Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Friday 23 February |
Saint of the Day: St. Polycarp
Aleteia logo
Art & Culture
separateurCreated with Sketch.

J.R.R. Tolkien loved the feast of the Immaculate Conception

Maryja Dziewica, matka Zbawiciela

Renata Sedmakova | Shutterstock

Philip Kosloski - published on 12/07/23

The Catholic author was attracted to the feast of the Immaculate Conception and was also devoted to St. Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes.

J.R.R. Tolkien is most widely known for his best-selling Lord of the Rings series, a book that is loved by a variety of people around the world.

Recently more details about his Catholic faith have been brought to light, especially his own private devotions.

One of his favorite devotions was to Mary and her Immaculate Conception, which is tied-up together with his love of St. Bernadette and the apparitions at Lourdes.

Holly Ordway, in her book Tolkien’s Faith, writes that, “he had a ‘special devotion’ to the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Tolkien mentions St. Bernadette several times in his letters and even notes how he enjoyed going to the movie theater to see The Song of Bernadette.

In a letter to his son Christopher Tolkien in 1945, he goes so far as to say, “The story of Bernadette Soubirous, one of the most amazing things of the whole 19th century, is both profoundly moving, and true, and therefore all the more moving.”

He explained in a letter to a priest friend that it was “Our Lady, upon which all my own small perception of beauty both in majesty and simplicity is founded.

If Tolkien knew of someone who was sick, he would invoke the heavenly aid of St. Bernadette and Our Lady.

This love and devotion to Our Lady can even be seen in the Lord of the Rings, as many of his characters invoke a similar Marian figure, calling upon her in the darkness of their situation.

TolkienVirgin Mary
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.