photo of mary kissing baby jesus

Mary, Our Lady of Tender Love


This Rosary Reflection on Mary, Our Lady of Tender Love, is based on several New Testament passages focusing on Mary’s tender love for God, her family, and the Church.

The Gospel Account

Tender love is a deep, enduring care for others that is gentle, kind, faithful, and life-giving. Tender love rejoices in good circumstances, grieves with loss, and stays present to life in all stages, from birth to death to new life. Jesus’ first experience of tender human love came through His mother, Mary, as a baby and throughout His earthly life.

The Five Decades

When you pray the five decades of this Rosary Reflection, use these five moments from Mary’s prayer in the Gospel. Read the Gospel verses for each decade and let the words sink in as you pray that decade.

First Decade: Mary Brings Jesus into the World (Luke 2:6-7)

“While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

Second Decade: Mary Reflects in Her Heart (Luke 2:19)

“And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.”

Third Decade:  Mary Intercedes at Cana (John 2:2-5)

“Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Woman how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servers, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’”

Fourth Decade: Mary Becomes Our Mother (John 19:26-27)

“Standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple there he loved, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold your son. Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.”

Fifth Decade: Mary Prays with the Church (Acts 1:14)

“All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and his brothers.”

What to Remember

As a disciple of Jesus, you have His mother, Mary, as your heavenly mother, too.

Mary’s love for you is far greater than any birth mother can have. With Mary as your heavenly mother, you can trust her prayers, care, and consoling presence in all circumstances of your life.  

Whether you feel weary, afraid, sad, joyful, or happy, you can call on Mary to share life’s journey with you. Her prayers and presence will bring you closer to her Son, Jesus, and His tender Divine love for you.

What to Pray For

  • For greater openness to Mary’s prayers for you, in every circumstance and event in life.
  • For those who are sad, weary, afraid, or grieving, that Mary’s care and prayers will bring them peace.
  • For all mothers, religious sisters, and women whose tender love supports others.
  • For all children who are unwanted by their families that they will experience God’s love.

Feel free to pray the rosary for a deeper connection with Mary’s tender love for you, your family, friends, and others.

* Scripture passages are from the United Conference of Catholic Bishops website,

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