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An illustration of the Virgin Mary Photo by: Google Images

The four major apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Ireland

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An illustration of the Virgin Mary Photo by: Google Images

As a deeply Catholic country Ireland has had many claims of apparitions over the centuries.

Today the most famous four are headed by Knock, County Mayo, now a major church shrine. The other three,while not as well known, also have devoted followers.

Knock, County Mayo, 1879

On the evening of 21 August 1879, people whose ages ranged from five years to seventy-five and included men, women, teenagers, children, witnessed what they claimed was an apparition of Our Lady, Saint Joseph, and Saint John the Evangelist at the south gable end of the local small parish church, the Church of Saint John the Baptist. Behind them and a little to the left of Saint John was a plain altar. On the altar was a cross and a lamb (a traditional image of Jesus, as reflected in the religious phrase The Lamb of God) with adoring angels.

The Blessed Virgin Mary was described as being very beautiful, standing a few feet above the ground. She wore a white cloak, hanging in full folds and fastened at the neck. The crown appeared brilliant, and of a golden brightness, of a deeper hue, than the striking whiteness of the robe she wore; the upper parts of the crown appeared to be a series of sparkles, or glittering crosses. She was described as "deep in prayer", with her eyes raised to heaven, her hands raised to the shoulders or a little higher, the palms inclined slightly to the shoulders. Bridget Trench "went in immediately to kiss, as I thought, the feet of the Blessed Virgin; but I felt nothing in the embrace but the wall, and I wondered why I could not feel with my hands the figures which I had so plainly and so distinctly seen”
 
Virgin Mary in Ballinspittle, County Cork, 1985
 
In the summer of 1985, Ballinspittle received national and international attention when some locals claimed to have witnessed a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary moving spontaneously. As news of the phenomenon spread, thousands of pilgrims and spectators flocked to the site of the statue. Many of the visitors claimed that they observed similar movements. The Catholic Clergy in Ireland maintained a neutral stance regarding the authenticity of the claims. The phenomenon was never scientifically confirmed.
 
Virgin Mary Dungloe, County Donegal, Oct. 11, 2009
 
Hundreds of people flocked to a rural shrine in west Donegal in October 2009  amidst reports of a weeping statue, and crosses in the night sky.

The event which had been predicted by a Dublin based faith healer and clairvoyant, who claims to have regular visions and messages. Fourteen people gathered on Tuesday night at the Kerrytown shrine outside Dungloe, and shortly after 8 o'clock, they reported seeing crosses flash in the sky.

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