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The story of Knock began on the 21st August, 1879 when, at approximately 8 o’clock in the evening, fifteen people from the village of Knock in Co. Mayo, witnessed an Apparition of Our Lady, St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, a Lamb & Cross on an altar, at the gable wall of the Parish Church.The witnesses watched the Apparition in the pouring rain for two hours, reciting the Rosary. Although they themselves were saturated not a single drop of rain fell on the gable or vision. There were fifteen official witnesses to the Apparition, most of whom were from the village of Knock and surrounding areas and they ranged in age from just 5 years old to 74 years old. Each of the witnesses gave testimonies to a Commission of Enquiry in October 1879. The findings of the Commission were that the testimonies were both trustworthy and satisfactory.
The shrine has a rich and facinating history, both in the contex of the Apparition and in its local and social history. It is best explored by a visit to the award-winning museum which is located in the grounds of the Shrine and is open all year round. The story of Knock is told here in great detail, as well as the stories of all the ordinary people who witnessed the Apparition in 1879.