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Knock Shrine

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Altar sculpture at Knock, based on the vison.

Knock Shrine (Irish: Cnoc Mhuire) is a Roman Catholic pilgrimage site. In 1879, a religious vision was said to have happened in the village of Knock, County Mayo, Ireland. It was seen by fifteen people. The vision was of The Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, John the Evangelist, angels, and Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God. A church was later built on the site, to worship and remember this event.

The vision

On the evening of 21 August 1879, at about 8 o'clock, fifteen people, aged from five years to seventy-five included men, women, teenagers and children, witnessed this event.

They all said they saw an apparition of Our Lady, Saint Joseph, and Saint John the Evangelist on the wall of the small parish church. The little church was called the Church of Saint John the Baptist.


The Blessed Virgin Mary was said to be beautiful, standing a few feet above the ground. She wore a white dress. She had a crown on her head. The crown was golden, sparkling, and glittering. She was described as "in prayer", with her eyes raised to heaven.

Saint Joseph, also wearing a white robe, stood on the Virgin's right hand. Behind the figures, to the left of Saint John was a plain altar. On the altar was a cross and a lamb, with angels around. The lamb is the symbol of Jesus. This symbol is from the religious phrase The Lamb of God)[1][2]

Those who saw the apparition stood in the rain for up to two hours.[3]


An ecclesiastical inquiry was held to decide if the vision was true and not a mistake or fake.[4]

The evidence was found to be trustworthy and not a lie.[4] At a second Commission of inquiry in 1936, the surviving witnesses confirmed the evidence they gave to the first Commission.[1][5]

Every August, ten thousand pilgrims go to visit the Knock Shrine .[6]

The original little church is still there. A new Apparition chapel with statues of Our Lady, St Joseph, the lamb and St John the Evangelist, has been built next to it. Knock Basilica is a separate building showing a tapestry of the apparition.[5]

Recent history

Mother Teresa of Calcutta visited the Shrine in June 1993.[7]

Related pages

More reading

  • John MacPhilpin. The Apparitions and Miracles at Knock. PJ Kennedy. 1904
  • Sister Mary Francis Clare. Three Visits to Knock. PJ Kennedy. 1904
  • Neary, Tom, I Saw Our Lady.


Other websites

Coordinates: 53°47′32″N 8°55′04″W / 53.792099°N 8.917659°W / 53.792099; -8.917659