Back on 21 August, 1879, Our Blessed Mother appeared, wearing white robes, a golden crown upon Her head and a golden rose upon Her forehead where the crown fitted Her brow. She came to bring comfort to Her Irish children, who were suffering from the Great Potato Famine in Knock, County Mayo.
Standing on Her left, St. John the Evangelist also appeared, wearing the vestments and mitre of a bishop and holding a book in his left hand, his right hand in a position of preaching. On Her right, Her Spouse St. Joseph, robed in white, stood in a posture of respect. Our Lady stood with Her hands raised in prayer and supplication to the Father. To Her left, behind and nearer the parish church of St. John the Baptist, was an altar upon which stood the Cross and a Lamb, surrounded by Angels, who gave praise and worship.
For three hours, in pouring rain, fifteen people knelt praying the Holy Rosary...all the while getting soaked. After the vision faded, they felt the ground about the gable where the vision had appeared, and the ground was bone dry, as was the gable itself.
Unlike Her other famous apparitions, Our Lady never spoke a word during the entire time that the vision took place, but She and the others always seemed to be 'just out of reach' when some of those present tried to embrace Her feet or read the words in the book that St. John was holding.
Twelve days after this happened, a young deaf girl regained her hearing, and after that many many miracles were reported.
Today the Shrine of Knock is visited by 1-2 million pilgrims from all over the world, and miracles are reported from there as commonplace as they ever were...and the most important part of this whole thing is the fact that anyone who goes there comes away with a renewed devotion to the Holy Mass, the Rosary and the Sacraments, especially the Blessed Eucharist and Confession.
There was, however, a very important personage who did not see the vision and who would later play a very important role in the devotion of his parish ~ and that person was the Ven. Archdeacon Bartholomew Cavanagh, who, when the first visionaries tried to tell him about what they were seeing, neglected to come outside. After it was over, he was told about it, and after he took some testimony, submitted it to his bishop. The rest is history...
Fast forward to the year 1947, when again Our Lady appeared, this time speaking of Her new Hour of Grace, which She gave to a nurse in Italy, Pierina Gilli, who knelt in prayer in the chapel of the hospital where she worked.
Our Lady appeared to her dressed in mauve, with tears in Her eyes, Her Heart pierced by three swords, and told her that she was to spread the devotion to Her under the title of Rosa Mystica...and requested the Hour of Grace, a special hour of uninterrupted prayer (from noon until one o'clock), from which Our Lord would shower the world with special graces, upon all those who would honor Her in this way, making reparation to Her Immaculate Heart by prayer, penance and sacrifice. To learn more go to this link: Our Lady, Rosa Mystica .
This devotion was to be observed every 8 December, the Feast of Her Immaculate Conception, the title which She Herself used when She again appeared to Pierina while she was praying in the Basilica of Montichiari, surrounded by thousands of people.
She appeared to her a total of eleven times, this one the most notable...asking for the Hour of Grace, which was promised to secure the conversion of many, the return to the Church of many more, and miracles untold...and with Her and Jesus showering many great graces upon the entire world.
In this apparition, She was wearing a trio of roses over Her heart, one red, one yellow, one white...and She was smiling.
And what, may one ask, does this have to do with Her earlier appearance @ Knock, Ireland?
First of all, every one of Her appearances leads one to the next...each one making a specific request, but all revolving around some Truth of the Gospel, Her Divine Son Jesus Christ, the Holy Rosary, the Sacraments, a request for penance and prayer and return to the Church for those who have left Her, thrusting the Sword of Sorrow even deeper into Her Immaculate Heart.
Jesus Himself has asked for reparation to the Immaculate Heart of His beloved Mother Mary ~ most notably in the Double Great Novena, but also specifically @ Fatima.
Popes and peasants have had the honor of seeing Her in person and of spreading Her messages.
At the beginning of this entry I talked about the Ven. Archdeacon B. Cavanagh, who had been the parish pastor @ the church of St. John the Baptist in Knock. It was he who was the first to offer 100 consecutive Holy Masses for the Poor Souls in Purgatory, and it was said that Her appearance there was a sign of Her approval of this great act of Charity...and who also, coincidentally, passed to his eternal reward on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception...the Feast She mentioned @ Montichiari, the name She took for Herself @ Lourdes, the devotion She urged @ Fatima, and in our own time, the Heart that She holds out to Her children, full of love, kindness, admonishment and graces for all!
If anyone wishes to gain the great graces promised by Our Lady on this, one of Her greatest Feasts, let him/her go to the website of Rosa Mystica or of the Friends of the Suffering Souls, and remember to pray this coming Saturday @ noon (until one o'clock).
I will be doing this myself; I also intend to tell my children about it, urging them to seek these graces for themselves!
I hope that anyone who reads this Blog will join us in prayer...we have nothing to lose, everything to gain...