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.
Reconstructed medieval windows, made by Donald Cosgrove, Knock, celebrate Ireland’s rich ecclesiastical heritage in each of the four radiating walls of the Basilica.
Each window represents one of the four provinces of Ireland: Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster.
The mural was designed specifically for the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in the Basilica, to fit in the space above the tabernacle and to complement the existing Celtic design on the tabernacle doors, originally designed by Patrick McElroy. This exquisite artwork was restored by Church Art Metals, Dublin during refurbishment works in 2016.
In recounting the brief for the mural, artist Naomi McBride explains that the desire was to create a work of art based on the Celtic tradition, as this style is befitting of the existing artistic elements in the Chapel as well as the broader context of Ireland’s rich ecclesiastic history.
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.