New book presents the Blessed Mother's story through famous artwork

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The Blessed Mother: seen and reflected on from an artistic point of view is the basis of Joan Foo Mahony's new book, “Millennials Meet Mary.” 

It is a compilation of Marian art reviews from 80 millennials in 42 countries. They each reflect on Jesus' Mother from their various backgrounds, which Joan says is the “A to Z,” starting with Argentina and Armenia and ending with Zimbabwe. 

Author, Millennials Meet Mary
I thought young people today are not really that interested in religion. However, they are interested in art, they are interested in a good story (and you can't beat the story of Mary) and they are very interested in changing the world. I thought okay, I'll write a book use the artwork and get the millennials to reflect on it in terms of their lives, their hopes, their dreams. It actually worked out wonderfully!

She paired each millennial with a piece of art they could relate to – for example a Syrian refugee wrote on Joseph and Mary's “Flight to Egypt” and a newlywed on the marriage of Joseph and Mary. 

In the nine months it took to make the book, hearts were transformed, beginning with the author's, who strayed from the faith, but found it again with her husband's influence.

Author, Millennials Meet Mary
“You can't be married and live with someone who is Catholic and not be affected by it, presently in my case. My journey back to the faith has been so, but eventually I did come back to Jesus. Really it has been through His mother. I love Mary. Writing about her life has brought me so much closer to her Son.”

As a result of the pandemic, she launched the book via Zoom conference with the Vatican Museums. Joan wanted the book to be available for millennials. She thus made a pdf of the book available for online download, as it is being printed and made available for purchase. 

While it is not a specifically theological text, proceeds of 432-page book will go to the Church. It's the author's way of giving a part of herself back to God, through the labor and beautiful works contained in this book. 

Melissa Butz

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