I stumbled into this beautiful hardbound book while visiting the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. After enjoying the regal architecture of the Shrine, attending a sublime mass, walking the breathtaking gardens, and contemplating the moving Memorial to the Unborn, finding this book browsing the lovely gift shop felt like an invitation from Our Lady herself to reflect on one of her most evident, yet least discussed virtues: Femininity.
The first half of the book denounces in detail how a messed up definition of femininity has been forced into mainstream culture for the past 60 years, through intentional magazine articles, movies, and TV shows, with the direct purpose of rendering virginity, motherhood, and monogamy irrelevant in the mind of millions of American women. With the diligence of a seasoned journalist, Miss Gress gradually and bravely pieces together voluminous evidence to prove that these orchestrated attacks on virginity, motherhood, and monogamy, inspired by a growing anti-Marian movement, are part of a bigger plan to erase the concept of marriage and family off the face of humanity, promoting values that directly oppose its existence. It is a painful but necessary reading for every Christian, as the values promoted by Christianity happen to align with the virtues needed to preserve the institution of marriage and the institution of family.
The author does not stop though, like most journalists do, in denouncing the problem. The true and legitimate desire of all girls and women of being feminine in the true sense of the word, feeling beautiful, loved, lovable, necessary, and valuable is validated throughout the book. Besides having great journalistic prowess, Miss Gress is also very apt in explaining and proving to the reader that the solution to the movement against true femininity lies precisely, in embracing the Marian movement that has been “silently” growing for the past 2000 years when, at the foot of the cross, Mary accepted us as her children when Jesus Christ declared: “Woman, behold your son!” and then turning to John, “Son, behold your mother”.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Mary, how her virtues directly shine on all women and invite us to discover the true meaning of being a woman. I loved the invitation to live the six ways to combat the Anti-Mary. It’s difficult to pick a favorite quote, I underlined many; so I will leave you with this one:
“She has been hailed as the most powerful woman in the world; the most painted, photographed, and prayed to throughout human history”.
If you want to understand why loving, understanding, and honoring Mary is the way to restore true femininity and joy, and heal the wounds today’s culture has inflicted on so many girls and women, and in turn, in children and families, this is the book for you.