21st August – The Anniversary of the Apparition at Knock Shrine

Today marks the anniversary of the Apparition that took place here at Knock on 21 August, 1879.


We commemorate the lives of the fifteen witnesses who stood in the rain for two hours praying the Rosary. Although not a word was spoken by Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John during the silent Apparition, the vision spoke louder than words.

The witnesses were all ordinary people living in the village of Knock and surrounding area. For them, it had been a day like any other in carrying out the work of the day, bringing turf home from the bog, carrying out the usual tasks of the harvest time, visiting neighbours.

When Our Lady came, it was to give comfort to these ordinary people. Hope is the central message of the Apparition that still prevails to this day. As in the words of the Prayer to Our Lady of Knock, written by the late Mons. Joseph Quinn;

“Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland, you gave hope to our people in a time of distress and comforted them in sorrow..”

The vision of the Eucharist and of the Holy Family is completely unique to Knock.
Take some time today to visit the Apparition Chapel. Still and absorb the peace of the special place where 144 years ago, Our Lady appeared, together with St Joseph, St John the Evangelist and a Lamb on an altar before a cross.

To gain a deeper insight into the witnesses, you can read the Witnesses’ Statements, courtesy of the Knock Museum Archival Collection.

The Witness Walk will take place this evening at 6.30pm (starting at the Novena Village). On this special evening, we will reflect and pray as we retrace their steps from their humble homes to the Parish Church. Some of our parishioners will represent each of the 15 witnesses who ranged in age from 5 years to 74 years.

Mary Byrne Testimony
Bridget Trench Testimony
Catherine Murray
John Curry
Dominick Byrne Jr
Dominick Byrne Sr
Judith Campbell
Margaret Byrne Jr
Mrs. Hugh Flatley
Patrick Byrne
Patrick Hill
Patrick Walsh
John Durkan