Wednesday 5th August 2015

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Reconnecting With Mary… The Apparition At Knock, Ireland, August 1879

August 26, 2014 Featured Today No Comments

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY

Part 1

This is the first of two articles on the apparition of the Blessed Virgin at Knock in Ireland, on August 21, 1879. At the time the country was going through a period of upheaval in the aftermath of the Great Famine of 1845-1849, during which a million and a half people died of hunger and disease, and nearly another million emigrated, mostly to America.
The Land League was founded by Michael Davitt in 1879, and, by means of rent strikes and boycotts, sought to improve conditions for the poor, who often could not afford rents and were subject to eviction from their homes at any time. Its first great meeting took place in Irishtown, County Mayo, in April 1879, only a matter of months before the apparition at Knock, and so it was during this troubled period that our Lady chose to visit and console the poor Catholics of Ireland.
Knock was a remote village in Mayo, in the west of Ireland, consisting of a dozen houses scattered around the little church, whose priest was Archdeacon Cavanagh. He had a reputation for holiness, and it became known later that he had only just completed one hundred Masses for the holy souls in Purgatory on the morning of the apparition.
He also had a great devotion to Mary. He ministered to his flock from a church dedicated to St John the Baptist, which had been built about half a century previously and given a strangely prophetic inscription: “Matt. 11 Chapt. My house shall be called the house of prayer to all nations. Ps. 117. This is the gate of the Lord: the just shall enter it.”
A storm had badly damaged the church the previous year, and new statues, including one of Our Lady of Lourdes, had been ordered; these were placed in the simply ornamented building.
On Thursday August 21, 1879, Archdeacon Cavanagh spent the day visiting outlying parishioners, arriving home at about seven in the evening, drenched through by the heavy rain that had begun to fall.
He sat in front of the fire trying to dry his clothes, and later on his housekeeper, Mary McLoughlin, left the presbytery to visit a friend, Mrs. Margaret Beirne, walking past the church on her way. As she did so, she was surprised to see strange luminous figures, and an altar, at the gable end of the church, but thought they must have been more statues ordered by the priest.
Mary McLoughlin did not mention what she had seen to Mrs. Beirne, since the latter had just returned from a brief holiday and there was plenty of news to catch up on. Those present that evening were Mrs. Beirne’s 20-year-old son Dominick, her two daughters Margaret and Mary, and another young relative.
Mary McLoughlin eventually rose to return to the presbytery and Mary Beirne offered to walk with her part of the way. They set off in the rain, but as they came nearer the church, Mary Beirne noticed the figures at the gable and cried out: “Look at the beautiful figures!”
The brilliance of the light around the gable, despite the fact that there was still daylight in the evening sky, made them aware that they were seeing something extraordinary. Both women stood in amazement as they realized that they weren’t looking at statues at all, but strange, moving figures. A wall enclosed the grassy church grounds, and between it and the gable end they could see three figures, seemingly standing above the tall grass, a few feet away from the church wall. Mary McLoughlin was surprised to notice that neither the wall nor the ground near the figures was wet, despite the steadily falling rain.
They immediately recognized the central figure as our Lady, and the one on the left as St. Joseph, while Mary Beirne thought that the one on the right resembled a statue of St. John the Evangelist she had once seen, in addition to the fact that this figure wore a miter. After some time Mary Beirne went off to fetch her family, and they soon came back with her to stand in wonder before the church wall, as it gradually got darker and the rain continued to fall in torrents.
Other neighbors were alerted and also joined the group, and it is probable that many of the villagers saw the apparition at various times during that evening, although only 15 eyewitnesses were officially examined.
They stood entranced as the brilliant golden light with which the figures were enveloped, shimmered and seemed to rise and subside. Most of them saw an altar behind the figures bearing a large cross in front of a young lamb, and one young boy saw angels with wings fluttering over this tableau. The figures themselves wore beautiful white garments, and the Blessed Virgin also wore a crown and stood with her hands raised almost like a priest when saying Mass, gazing at the heavens, her lips moving in what the witnesses took to be prayer. One old lady, full of joy at what she was seeing, tried to grasp her feet, but, despite the lifelike and natural appearance of the apparition, felt nothing.
The witnesses could see St. Joseph inclining his head towards Mary in an attitude of reverence, while St. John was dressed as a bishop, holding a book in his left hand, with his right hand raised as though preaching or teaching. One boy, Patrick Hill, went close enough to see the writing in the book, but like the other witnesses he heard no sounds or voices.
He gave the most detailed information about the apparition, and those who interviewed him found him an intelligent and helpful witness. This is his description of Mary:
“I distinctly beheld the Blessed Virgin Mary, life size, standing about two feet or so above the ground, clothed in white robes, which were fastened at the neck; her hands were raised to the height of the shoulders, as if in prayer, with the palms facing one another, but slanting inwards towards the face;…she appeared to be praying; her eyes were turned, as I saw, towards heaven; she wore a brilliant crown on her head, and over her forehead, where the crown fitted the brow, a beautiful rose; the crown appeared brilliant, and of a golden brightness, of a deeper hue, inclined to a mellow yellow, than the striking whiteness of the robes she wore; the upper part of the crown appeared to be a series of sparkles, or glittering crosses.”

