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Despite more predictions from a so-called "clairvoyant," the Virgin Mary did not appear at the Knock Shrine in County Mayo over the weekend.

And this time — instead of the thousands who had shown up a few weeks ago — only a few hundred gathered for the beginning of a vigil that will last from Tuesday and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Police erected crash barriers and major traffic controls, but the expected crowd, like the apparitions of the Virgin Mary, never appeared.

The good news was that the sun did not shine, either, which meant there were no more people severely damaging their eyesight by looking straight at the sun — as happened during the last "visitation."

The Sunday Tribune reported there were even protesters at the entrance to the Knock Basilica. A placard read: "The devil masquerading as the Blessed Virgin at all apparition sites."

Some continue to believe however. Michael McNamara came from Clare the night before.

"She appeared in Feakle (a town in Clare) a few years back, and I've been very holy since," McNamara said. "I come here about 35 times a year, and I've been to Lourdes and Medjugorje," he told the Tribune.

Pat Lavelle, the manager of the Knock complex, said the crowd of 800 was about average on a weekend at this time of year.