APPARITION OF THE VIRGIN MARY.
The Dublin Nation newspaper having sent a reporter to Knock, county of Mayo, where apparations of the Virgin Mary are said to have appeared, and where pilgrimsare now in large numbers congregating, gives an account of his inquiry and its result. The witness on whose testimony he relies, said : —“He and the other persons who were with him saw a large space of soft white light on the gable of Knock Chapel, the rest of the gable being quite dark at the time. In the midst of this light, which was not exactly in the centre, but towards the left hand side of the gable (as he stood facing it), he saw three figures; to his left, in a bending attitude, with hands clasped, was a figure of St. Joseph ; in the middle a figure of the Virgin, her eyes raised, her hands raised to about to the level of her 'shoulders, and their palms turned outwards; to his (the, witness’s) right, a figure of a bishop, which the people said was St. John, holding in his left hand an open book, which he appeared to be reading, his right hand elevated, the thumb placed on the third and and fourth fingers, the first and second standing erect. Further on to his (witness’s) right appeared an altar with a lamb on it as represented in Catholic pictures, and a cross standing on the altar. All about the group were twinkling or flashing lights, like stars ; they were not steady ; they seemed as if they used to come nearerand then retire again, or to go in and out through the gable. ” The Nation supplies a woodcut of the chapel to show where the vision became apparent, and adds: —“ At present the wall as high as the hand can reach is denuded of its coating of cement, and even the mortar from between the stones has been scraped out by visitors to the scene who wish to carry away with them some relics-of that portion of the building. A number of sharp stones which had been used by the people in hammering off the mortar and cement were lying about the ground at the time of our visit. Against that part of fthe wall on which the vision of the Virgin was seen a little wooden tablet has been set up and a small shelf, on which are placed two candles in candlesticks, and two statuettes ; under these is a box with a slit for offerings, and around it a rough wooden paling, Githin which are placed the crutches and sticks .of persons who have there being cured of their ailments. A number of sticks ani one pair of crutches were within this enclosure at the time of our visit. On the tablet I have just mentioned the following inscription is painted—‘lt is important that any miraculous cures wrought here would be made known to the parish priest.’ When I visited the place ten or twelve, including som e well-dressed women, were outside praying before the scene of the apparition ; two or three, bareheaded in the cold winter wind, were walking round the church, praying as they went, some one having told them three ‘ rounds ’ of this sort ought to be performed ; and one poor cripple performing those penitential circuits, toiled his way painfully on hands and knees.” ,
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