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Somehow my devotion to, and love for, our Blessed Mother has been deepened even more this month. Of course, I know exactly how that is -- in the supernatural realm of faith, it's quite "natural," because God always desires that we should grow deeper in faith, stronger in hope, more fervent in love. And what God desires, Mary desires, too.
Growth in devotion to Mary
On a human level, too, it should be no surprise that I've grown in my devotion to Mary this month in that I was able to experience what I perceived to be the very deep -- almost mystical -- devotion of our Holy Father Pope Francis to the Blessed Mother.
Now, of course we have seen just how much Pope Benedict is also devoted to Mary, and there can be no doubt of that, but it was moving to watch Pope Francis earlier this month, especially to see him as he seemed barely able to hold himself back from running to greet the statue of Our Lady of Fatima that came to St. Peter's Square a few Saturdays ago.
At that prayer gathering, the Holy Father called to mind once again one of his favorite "images" and aspects of the Blessed Mother -- Mary as "the loosener of knots." This particular description of Mary is one that can generally be called "lesser-known," and in this day, at this time, the Holy Father is calling us to consider it.
In doing so, he harkens back to the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium, as well as to the source that the Council Fathers used -- St. Irenaeus (Against Heresies: Bk III, Ch. 22, Para. 4). Mary the loosener of knots has been a helpful reflection for me, and (if the recommendation of Pope Francis isn't enough!) I'd like to take a few moments here to recommend the image to you.