REFLECTION FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C), Week beginning 21ST AUGUST 2022
On August 17th, the Mass here was that of Our Lady of Knock. (It is not celebrated on the 21st as that is the Memorial of the Pope, Pius X). Knock is in County Mayo in Ireland. On 21st August 1879, about 24 people saw on the wall of the Knock church an apparition of Our Lady, St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, angels and upon the altar a lamb in front of a crucifix. The depictions were as follows:
Our Blessed Lady: beautifully standing a little raised up; white cloak with full folds fastened at the neck; deep in prayer with eyes raised to Heaven; hands raised to shoulder level, with palms slightly inclined to the shoulders.
St. Joseph: white robes; on Our Lady’s right; head bowed from the shoulders towards her.
St. John the Evangelist: on Our Lady’s left side and in a long robe; bishop’s mitre on his head; a little turned away from the others; in the act of preaching; large open book in his left hand.
The altar: a lamb standing in front of a cross; angels above.
The night was very wet, but the witnesses say the ground around the figures was totally dry all through the apparition, even though a wind was blowing from the south. Those watching were 2 hours in the rain, reciting the Rosary.
Not one of the figures spoke in this apparition. This is not surprising because the absolute centrepiece is THE LAMB UPON THE ALTAR. It is He Who is surrounded from above by the angels here. So, Knock points straightaway to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. St. John the Evangelist is nearest to the altar. This is very appropriate due to his Gospel of the Signs and his connection with Revelation (Apocalypse).
Simple countryfolk witnessed the apparition. People soon chipped away at the wall, taking pieces as souvenirs and hoping for cures!