disturbed and discouraged, no matter the circumstances that I find myself in.

Day 6

Mary, Mother of Justice, look with kindness upon me, your poor child, and obtain for me the grace to act justly toward God and neighbor. Through your maternal intercession with your Son, Jesus Christ, help me to give each person their due, and to pray each day as is just to so great a God.

Day 7

Mary, Queen of the family, look with kindness upon me, your poor child, and obtain for me the grace to be a blessing in my family. Through your maternal intercession with your Son, Jesus Christ, help me to show God’s love to my family and in each family with whom I am blessed to interact.

Day 8

Mary, Untier of Knots, look with kindness upon me, your poor child, and obtain for me the grace to see all the knots in my life that try to separate me from God. Through your maternal intercession with your Son, Jesus Christ, help me to give each knot to God and allow Him to undo it.

Day 9

Mary, Queen of Heaven, look with kindness upon me, your poor child, and obtain for me the grace to die in sanctifying grace. Through your maternal intercession with your Son, Jesus Christ, help me to avoid mortal sin and lead others to conversion and salvation.

Concluding Prayer for each day

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.

Mother of fair love, I look to you. Take into your hands the ribbon of my life, and see the snarl of knots that keeps me bound to sin, anxiety, and hopelessness. I beg you, Mother, by your powerful intercession and long fingers of love and grace, undo the knots in my heart and in my life. Free me to love as Christ loves. Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for us.


👉 Pray the Mary Undoer of Knots Novena with the Pray app 👈

Optional Prayers for the Novena

Many people pray a Rosary along with the novena prayers listed above, each day of the Mary Undoer of Knots novena.

Updated: