And, like most women in ministry, she makes it look easy.


The concept of Mary as the Untier of Knots was well known in the 17th and 18th centuries and is best memorialized by a 1700 painting by Johann Georg Melchior Schmidtner.

_Johann_Georg_Schmidtner_,_by_Johann_Georg_SchmidtnerJorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, saw Schmidtner’s painting in the Church of St. Peter am Periach in Augsburg when he was a student in Germany.

When Bergoglio became responsible for protecting the lives of Jesuit priests who were opposing the brutal dictatorship in Argentina, he struggled with conflicting imperatives of justice and safety.

According to tradition, a nun reminded him of the solace of the Untier of Knots, and as Cardinal in Argentina he promoted her veneration throughout Latin America.

About Philip E Jenks

Philip, a synodical deacon in the ELCA Metropolitan New York synod, is a retired communicator for American Baptist Churches USA, the U.S. Conference for the World Council of Churches, the U.S. National Council of Churches, and two Philadelphia area daily newspapers. He and his spouse, the Rev. Dr. Martha M. Cruz, are the parents of six adults and are members of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rye Brook, N.Y. They live in Port Chester, N.Y.
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