Knock, located in County Mayo, Ireland, is a small village with a rich history and a strong connection to the Catholic faith. A Catholic pilgrimage destination, Knock attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year who come to pay homage to the apparition of the Virgin Mary that appeared here in 1879.
Knock was visited by Pope John Paul II in 1979 on the centenary of the apparition, and again by Pope Francis on his visit to Ireland in 2018.
The Story of Knock
In August 1879, fifteen people from the small village of Knock, including men, women, and children, witnessed an apparition of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, and Saint John the Evangelist on the gable wall of the local church. The apparition remained visible for approximately two hours, and although no words were spoken, the vision was powerful enough to attract worldwide attention.
Following the apparition, the village of Knock became a place of pilgrimage, with many people coming to pray, seek solace, and ask for blessings. Today, Knock is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in Ireland, attracting visitors from all over the world.
The Shrine and Basilica
At the heart of Knock’s pilgrimage site is the Shrine and Basilica, which was built in 1976 to commemorate the centenary of the apparition. The Shrine and Basilica consist of several buildings, including a chapel, a museum, and a beautiful basilica that can hold up to 10,000 people.
The basilica is home to many beautiful works of art, including a stunning mosaic of the apparition and a large bronze statue of Saint John the Evangelist. Visitors can attend daily Mass, take part in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, or simply spend time in quiet prayer.
The Apparition Chapel
The Apparition Chapel is another important site at Knock, located beside the original church where the apparition took place. The chapel is a small, peaceful space where visitors can sit and reflect on the events of 1879. The walls of the chapel are adorned with the names of the fifteen witnesses who saw the apparition, and visitors can light candles in prayer or purchase religious items from the gift shop.
Other Sites in Knock
Aside from the pilgrimage sites, there are other attractions in Knock that are worth exploring. The Knock Museum is a fascinating place that showcases the history and culture of the village and the surrounding area. The museum has a collection of over 5,000 artifacts, including tools, furniture, and clothing, that offer a glimpse into life in rural Ireland at the time of the apparition.
How to Get There
The village is located approximately 20 kilometers from Ireland West Airport Knock, which has regular flights to destinations throughout Europe.
If you are arriving by car, Knock is located just off the N17, which connects the village to Galway and Sligo. There is also a regular bus service that runs from Dublin, Galway, and Sligo to Knock, making it easy to reach by public transport.
Once you arrive in Knock, the pilgrimage sites are located within walking distance of each other, and the village is easy to navigate on foot. For those who prefer to drive, there is ample parking available throughout the village.