Since we posted Mr. Dulston’s essay on the apparition of the Blessed Virgin at Knock, Ireland, several readers have requested more information on the apparition. Although I am unable to provide a good post on Knock at this time, I would like to recommend to you a very good series of articles on Our Lady of Knock posted at Tradition in Action. Mr. Guimaraes’ site has a series on Knock by Gregory Johnson which is very well done. Here is the link: The Message of Our Lady of Knock, The Silence Veils a Secret.
Mr. Johnson’s articles consider Knock within the context of La Salette, Lourdes and Fatima and we can expect at least 2 or possibly 4 more articles in the series, and then, I hope, Mr. Guimaraes will release the series as a book. The few quotes from Mr. Johnson’s series I offer below are not meant to take the place of his articles, but rather to draw you to read them.
Here is a brief but important quote from Mr. Johnson’s first article:
“One closing note: I do not agree with those who say that the silence itself is the message. The message of Our Lady of Knock is not to promote silence.
Those who try to present this silence as the main message that Our Lady wished to convey are promoting a passivity that pressures the faithful to remain inactive and just pray in face of the grave crises in the Church and society we face today. To keep silent before the onslaughts of an evil world and a corrupt Hierarchy is to suppress the Catholic militant spirit.
As will be shown in future articles, I believe that the message of Knock is the opposite of a lifestyle of “peace” where “all my cares and troubles cease,” a phrase from the chorus of the popular Lady of Knock song that has effectively become the modern day theme song of Our Lady of Knock.”
Mr. Johnson is correct, Knock is a warning, not a lullaby. The silent apparition of Knock was a warning against the future silencing of the Message of La Salette, against silencing the message of Fatima and against the future silencing of the Mass. It also, of course, points to the Apocalyptic, “And there was a silence in heaven”, which introduces events significant to us at this particular time of chastisement.
In his second article, Johnson compares the messages of La Salette and Knock. At La Salette our Lady spoke to the children, and warned that Rome would lose the faith and become the seat of the Antichrist, that priests and princes of the Church, along with convents would become corrupted and that the Church would be in eclipse and the world would be in dismay.
All four apparitions, La Salette, Lourdes, Knock and Fatima, appeared outside of a church, and at Knock this was quite pointed, as it occurred in a driving rain, just outside the south gable wall of the little Chapel. Johnson notes:
“One could also ask whether or not the silence of the Knock apparition is a consequence of an infidelity.
Did the actions of a person or persons, especially if they are members of the Catholic Hierarchy, cause this to be a silent apparition? Did some betrayal cause Divine Providence to “say” in 1879 something analogous to what Our Lord said to the “wicked and adulterous generation” of His time: “A sign shall not be given” (Mt 16:4)?”
At this point, Mr. Johnson’s commentary may run up against resistance from some readers, for he criticises Pope Leo XIII as a liberal. I believe that Mr. Johnson is entirely right in his remarks, and the more you research the matter, the more you will concur with Mr. Johnson. Perhaps we will have a discussion on this later on, but for now, let us follow with Mr. Johnson’s logic, which is that the silence may have been a reprimand for papal infidelity, (which also occurred regarding Fatima). Continuing from the article:
“Speaking of infidelity, there is another point of contrast between the two apparitions: La Salette received from the Vatican a kind of “gag order”… Knock did not. In 1915, a year after the death of Pope St. Pius X, under the more compromising reign of Pope Benedict XV, there was a decree issued from the Vatican forbidding public commentaries on the secret messages of La Salette. This decree seems to be still in effect even in the present-day scandalous reign of Francis I. We are allowed to have the text, read it and pass it on to friends. But we may not publicly comment on the secret messages of La Salette.
So, we see that a type of silence was placed upon the apparition at La Salette. Perhaps Our Lady, Queen of Prophets, had this future event in mind when she remained silent at Knock. It would be difficult, even absurd, to try to silence a silent message.”
In his third article, Mr. Johnson reflects on the fact that the silent vision at Knock occurred on August 21, 1879, the date when Pope Leo XIII formally granted a Canonical Coronation to the image at the Basilica of Our Lady of La Salette.
“On that same day, a day that must be acknowledged as the public and official recognition by the Church of the apparition of La Salette, the Mother of God was also appearing in the little village of Knock, Ireland. In other words, on August 21, 1879, we have Our Lady of Knock gazing in the direction of La Salette and Rome on the exact day, perhaps even the same hour, as the ceremonies recognizing the Apparition of La Salette were occurring.
“If we are looking for messages and meanings in the silent apparition of Knock, here I believe Our Lady could not be clearer. Her appearing on that specific day means she is making a connection with La Salette and its message. She is letting us know that the apparition at Knock must be seen in light of the dire message sent at La Salette.”
“By appearing precisely on that day, she is signifying that the Knock apparition should be seen as part or a development of the La Salette apparition. I see no other possible conclusion. Authentic apparitions of Our Lady are far too rare for this to be a mere coincidence of dates.”
The following is a verbatim quote from the Tradition in Action article, because I believe it is the absolutely essential quote of the whole series. We all must understand this.
If we try to find a complement for the message of La Salette in the silent symbolism of Knock, we see that the crisis in the Church prophesized in La Salette are confirmed by the presence of St. John, who appeared as a Bishop with a book – probably the Apocalypse – in his hand. This is tantamount to him saying: “The crisis that Our Lady predicted in La Salette, which will make Rome become the seat of the Antichrist and will represent the eclipse of the Church, I also prophesized in the Apocalypse.”
So, we should understand the crisis as something permitted by God for His final victory and greater glory. For the glory of the Lamb of God, which also appears luminous over the altar in Knock as well as in the Apocalypse. It is something that invites us not to despair, but to trust Our Lady and Our Lord.
Also the presence of St. Joseph, Protector of the Church, in the Knock apparition sends the message: “No matter how grave the crisis may be, I will continue to protect the Church and lead her to a safe port as I did with the Holy Family. You, the faithful, must have recourse to me and my Most Holy Spouse, the Virgin Mary, in this crisis.” Again, the message is to increase our confidence in the supernatural.
I believe that these points are valid developments of the message of La Salette, which we must take into consideration given that Our Lady chose to appear in Knock on the precise same day when her apparition of La Salette was being officially recognized by the Church.”
There is much more in the series than I have recapped here, I hope you’ll read it. (Link). Meanwhile, keep in mind that the silent apparition at Knock emphasises the message of La Salette, which Our Lady knew would be silenced by the evil forces already working within the Vatican. It also serves as a prelude to Fatima, as we shall see later on. These evil forces appear to have triumphed now, but we know that in the end, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph as Our Lady of Fatima foretold.
The crisis that Our Lady predicted in La Salette, which will make Rome become the seat of the Antichrist and will represent the eclipse of the Church, St. John also prophesised in the Apocalypse.
Our Lady of La Salette, pray for us!
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!
Our Lady of Knock, pray for us!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
[This article is based upon material previously posted at the Traditional Catholic website, Tradition in Action and readers are encouraged to refer to the original series of articles on that site for more complete information.]