McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Wiliiam Wright IV
clergy, religious history, theology, spirituality
On August 21, 1879, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, and the Lamb of God reportedly appeared in Knock, Ireland. Ecclesiastical authorities of the Roman Catholic Church investigated this reported apparition in 1879 and again in 1936. The first chapter of this paper explores the processes by which the Church investigates alleged apparitions and considers different models for conceptualizing the Church. The second chapter unpacks the context of two nineteenth century French apparitions. The third chapter explores the Knock apparition and the immediate historical context surrounding the apparition. The analyses in the first two chapters serve as lenses for making sense of the interpretations and reception of the Knock apparition. The analysis of the Knock apparition in the third chapter suggests that the laity interpreted the Knock apparition as a sign of comfort from the Virgin Mary after experiencing much suffering during the Great Famine and the Land War. In contrast, the local bishops were more reserved in making a definitive judgment about the authenticity and meaning of the apparition. The analyses also suggest that some sort of recognition from the clergy and enthusiasm from the laity is needed in order for the fruits of an apparition to endure.
Meikle, E. (2019). An Exploration of the Context and Ecclesiastical Investigations of the Virgin's Reported Appearance in Knock, Ireland in 1879 (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/1769