Madigan Muses: Celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Knock
by Marilyn Madigan
On the 21st of August 1879, Our Lady appeared in Knock, County Mayo. Our Lady’s appearance was described by one of the witness, Judith Campbell, “I saw outside the chapel, at the gable of the sacristy facing the south, three figures representing St. Joseph, St. John and the Blessed Virgin Mary; also an altar, and the likeness of a lamb on it, with a cross at the back of the lamb. I saw a most beautiful crown on the brow or head of the Blessed Virgin. Our Lady was in the centre of the group, a small height above the other two; St. Joseph to her right, and bent towards the Virgin; St. John, as we were led to call the third figure, was to the left of the Virgin, and in his left hand he held a book; his right hand was raised with the first and second fingers closed, and the forefinger and middle finger extended as if he were teaching. The night came on, and it was very wet and dark. There was a beautiful light shining around the figures or likenesses that we saw. I went within a foot of them; none of us spoke to them; we believed they were St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist, because some years ago, statues of St. Joseph and the Evangelist were in the chapel at Knock. All the figures were in white or in a robe of silver-like whiteness; St. John wore a small miter. Though it was raining, the place in which the figures appeared was quite dry.”
There were fifteen witnesses to the Apparition. There have been Pilgrimages to Knock since and is considered as one of the prominent Marian Shrines in the world. Pope Pius XI declared in 1932 Our Lady of Knock to be “Queen of Ireland.
The Feast of Our Lady of Knock is celebrated by members of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians as one of the Religious Observances of the Order. The Our Lady of the Rosary Division will be celebrating the Feast with a Mass on Sunday August 21 at 11:00am at Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine 21281 Chardon Rd Euclid Ohio. We are so blessed that Ohio’s newest Division, Deirfiur of Charity, will be joining us in the celebration of this important feast for the first time.
We also welcome our Brother Hibernians from the Boland Berry and Bluestone Divisions. Our Chaplain, Fr. Thomas Mahoney, and the hospitality of the Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity always makes this one of our best events. Following the Mass, the Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity invite us to their St. Anne’s Dining Room for a delicious lunch at a minimal cost.
The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians welcome all to participate in the Celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Knock: “Golden Rose, Queen of Ireland, all my cares and troubles cease as we kneel with love before you, Lady of Knock, my Queen of Peace” Peace is needed in our troubled world; come pray with us to Our of Knock for peace in our world.
*Marilyn Madigan is the National President of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians and a Deputy Director of the United Irish Societies of Cleveland. She received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from St. John College and retired from Nursing at University Hospitals of Cleveland.