KNOCK , KNOCK (the following content may offend)

14 May

As Janette mentioned I, (Dennis) wanted to write the spiel on our visit to Knock.  Our visit here was completely unplanned and was purely due to the fact of there being a Motorhome Camping Ground in the town and we needed to do a dump.  When we got there, it was quite a surprise to see that there is a world-renowned shrine in the Roman Catholic Church along the lines of Lourdes in France.  In fact, it is the second most visited attraction in Ireland with 1.5 million visitors per annum (the top attraction is the Guinness Brewery in Dublin).


The original Church

The substance of the story is as follows:  on the evening of 21 August 1879 over a period of 2 hours a total of 15 individuals had an apparition.  This consisted of Mary, Joseph, St. John and a Lamb hovering over the south end gable of the Catholic Church in the rain.  After a time the apparition disappeared, nothing had been said or done. Over time it became a place of pilgrimage associated with the healing of disease.

Depiction of the apparition on the exact location, at the back of the original Church

There were two separate Commissions of Enquiry over the years who interviewed the witnesses.  These enquiries both substantiated the story.  Back in the 70’s the local parish priest very much promoted Knock as a place of pilgrimage even to the extent of getting an International Airport built nearby to service the pilgrims. The last Pope visited and pronounced it the highlight of his trip to Ireland!
As an ex-Catholic I must say I found it all rather sad to see such mumbo jumbo.  It seems a long way from the Gospel.  Didn’t someone once say “no-one ever went broke under- estimating the public”?  This place is living proof. Whether or not the witnesses saw what was claimed I don’t know, I think biblically speaking it is possible.

Shops full of tourist junk line the main street

Fill your own Holy Water containers for sale, 2 for 1 Euro or 5 for 2 Euros

At the Museum associated with the shrine it was pointed out that there was no message with the miracle as such, so the pilgrim was free to supply his own content!  Well that’s handy very post-modern…no wonder the R.C. Church in Ireland is in such a bad way.
A final thought with reference to the fountains supplying bulk Holy Water.  Perhaps someone could hook up Guinness then they’d really be cooking with gas combining  Ireland’s #1 and #2 tourist attractions.

Janette walking in front of the Holy Water dispensers


One Response to “KNOCK , KNOCK (the following content may offend)”

  1. kathy May 16, 2012 at 5:31 am #

    Haha! If only the Catholics had the monopoly on mumbo-jumbo, eh?

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