Over the last couple of years I’ve been drawn to Mary.

Being raised atheist, it wasn’t something I looked for and I understand that Mary can bring up a lot for people. I don’t go to church but I do sit in churches when they’re not in service. I’m so drawn to sacred spaces. I talked to my mom about this in the summer and she felt the same way.

I first started praying to Mary in Mabou, Nova Scotia in a little Marion shrine right after a significant friendship breakup that I’m still grieving. I asked for help. I found a sense of peace in those moments that had been eluding me.

I then read the book, Untie the Strong Woman: Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Love for the Wild Soul by Clarissa Pinkola Estés and it opened my eyes to all of the ways Mary has been loved throughout the world. I’m also very interested in Mary Magdalene.

When we went to Greece I met Mary again in a dark Byzantine church in Mystras. Tears immediately came to my eyes. Later on the trip, I prayed beside her every day in Agios Nikolaos, an old Dominican church in Crete that was also a mosque at one point.

Those seven days changed my life. I cried with her and asked for healing. She helped me through a dark night of the soul. I remembered what devotion was in a way I wasn’t expecting.

This photo was taken in Athens near the Parthenon. I’m not Christian so I’m aware that how I experience Mary is not the same yet I honour her nonetheless. She holds a special place in my heart and in my devotion.

I am grateful for the moments of peace I have found sitting at her feet.