Our Lady of Knock
Where: Knock, Ireland
When: 21st August 1879
The evening of Thursday, August 1979 was a very
Wet night. At about 8 o'clock the rain was beating down in
Driving sheets when Mary Byrne, a girl of the village, was
Accompanying the priest's house keeper, Mary McLoughlin, home. As she came in sight of the gable of the little church, she suddenly stopped. Standing a little out from the gable, she saw three life-size figures. She ran home to tell her parents and soon others from the village had also gathered. The witnesses stated that they saw an apparition of Our Lady, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist at the south gable end of the local parish church, which was Church of Saint John the Baptist. Behind them, and a little to the left of Saint John, (Saint John the Evangelist), was a plain altar. On the altar was a cross and a lamb, with. Half a mile away from the scene, a farmer who was also witnessing the apparition, later described what he saw as a large globe of golden light above and around, the gable, circular in appearance. The group that was of between two and twenty-five stood or knelt gazing at the figures as rain lashed them in the gathering darkness for 2 hours.
The apparition of Mary was described as being beautiful, standing a few feet above the ground. She was wearing a white cloak, hanging in full folds and fastened at the neck. She was "deep in prayer", with her eyes raised to heaven, her hands raised a
little higher, the palms inclined slightly to the shoulders. Saint Joseph, who was also wearing white robes, stood at the virgin's right hand. His head was bent forward from the shoulders towards the blessed virgin. To the left of the Blessed Virgin, stood Saint John the Evangelist. He was dressed in a long robe and wore a mitre. He was partly turned away from the other figures. Some of the witnesses reported that Saint John appeared to be preaching and held open a large book in his left hand. To his left was an altar with a lamb on it with a cross standing on the altar behind the lamb.
Those who witnessed the apparition stood in the pouring rain for up to two hours reciting the Rosary. When the apparition began there was good light, but although it then became very dark, witnesses could still see the figures very clearly – they appeared to be the colour of a bright whitish light. The apparitions did not flicker or move in any way. The witnesses reported that the ground around the figures remained completely dry during the apparition although the wind was blowing from the south. Soon the entire apparition wall was torn apart by pilgrims chipping out the cement, mortar, and stones for souvenirs and to use for cures.