Ave Maria Meditations
At about eight o’clock on the Thursday evening of the 21st of August, 1879, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, and St. John the Evangelist appeared at the south gable of the church at Knock, County Mayo, Ireland. Beside them and a little to the right were an altar with a Cross and the figure of a lamb, around which angels hovered.
Not everyone is aware, however, that the marvelous appearance on the gable of the Knock Church came on the day when the parish priest, Archdeacon Cavanagh, finished offering, as he had promised, 100 consecutive Masses for the suffering souls in purgatory! A few months before the apparition the Archdeacon began to offer 100 Masses for the poor souls whom Our Lady wished most to release. It was on the day of the one hundredth Mass was offered Our Lady came to visit Knock.
Surely, that extraordinary devotion to the Holy Souls had a part to play in the gift of the vision from Heaven. If such a response came from Heaven to Archdeacon Cavanagh, then surely Our Lady wants to encourage us all to remove the torment of our dead. Our Lady is the mother of her children, above all her suffering children. She is the Refuge of Sinners on earth and in purgatory.
Indeed, we can dig deeper there for a link with our own day regarding this apparition. The reason the parish priest turned in this way to the Holy Souls was a painful problem similar to what affects many countries today. A secret organization resorting to violence had threatened the priest by letter for preaching against their tactics. They resented his condemnation of violence, which prevented them from gaining recruits in the Knock parish. In his distress, he turned to the suffering souls and called on his parishioners to fill the church for 100 days of these offered Masses. And what an answer he was given from Heaven!
This clearly tells us that the Holy Souls stopped the violence through Our Lady’s intercession at Knock. This applies to our day with the unspeakable violence and terrorist attacks around the world. Now is the time to act! Here are some powerful means to help:
I encourage you to ask a priest (perhaps one who is retired) to offer 100 Masses for the Holy Souls for the intention of world peace. We have done this in Chicago, Texas, and Philadelphia. Attend Mass and receive Holy Communion for 100 days. If that is not possible, offer 100 Masses (or four sets of Gregorian Masses) for the souls in purgatory for World Peace. Several people can go in together for the Mass stipend for these Masses…Can you imagine the power we have to stop the violence and wars with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, fasting, and prayer!
The Holy Souls in purgatory are pleading for our Masses and prayers. The Mass is the greatest prayer to give the Holy Souls to behold the face of God! Make their desire your desire. St. John Chrysostom tells us, “Christ is the victim that gives solace to the dead.” And remember the priests and nuns in purgatory. Offer and attend Mass as much as possible for the priests and consecrated religious. Their intercession is very powerful.
A Holy Soul said the following: “You the living can do everything for us, and we can do everything for you. It is an exchange of prayers.”
Our Lady of Knock, pray for us!
(excerpted from an article by Susan Tassone)