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“I MAKE THIS STATEMENT ON MY DEATHBED, KNOWING I AM ABOUT TO GO BEFORE GOD”

“I MAKE THIS STATEMENT ON MY DEATHBED, KNOWING I AM ABOUT TO GO BEFORE GOD”

MANY REMARKABLE CURES TAKE PLACE AT THE SHRINE OF OUR LADY OF KNOCK, COUNTY MAYO, IRELAND 

The Church has not yet pronounced upon the apparition at Knock. The facts… are from purely human testimony. The testimony seems most convincing. The fact that the Knock devotion is still growing after a century is a fair indication that it is not based on a delusion. So is the fact that many remarkable cures have taken place at the shrine and are still taking place.

THE TESTIMONY IS TRUSTWORTHY AND SATISFACTORY 

Within seven weeks of the apparition, the Archbishop of Tuam, the Most Reverend John MacHale, appointed a commission of three priests to investigate. They questioned the witnesses separately and found that their stories agreed in practically all details. The witnesses ranged in age from six-year-old John Curry to seventy-five-year-old Bridget Trench, the lady who had tried to kiss the feet of the Virgin. All were known to be of good character and not the kind who would manufacture such a story. The commission reported that “the testimony of all, taken as a whole, was trustworthy and satisfactory.”

ANOTHER COMMISSION WAS APPOINTED TO INVESTIGATE 

Despite this favourable report, the Archbishop decided to wait. In 1936, Archbishop Gilmartin appointed another commission. Evidence was taken from the two surviving witnesses as well as from persons claiming to have been cured at the shrine. A full statement was forwarded to Rome, but as yet there has been no formal sanction of the shrine.

A FORMAL STATEMENT 

One of the witnesses who lived long enough to testify before both commissions was Mrs. O’Connell, the former Mary Beirne. She was always ready to talk to any visitors and was interviewed numerous times through the years. She talked to newspaper correspondents, archbishops, bishops, and ordinary pilgrims. All were impressed by her candour and her sincerity. In 1936, in a sworn statement, she confirmed her story of 1879. She was grievously ill at the time. After her statement was read to her, she made this addition: “I make this statement on my deathbed, knowing I am about to go before God.” She died six weeks later, on October 19, 1936.

EVERY POSSIBLE NATURAL EXPLANATION HAS BEEN INVESTIGATED 

Every possible natural explanation of the figures has been investigated. It was thought that perhaps someone had projected them with a magic lantern. A commission tried this out but could find no possible way of projecting the images into the air. It will be remembered that they stood out a short distance from the gable.

Newspaper correspondents from England also tried out the magic-lantern idea. They were fair enough to admit that “in the situation a magic lantern was not possible.”

It was suggested that the figures might have been the work of an artist who used phosphorescent paint. When the vision was first seen, however, it was still daylight, and phosphorus would not have been visible.

A story that gained wide circulation was that one of the witnesses was addicted to drink. This was proved to be false. It would not have explained anything anyway. There were fifteen witnesses to the apparition, and no one has suggested that all fifteen were under the influence of alcohol.

… There were thousands of cures at Knock, but they were not scientifically investigated until 1936, when the Medical Bureau was established.

– From: “The Woman Shall Conquer” by Don Sharkey, Prow Books/Franciscan Marytown Press, Libertyville, IL, 1954

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2019 in Words of Wisdom

 

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THE EXTRAORDINARY MIRACLE OF THE IRISH MADONNA OF HUNGARY

THE IRISH MADONNA OF HUNGARY; GYOR, HUNGARY 1697

“The extraordinary miracle of the Irish Madonna of Hungary is not a legend, but a reality based on facts and the testimony of reliable witnesses.

OUR LADY OF GYOR

The picture was hanging in the Cathedral of Clonfert, in the diocese of Tuam, Ireland, when, in 1649, Oliver Cromwell invaded Ireland with 10,000 Englishmen. Among other objectives, his campaign was meant to eliminate papal influence and establish a Protestant interest in the country.

THE BEGINNING OF THE RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION

When the religious persecution began, Bishop Walter Lynch of Clonfert and some of his priests were arrested. To prevent the Irish Madonna from falling into the hands of those who would destroy it, Bishop Lynch smuggled the picture out of Ireland and kept it in his possession. The bishop, together with some members of his group, escaped 1652 from the island known as Innisboffin, where they had been imprisoned. They dispersed to various countries, where they were warmly received.