The Figures Disappear

After about an hour, Mary McLoughlin hurried back to the presbytery to tell Archdeacon Cavanagh what was happening, but for some reason he did not realize the importance of what she was saying, and so remained at home. By about 11 o’clock the witnesses were tired and soaked through, and some of the men went home.
One woman, Judith Campbell, was worried about her mother, who was dying, and, after going to check, rushed back to say she was dead. The remaining witnesses followed her, but discovered that she was only unconscious and was actually to live until the next day; but by the time they returned to the church the mysterious light and the figures had disappeared.
Next morning the priest learned what had happened and questioned some of the witnesses, and it was discovered that a local farmer named Patrick Walsh, who lived about half a mile away, had seen a great light on the south gable of the church about nine o’clock the previous evening.
The next article will look at what happened after the apparition, and how it was eventually approved.

+     +     +

(Donal Anthony Foley is the author of a number of books on Marian Apparitions, and maintains a related website at www.theotokos.org.uk.)

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Untitled 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

Archdiocese responds to petition signed by 20,000 in support of fired gay teacher

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) – The Philadelphia Archdiocese received a petition Monday signed by more than 20,000 people in support of a fired catholic school teacher. Margie Winters lost her job at Waldron Mercy Academy because of her same-sex marriage. Today’s petition…Continue Reading

Democrats Defeat Senate Effort to De-Fund Planned Parenthood After It Sells Aborted Babies

Senate Democrats today defeated an effort to revoke taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business by filibustering the bill and preventing a vote on it. Republicans were unable to secure the 60 voted needed to invoke cloture and stop…Continue Reading

With Apologies to Donald Trump for the Crazy ‘Nativist’ Rant of Cardinal Dolan

This week, Cardinal Timothy Dolan took to the New York Daily News to write an incoherent and defamatory political hit piece against Donald Trump. As a Catholic priest, I can only say it is embarrassing to have a Cardinal so blatantly and unfairly trying…Continue Reading

Promote the common good and give workers a raise, Catholic leaders tell Congress

Washington D.C., Jul 31, 2015 / 05:31 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholic leaders are calling on Congress to raise the minimum wage, for the good of low-wage workers and their families. “An economy thrives only when it is centered on the…Continue Reading

Catholic Colleges Must Regain the Art of Temperate Drinking, Says Author

July 30, 2015, at 2:40 PM  |  By Justin Petrisek  | Catholic colleges need to be mindful of the moral and spiritual state of their students, said Dr. Michael Foley, associate professor of patristics at Baylor University, in an interview…Continue Reading

Last Catholic priest at US base in Antarctica leaves post

A Catholic priest who served at the U.S.-operated McMurdo Station in Antarctica was told he will have to leave his post due to declining attendance and budget cuts. Father Dan Doyle, who lives in Christchurch, New Zealand, would spend summers…Continue Reading

Jamestown Excavation Unearths Four Bodies and a Possible Catholic Reliquary

Could a mysterious box unearthed in historic Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in North America, point to a Catholic connection with the foundation of the United States of America? While Spanish and Portuguese exploration, settlement and conquest of…Continue Reading

Catholic officials, others react to Boy Scouts’ decision to allow openly gay leaders

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The top leaders of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting have made an uneasy peace with the Boy Scouts of America’s decision July 27 to allow openly gay troop leaders and employees to serve in their ranks…Continue Reading

The Remnant REALLY? . . . Is This How We Support Fellow Catholics Battling A Cause We Should All Be Behind?

Planned Parenthood Hires PR Firm to Run Damage Control After It’s Exposed Selling Aborted Babies

The Planed Parenthood abortion business is so desperate to put out the public relations fires that have developed in the wake of it being caught numerous times selling the body parts of aborted babies that it has hired a top…Continue Reading

More than Half of Young Catholic Families Are Latino Despite Recent Decline

More than half of young Catholic families (53 percent) identify themselves as Latino or Hispanic compared with 32 percent of all Catholics, according to a recent survey. Could the presence of Hispanic families in the Catholic Church indicate Latino congregational…Continue Reading

New York Catholic churches closing after decades of service

Parishioners in New York are losing their churches as the Catholic Archdiocese carries out an aggressive consolidation plan. The cuts are driven by declining membership, fiscal insolvency of churches, and fewer priests, according to church officials. While there are 2.8…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

‘It was a twin’: New video shows dissection of 20-week baby for parts to sell at Planned Parenthood

 Ben Johnson AbortionTue Aug 4, 2015 – 10:45 am EST HOUSTON, TX, August 4 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – A Planned Parenthood official admits that abortionists sometimes provide “intact” babies’ body for organ harvesting and experimentation, in the latest undercover video released by the Center for Medical Progress. It also includes graphic footage of investigators seeing pristine organs extracted from a 20-week-old aborted baby. The director of research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Melissa Farrell, told undercover investigators…Continue Reading

