Dublin, Ireland, Aug 25, 2018 / 16:34 pm
On Sunday, August 26, Pope Francis will become the second pontiff to visit the Knock Shrine. During his visit, the pope will visit the Apparition Chapel and pray the Angelus before returning to Dublin.
What brings two popes, and thousands of other people each year, to a small village in County Mayo in west Ireland?
On a very rainy August 21, 1879, 15 official witnesses saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, angels, and Jesus Christ (as the lamb of God) on the south gable of the town church, which was named St. John the Evangelist. For a period of about two hours, a crowd gathered to adore the apparition and to pray the rosary. Despite the rainstorm, the ground around the gable did not get wet.
The apparition consisted of the Virgin Mary, with hands uplifted in prayer, St. Joseph to her right, and St. John the Evangelist to her left, slightly turned away from the other two. John appeared to be preaching, and was carrying a book. Next to John stood an altar, and on this altar was a lamb and a cross. Angels appeared to be adoring the lamb, which was "enveloped in a heavenly light," according to witnesses.