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Maria V. Gallagher offers a roadmap to experiencing joy—through a stronger relationship with the Blessed Mother.

If you have ever wondered how you can go about making Mary, the mother of Jesus, your best friend forever, I can relate.

As a little girl, I longed to have a stronger relationship with the Blessed Mother. The journey has been a long and winding road, but I believe my connection with Mary is now stronger than ever.

In my new book Joyful Encounters with Mary: A Woman’s Guide to Living the Mysteries of the Rosary (Marian Press), I chronicle the path that helped me to adopt Mary as my spiritual companion. By feasting on Scripture, I was able to delve deeper into the heart of Mary. I paired that Scripture reading with daily recitation of the most Holy Rosary. I recommitted myself to pondering the mysteries of the Rosary—particularly the Joyful Mysteries.


Joyful Encounters cover photo-1


The more I focused on the Joyful Mysteries, the more I was able to relate them to my life. I realized that, during certain seasons of my life, I had been living the Mysteries. And that made me love Mary all the more.

The book is written with women in mind—women at various stages of life’s journey. Whether you are a college co-ed, a “Golden Girl,” a nursing mother, or an empty nester, chances are you can find something to relate to within its pages. You may have a life-long devotion to the Blessed Mother, or you may be someone who has difficulty relating to her on a personal basis. Either way, you might find that Mary is calling you to a deeper relationship—one that ultimately will lead to a closer connection with her son Jesus.


statue of Mary surrounded by crucifix and flowers, in a grotto


During the lockdown phase of the pandemic, I was extremely limited in what activities I could pursue. Our churches were closed, restaurants were prohibited from hosting dine-in customers, and gyms were locked. Needing some kind of creative outlet, I turned to writing—and my book was born.

Back in elementary school, my Language Arts teacher had predicted I would someday write a book—but I was skeptical. It didn’t seem as if I possessed the patience to do such a thing. As an adult, I had written a book that numerous publishers rejected, so I did not know if being an author was really my calling.

But with the pandemic closing many doors, I decided to open the publishing door just a crack. I had a distinct message that I wanted to convey—that even in the troubling times in which we live, joy is still possible and, in fact, achievable. Thankfully, I found a publisher that believed in my vision.

While I do not know what the future will bring, I believe it is survivable, when my relationship with the Blessed Mother is at the forefront of my life. For Mary always leads to Jesus, Who provides a fount of joy that no pandemic can destroy. 

Copyright 2022 Maria V. Gallagher
Images: Canva