Ireland: Knock- Part 4

In 1879 on a very rainy night in the small village of Knock, Ireland, the Virgin Mary, St. John the Evangelist,  and St. Joseph appeared on an altar that also had a lamb and a cross. My guess is that it looked a lot like this:
The Apparition Chapel. Unfortunately, it was closed due to renovations that were scheduled to begin.
In 2017 on a very rainy day, 2 American women made a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Knock.  M had been there before; up until a few years ago, I knew nothing of Knock. We took a bus from Galway to Knock and made it to the basilica just in time for Mass. It turned out to be a funeral mass. M (who is not Catholic) turned to me and asked if it was okay that we were there since it was a funeral. I said yes, but didn't fully explain that it is our duty as Catholics to bury the dead. Not literally bury them, but attend funeral masses and pray for them.
The woman who had passed away was 90+ years old. She was a Sister of Mercy but left the order and was married at age 76. Her name was Christina, and she sounded like an absolutely marvelous and fascinating woman.
As Mass was being said, I just kept looking at the mosaic on the altar, not believing that I was actually right where Mary appeared.
The mosaic of the apparition that is in the basilica
The choir sounded amazingly beautiful, and when they sang "Lady of Knock" I completely lost it. There I was, in the place where she appeared, listening to the song about her.  It was one of the most, if not the most deeply religious experiences I've ever had. 
After Mass, M & I walked around the basilica. It was absolutely gorgeous. (For larger pictures, click on one and scroll through.)






Unfortunately, it was raining sideways (literally) and it was pretty chilly, so we weren't able to leisurely stroll through the grounds as I imagined us doing. The upside was that we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves.
The Basilica

The columns around the outside had stones from different areas of Ireland

The Papal Cross

1 of the Outdoor Stations of the Cross

Calvary

St. Theresa

Flowers at the foot of St. Theresa
Close up of St. Theresa



Holy Water area
More Holy Water on tap!

The part of the wall in the square is from the original church where the apparitions took place.
Giant Rosary on the wall of the Apparition Chapel

I'm actually not sure what this is, but in the right background are the graves of the Monsignors who served at Knock
I loved the crosses on the fences
Parish Church 

This was just off of the property of the shrine

Monument to Richard Jordan and James O'Malley who were Captains. 

There were a lot of things we missed because it was so nasty out and we had to catch our bus back to Galway. We stopped at this little cafe around the corner from the Shrine and had wonderful soup and Irish Brown Bread. We enjoyed the sites on the way back to Galway:






The rain that day was absolutely ridiculous! When we got back to town, we saw abandoned umbrellas because they did no good with the wind. That was the only bad day we had. Originally we were going to go to Knock first, then the Aran Islands, but the lady at the tour company said that sometimes tourists get stranded on the island if the weather turns bad and we couldn't chance missing our ride to Killarney. That turned out to be a very wise decision; with the weather like it was that day, we thought that the ferry may not have even run so we would have missed the island.
Here is a video of the song "Lady of Knock".

6 comments:

  1. Mary,

    Fabulous! I love the photo of the church steeple with the sheep grazing. The arched windows are magnificent!

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  2. Sounds like me at Notre-Dame in Paris. Umbrellas were turning inside out. Miserable day!
    I'm glad you were able to visit. It looks like a lovely place. I think it was rather interesting that you were there for the funeral. She did sound like an amazing lady. Love all the photos.

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  3. "...but left the order and was married at age 76."

    Gasp! I love that. True love at 76. I bet he was worth waiting for, her too. :)

    ReplyDelete

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