Marion Carroll, a woman who had been bedridden for years with multiple sclerosis, was healed during a blessing with a monstrance at Knock Shrine.
The shrine’s rector, Fr. Gibbons, has highlighted that the apparition at Knock Shrine has a Eucharistic message because a lamb appeared on top of an altar and in front of a cross.
“The message is Eucharistic .... the Mass is so important. During the penal times, the persecution of Catholics in Ireland, there was a saying, in Irish. The saying was 'For the Irish, it is the Mass that matters.' So the Mass maintained the faith of the people during very, very bad times,” Gibbons told EWTN in 2020.
The apparition at Knock in County Mayo, Ireland took place amid a famine year in northwest Ireland.
Following the Great Famine of 1845-1849, a potato famine that devastated Ireland and resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1 million people, recurring famines plagued Ireland in the decades that followed, particularly in the northwest.
The Knock Shrine was built on the site of the 1879 apparition and today is a pilgrimage site where thousands came annually before the coronavirus pandemic to find spiritual healing and peace.
On average, 4,000 confessions took place each week at the shrine before the pandemic, according to the rector.
“At Knock, people come to confession all the time. I call it our engine room -- that's where the miracles happen and the dynamic happens -- in the confessional,” Fr. Gibbons said.
“People that come to Knock wouldn't even think about going to confession, but they see others going ... it gives them such peace and hope and joy that they in turn then speak that to other people.”
“It is a place of hope, a place of peace, and a place of reconciliation. That is what Knock offers to people,” he said.