I have always been very fascinated by the Marian apparitions. It’s just so overwhelmingly awesome to think that there are so many people with the wonderful faith and fortune to have witnessed our dear Mother appear in person. In some cases, as in the one we’ll learn about today, other saints also appeared! Mary was given to us by Christ on the cross, and she and the saints haven’t abandoned us!
One of the lesser-known Marian apparitions, not yet fully verified by the Vatican but approved by their local bishop, is Our Lady of Knock, which took place in Knock, Ireland. There were fifteen individual witnesses to this miraculous event, and even after inquiry and investigation the apparition has been approved as a legitimate Apparition. One of the personal accounts given of that day by Mary Byrne at the first commission of inquiry is below:
'I beheld, all at once, standing out from the gable, and rather to the west of it, three figures which, on more attentive inspection, appeared to be that of the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph and St. John. That of the Blessed Virgin was life-size, the others apparently either not so big or not so high as her figure. They stood a little distance out from the gable wall and, as well as I could judge, a foot and a half or two feet from the ground. The Virgin stood erect, with eyes raised to heaven, her hands elevated to the shoulders or a little higher, the palms inclined slightly towards the shoulders or bosom. She wore a large cloak of a white colour, hanging in full folds and somewhat loosely around her shoulders, and fastened to the neck. She wore a crown on the head, rather a large crown, and it appeared to me somewhat yellower than the dress or robes worn by Our Blessed Lady.
In the figure of St. Joseph the head was slightly bent, and inclined towards the Blessed Virgin, as if paying her respect. It represented the saint as somewhat aged, with grey whiskers and greyish hair. The third figure appeared to be that of St. John the Evangelist…..Above the altar and resting on it was a lamb and around it I saw golden stars, or small brilliant lights, glittering like jets or glass balls, reflecting the light of some luminous body. I remained from a quarter past eight to half past nine o’clock. At the time it was raining.’ (1).
After the second inquiry, Mary Byrne declared,
“I am clear about everything I have said and I make this statement knowing I am going before my God.”
Her faith was so strong and true that she reiterated her statements and added that she KNEW she’d be facing judgement and still stood by what she said.
How lucky and wonderful it must have been for these people to witness not only our Holy Mother, but also her husband and the beloved disciple, St. John, who wrote the book of Revelation, where Mary is a central figure. With Mary as our Spiritual Mother, looking up to her is our number one biggest help.
Reflection question 1: Who would you most want to see with Mary if she appeared to you?
Reflection question 2: What about this apparition spoke to your heart the most?
Act: Take a moment to reread and picture in your mind the splendor these witnesses saw!