The Key to Our Lady’s Intercession

A little while back, a listener named Mark called into The Patrick Madrid Show to ask for Patrick’s guidance on how and when to pray the rosary. After guiding Mark through the steps, Patrick encouraged him to learn it by praying it every day. Fast-forward a couple of weeks and Mark called back in to the show to thank Patrick for his guidance and advice. He said he has thoroughly learned how to pray the rosary to Our Blessed Mother, and he prays it every day with his own mother whom he takes care of.

After expressing his gratitude for the joy that he found in the rosary, Mark asked Patrick to expand on his thoughts about the way Our Lady steps into the rosary as we pray it and helps us and our intentions with her intercession.

Patrick began by retelling the story of the Wedding Feast at Cana. While we don’t know exactly who’s wedding it is that they were attending, we can assume from context that it was somebody close to the holy family, maybe relatives or close friends. In any case, Jesus, Mary, and his disciples were invited to this wedding and assumedly, the first portion of the celebration went smoothly. “On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.” (John 2:1-2)

At some point in the wedding – which was often an enormous celebration with lots of people and lasted several days – it says that Mary noticed that they had run out of wine. There was no announcement, nobody asked Mary to take care of this problem, and it certainly wasn’t Jesus’s problem. It had been a mistake on the couple’s part. They had either overstressed their wine stores too quickly or they had invited too many guests. But regardless of the exterior factors, Our Lady saw the problem and made a move to do something.

“They have no wine.” (John 2:3) As Patrick points out, Mary does not go to Jesus and ask Him to make more wine. She does not tell Him either. She merely points out what is happening because she has absolute trust and absolute confidence in Jesus that He will do what needs to be done for this couple and their wedding. Patrick went on, saying, “His response might seem startling at first because His response is, ‘Woman, what does this have to do with you and with me?’ Now, for us, 21st century, American English-speakers, that seems abrupt and even impertinent. It comes across as flippant and disrespectful. But that’s not what it meant in that context.” Patrick says that Jesus was addressing His mother as “woman” out of respect and honor, and He was reluctant because His public ministry had not yet begun.

Through her simple statement about the lack of wine, Mary is asking Jesus to perform a miracle even though His time has not yet come. Without even answering His question, “His mother said to the servers, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’” (John 2:5) Mary is His mother. She knows Him better than anybody, just as mothers do. She knows that He will do this miracle because she is asking Him to, not for her but for the sake of this couple. This is simply a prime example of a mother’s intercession on behalf of another.

And she was right. Jesus knew what His mother was asking and even though it wasn’t according to the plan, He acquiesced. He asks the servers to fill six stone jars with water. Each of those jars held between 20 and 30 gallons. “Jesus made 90 gallons of wine and I’ll bet it wasn’t White Zin. I’ll bet it was the best possible red wine you could possibly ask for, or that you’ve ever had. So, He makes an overabundance of wine … Jesus had not planned to inaugurate His public ministry, but for her, He did! That’s the key to the whole passage.”

That key to chapter 2 of John is the key to understanding Our Lady’s intercession in the rosary. When we pray that prayer, we are asking her directly to go to her son, Jesus Christ, and implore Him to help us with our intentions. And through this story of the Wedding Feast at Cana, we know with certainty that Our Lord will never refuse Mary. Just as the Memorare says, “Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided.”

Listen to the whole segment below:

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John Hanretty serves as a Digital Media Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Besides being passionate about writing, his hobbies include drawing and digital design. You can read more of his daily articles at and on the Relevant Radio® app.