The history of this European devotion is but 300 years old. Since 1700, a painting by an unknown artist has been venerated in the Church of St. Peter in Perlack, Germany. It was originally inspired by a meditation of Saint Irenaeus (Bishop of Lyon and martyred in 202) based on the parallel made by Saint Paul between Adam and Christ. Saint Irenaeus, in turn, made a comparison between Eve and Mary, saying:
“Eve, by her disobedience, tied the knot of disgrace for the human race; whereas Mary, by her obedience, undid it” (Adversus Haereses)
This devotion has been gaining in popularity in the United States. Under this title, our Lady has been assisting the faithful with their daily struggles and addictions. Unlike most Marian devotions, this particular one did not arise from an apparition or locution. It is a result of reflecting on the Book of Romans and the writings of St. Irenaeus.
Doreen Truesdell provides the following understanding of the image:
“Contemplation of the image shows Mary with a crown of twelve stars adorning Her head, a sign of Her Queenship of the Apostles, whom She consoled and counseled after Jesus’ earthly departure. Her blue mantle represents Her glory as Queen of the Universe. Her feet crush the head of the serpent indicating Her victory over Satan. She is suspended between heaven and earth, resplendent with light, and accompanied by the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, reminding us that She became Mother of God and full of grace by virtue of the Third Person of the Trinity. Assisting Her at the task of straightening the cord of our life is an entire heavenly court of angels, signifying Her position as Queen of the Angels, and Queen of Heaven.”
This devotion is about freedom. During an age where bondage is so prevalent, we need a Mediatrix to assist us in the hour of our need.
May the Most Holy Virgin, Untier of Knots free us for holiness and the sanctification of the world.