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Our Lady of Knock - August 21st - Printable Version

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Our Lady of Knock - August 21st - Stone - 08-21-2022

Our Lady of Knock - August 21st
Taken from here
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On the evening of August 21, 1879 Mary McLoughlin, the housekeeper to the parish priest of Knock, County Mayo, Ireland, was astonished to see the outside south wall of the church bathed in a mysterious light; there were three figures standing in front of the wall, which she mistook for replacements of the stone figures destroyed in a storm. She rushed through the rain to her friend Margaret Byrne's house.

After a half hour Mary decided to leave and Margaret's sister Mary agreed to walk home with her. As they passed the church they saw and amazing vision very clearly: Standing out from the gable and to the west of it appeared the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph and St. John. The figure of the Blessed Virgin was life-size, while the others seemed to be neither as large nor as tall. They stood a little away from the gable wall about two feet from the ground. The Virgin was erect with her eyes toward Heaven, and she was wearing a large white cloak hanging in full folds; on her head was a large crown.

Mary Byrne ran to tell her family while Mary McLoughlin gazed at the apparition.  Soon a crowd gathered and all saw the apparition. The parish priest, Archdeacon Cavanaugh, did not come out, however, and his absence was a disappointment to the devout villagers. Among the witnesses were Patrick Hill and John Curry. As Patrick later described the scene: 'The figures were fully rounded, as if they had a body and life. They did not speak but, as we drew near, they retreated a little towards the wall.' Patrick reported that he got close enough to make out the words in the book held by the figure of St. John.

An old woman named Bridget trench drew closer to embrace the feet of the Virgin, but the figure seemed always beyond reach. Others out in the fields and some distance away saw a strange light around the church. The vision lasted for about three hours and then faded.

The next day a group of villagers went to see the priest, who accepted the their report as genuine; he wrote to the diocesan Bishop of Tuam; then the Church set up a commission to interview a number of the people claiming to witness the apparition. The diocesan hierarchy was not convinced, and some members of the commission ridiculed the visionaries, alleging they were victims of a hoax perpetrated by the local Protestant constable! But the ordinary people were not so skeptical, and the first pilgrimages to knock began in 1880. Two years later Archbishop John Joseph Lynch of Toronto made a visit to the parish and claimed he had been healed by the Virgin of Knock.

In due course many of the witnesses died. But Mary Byrne married, raised six children, living her entire life in Knock. When interviewed again in 1936 at the age of eighty-six, her account did not vary from the first report she gave in 1879.

The village of Knock was transformed by the thousands who came to commemorate the vision and to ask for healing for others and themselves. The local church was too small to accommodate the crowds. In 1976 a new church, Our Lady Queen of Ireland, was erected. It holds more than two thousand and needs to, for each year more than a half million visitors arrive to pay their respects to the Blessed Virgin.

The Church approved the the apparition in 1971 as being quite probable, although it has never been formally stated. The Shrine at Knock is opened year round. In 1994 three life-sized statues were erected of Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John.

It is this web master's opinion that the Apparition is more than probable, it is authentic; I believe that Our Lady was warning us about the changes in the Mass coming in the next century, in which much Catholic doctrine would be silenced, that is removed from the Mass itself. The marked decline in church attendance and knowledgeable Catholics provide ample evidence for such a thesis arising not only in this Catholic's mind but others', including some priests.


Sé do bheath' a Mhuire, atá lán de ghrásta, tá an Tiarna leat.
Is beannaithe thú idir mná agus is beannaithe toradh do bhruinne losa.
A Naomh Mhuire, a mháthair Dé, guí orainn na peacaithe, anois is ar uair ar mbás. Amen.


Great Mary,
Greatest of Marys,
Greatest of Women,
Mother of Eternal Glory,
Mother of the Golden Light,
Honor of the Sky,
Temple of the Divinity,
Fountain of the Gardens,
Serence as the Moon,
Bright as the Sun,
Garden Enclosed,
Temple of the Living God,
Light of Nazareth,
Beauty of the World,
Queen of Life,
Ladder of Heaven,
Mother of God.

Pray for us.

RE: Our Lady of Knock - August 21st - Stone - 08-21-2022

The Commissions of Enquiry
Taken from here

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The 1879 Apparition at Knock required ecclesiastical investigation. In fact, two separate Commissions of Enquiry would subsequently examine the Apparition Witnesses. The first Commission sat in 1879-80 and the second Commission in 1935-36. These were designed to establish the details of the Apparition and to judge the reliability of the Witnesses.

The First Commission (1879-80)

October 1879 Rev. Dr. John MacHale, Archbishop of Tuam, set-up the First Commission of Enquiry into the claims of an Apparition at Knock. The Commission was made up of three principal investigators from the clergy.

These were:
  • Archdeacon Cavanagh – P.P. Knock
  • Cannon Waldron – P. P. Ballyhaunis
  • Cannon Ulick Bourke – P. P. Claremorris

The First Commission was considered competent to submit findings because the members were well informed on the nature of apparitions and their counterfeits. Archdeacon Cavanagh, as their parish priest, adjudged the character of individual Witnesses. They examined and took depositions from fifteen visionaries; fourteen people who saw the Apparition at close quarters, and Patrick Walsh, who saw the Apparition, from a distance, as a brilliant light outside the parish church.

The Commission convened several times for deliberations on all of the evidence. They concluded that, ‘the testimonies of all, taken as a whole, is trustworthy and satisfactory.’

The Second Commission (1935-36)

In 1935 Rev. Dr. Thomas Patrick Gilmartin, Archbishop of Tuam, convened a Second Commission of Enquiry into the Apparition at Knock and the cures attributed to Our Lady of Knock at the Shrine. Rev. James S. Fergus, Secretary to Archbishop Gilmartin of Tuam acted as Sectary to the Commission. Their investigations concluded in 1936 and is often referred to as the 1936 Commission.

All evidence was taken under oath. Fifteen sessions were held between the 24th of August 1935 and the 14th of April 1936. The Commission examined the two surviving Witnesses of the Apparition living in Knock. They were: Mary O’Connell (née Byrne, 86 years old) and Patrick Byrne, (71 years old).

On the 27th of January 1936, Mary Byrne made a sworn statement before a Commissioner of Oaths and Canon Grealy, P.P. Knock. After  the scene of the apparition, she said: ‘I am quite clear about everything I have said, I make this statement knowing I am going before my God.’

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RE: Our Lady of Knock - August 21st - Stone - 08-21-2022


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