Pope: St Theresa of Avila source of truth and values

terase

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a letter of greeting and encouragement to participants of an Interuniversity Congress on Saint Theresa of Avila. The letter, signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin on behalf of the Holy Father, expresses gratitude to the Academic world for highlighting the relevance of Saint Theresa’s teachings. Organized by the Catholic University of “Santa Teresa de Jesus de Avila” in collaboration with other Catholic Universities, the 3-day Congress…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: “Jesus is the bread of life”

pope512

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has urged the faithful to look beyond material needs and turn to Jesus who is “the bread of life”. The Pope’s words came as he addressed the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus. Taking his cue from the Gospel reading of the day which tells of the crowd that went looking for Jesus, not because they saw the signs but because they had eaten the loaves of…Continue Reading

‘Shadow council’ speaker pushes Church acceptance of contraception, gay sex

By Andrea Gagliarducci Rome, Italy, Jul 29, 2015 / 03:01 am (CNA).- Yes to contraception, homosexual acts, and Communion for the divorced and remarried – all considering the circumstances. No to understanding any acts as intrinsically evil. These are the positions advocated by speakers at the May 25 “shadow council” which gathered prelates and theologians, led by the German bishops, at a Jesuit university in Rome. That day 50 specially chosen representatives of the the…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred… The Fragrance Of Baroque Liturgy And Art

By JAMES MONTI All of us have had at some time or another a special moment in church when we have found ourselves before a particularly beautiful altar, with the Blessed Sacrament enthroned upon it in a splendid gold or silver sunburst monstrance, its molded rays sparkling with the shimmer of candles ablaze around it,…Continue Reading

Caring For The Elderly Vs. Assisted Suicide

By FR. JOHN FLYNN, LC (Editor’s Note: Fr. John Flynn, LC, wrote this commentary for ZENIT News Agency. Fr. Flynn, a regular ZENIT contributor, holds degrees from the University of New South Wales and from the Pontifical Gregorian University. All rights reserved.) + + + On Sunday, July 26, the Church in England and Wales…Continue Reading

Holy See Stresses Pro-Life Creds At UN Amid Questions

By PATRICK B. CRAINE and PETE BAKLINSKI NEW YORK (LifeSiteNews) — The Holy See is emphasizing its commitment to promoting life and family at the United Nations after a confusing statement the nunciature made in a negotiation on the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in June. In a speech on June 22, Msgr. Joseph Grech, representing…Continue Reading

Hillary Lies Again

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO In a column I wrote in early July, based on research by my colleagues and my own analysis of government documents and eyewitness statements, I argued that in 2011 and 2012 then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waged a secret war on the governments of Libya and Syria, with the approval of…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . An Excellent Guide To Answering Anti-Catholic Attacks

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Five Anti-Catholic Myths: Slavery, Crusades, Inquisition, Galileo, Holocaust by Gerard M. Verschuuren (Angelico Press: 2015; 181 pages, $16.95 print edition). Available at http://angelicopress.com/. In this book the author sets out to investigate just how it has come about that anti-Catholic myths about particular topics have managed to become so deeply embedded…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Marking Humanae Vitae’s 47th Anniversary

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Families are under attack on several fronts: whether it is what makes a marriage with one man and one woman, whether it is children who should have a mother and a father or about how life comes into the world. Those who wish to redefine God’s plan continue to apply euphemisms in attempts to change…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . The Divinity Of Christ — A Response To Islam

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 13 In our days, a misguided sense of ecumenism tends to equate the main monotheistic religions (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) as different ways to worship the same God. It is like saying that all Protestant denominations are OK as long as you mention the name of Jesus, regardless of the visceral doctrinal contradictions that…Continue Reading

The Four Marks Of The Church — Catholicity

By DON FIER Part 4 “The Church is catholic,” proclaims the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), firmly and without hesitation. “She proclaims the fullness of the faith. She bears in herself and administers the totality of the means of salvation. She is sent out to all peoples. She speaks to all men. She encompasses all times” (n. 868). Moreover,…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: In the wake of the latest Planned Parenthood scandal involving selling the body parts of aborted babies (see LifeNews.com to view the videos of interviews with Planned Parenthood officials), this is an opportune time to contact not only your legislators about ending taxpayer funding of this conglomerate that kills more than 330,000 babies a year, but also to…Continue Reading

Our Journey Through The Desert

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Nineteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: 1 Kings 19:4-8 Eph. 4:30-5:2 John 6:41-51 In the second reading today St. Paul instructs us to do nothing that will grieve the Holy Spirit. In his brief list of offenses that would grieve the Holy Spirit, St. Paul includes bitterness, fury, anger, reviling, shouting, and all malice.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Edmund Bojanowski

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many lay saints throughout the history of the Church from all different walks of life. There is the peasant girl, St. Maria Goretti, patron of young women. St. Thomas More, patron of lawyers, comes to mind when thinking of putting God before government. There are the many lay martyrs, especially in the first few centuries…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Martha

By CAROLE BRESLIN A popular pilgrimage among the Catholics of southern France takes visitors to the Grotte de la Sainte-Baume, located in the hills of Provence about 20 miles east of the port of Marseilles. To reach this holy site, the driver must cover miles of winding, ascending roads to the foot of the mountain. Then the pilgrim ascends a…Continue Reading