A Collection of Knots icons has been commissioned. These are knots that many, if not all of us, experience in some way during our lives.

The Mary Undoer of Knots Shrine has commissioned Charles Albanese (author of the Shrine's Pantocrator Dome and Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians) to write twelve icons of saints who best represent the knots lived and overcome thru virtue. The St. Melany Byzantine Catholic Church community will be selecting the saints. So far two have been chosen, and the rest will be chosen and written over the next two years. They will be displayed on the western nave wall as a special collection and copies of the icons with holy cards and prayers specific to the knots the saint experienced will be available in the gift shop.

St. Mark Ji Tianxiang (1834-1900)

Mary Undoer of Knots Shrine Icon

Husband, Father, Grandfather, Medical Doctor, Martyr, Opium Addict, Intercessor for Addicts, Patron against Despair, and Patron of the Opiate Crisis. Click here to listen to an audio podcast about St. Mark.

Blessed Carlo Acutis (1991-2006)

Jesus is my great friend, Carlo Acutis,

ASSISI, Italy (Catholic News Agency via CBCP News) — With the beatification of Carlo Acutis in Assisi Saturday, October 10th 2020, the Catholic Church now has its first “Blessed” who loved Super Mario, Pokémon, and above all the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. “To be always united with Jesus, this is my life program.” Carlo Acutis wrote at the age of seven. The young Italian computer whiz, who died of leukemia at the age of 15 offering his suffering for the pope and the Church, was beatified Oct. 10 in a Mass at the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. Born in 1991, Acutis is the first millennial to be beatified by the Catholic Church. The teen who had an aptitude for computer programming is now one step away from canonization.

“Since he was a child … he had his gaze turned to Jesus. Love for the Eucharist was the foundation that kept alive his relationship with God. He often said ‘The Eucharist is my highway to heaven,” Cardinal Agostino Vallini said in his homily for the beatification. Click here for an audio podcast about Carlo.

Our Lady of the Sign

Written by Fr. Peter Pearson

The Icon of Our Lady of the Sign (Greek: Panagia or Παναγία Ορωμένη or Παναγία Πλατυτέρα; Church Slavonic: Ikona Bozhey Materi "Znamenie"; Polish: Ikona Bogurodzicy "Znak") is the term for a particular type of icon of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary), facing the viewer directly, depicted either full length or half, with her hands raised in the orans position, and with the image of the Child Jesus depicted within a round aureole upon her breast.


The icon depicts the Theotokos during the Annunciation at the moment of saying, "May it be done to me according to your word."(Luke 1:38). The image of the Christ child represents him at the moment of his conception in the womb of the Virgin. He is depicted not as a fetus, but rather vested in divine robes, and often holding a scroll, symbolic of his role as teacher. Sometimes his robes are gold or white, symbolizing divine glory; sometimes they are blue and red, symbolizing the two natures of Christ (see Christology). His face is depicted as that of an old man, indicating the Christian teaching that he was at one and the same time both a fully human infant and fully the eternal God, one of the Trinity. His right hand is raised in blessing.

The term Virgin of the Sign or Our Lady of the Sign is a reference to the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14: "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel". Such an image is often placed in the apse of the sanctuary of an Orthodox church above the Holy Table (altar).[2]

As with most Orthodox icons of Mary, the letters ΜΡ ΘΥ (short for ΜΗΤΗΡ ΘΕΟΥ, "Mother of God") are usually placed on the upper left and right of the head of the Virgin Mary.

This type of icon is also sometimes called the Platytéra (Greek: Πλατυτέρα, literally wider or more spacious); poetically, by containing the Creator of the Universe in her womb, Mary has become Platytera ton ouranon (Πλατυτέρα των Ουρανών): "More spacious than the heavens". The Platytéra is traditionally high above the iconostasis, and facing down the length of the nave of the church. 

2Mary of the Sign.jpg
Mary of the Sign.jpg

St. Florian- Patron of Firefighters

by Iconographer Fr. Peter Pearson

The feast of St. Florian is celebrated May 4, coinciding with International Firefighter’s Day. Florian was a 3rd-century centurion in the Roman army. He lived in what is now Lower Austria at the time of the Roman Empire. He organized the army's firefighting brigade and personally trained an elite group of firefighters.

We venerate Saint Florian because he courageously confessed to his faith and did not hide the fact that he was a Christian.  At one point 40 of his friends were arrested for being Christians. Saint Florian did not just remain silent, but immediately rushed to the aid of his friends. He was taken prisoner himself and killed for his belief. 

Here Saint Florian is depicted as a officer of the Roman army - with lance, armor and the chariot wheel of a Centurion. 

The Paul Revere Bell was christened "Florian" on September 24th 2020 at the Shrine's consecration liturgy.


Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians

 By Iconographer Chuck Albanese