Bridget Curran is a young writer and filmmaker, who has a passion for Mary. After graduating from the University of Western Australia with a triple major in History, Italian and Anthropology (Hons), she completed a graduate diploma in Film and Television Production at Curtin University. She is currently researching and writing documentaries for film and television.
Who would want to read about the Virgin Mary, in this day and age?
People have wanted to read about Mary in every day and age. There is something about her that speaks to every generation and culture. People relate to her humanity and pray for her guidance at the same time. But she’s still a mysterious figure, as every age, every culture and every formal religion has interpreted her in so many different ways. These stories are interesting, even from a purely sociological point of view, because she seems to appear in the most unexpected ways, a constant guide and helper to so many people. It’s fascinating.
How would you describe the Virgin Mary to someone who doesn’t know anything about her?
A figure of light, love, and gentle maternal guidance.
Have you always been a big fan of the Virgin Mary?
Far from it! I always struggled with the figure of Mary in my life. As a cradle Catholic (raised in a Christian home) that was difficult. I couldn’t understand why everyone loved her so much, and prayed to her- to me she was a distant figure. Until I got to know her. Our relationship is better now, but strangely enough we still struggle to understand each other! The process of writing the book has helped me to appreciate Mary much more than I could have imagined.
You wrote a book on Mary... why miss out one of the most famous apparition sites, Medjugorje?
Medjugorje is a very famous place, but also very controversial. The more I researched it, the more layers of complexity I found, and I was uncertain that it was right for this book.
What’s your favourite story about Mary?
Hmmm... there are quite a few! I have to say I love reading, and Pontmain was one of the few apparitions of Mary that used the written word! The image of a beautiful lady in a starry, dark sky is just breathtaking. So too is the thought of a tiny, ancient statue caught up in the waves of the 2004 tsunami, as in Our Lady of Matara.
I also have to say, I love the quirky eccentricity of St Simon Stock, the tree dwelling medieval visionary, and the rather sad, melancholic story of the visionaries of La Salette. But Our Lady of Perpetual Help is the image that holds the most meaning for me- my granny, to whom this book is dedicated, taught me to pray before that icon.
Most emotional moment while writing this book?
There are many! One of the most emotional moments was in a lady’s living room. We had only met that morning, but she was generously sharing stories of her life and her devotion to Our Lady of Czestochowa. Soon she was in tears... then I was in tears... and we both laughed at ourselves for it! It was a funny but beautiful moment, and I left her home feeling so privileged that she’d shared her story with me.