The Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Knock took place on 21st August 1879, when Our Lady appeared in prayerful contemplation with St Joseph and St John the Evangelist.
On a very wet evening on Thursday 21st August, Mary Byrne made her way to the church to lock up and saw a bright light coming from the church and statues against the wall. She thought nothing of it and went home. It wasn’t until she walked back home with her friend that she too saw the bright light and the statues appeared to be moving. She ran home and informed her family and several villagers who also saw the Apparition. There were 15 witnesses all together (ages six to 70’s). This great miracle soon spread all over Ireland.
The greatest moment of the Shrine of Knock is when Pope John Paul II visited the site to celebrate the centenary of the Apparition and a visit from Mother Teresa of Calcutta in 1993.
The work of parish priest Monsignor James Horan presided over a major rebuilding of the old church and securing state aid to build an international airport near Knock which placed Knock Shrines on the map. Since then, thousands of people flock in to Knock from all over the world where many miracles and cures have been reported.