Published On: Fri, Jun 28th, 2019

My Latest Virgin

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For those 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.

The first chapel to be named “Mary, Untier of Knots” was completed in 1989 in Austria, in response to the Chernobyl Nuclear Tragedy.

Expect to see Mary, Untier of Knots, making more appearances in local churches and processions as her popularity grows.

Our Lady Undoer of Knots


Joseph Toone is the Historical Society’s short-story award winning author of the SMA Secrets book series.  All books in the series are Amazon bestsellers in Mexican Travel and Holidays.  

Toone is SMA’s expert and TripAdvisor’s top ranked historical tour guide telling the stories behind what we do in today’s SMA.  Visit, and



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