The Eucharistic Vision of Our Lady of Knock

NOTE: This post is quite long. In order to understand it, please consider saving it and referring to it when you can think on it. It is not light reading.

Today, we commemorate the eloquently silent apparition of Our Lady at Knock, Ireland, August 21, 1879. By her silence, Our Lady emphasised at once her displeasure that her message at La Salatte was being attacked, and as many believe, she was pointing to the silence recounted in chapter 8 of the Apocalypse.  But there is still another reason for the silence – it is a warning against silencing the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and outrages against the Holy Eucharist and it beckons us with mysterious silence towards the visions of the Apocalypse.

The Holy Ghost inspired St. John’s vision in such a way that through it, God revealed to us a glimpse of His own vision, not a linear accounting of events, and each subsequent generation could learn from its warnings and be comforted in its victories. In addition to sacred scripture, Our Heavenly Father guides us by the revelations He grants us down the centuries. Knock is one of the major apparitions, which are: Our Lady of Good Success in Ecuador, The Sacred Heart of Jesus at Paray le Monial, France, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception at Rue du Bac, France, Our Lady of LaSalette, France, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Lourdes, France, Our Lady at Knock, Ireland, Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima, Portugal,  and Our Lady of Akita, Japan.  Those apparitions provide a necessary complement to our understanding of the Apocalypse.

Although the revelations contained in the Apocalypse may be fruitfully applied to each generation, the various major apparitions help to draw us into St. John’s mystical scenario as appropriate for our own time. In 17th century Ecuador, Our Lady of Good Success gave us prophecies which remained largely silent until the 20th century, for which they were intended. Our Lord’s tender pleas to St. Margaret Mary, also in the 17th century, contained both promises of blessings for obedience and warnings of danger for disobedience to His requests to honor His Sacred Heart publically. This message was dishonored by the Jesuits to whom it was entrusted and betrayed by the French monarchs to their own destruction and that of France, but we could only see this, like the message of Good Success, centuries later, as the events of the Apocalypse unfolded. We must not forget however, that the demands of Our Lord for devotion to His Sacred Heart have never been rescinded and no amount of false devotion will satisfy the command for devotion to the image of His Most Sacred Heart.

Our Lady then intervened offering mercies to her children through devotion to her Immaculate Conception, that is through the Miraculous Medal and the miraculous spring at Lourdes. Both of those apparitions carried both warnings and blessings. Between these two, Rue du Bac and Lourdes, came Our Lady’s sad visit to La Salette wherein she warned of the increasing incursion of the ancient enemy, “Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the Antichrist.” As proof of the strength which the enemy had gained in the Church, this message was opposed and silenced. To this day, Melanie Calvat’s legacy is obscured by the thick fabric of false accusations against her.

The mystical vision of Knock is essential to our understanding of the mystical vision given to  Sister Lucia at Tuy fifty years later; and through it, we are able to understand the pertinent passages of the Apocalypse for today.

“And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven, as it were for half an hour.” (Apoc. 8, 1)
This verse appears to be indicated by the silence of Knock. But the mystical visions of the Apocalypse are much deeper and the vision of Knock also must be seen in relation to the earlier chapter 5, as we shall show.

First, we look at  Apocalypse 5, especially verse 5.

From The Apocalypse of St. John:

The Little Lamb of God

[1] And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne, a book written within and without, sealed with seven seals. [2] And I saw a strong angel, proclaiming with a loud voice: Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? [3] And no man was able, neither in heaven, nor on earth, nor under the earth, to open the book, nor to look on it. [4] And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open the book, nor to see it. [5] And one of the ancients said to me: Weep not; behold the lion of the tribe of Juda, the root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

[6] And I saw: and behold in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the ancients, a Lamb standing as it were slain, having seven horns and seven eyes: which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth. [7] And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat on the throne. [8] And when He had opened the book, the four living creatures, and the four and twenty ancients fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints: [9] And they sung a new canticle, saying: Thou art worthy, O Lord, to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; because Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God, in Thy blood, out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation. [10] And hast made us to our God a kingdom and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.

[11] And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the living creatures, and the ancients; and the number of them was thousands of thousands, [12] Saying with a loud voice: The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power, and divinity, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and benediction.” (Apocalypse 5, 5)

Commentary:

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The Triumph of the Eucharistic Lamb

The power of Christ’s priesthood is sublime in its scope, ruling the souls of men and its jurisdiction pervades the entire temporal world as well, as representative of Jesus Christ Who is the King of Kings. (Fr. Kramer, The Book of Destiny)

In today’s post, we consider the Fifth Chapter of St. John’s Apocalypse, which foretells the triumph of our Lord Jesus Christ through His loving gift of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and His Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist. Amid all the speculation on the dire warnings about the events of the Chastisement and the “Last Times”, not much attention is given to the Eucharistic victory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Consider if you will, the beautiful passage below:

The Little Lamb of God

[6] And I saw: and behold in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the ancients, a Lamb standing as it were slain, having seven horns and seven eyes: which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth. [7] And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat on the throne. [8] And when He had opened the book, the four living creatures, and the four and twenty ancients fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints: [9] And they sung a new canticle, saying: Thou art worthy, O Lord, to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; because Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God, in thy blood, out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation. [10] And hast made us to our God a kingdom and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.

[11] And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the living creatures, and the ancients; and the number of them was thousands of thousands, [12] Saying with a loud voice: The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power, and divinity, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and benediction. [13] And every creature, which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them: I heard all saying: To Him that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb, benediction, and honour, and glory, and power, for ever and ever. [14] And the four living creatures said: Amen. And the four and twenty ancients fell down on their faces, and adored Him that liveth for ever and ever.” (Apocalypse Ch. 5, 6-14)

The word for Lamb used here is different than the word St. John used in the Gospels, and is best translated, according to Father H. B. Kramer as “Little Lamb”. He stands in the position of a priest offering a sacrifice and since it is stated that He is “standing as it were slain”, and thus is both Victim and Priest. This passage calls to mind Psalm 109, v. 4-5: “The Lord hath sworn, and He will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech. The Lord at Thy right hand hath broken kings in the day of His wrath.” Psalm 109 therefore links the victory of Christ over His enemies with His Eucharistic priesthood. Thus, the Lamb is the Eucharistic Christ.

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Eucharist and Apocalypse Part II

In the silent tableau of Knock, Our Blessed Mother presented to us a most important message for our times. The vision alludes to Apocalypse 5, especially verse 5. Today we seek to look more closely.

From The Apocalypse of St. John

The Little Lamb of God

[1] And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne, a book written within and without, sealed with seven seals. [2] And I saw a strong angel, proclaiming with a loud voice: Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? [3] And no man was able, neither in heaven, nor on earth, nor under the earth, to open the book, nor to look on it. [4] And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open the book, nor to see it. [5] And one of the ancients said to me: Weep not; behold the lion of the tribe of Juda, the root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

[6] And I saw: and behold in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the ancients, a Lamb standing as it were slain, having seven horns and seven eyes: which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth. [7] And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat on the throne. [8] And when He had opened the book, the four living creatures, and the four and twenty ancients fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints: [9] And they sung a new canticle, saying: Thou art worthy, O Lord, to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; because Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God, in Thy blood, out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation. [10] And hast made us to our God a kingdom and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.

[11] And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the living creatures, and the ancients; and the number of them was thousands of thousands, [12] Saying with a loud voice: The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power, and divinity, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and benediction.”

Commentary:

Continue reading “Eucharist and Apocalypse Part II”