Since Penal times, Irish people have placed a candle in the window on Christmas Eve, whether to welcome wandering priests to say Mass in their homes and indicate a safe house or, as the story goes, to light the way for Mary and Joseph to guide them on their long journey to Bethlehem. Irish emigrants carried this tradition with them to all corners of the world and today, it is kept alive where their descendants find their home in the USA, the UK and further afield.
In 1879, the Holy Family came to visit for a few short hours amongst the small fields and stone walls of this rural village and the families of Knock parish came out to welcome them. They came to bring hope, to comfort and to console on a dark wet August evening.
This Christmas, as we mark the 140th anniversary of the Apparition, the families of our parish will light a Knock Family candle as a symbol of hope and welcome in the darkness.
If you would like to join us, the specially commissioned candle is available at Knock Shrine and online:Knock Family Candle