Thousands gather as Virgin Mary set to make major statement at Knock shrine
Church moves to quash claims, saying they damage Irish Catholic faith
By KELLY FINCHAM, Irish Central.com Editor
Published Tuesday, October 27, 2009, 9:23 AM
Updated Tuesday, October 27, 2009, 10:57 AM
Thousands of Irish people claim to have witnessed apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the skies over Knock shrine in Co Mayo. About 5,000 people gathered at the holy Catholic shrine earlier this month amid a Dublin-based clairvoyant's predictions that an apparition would appear on October 11.
They reported that they could see images of the Virgin Mary shimmering in the sky as the sun danced nearby.
Another apparition has been predicted by the same clairvoyant, Joe Coleman, for this weekend and several thousand people are expected to make the pilgrimage to Knock. Mr Coleman claimed: “I have seen her twice in recent months in the Gable chapel at Knock. The statue comes alive, she opens her arms, a lovely pink cloak comes around her, there are stars above her head, she turned into Jesus, then to Padre Pio and then back to herself. While the vision is happening, I can see nothing else in the chapel.
“She has told me she wants to make the biggest statement she has ever made on this earth. Knock is the spiritual heart of Ireland.”
Now, Catholic officials have moved to clamp down on the claims saying the faithful are in danger of being misled. Archbishop of Tuam Dr Michael Neary has said the gatherings at the Mayo pilgrimage site should be discouraged because they could undermine faith in Ireland.
"Unfortunately, recent events at the shrine obscure this essential message. They risk misleading God’s people and undermining faith," he said.