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Our Blessed Mother appeared to 15 eyewitnesses at the Church of Knock in Ireland in 1879.At about 8:00 p.m. on Thursday of the 21st of August in 1879, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, and Saint John the Evangelist appeared at the south gable of the Church at Knock in County Mayo, Ireland. Beside them, and a little to the right, was an altar with a cross and the figure of a lamb, around which angels hovered. There were 15 official witnesses to the apparition, young and old. They watched it for two hours in pouring rain and recited the Rosary.

Full Approval

Today, Knock ranks among the world's major Marian Shrines with the full approval of the Church. Pope Saint John Paul II visited the shrine on September 30, 1979, presenting the Golden Rose to this shrine.

Not everyone is aware, however, that the marvelous appearance on the gable of the Knock Church came on the day when the parish priest, Archdeacon Cavanagh, finished offering, as he had promised, 100 consecutive Masses for the Suffering Souls in Purgatory! A few months before the apparition, the Archdeacon began to offer 100 Masses for the Poor Souls whom Our Lady wished most to release.  It was on the day when the 100th Mass was celebrated that Our Lady came to visit Knock.

Surely, that extraordinary devotion to the Holy Souls had a part to play in the gift of the vision from Heaven. Our Lady wants to encourage us all to remove the torment of our dead. Our Lady is the mother of her children, above all her suffering children. She is the Refuge of Sinners on earth and in Purgatory.

The Reason

Indeed, we can dig deeper for a link with our own day regarding this apparition. The reason the parish priest turned in this way to the Holy Souls was a painful problem similar to what affects many countries today.  A secret organization resorting to violence had threatened the priest by letter for preaching against their tactics. They resented his condemnation of violence, which prevented them from gaining recruits in the Knock Parish. In his distress, he turned to the Suffering Souls and called on his parishioners to fill the church for Mass for 100 days. And what an answer was given from Heaven!

This clearly tells us that the Holy Souls stopped the violence through Our Lady's intercession at Knock. This applies to our day with the unspeakable violence and terrorist attacks around the world. Now is the time to act! Here are some powerful means to help:

 Ask a priest (perhaps one who is retired) to offer 100 Masses for the Holy Souls for the intention of world peace. This has already been done in Chicago, Texas, and Philadelphia.

Attend Mass and receive Holy Communion for 100 days.

Offer 100 Masses (or four sets of Gregorian Masses) for the Souls in Purgatory for world peace. Several people can go in together for the Mass Stipends for these Masses.

Can you imagine the power we have to stop violence and wars with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, fasting, and prayer! Today, many are discovering how the Eucharist not only purifies the souls of those who have died, but also heals the living as one deepens his relationship with Jesus Christ. Dr. Kenneth McCall had over 1,000 cases of emotional or physical healing of clients when they offered a Mass for their deceased loved ones. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass heals the living and the dead!

We Need Each Other

The Holy Souls in Purgatory are pleading for our Masses and prayers. The Mass is the greatest prayer to give the Holy Souls so they may behold the  face of God. Make their desire your desire. Saint John Chrysostom tells us: “Christ is the victim that gives solace to the dead.”

Remember priests and nuns in Purgatory. Offer and attend Mass as much as possible for the priests and consecrated religious. Their intercession is very powerful. A Holy Soul in Purgatory is reported to have said the following: "You, the living, can do everything for us, and we can do everything for you. It is an exchange of prayers."

Our Lady of Knock, pray for us!


© Susan Tassone & Friends of the Suffering Souls:

Mass Cards: Request Perpetual Mass Enrollments or Mass Intentions or Gregorian Masses for Loved Ones.

Recommended Reading: Rosary for the Holy Souls in Purgatory by Susan Tassone

Our Catholic Faith: Catechism of the Catholic Church (Vatican Website)

One of our Videos on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN): Praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory