Key Places to visit
The Apparition mosaic at Knock Basilica is a truly magnificent representation of the evening of the 21st of August 1879. The vivid richness of over 1.5 million individual pieces of coloured glass combine in unison to give us a sense of the wonder and awe that the people of the village must have felt as they gazed at the heavenly vision before them.
The mosaic is one of the largest of its kind in Europe and is based on an artistic representation of the Apparition by renowned Irish illustrator, PJ Lynch. It was crafted by Travisanutto Mosaics in Spilimbergo, Italy. Echoing the evening of the Apparition, the local people of Spilimbergo gathered to gaze upon the beautiful artwork before it was brought to Ireland to be inlaid by hand in the sanctuary at the Basilica.
“It is difficult to find a language which would capture the beauty and magnificence of what we behold and yet isn’t it just a shadow of the reality which those 15-people looked upon on that August evening at the gable end a few yards away?”
Most Reverend Archbishop Michael Neary, DD, Archbishop of Tuam
The Stations of the Cross in the Basilica are the work of Ger Sweeney. They depict the passion and death of Jesus with dramatic effect. The large raw linen panels take account of the extent and scale of the Basilica and yet transcend the limits of their physical surroundings, encouraging contemplative engagement in the final journey of Christ on earth.
The entrance halls to the Basilica are glazed with stunning painted glass scenes by Róisín de Buitléar on the theme of Pilgrimage. They represent both the physical and spiritual journey of pilgrims to Knock. The walls of the entrance halls display specially selected quotations from scripture, again designed by Róisín de Buitléar.
Knock has a very impressive collection of stained glass windows including examples from the renowned Harry Clarke studios, Sarah Purser and Patricia Plunkett.
‘Christ and the woman from Samaria at the Well’
Designed in 1923 by Joshua Clarke & Sons, Dublin, this window can be viewed from both the Parish Church and the Apparition Chapel. Christ is dressed in red and the Woman in blue and this window is a beautiful example of the use of deep rich colours and elongated figures synonymous with the Harry Clarke studios.
Crafted in 1923 by Joshua Clarke & Sons, Dublin this window is located in the Parish Church. The famous Clarke techniques of using deep rich colours are once again evident in this window, especially in the strong blue/turquoise tones it features.
‘Queen of the Angels’
This window is located in the Parish Church directly above the Memorial to Archdeacon Cavanagh. Crafted in the Harry Clarke studios, Dublin it was donated by His Eminence Cardinal Francis McIntyre, Los Angeles, USA during his pilgrimage to Knock Shrine in the Marian Year of 1954. Cardinal McIntyre’s mother was from Kiltormer, County Galway.
‘Our Lady of Knock’
This window was a generous gift of Ms. Delia T. Shalloe of Cincinnati, USA in 1954 and was crafted in the Harry Clarke Studios, Dublin. At the feet of the crowned figure of Our Lady is a depiction of the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist, Knock in which it is located.
The Rose Window designed by Sarah Purser
A beautiful example of Sarah Purser’s work, this window dates to 1923 and is located above St. Joseph’s altar in the Parish Church. This window was purchased for £40. (Reference: Knock Shrine Archive collection)
‘Our Lady of Mount Carmel’
Located in the Parish Church, this window from the Harry Clarke Studios depicts Our Lady of Mount Carmel presenting the Brown Scapular to St. Simon Stock. The Carmelites of Ireland and New York, U.S.A. donated the window in 1961, in memory of the late Rev. J.A. Rabbitte, O.Carm. Whitefriar St., Dublin who was cured at Knock in his youth.
Stained Glass Window dedicated to Monsignor Dominick Greally | P.P. Knock 1986-2002
One of the more recent additions to the stained glass collection at Knock Shrine is a window crafted by Patricia Plunkett in the entrance hallway to the Parish Church.
Rose Window dedicated to the memory of Fr. Peyton | The Rosary Priest
This window is located in the Prayer Centre and takes its inspiration from the ‘Rose Window’ in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New Your. The theme of this window is the six archangels surrounding the crowning of Our Lady, Queen of Heaven. The window was designed by two brothers, Michael & John McLoughlin who were apprentices of Harry Clarke, the famous stained glass artist. The window is dedicated to the memory of Fr. Patrick Peyton, the world famous Rosary Priest and deceased members of the Tunney family and was presented by Hugh Tunney of Co. Sligo.
The Chapel of Reconciliation is beautifully constructed on a low site, which is of symbolic significance as the descent into the chapel recalls the rite of baptism. As one moves into the chapel, the scene becomes brighter and the Crucifixion scene is flooded by a single shaft of natural light, making the Reredos a central focus of light, brightness and hope. The crucifixion scene was sculpted by Sr. Angelica Ballon, who also designed the mosaic. The mosaic was inlaid by hand by artist Rick Lewis. The gold spirals or rays surrounding the Crucifixion represent hope rising from the scene, with the broader theme of the mosaic design focused around that same theme of hope.
A series of bronze sculptures by Timothy P Schmalz can be found throughout the landscaped gardens of the Shrine and depict the Irish Saints who spread the word of the Gospel in Ireland and overseas. The figures of Saint Brigid, St. Patrick, St. Kevin and Saint Brendan are represented. A large Celtic cross bears witness to the faith which has been handed down to us through the generations and includes a depiction of the Knock Apparition.
Crafted from white Portuguese limestone, the 18 Holy Water fonts by Imogen Stuart each contain a carved relief that depicts scenes from the bible and the lives of the Saints that are connected to water. They are an impressive feature in the area in front of the Apparition Chapel. They encourage us to look more closely at the many times when water is central to the stories of our faith.
The beautiful high altar in the Parish Church was made in the studio of Mr. P. J Scannell of Cork and was presented as a gift during a pilgrimage in 1880.
The style is gothic and the materials comprising the altar and tabernacle are Sicilian Cork Red and Galway Green Marbles.
The Reredos is mainly Caen stone relieved with panels of Alabaster marble and jewels, and contains the figures of the Evangelists. Two finely carved groups – the Nativity and the final scene of the Temptation are also represented. Above the tabernacle is a representation of Agnus Dei and each of these is surmounted by a carved canopy rich in finials bosses and mouldings relieved by coloured marble spandrels and panels the portion beyond the altar and on the same level is delicately dispersed. The chief feature of the work is the Pieta, a nearly life-size of the closing scene of the Passion.