Our Lady of Knock

During the 1870's, Ireland suffered various famines and economic dislocations produced by forced evictions had created yet another wave of Irish immigration. But on the evening of Thursday, 21 August 1879, two women from the small village of Knock, Mary McLoughlin and Mary Beirne, were walking back to their home when they passed by the back of the town church. There against the wall of the church stood the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, and an altar with a lamb and a cross on it. Flying around the altar were several angels. The women called several other people to the church. They too saw the apparition. What the other thirteen saw in the church was still-bright day was a beautiful woman, clothed in white garments, wearing a large brilliant crown. Her hands were raised as if in prayer. This woman was understood by all as the Blessed Virgin Mary. There were subsequent reports of inexplicable healings associated with visits to the church at Knock. One of which was a young girl, born deaf, was instantly given the gift of hearing. As the news spread, pilgrims by the thousands arrived here with their sick. A large number of unusual cures were reported. Those who claimed a cure left their crutches and canes at the site, and many of those supports were attached to the wall. In the fall of 1880, a statue of Our Lady of Knock was erected where she had been seen during the vision. The Church officially investigated the apparition at Knock in 1879, and again in 1936. It was found that the witnesses were believable and that there was nothing contrary to the faith.