On Tuesday, Jan. 3rd 2006, Harry & I took a religious pilgrimage to Knock where on the 21st of August 1879, fifteen people of varying ages witnessed over a period of two hours the apparition of Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist on the Gable of the Church. To the right, in the center of the Gable, was a plain altar on which stood a lamb. Behind the lamb, a large cross stood upright. Angels hovered around the lamb for the duration of the apparition which was enveloped in a havenly light. Two official Church Commissions of Enquiry, one in 1879 and the second in 1936 found "that the testimony of the witnesses, taken as a whole, was trustworthy and satisfactory".
One unique thing about it is that about one and a half million pilgrims come to Knock each year, not only within Ireland but also across the globe! It's a very beautiful place...a place where you can experience pilgrimage yourself.
What does a pilgrim find at Knock? A chance to pray, a chance to relax, a chance to find peace. The devotions that have developed in the course of one hundred years are guaranteed to touch the soul.
It all start on the 21st of August, 1879, when Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist appeared at the south gable of Knock Parish Church. This Apparition was witnessed by fifteen people, young and old. From this miraculous occurance Knock has grown to the status of an internationally recognised Marian Shrine. The personal pilgrimage of Pope John Paul II in 1979, commemorating the centenary of the Apparition, inspired an even greater devotion to the Shrine and endorsed the indelible seal of Vatican approval. Mother Teresa of Calcutta visited the Shrine in June of 1993. Since then, pilgrims after pilgrims flock to this Shrine annually...
Whilst I'm not Knocking Knock (try saying that quickly), outside the shrine area are some stalls that really do need a close inspection. I have witnessed some of the most gaudiest and downright tacky things for sale here.
A Virgin Mary that lights up in a variety of colours and plays a hymn is probably one of the more sensible items. I must admit I quite like the reflective card things that switch from one image or religious iconography to another
I do love Ireland, but you do have to question the sense of asethetics of the people who buy this stuff.
Stock up on holy water !
I have a sneaking suspicion that the taps that spew out the holy water are connected directly to the mains supply - but it will certainly make an unusual gift. And who knows perhaps there is something in the water.
I've borrowed the picture from www.Bamjam.net - so it's obviously not me on the photograph. The above site is very well presented and user friendly.
Calvary is the hill in Jerusalem where Christ was crucified, or any experience that causes intense suffering. Take a moment to walk around the Calvary, pray, and enjoy the silence.
This is an enormous Basilica within the grounds. Take a minute to walk inside and admire its beauty.
Got to be honest with you, and let you know that I didn't go in the Rest House. Thus, I don't know much about it expect that I took the picture from the outside.
Withing the cementary rests the graves of the witnesses of the apparition of Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist on the south gable of Knock Parish Church.
While I was walking by the cementary, I came upon this monuments & tree that was erected in memory of Fr. Joseph Traffe.