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Beads with Faith is a family run company based upon the Rosary and its teachings. As a Catholic company we aim to encompass faith and bead craft to create handmade Rosary beads, chaplets and Christocentric jewellery items. This blog will contain faith centred articles, information about our workshops and some of our products.

Our Lady Undoer of Knots

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Lets face it ... life is complicated and messy - some may say full of knots ... some may think these knots are determined and stuck in their lives - that they are undoable .... Think again! Our Blessed Mother is on the case ...

What Knots you ask?

The knots in our lives are endless and some we may knot even know about. Marriage troubles; illness; loneliness; money worries; family feuds; unemployment; worries of all kinds. Devotion to Our Lady undoer of knots is a beautiful and unfailing way to undo these knots for us and "better unite with God and serve him always" in the words of Pope Francis -

Pope Francis has brought this devotion to the masses - pardon the pun - much to my own delight as this devotion was brought to my attention around 2 years ago by a wonderful friend of mine who supplies me with Rosary Making Materials. As this devotion ripples across the Catholic Population and ... I am pretty certain Our Blessed Mother is working on those of other  faiths and none also.. The devotion has been in wider circulation over the last 30 years and I am sure will continue to grow rather than shrink into the obscurity it was once almost in.

So Where this devotion come from?

Devotion to our Blessed Mother certainly isnt new - and there are a variety of ways in which they come about but always, I am certain, they are gently whispered into the heart by the Holy Spirit in order to allow the Blessed Mother to hold the hands of the faithful in their journey closer to knowing her Son, Jesus Christ. So devotions reach us through apparitions (Fatima, Lourdes, La Salette, Knock); Doctrine (e.g the Immaculate Conception, Perpetual Virginity, Mother of God); Statues and Icons (Guadalupe) and also hrough Sacramentals - the Rosary, the dolour Rosary, the Miraculous Medal etc). There are many ways in which the gentle kisses of our Blessed Mother can reach our heart.

History

The original devotion to Mary Undoer of knots dates back to 1612 - Wolfegang Langenmante (a German Nobleman) and his wife Sophie were in an unhappy marriage on the brink of divorce. Wolfegang sought advice from a Jesuit Priest, Fr Jakob Rem. At this time a bride and groom were tied together (quite literally) in their wedding ceremony with a ribbon, this symbolised the unbreakable union between man and wife. At their last visit to Fr Rem,Wolfegang handed over his wedding ribbon to the Priest, who held up the ribbon to an image of "Our Lady of the snows" and whilst undoing the knots in the ribbon said the prayer : "I raise up the bond of marriage, that all knots be loosed and resolved". The unknotted ribbon became bright white (this was a sign of Mary's intercession) and the marriage of wolfegang and Sophie survived.

You can find the unfailing Novena to Our Lady undoer of knots here

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Why has Pope Francis plucked this devotion from relative obscurity?

This has been a devotion of Pope Francis' since his studies in Germany in 1986 for his PhD. Whilst visiting St Peter am Perlach Church in Augsburg he saw the painting and was drawn to it and the story behind it. you can see part of the image above, it depicts two angels and Our Blessed Mother along with the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. One angel hands Mary the knotted Ribbon whilst another smooths the unknotted ribbon after it passes through the hands of Mary. Mary is standing on a crescent moon with a serpent being crushed under her feet (Rev 12:1).

Fr Jorge Bergoglio bought a postcard of the image and as a Cardinal had it engraved into a Chalice he gifted to hiss predecessor Pope Benedict XVI.

The Novena to Our Lady Undoer of knots is often known as the Unfailing Novena... I agree with this.

However, a devotion in itself isnt a magic wand. the remedy comes from our trust in the ability of Our Blessed Mother to intercede for us before God, AND our own Faith in God to Answer our prayers.

As I tell our Children and many others who ask about my devotion to the Rosary - Jesus listens to His Mother... why would I not ask her to help me communicate with Him!

 

In 2001 I painted 'The Crucifixion' as a gift to the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, based in the Bronx,  New York. The piece was inspired by original illuminations, painted in the 15th century, which are rich in symbolism, seeped in spirituality and tradition. The religious images I have been commissioned to paint all refer to an iconic style, with a twist of 'Nikki'. I do not follow the tradition of using tempera paint, however I do ensure I am surrounded with prayer and inspiration as all images of God, His Blessed Mother, His Angels and His Saints are a glimpse of heaven, the paintings themselves should be a prayer, an aid to deepening spirituality. My spiritual paintings are, I hope and pray an inspiration to others. I feel blessed the Lord  has chosen and trusted me to portray Him and all who glorify Him. 
My artistic journey has not always been this way, as a child I loved to paint, draw, create. As a teenager I decided to follow a passion for fashion, I studied at various colleges until 1992 when I decided the industry was not for me. 3 months before I qualified I decided to 'drop out'. Some saw this as career sabotage, I saw it as a release. I did not like the ethos, lack of creativity and materialism I was being taught, in addition I felt my self esteem and individuality as an artist was being crushed out of me. I left art altogether, suppressed by my own lack of confidence I did not pick up a paintbrush until 2000. I was living in a Catholic Charismatic Community, Christ The Prince Of Peace where  I was asked to paint a life size replica of the famous 'Trinity' icon, originally painted by Andrei Rublev. The experience of painting this image was truly humbling, there are no other words to describe how it feels to paint God, to be in the midst of God, witnessing God form in front of you. I spent 3 months day and night absorbed in the wonderment of the Trinity, it was an experience I will cherish for eternity. The Trinity was painted for the New Dawn Conference, held in Walsingham every August, people from all over the country (and the world) attend the conference and for a time God used it as a platform to inspire me to paint more glimpses into heaven and I got various commissions which unlocked my creative prayer further. My website www.nikkiblinston.weebly.com has a gallery of all the commissions I have painted.  I left the community in 2002, the pressures of my day job and family life took over and I found little time to paint until 2012, when after a life changing trauma I was convicted with an air of creativity, unable to stop expressing my innermost emotions I embarked on my journey into, 'Something Out Of Nothing', which is my art studio, it sounds far more grand than it really is, however what 'Something Out Of Nothing' has given me is an ability to communicate in an extraordinary way. To most my paintings may seem meaningless and abstract, but to some I hope they communicate. The ethos of 'Something Out Of Nothing' is an expression of my soul,  when I reflect on some of my pieces I see God working in my heart, helping me communicate my own joys, fears, hopes and dreams. This form of painting is extremely healing and God willing I hope to help others in their own expression, in time. 
God has not let me forget my religious painting, I have much inspiration and hopefully insight into more glimpses of heaven which I am currently discerning. No matter if my painting is of God, His Blessed Mother, the Saints or the Angels or if the painting is just an expression of me I always pray a soul will be touched and a prayer will be answered. I am ever thankful of the gifts God has given me, I am guilty of hiding them sometimes, because of a lack of trust in myself, however the more I learn to trust in God the more I wish to share the gifts he has given. I pray God blessing on us all and I pray every talent God has given us is used for His glory. God bless you all. Amen
Image
The Crucifixion - Nikki Blinston

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