Our Lady Of Knock
Home Up The Rosary Events LAOH Division Officers History Links


Our Lady of Knock 

Knock is a parish in County Mayo, Ireland. On the evening of August 21, 1879. The Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, and St. John the Evangelist appeared at the south gable of the Knock parish church. A cross, a lamb, an altar, and a complement of angels surrounded them. These apparitions remained for two hours while 15 people witnessed the sight and said the rosary. Two ecclesiastical commissions, one in 1879 and one in 1936 examined the events and the witnesses' reports and endorsed the veracity of the appearances. The conclusions of these commissions allowed the establishment of Knock as a Marian pilgrimage site.

The Knock shrine committee was established in 1935 and pilgrimages to the site have increased over the years. In 1976 the Basilica of Our Lady, Queen of Ireland was opened with space for 12,000 people. Pope John Paul 11 visited Knock in 1979 and said mass. A large cross marks the site of the Pope's visit. An International airport has been built at Knock and over one million people visit each year.

A visit to Knock is always worthwhile. At the old church one gets a true sense of the miracle of the apparitions. Masses are continuously offered inside the old church and at the site of the apparitions. During the busier months devotions, rosaries, and Stations of the Cross occur regularly. It is truly a moving experience at the shrine.

Many explanations for the apparitions have been put forth. Some say that it was a spiritual reminder thirty years after the end of the famine. Some say that it was to boost the Irish morale after the failure of the Fenian Movement and the ongoing attempts for home rule. Some say that it was in support of the devotional revolution in Ireland at the time that had seen the religion move back into the church centered as opposed to home centered worship.

The explanation for the apparition is probably all of these and more. Ireland in 1879 was in the midst of a very difficult period. The aforementioned issues were complicated by massive immigration to other countries (mainly the U.S.A.) beginning in the 1850's and continuing through the 1890's (over 3 million people). Families were being broken up never to be reunited again. Poverty, separation, servitude, and an inability to see an end to hard times had taken its toll on the Irish people, particularly in Connacht. Perhaps this sense of desperation and hopelessness caused God to send a reminder of the special relationship of the Catholic Church and the Irish people. This sign of glory and hope would serve to rejuvenate the Irish people and bolster their faith. This would also serve as an inspiration for generations to come.

A.O.H. Div. 7, Suffolk County New York is the Our Lady of Knock Division in honor and remembrance of this great apparition and of the Blessed Mother.


Our Lady Of Knock


Send mail to Al Norton with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 2005 Ancient Order of Hibernians - Division 7 - East Islip NY
Last modified: 05/12/16

Please report any broken links to: div7webmaster@optonline.net