About Our Lady of Knock Image
About Our Lady of Knock

On August 21st, 1879 Mary McLoughlin and a group of other Irish Catholics were given a vision of the Virgin Mary, St Joseph, and St John the Evangelist.

Read the full Our Lady of Knock novena on the novena page. You can also learn more about novenas here.

Who Was Our Lady of Knock?

On August 21st, 1879 Mary McLoughlin and a group of other Irish Catholics were given a vision of the Virgin Mary, St Joseph, and St John the Evangelist.

Mary was the housekeeper of the parish priest of Knock, County Mayo, Ireland.

On the evening of August 21st, she saw the outer wall of the parish suffused with light, with three figures standing in front of it.

She thought the figures were new statues replacing ones that a storm had destroyed some time back.

Mary went to her friend Margaret Byrne’s home to tell her of this sight, and Margaret’s sister, also named Mary, accompanied Mary McLoughlin to the church.

The both now witnessed the miracle, seeing Our Lady, along with St Joseph and St John the Beloved Apostle.

Our Lady appeared larger than the other saints, with her eyes fixed on Heaven, a crown on her head, wearing a white cloak.

Mary Byrne went back to share this news with her family, and soon a larger crowd gathered and witnessed the miraculous appearance.

One of the fifteen witnesses, Patrick Hill, said of the vision: The figures were fully rounded, as if they had a body and life. They did not speak but, as we drew near, they retreated a little towards the wall.

Patrick dared go so close as to identify the words on the book that St John was holding.

All told, the miraculous apparition lasted around three hours.

The following day, many who witnessed the miracle went to the priest, who then reported the vision to his bishop.

The Church set up an inquiry, and initially the diocesan clerics were skeptical of its authenticity.

But pilgrimages began the following year, and soon thereafter the Archbishop of Toronto, John Joseph Lynch, went to the church in Knock and received a miraculous healing.

The village and church in Knock became an important pilgrimage site and grew over the subsequent century.

Now a larger church has been built, Our Lady Queen of Ireland, which hundreds of thousands of pilgrims flock to every year.

In 1971 the Church declared the apparition to be quite probable and so worthy of devotion.

The feastday of Our Lady of Knock is August 21st.