Novena starts today: Mary, Undoer of Knots

One of my favorite websites begins a novena today — to Mary, Undoer of Knots (one of Pope Francis’ favorites!)

Here is a quote from Irenaeus about Mary loosening our knot of sin:

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.


Mary undoer of knots

I hope you can join in praying this novena!


A Beautiful Saint honored today

I was so moved by the story of today’s saint that I thought I’d post a link to his biography. Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows was very humble, died fairly young, and is the patron saint of young people, students and clerics. Unfortunately most of his writings were destroyed, as he requested from his deathbed. A short biographical passage from the Catholic Culture website:

[Saint Gabriel joined] the Passionists, a religious congregation dedicated to the veneration of and meditation on the passion of Jesus Christ [in 1856].

After overcoming many difficulties, he carried out his resolution and received the religious name, Gabriel of the Mother of Sorrows. Even as a novice, he was regarded as a model of perfect holiness both within and beyond the cloister.

Saint Gabriel did not stand out from his community in any extraordinary way — his heroism lay in his obedient attitude. He conformed himself to his community in complete humility. Little is known of his life — only that he was blessed with an excellent memory and other gifts that made him an outstanding student. He also had a great devotion to the Passion of Christ and the Sorrows of Mary. Pius X and Leo XIII especially desired that he be the patron saint of young people and novices in religious orders, as their model in the interior life. He died in the year 1862.

And here is a lovely quote from him about Our Lady:

Love Mary! …She is loveable, faithful, constant. She will never let herself be outdone in love, but will ever remain supreme. If you are in danger, she will hasten to free you. If you are troubled, she will console you. If you are sick, she will bring you relief. If you are in need, she will help you. She does not look to see what kind of person you have been. She simply comes to a heart that wants to love her. She comes quickly and opens her merciful heart to you, embraces you and consoles and serves you. She will even be at hand to accompany you on the trip to eternity.

Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows

“I will attempt day by day to break my will into pieces. I want to do God’s Holy Will, not my own.”

Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!

Light Out of Darkness

So beautiful! Wish this practice continued today.

“At the comer of every street a little image of Mary rose from amidst a heap of flowers, which the pious people of the neighborhood renewed each morning as soon as the trumpets from the towers of Chatlet announced the break of day. During the night lamps burnt constantly before them illuminating their little grey niches and on Saturdays their number was greatly increased.”


If mosaics, priceless paintings and imposing statues are conspicuous in grand cathedrals, equally precious in God’s sight are humble wayside shrines. The tradition began in the earliest decades of the Catholic Church with the establishment of markers and small chapels to commemorate Christ. the Blessed Virgin Mary and the martyrs, often at the location of their faithful martyrdom.

Excerpt from “The Legends of The Blessed Virgin” 1853

They who have never visited the towns and villages of a Catholic country, cannot conceive the feeling of delight with which the pious traveler is affected at the sight of those monuments of piety and religious recollection, which, in the shape of crucifixes, images of the Blessed Virgin, and favorite saints, are placed at the angle of streets, in squares, and public places, on bridges, fountains, and obelisks, or between the stalls of a village market or fair. These works of popular art and…

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Feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

A beautiful passage about the Blessed Virgin Mary, from The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary: As Set Forth in Her Litany, by Cornelius Joseph O’Connell, written in 1914.


MATERNITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGINThe humble Virgin of Nazareth, Mary, being the nearest and most intimately united to God, is, of all His creatures, the most holy. A closer union with God never existed, nor could there be a more perfect one than that which resulted from the divine maternity.

Notwithstanding Mary’s intimate relationship with God, her divine motherhood, it would have availed her but little had she not carried Jesus Christ in her heart, even more than in her chaste womb. She shunned the world, abhorred sin, and lived only for Jesus. All her days were passed in the practice of virtue. With greater reason than Saint Paul could she exclaim: “And I live, now, not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Gall. 11—20).

She was holy in her eyes, ears, tongue, hands and feet; she was godly in her thoughts, desires, words, heart, and in all the powers of her soul; she…

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My Mary altar

We have a guest visiting for two weeks, my dear sister. So much fun to spend time with family, have great conversation, share delicious meals, explore our corner of the country with someone who doesn’t experienced this area often. I had to miss RCIA this week, sadly. But I hope to not miss any more of them. I also haven’t been able to post much, but I thought I’d upload this picture of my Mary altar, because I love it so much and wanted to share it!


My Mary altar

My Mary altar


The statue is one that my mother purchased way back at the New York World’s Fair (the same World’s Fair that I mentioned in a previous post, that my family visited when I was three and I ran towards the Pieta! 🙂 It is made of olive wood from the Holy Land. And the picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one I found on the internet, which ended up a bit too large for any of the picture frames I have, so I taped it onto the frame instead.

I hope to create an altar to Jesus soon. At the moment I only have one picture for it, a Divine Mercy picture. I’m also hoping to paint my meditation room where I have these altars, and make the room a bit more cosy. It a beautiful little room, with a wooden floor which is perfect for prostrations, but it needs a bit of paint in a warm color instead of bare white. I so enjoy spending time in my meditation/prayer room!

God, Who made the sun, also made the moon…

God, Who made the sun, also made the moon. The moon does not take away from the brilliance of the sun. The moon would be only a burnt-out cinder floating in the immensity of space were it not for the sun. All its light is reflected from the sun. The Blessed Mother reflects her Divine Son; without Him, she is nothing. With Him, she is the Mother of Men. On dark nights we are grateful for the moon; when we see it shining, we know there must be a sun. So in this dark night of the world when men turn their backs on Him Who is the Light of the World, we look to Mary to guide their feet while we await the sunrise.

Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Our Lady and Sun

(ht: Roses Near Running Waters.)