Thursday, August 21, 2014

Knock anniversary

Today is the anniversary of the apparition at Knock. In the course of the last number of days tens of thousands of people have visited. Just because fewer go to Mass in this country doesn't mean they're not interested in religion, it seems!

Maybe you've never heard of it? Well on this day in 1879, a large group of people saw what they said was an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Joseph, and St John the Evangelist. They stood in adoration for hours in the pouring rain until it finally disappeared. Subsequent investigations by Church authorities declared them to be credible and reliable witnesses. And so Knock has been a place of pilgrimage ever since.
I've never been - I always intended to take my mother, but it never worked out ... I'd offer and she'd say 'soon' ...  but it was like when I was a kid and wanted to go somewhere or do something and she'd say 'soon' and I'd think it was taking forever and soon would never come. In this case it really didn't.

She had an interest in Knock, though ... I have an old book about the shrine that she'd had on her shelf for years: Knock, the Shrine of the Pilgrim People of God by Michael Walsh. She was more a Mills & Boone romance reader than a fan of non-fiction, so the fact that she not only picked up a copy of this book but hung onto it says a lot. 

The book gives a good account of the apparition, the investigations that followed, and some of the history of the shrine. It's probably out of print - at least I can't find any after having spent a whole five minute slaving over a hot Google - but there's another book by the same author on the same topic written a few years earlier available from Veritas. If you'd like to have a look for yourself, you can find it here. If a whole book is a little more than you're up for, there's always the Wikipedia entry

Who knows, it might whet your appetite for the book.

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