Or is She speaking to us all!
On August 21, 1879, a rainy day to be sure, our Lady came to Knock, Ireland, with St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, a Paschal Lamb, and a Heavenly Army of Angels. She appeared at the back of the Knock church, and stayed there, with fourteen visionaries, for a period of about three hours, in the pouring rain. But in all that time, She never said a word to anyone, nor did She even acknowledge their being there, except when one of them got too close, fourteen year old Patrick Hill, at which point our Lady moved back away from the child. During the investigations which followed the apparition of Mary, a great obstacle was the fact that She said nothing. Till today, Knock has never been officially approved by the Church, even though two Popes have visited the Shrine, the most recent being the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Apparition, August 21, 1979, when Pope John Paul II came as a pilgrim to Knock Shrine, and left Our Lady of Knock a gold rose..
When we first wrote of Knock and our Lady’s Apparition, in our book, The Many Faces of Mary, a love story, we thought She said nothing because She was pleased with Her Irish children and their faithfulness under the worst conditions. We still believe that is true, but only part of the truth. Curiously enough, it was the Angels that made us realize what Mary was actually doing in Knock, Ireland.
One night, in New Orleans, while preparing our slides for a lecture tour of that holy state, (that was before we had made videos and DVDs, and programs for EWTN) we saw something in the Apparition at Knock that just snapped us to attention. It was the Angels! On the right side of the Apparition, there was an Altar with a Lamb and a Cross, surrounded by Angels. The Angels’ wings were fluttering in the Apparition. We had been taught, maybe a month before this time, about St. John Chrysostom, a Doctor of the Church, one of the Early Fathers. St. John said that when the priest extends his hands over the bread and wine at the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer, he summons down the Holy Spirit! You listen the next time you’re at Mass. The Angels don’t have the power to summon down the Holy Spirit, but our priests, by their ordination and consecrated hands, have been given that power. St. John taught that when the Holy Spirit descends upon the altar, He is accompanied by tens of thousands of Angels, present on the Altar to protect and adore the Eucharist.
That was it! That’s what Mary was trying to tell us at Knock, Ireland in 1879. It was the Mass, the Eucharist. She was telling us to defend the Eucharist! Our belief in, and the importance of, the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, is under such attack today. Then our eyes traveled to the center of the apparition, to St. John, dressed as a Bishop, holding open the Book of the Gospel. The Word; Mary was telling us to defend the Word. The Gospel is so fragile. It’s like a crocheted sweater. If you pull one thread, the whole sweater unravels into a heap. Cast doubt on one part of the Word, and the rest will topple with it. Some people tell us Jesus did not physically resurrect from the dead.
It was a spiritual Resurrection. Well, if He didn’t resurrect, as it says crucified, was He really born? And if He was not really born, is there a God? So, you can see how we must defend and protect the Word with our lives. And then, we looked to the left, at Mary and St. Joseph. In the slide we show, a lady was kneeling at the side altar, and had left her infant at the feet of St. Joseph. The Family; we could see the Family. Mary was telling us to defend the Family.
Mary was speaking to us loud and clear at Knock. Save the Eucharist, because if you destroy the Eucharist, you destroy the Church! Save the Word, because if you destroy the Word, you destroy the Church! Save the Family, because if you destroy the Family, you destroy the Church, and you destroy the World!
Prophecy? Was Mary warning us of things to come? Was the message of Knock for the people of Ireland of 1879, or the people of the world of today? One year, when we were interviewing Fr. Joseph Pio at San Giovanni Rotondo, getting background for our documentary on Padre Pio, he called our Lady of Knock – Our Lady of the Apocalypse!
Saint Louis Marie de Montfort said, “in Scripture Mary was silent; but in the last days, She will be like John the Baptist, heralding the coming of Christ. She will no longer be silent.” In this apparition, Mary said nothing, but She said everything. But we did not understand. In Fatima, She warned us, but gave us a way out – “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” Too many people took that to mean we didn’t have to move a muscle. Mary was going to take care of everything.
Now She is appearing all over the world and She is talking, warning, pleading. But this time, She’s not talking about how She’s going to do it, and how Her Immaculate Heart will triumph. She’s pointing to us. She’s telling us to get up off our duffs, and get the job done! Save the Eucharist; Save the Word; Save the Family; Save the World. And She’s not beyond sending Angels to teach us and direct us, as She did at Knock and Fatima. We really believe we’re at zero hour. These may truly be the end times, the final days. Do we dare not listen and respond?
For more about the Knock Apparition and other Marian Apparitions go here http://www.bobandpennylord.com/many-faces-of-mary/