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Knock Shrine facts for kids

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Basilica Shrine of Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Knock

Location Knock, County Mayo
Country Republic of Ireland
Denomination Roman Catholic Latin Rite
Rector Father Richard Gibbons (Knock Parish)
Our Lady of Knock
The canonically crowned image enshrined within the Knock Shrine
Location Knock, County Mayo
Date 1879
Type Marian apparition
Shrine Sanctuary of Our Lady of Knock, Knock, County Mayo, Republic of Ireland

Knock Shrine 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.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta visited the Shrine in June 1993.

The vision

Knock shrine
Altar sculpture at Knock, based on the vision

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

For nearly two hours the group that fluctuated between two and perhaps as many as twenty-five stood or knelt gazing at the figures as rain lashed them in the gathering darkness while reciting the Rosary.

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.

Knock Shrine,Co.Mayo - panoramio
Knock Shrine

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)

The apparitions did not flicker or move in any way. The witnesses reported that the ground around the figures remained completely dry during the apparition although the wind was blowing from the south.

Soon the entire apparition wall was torn apart by pilgrims chipping out the cement, mortar, and stones for souvenirs and to use for cures.


Our Lady of Knock PA140750
Our Lady of Knock

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

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

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

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.

Modern era

A number of cures and favors are associated with visitors to Our Lady of Knock’s Shrine and those who claim to have been cured here still leave crutches and sticks at the spot where the apparition is believed to have occurred.

Each Irish diocese makes an annual pilgrimage to the Marian Shrine and the nine-day Knock of devotional praying attracts ten thousand pilgrims every August. The miracle is also known as Our Lady of Knock by the church.

Karstmaria 1
Holy Mary framed in blocks of stone - Knock Shrine
  • On All Saints’ Day, 1945, Pope Pius XII blessed the banner of Knock from St Peter’s Basilica in Rome and decorated it with a special medal
  • On Candlemas Day in 1960, Pope John XXIII presented a special candle to Knock
  • On 6 June 1974, the foundation stone for the Basilica of Our Lady, Queen of Ireland, at Knock, was blessed by Pope Paul VI
  • On 30 September 1979, Pope John Paul II visited the shrine to commemorate the centenary of the apparition
  • On 26 August 2018 Pope Francis visited the shrine at Knock as part of a visit to Ireland for the 9th World Meeting of Families

The complex incorporates five churches including the Apparition Chapel, Parish Church and Basilica, a Religious Books’ Centre, Caravan and Camping Park, Knock Museum, Café le Chéile and Knock House Hotel. Services at the Shrine include organised pilgrimages, daily Masses and Confessions, Anointing of the Sick, Counselling Service, Prayer Guidance and Youth Ministry.

While the original church still stands, 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.

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