My Latest Virgin
For those readers not familiar with my work in explaining the indigenous and Spanish origins to modern traditions I am known as San Miguel’s de Allende’s Virgin Expert. A job title far more sexy sounding than the reality, though tonight’s discovery got me excited!
At this point I rarely come across a Virgin (image of Mary) I’m not already familiar with but a painting of Mary reproduced in tonight’s painting class flummoxed me. It featured Mary untying a long rope of knots, called, appropriately enough, Mary, Untier of Knots.
As a child, before the era of Muppets, I adored putting on marionette puppet shows but anytime the strings got tangled I had to go to my Mom to have them put right again. That, in a nutshell, is the point to the image of Mary, Untier of Knots.
Mary, Untier of Knots, is the name of a Baroque painting by Johann Georg Melchior Schmidtner, painted around 1700 and has been a Marian image for over 300 years. The painting survived wars, revolutions and secular opposition, still adorning a church in Bavaria, Germany.
Pope Francis saw the image while studying in Germany as a student back in the 1980s. He bought a postcard with the image and began promoting her image in the Americas to trust Mary to untangle your difficulties/knots in life when he got home to Argentina.
Expect to see Mary, Untier of Knots, making more appearances in local churches and processions as her popularity grows.