OUR LADY HAD OTHER PLANS

Bishop Lynch and the portrait spent some time in Belgium and in Portugal. Later he travelled as far as Hungary. There he was joyously received by the Bishop of Gyor, who appointed him as his auxiliary. The Irish bishop learned the Hungarian language and worked 10 years among the faithful. Although he seemed content, he was nevertheless longing to return to his native country. When he learned that the persecution in Ireland had subsided, he prepared for the return journey. The picture was meant, of course, to return with him, but Our Lady had other plans.

THREATENING DISASTERS WERE AVERTED

Before the date of his departure, the Irish bishop became desperately ill. On his deathbed he bequeathed the picture to the Bishop of Gyor, who subsequently had the body of his Irish friend buried in the crypt of the cathedral.

The people of Gyor quickly adopted the picture of the Madonna. It was especially welcomed because the arrival of the portrait coincided with a series of victories over the Turks.

During the years many souls have come from throughout Hungary to pray before the Madonna for personal and national needs and to thank Our Lady for preventing, through her intercession, some disasters which had threatened.

THE IMAGE

The portrait of Our Lady and the Infant Christ is charming. The Child lies asleep on a pallet, His crowned head on a fluffy pillow, His two arms resting atop the fold of a covering. The Blessed Virgin also wears a crown and appears to be kneeling beside the Child. With her hands folded in prayer, Our Lady looks serenely down upon her slumbering Babe.

IRELAND IN TROUBLE

While the Hungarians enjoyed peace and plenty during the year 1697, the Irish were afflicted with great hardships and religious persecution. In that year the Parliament passed an edict that ordered the expulsion of all priests from the territory of Ireland and the British Isles. Churches were confiscated and all traces of the Catholic religion were to be eliminated. A national Irish church was established and only members of this church were permitted to serve as ministers at funerals.

OUR LADY CRIES FOR HER SUFFERING CHILDREN

On March 17 of that year, St Patrick’s Day, as thousands were attending Holy Mass in the Cathedral of Gyor, the eyes of the Madonna began to shed tears and blood which ran down the canvas to the image of the sleeping Jesus. The Irish Madonna was weeping for her suffering children. The people who had been attending the Holy Sacrifice, as well as those who were summoned to witness the miracle, took turns in gathering around the portrait while the priests repeatedly wiped the face of the Madonna with a linen cloth that is still preserved in the Cathedral.

To further examine the miracle and the possible source of the blood and tears, the portrait was taken down from the wall and removed from its frame. No explanation could be given for the phenomenon, which continued for more than three hours.

EVEN CALVINISTS, LUTHERANS AND JEWS TESTIFIED THAT THEY HAD SEEN THIS MIRACLE WITH THEIR OWN EYES

Before long not only Catholics, but also Protestants and Jews flocked to see the miracle. Thousands witnessed the event, and many of these gave testimony of what they saw. A document signed by a hundred people bears the signatures of the governor of the city, its mayor, all its councilmen, the bishop, priests, Calvinist and Lutheran ministers as well as a Jewish rabbi. All volunteered their signatures to the document stating that they had witnessed an undeniable miracle.

THE LINK BETWEEN TWO NATIONS

The miracle of Our Lady weeping blood and tears on St Patrick’s Day in 1697 for her suffering children in Ireland left a deep impression on the people of Hungary down to the present day. At all times, but especially in times of disaster, the people flock to her shrine in order to gain strength and hope in the midst of crisis. By virtue of this portrait, the Madonna has linked two nations whose people have suffered for their faith and freedom.
(From the book: Miraculous Images of Our Lady by Joan Carroll Cruz, published by Tan Books & Publishers in Rockford, Illinois, 1993)”
– This article was published in “Helping the missions side by side with St Therese” issue no 82. [Capital headings added afterwards.] Please support the Little Way Association if you can (one of the many current projects is the reconstruction of a well in the Indian Diocese of Jabalpur. Donations for the missions are sent without deduction for any expenses.) Please contact the Little Way Association to help in any way at this address: The Little Way Association, 119 Cedars Rd, Clapham Common, London SW4 0PR, United Kingdom. All Little Way benefactors share in a DAILY MASS offered for their intentions in the Missions.

 
 

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