Sunday, April 7, 2019


I have had several emails from a woman who is the great, great (and maybe more greats) grandniece of Venerable Archdeacon Bartholomew Cavanagh the curate at the time of the apparition at Knock in Ireland.  She first wrote to ask if I had heard of Knock-  well, what Catholic goes to Ireland without seeing Knock?

More on  the curate later.  For now my main concern is priests during this time of Lent- so I borrow from Prior Mark Kirby of Silverstream in Meath, Ireland, who yearly makes the pilgrimage to pray at Knock. Who better to understand the plight of priests in our Church today, than one who has dedicated his life for the salvation of priests.

“It seems to me that Our Lady desires that Knock should become a place of pilgrimage for priests. A dimension of Knock, not yet fully developed, is that it must become a place of healing for priests, a place where Mary can restore them to purity and to holiness of life by drawing them into her company. Knock invites all priests to share their lives with Mary by opening their homes and their hearts to her, and by living every moment in her presence.

Just as Saint John, obeying the word of Jesus from the Cross, took Mary into his home, so too must every priest shelter her in the space that is most personal to him. The gift of sacred intimacy with the Blessed Virgin Mary, suggested by the apparition at Knock, may well be among the heavenly secrets reserved by her for this time of trial for the Church...

She would have her priest sons wash themselves in the Blood of the Lamb, and unite themselves to her Son, Priest and Victim, in the mystery of His Sacrifice. Yes, Knock is for all people, but I believe that it was, from the beginning, destined to be a place of healing and of abundant graces for priests...

Knock invites priests to remain in adoration before Mary's Son, the Lamb Who was slain. Knock invites priests to wash themselves in His Precious Blood by seeking absolution from all their sins. Knock invites priests to follow Saint Joseph and Saint John by consecrating themselves to Mary as Virgin Bride and Mother."

May 2012

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