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A Miraculous Recovery from Multiple Sclerosis at the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock
In Desperate Need of a Miraculous Healing
Marion Carroll was taken by ambulance to the Irish Shrine of Our Lady of Knock. Her multiple sclerosis had progressed to the point that she was bedridden. She had no use of her legs, and she'd lost a lot of her ability to swallow. Talking had become a struggle, and she could no longer eat solid food.
Conventional medical treatment had failed to stop the relentless march of her disease. At this point, 11 years after her initial diagnosis, Marion very much needed a miracle.
She was carried into the shrine on a stretcher, in order to attend Mass in a large church built on the spot where Mary, the Mother of God, appeared to a group of people that belonged to the parish of Saint John the Baptist, located in the village of Knock in County Mayo.
The Grounds of the Knock Shrine
Prayers are Answered and Marion Recovers from Multiple Sclerosis
In excruciating pain, Marion recalls being inside the church. She was too weak to pray, but was able to receive Holy Communion, which Catholics believe is the Body and Blood of Christ. She remembers looking at a statue of Mary, a replica of how she looked during the apparition, and imploring help from Heaven.
The Marion describes a "beautiful feeling" in her body, as she described on a website dedicated to favors and petitions answered at this pilgrimage spot. She immediately got the sense that she could walk again.
After returning, by stretcher, to a nearby medical unit for sick pilgrims, she found that her disease had disappeared. Her pain had vanished and she had regained her mobility.
Upon returning home, her regular physician was convinced this was a cure, as her multiple sclerosis was so advanced. His testimony was then sent to Catholic authorities who verify such claims of healing, and determine if they are truly spontaneous and complete.
Marion was healed in 1989, and has not suffered a recurrence of this debilitating illness.
Knock in County Mayo, Ireland
This is where Mary, the Mother of God, appeared to a group of devout Catholics in 1879.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Knock
The History of Our Lady of Knock
The sun was just beginning to sink into the horizon on August 21, 1879 when 15 parishioners of Saint John the Baptist in Knock saw a beautiful woman dressed in white. Also visible were Saint Joseph, the foster father of Jesus and Saint John the Evangelist, one of the Apostles. Jesus, however, didn't appear in the form we would expect. Instead, His presence was symbolized by a pure white lamb upon a rectangular white altar.
This apparition, which appeared on a church gable, was witnessed by people of varying ages, ranging from very young to elderly. The vision lasted for two hours. Curiously, the area around the apparition site remained perfectly dry, despite the fact there was a drenching rain.
A Depiction of the Original Apparition
Singing Tribute to Our Lady of Knock by Daniel O'Donnell
Church Authorities Investigate the Apparition
Now known throughout the World as Our Lady of Knock, this devotion is a little different than others based upon Church-approved apparitions. At Lourdes and Fatima, for instance, Our Lady came to deliver a clear message. Here, though, she was silent.
After an investigation, in which all the witnesses reported the same experience, the ruling by Church authorities was favorable, and the way was paved for formal devotion to Our Lady of Knock.
The Catholic Church moves very cautiously when it comes to apparitions and private revelations, in order to rule out fraud, an over-active imagination or diabolical interference. After the sanctioned apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes, which happened during the 1800's in France, there were dozens of copy-cat events that were investigated and found to be not worthy of belief.
Through the years, countless pilgrims have traveled to this Irish Marian shrine, and have claimed many miraculous recoveries. Braces and crutches were left behind as tangible testimony that something significant had happened.
A Statue of Our Lady of Knock
Other Unexplained Recoveries that Have Happened at Knock
None of these stories are quite as dramatic as that of Marion Carroll. However, numerous people have reported all kinds of unexpected recoveries and other favors from visiting the shrine, or asking Our Lady of Knock to intercede for their needs. (Catholics often ask the Mother of God to intercede, because we know her Son will listen to her, just as He did at the Wedding Feast of Cana.)
This story comes from a captain of an American airliner, who had a layover in Ireland. He and several others traveled to Knock. He was praying for his family and for other people. As he left the shrine, however, he realized his aching hip no longer hurt. Another crew member noticed her poison ivy had completely disappeared, along with a painful bone spur.
Also, a woman who lives in Limerick reported that she was scheduled for surgery to remove a brain tumor. After visiting Knock, and praying intensely for a recovery, upon her return home it was discovered the tumor had disappeared.
Another person from Limerick reported a similar healing from cancer after making a separate pilgrimage to this spot. Some of the people, however, didn't need to physically visit. Their recoveries came from applications of holy water taken from the Knock shrine.
Our Lady of Knock Laminated Prayer Cards
If You Plan to Travel to Knock
Knock is now a major destination for Catholic pilgrims. The small parish church has grown into a huge international basilica, capable of seating crowds.
Guided tours, which walk the pilgrims through the facility and explain the history of this devotion, are available.
In 1997, the 100th anniversary of the apparition, Pope John Paul II traveled to Knock to celebrate Mass. His visit attracted over one million people to the shrine.
More than 1.5 million people a year now visit this Marian shrine, and a network of facilities have sprung up to accommodate these crowds. Although Knock is still relatively out of the way, Ireland West Airport Knock offers an easy entry point.
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