Page 6, 28th September 1979

28th September 1979
Page 6
Page 6, 28th September 1979 — Knock's frank witnesses

Report an error

Noticed an error on this page?
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it.


Organisations: Knock Church
Locations: Dublin


Related articles

Pilgrims Drawn To Silence And Solitude Of Knock's Shrine

Page 7 from 30th June 1989

Gerard Noel Pays Tribute To The Popular Irish Shrine Of...

Page 7 from 23rd April 1993

Our Lady's Shrine, Knock, Co. Mayo

Page 5 from 27th April 2001

The Silent Apparition At Knock

Page 8 from 14th March 1997

Tour Of Ancient Shrines And Monasteries

Page 7 from 21st February 1975

Knock's frank witnesses

Knock 18794979, by Catherine Rynne (Veritas Publications,•Dublin).

AS THE world prepares to focus its attention on Knock fro the historic visit of the Popc, it is more than timely for us to consider why such a spectacular honour is being paid to a rather non-deseript Mayo village where it invariably rains.

Catherine Rynne's Knock 1879-1979 provides a brisk account of the events or the evening of August 21, 1879, which caused a theological controversy and turned the humble village into Ireland's national shrine.

The book traces the history of

Knock from its historical context

an Ireland crushed by the potato famine and English rule. The apparitions are compared with the other manifestations in nineteenth century Europe and the growth of the shrine as a place of pilgrimage over the last hundred years is also described. Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about Knock iS the number of witnesses and the style of their testimonies. Where other contemporary Marian apparitions tended to be reported by small groups of children, at least fifteen villagers crowded round the church gable that rainy eyeing. Ranging from a five-year-old hoy to a seventy-five-year-old woman, they were by no means all models of saintliness and the simple conviction and even occasional casualness of their written depositions have an air of authenticity which no amount of the purple prose of later commentators can diminish.

Ms Rynne's research is painstaking and her style fair and objective. In this anti-mystical age when Marian appearances are, to say the very least, unfashionable, the book presents hard facts and allows us to come to our own conclusions about what happened at the gable end of Knock Church that rainy August evening.

Declan Donnellan

blog comments powered by Disqus