Category Archives: Question Box

Snow White = Mary?

When I was a kid, I always identified with Snow White as a character. Maybe it’s the fact that she was one of the few brunette heroines in the fairytale book, so I instinctively related to her on that level (my blonde sister, on the other hand, could claim a kinship with Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty … proof that when it comes to fairytales, blondes DO have more fun).

Anyhow, in spite of that, I had a whole lot of fun researching this question:  “Are there Marian themes in the story of Snow White?” Check it out!

Indian Madonna and Child

Beautiful, isn’t it?  I just love this picture.

(Oh, and if you’ve ever wondered where the term “Madonna” comes from, there’s a brief explanation here.)

Image from Holy Cards For Your Inspiration

Revisiting the Visitation

I got a great question through the BustedHalo Question Box a while back:

“Why does Mary go to visit her cousin Elizabeth?  It doesn’t make sense for a pregnant woman to make such a long journey.”

Honestly, I could write volumes on this!  I love the Visitation, mostly because of the role it’s played in my own life at a crucial moment (I go into detail in Mary and Me),  and also because of what I learned about it while talking to other women.  The Visitation is more than just a nice subject for artists to paint; it’s a powerful statement of the way we are called to support each other in good times and in bad, in joyous times and in confusing times, and, frankly, in every kind of time there is.

But enough of that.  I’ll let my Question Box Answer say the rest.


Is it or isn’t it?

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row.

Is this nursery rhyme about the Virgin Mary?  Find out at!


Illustration by Jessie Wilcox Smith, courtesy of Project Gutenberg

Pop quiz

Okay, really quick: Who is this nun? (hint: it’s not Sally Field).


Give up?

It’s St. Catherine Labouré, the nineteenth-century French nun who forever changed the face of Catholic accessorizing (with a little help from Mary, of course).

You can read more about her, Mary, and the Miraculous Medal on