Here is an anecdote from Pope Francis’ personal devotion to Mary that helps this feast of the Visitation come alive. While studying in Germany many years ago, then-Father Bergoglio found a painting which shows an image of “Mary who unties knots.”  In the painting Mary looks determined to untie a number of big and small knots in a ribbon that is handed to her by an angel. A second angel then returns to earth the now-untied ribbon.

Of this image, painted in 1700, Bergoglio wrote some years ago:  “All of us have knots in our hearts and all of us go through difficult times. Our good Lord who bestows grace on all his children wants us to have faith in Mary; he wants us to entrust to her the knots of our miseries which prevent us from reaching God, so that she can untie them and bring us closer to Jesus.”

This feast of Mary’s visitation to her cousin Elizabeth, you and I might pray over the “knots” of our own hearts.  Which of these can I entrust today to Mary’s grace and care?  In your prayer today, which of these “knots” do I invite her to untie?  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

The Jesuit Prayer Team