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Knock (Irish Cnoc Mhuire, 'Hill of the Virgin Mary') is a major international Catholic pilgrimage and prayer site. On August 21st, 1879, the Virgin Mary, St Joseph and St John the Evangelist, appeared on the south gable of Knock Parish Church. This Apparition was witnessed by fifteen local people, young and old. As a result, Knock became a major Irish pilgrimage site of prayer and worship.

In the latter part of the 20th century Knock's popularity increased steadily, making it one of Europe's major Catholic Marian shrines, together with Lourdes and Fatima. Today this shrine is visited by one and a half million pilgrims annually.

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In 1979, Knock was visited by Pope John Paul II, to commemorate the centenary of the apparition. Mother Teresa of Calcutta visited the Shrine in June 1993.

Monsignor James Horan

Monsignor James Horan was parish priest of Knock from 1967, until his death in 1986. In that period of his service to the parish of Knock, he accomplished some landmark achievements, amongst them the building of a new basilica in 1976, which can accommodate 10,000 people, and also the construction of Ireland West Airport Knock, which he saw completed in 1985. Monsignor Horan was also instrumental in organising the visit of Pope John Paul II to the shrine in 1979.


Knock Shrine is open all year round. The main pilgrimage season extends from the last Sunday in April until the second Sunday in October.

Museums & Visitor Attractions

Tel: + 353 (0) 94 938 8100

Fax: + 353 (0) 94 938 8295


'The Magic of Mayo' DVD Featuring John Kelly - the man from Knock. John looks closely at the creation of Knock Shrine and the development and every day life of Knock Airport. Filmed near Knock at a beautiful cottage where time has stood still.

Cnoc Mhuire
The roundabout at Knock
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 53°47′00″N8°55′00″W / 53.7833°N 8.91667°WCoordinates: 53°47′00″N8°55′00″W / 53.7833°N 8.91667°W
CountyCounty Mayo
Elevation78 m (256 ft)
• Total972
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
• Summer (DST)UTC-1 (IST (WEST))
Irish Grid ReferenceM396818

Knock (Irish: An Cnoc, meaning The Hill – but now more generally known in Irish as Cnoc Mhuire, 'Hill of (the Virgin) Mary')[2] is a village in County Mayo, Ireland. Its notability is derived from the Knock Shrine, an approved Catholic shrine and place of pilgrimage where the faithful believe that the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist appeared on 21 August 1879. In the 20th century, Knock became one of Europe's major CatholicMarian shrines, alongside Lourdes and Fatima. One and a half million pilgrims visit Knock Shrine annually. Pope John Paul II, a supporter of devotion to the Virgin Mary, visited Knock in 1979 to commemorate the centenary of the apparition. Knock is also a civil parish in the ancient barony of Costello.

On 26 August 2018 Pope Francis visited the shrine at Knock as part of a visit to Ireland for the 9th World Meeting of Families.


Knock comes from the Irish word 'cnoc' meaning hill, historical evidence shows the village had been named that as far back as 1625. The Irish language name was changed to 'Cnoc Mhuire' meaning the hill of the Virgin Mary after the visions.[3] The parish and village of Knock is sometimes referred to historically and in Lewis' 1837 topographical dictionary as Knockdrumcalry (Cnoc Droma Chálraighe) meaning 'hill of the ridge of the Cálraighe'.[4]

Knock Shrine

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The civil parish of Knock covers 45 townlands. Thirty five of the townlands are in the barony of Costello. The remaining 10 townlands along the central western boundary of the parish are in the neighbouring barony of Clanmorris. Knock is located five miles from the town of Claremorris (one of the major market towns of the early 19th century) and is between Claremorris and Ballyhaunis.

Monsignor James Horan[edit]

MonsignorJames Horan (1911–1986) became parish priest of Knock in 1963. During his tenure his accomplishments included the construction of a new 10,000 capacity basilica, Our Lady, Queen of Ireland, at Knock Shrine in 1967. He was also involved in the construction of Ireland-West Airport, and a visit by Pope John Paul II to Knock in 1979 to commemorate the centenary of the apparition.


The local primary school is Knock National School, built in 1966.


Knock Em Dead Resumes

The local soccer club is Kiltimagh Knock United F.C. established in 2002. Their ground, CMS Park, is situated in Cloonlee on the Knock/Kiltimagh Road, 3 km from the village. There is no other sports club located in the parish area and players from the village often play for neighbouring clubs.


Lg stylo screen mirroring. Ireland West Airport Knock, which is located 19 km (12 miles) to the north of the village on the N17 road near Charlestown, was opened by Monsignor James Horan on 30 May 1986 and has been an important tourism boost for the village and shrine.

See also[edit]


  1. ^'Census 2016 Sapmap Area: Settlements Knock'. Central Statistics Office (Ireland). Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  2. ^'Cnoc Mhuire/Knock'. Placenames Database of Ireland. Government of Ireland - Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Dublin City University. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  3. ^'Local authorities warned over placenames in Irish'. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  4. ^Samuel Lewis' 1837 'A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland'

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Further reading[edit]

  • Peter H. Görg, Das Wunder von Knock - Die Erscheinung der Jungfrau Maria in Irland in Zeiten sozialer Not, Illertissen 2010.
  • Tom Neary, I Saw Our Lady, Knock, 156 p.
  • John Scally, I Was Cured at Knock - The extraordinary story of an extraordinary woman, Knock 2005, 127 p.
  • Ethna Kennedy (Ed.), Judy Coyne Providence My Guide. The heroic force in the Knock Shrine story, Knock, 254 p.
  • The Custodians of Knock Shrine (Ed.), Knock – Heiligtum Unserer Lieben Frau. Leitfaden für Wallfahrer, Knock.
  • Fr. Berchmans Walsh OCSO, Knock Mary's International Shrine of the Lamb of God, Knock, 16 p.
  • Sean Egan & Tom Neary (Ed.), Knock Parish Church - 1828-2006, Knock 2006, 24 p.
  • Knock Shrine Society (Ed.), Knock Shrine Annual, Knock 1938ff.
  • The Custodians of Knock Shrine (Ed.), Knock Shrine. A Pilgrim’s Guide Book, Englisch, Französisch, Deutsch, Spanisch, Italienisch, Knock, 26 p.
  • Fr. Hubert OFMCap., Knock - Vision of Hope, Knock, 36 p.
  • Tom Lane CM, Reflecting at Knock Before our Merciful Lamb, Knock, 127 p.
  • Msgr. Michael Walsh, The Apparition at Knock - A Critical Analysis of Facts and Evidence, Knock, 1955
  • Msgr. Michael Walsh, The Glory of Knock, Knock 2000, 51 p.
  • Donal Flanagan (Hrsg.), The Meaning of Knock, Knock 1997.
  • Mary Francis Clare Cusack, Three Visits to Knock, New York 1882.

External links[edit]

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