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Mother Mary Moves In



The author of the best-selling memoir Riding in Cars with Boys was a self-described “East Coast cynic with a rich vein of sarcasm” when she began visiting Virgin Mary apparition sites for an NPR documentary. She was also in trouble. The deeper she delved into her fascination with Mary, the more she found her life changing.

This article appeared in our August 2004 issue. I began to collect Virgin Marys back when if someone had predicted that one day I’d be a practicing Catholic, I would have laughed so hard I cried. But I am one, even though most of my friends are not. Still, I’ve noticed that most of them have a Virgin Mary standing or hanging, woven or embroidered, stenciled or stamped, painted, molded, or sculpted in plastic, wood, metal, or wax, somewhere in their house or car or to wear on their bodies. Most don’t believe in or worship the Blessed Mother, but I suspect that whether they know it or not, they keep Mary close by for the same reason I did: fear. Officially Mary is considered to be the fully human mother of God, but to the masses she is a Mother God, and all that those two words joined together imply. Heart wisdom, womb protection, divine compassion, a protector and nurturer whose titles are legion: Mother of Mercy, Health, and Peace; Queen of Heaven, Earth, and Sea. Her statues weep and bleed for us, her children. Millions, perhaps billions, believe she descends to earth to visit us and deliver messag …

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