One hundred and forty years ago this very day, an unspoken message from heaven came to our world at the rural wayside village of Knock, Ireland. The little hamlet was a forgotten corner of the earth in 1879. It consisted of a dozen houses or so, along with the little parish church, the rectory, a school-house, a post office and a few small shops. The village and the social condition of its people at the time, was in many respects like that of the little village of Nazareth in the days of our Lord Jesus. It was poor, peaceful and unknown.[…]
The Penal Laws were imposed upon the Irish in attempt to stamp out their Catholic faith; those laws were as degrading as they were oppressive.
Just as they began to be relaxed though not repealed, more misery struck the people of western Ireland. The Great Famine which was proximately caused by potato blight but worsened on account of the repression imposed by the occupying government, resulted in the deaths of one million while another million were to emigrate, reducing the island’s population dramatically. The Great Famine took place between 1845 and 1849, but its last waves continued up until the time of the astonishing event that took place in Knock. Further potato blight was always the great fear. And in that year of 1879, that fear was realised when the crop was found to be a complete failure. The only prospect in the time ahead was further hunger and misery. It was in the midst of this struggle and sorrow that the miraculous message appeared before the villagers of Knock in front of the gable wall of their parish church. ~ Extract from The Catholic World Report, 21st August 2018 (see link below)
There were fifteen official witnesses to the apparition – young and old – who watched and prayed for two hours in the pouring rain. The witnesses were ordinary people from the village of Knock and surrounding hinterland.
Two Commissions of Enquiry, in 1879 and 1936, accepted their testimony as trustworthy and satisfactory.
Today, Knock ranks among the world’s major Marian Shrines. Pilgrims come here seeking peace and prayer and to enjoy the beautiful landscaped gardens and walkways. The facilities there include and an award-winning Museum, Prayer Guidance, Youth Ministry, Counselling Centre, a contemporary Café and excellent Bookshop with a wide range of spiritual and religious books and resources.
The official pilgrimage season begins on the last Sunday of April and ends on the second Sunday in October. The annual national novena to Our Lady of Knock is taking place in these days (14th -22nd August).
Knock Shrine has a unique history and a number of beautiful churches, including the iconic Basilica which houses the ‘Apparition Mosaic’, a spectacular artwork and the largest of its kind in Europe. At the unveiling of the Mosaic at a ceremony n 2016, 15 local people, some of them descendants of those who witnessed the Apparition in 1879, performed a short candlelit procession to commemorate the extraordinary events in Knock all those years ago.
Our Lady of Knock pray for us, as we entrust our prayers to you.
See website HERE
And a link to the full article from The Catholic World Report – 21 August 2018 HERE