Irish Church confirms miracle at Knock
The Church in Ireland has confirmed that a woman with multiple sclerosis was miraculously healed in 1989 following a visit to the Marian shrine at Knock.
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Marion Carroll (CNA)
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Marion Carroll was entirely cured of multiple sclerosis after visiting the Marian shrine in Knock, Ireland in 1989. The Church has completed its investigation into the miraculous healing, and confirms that a miracle occurred. The miracle is the first officially recognized healing at the shrine since as many as two-dozen people claimed to witness an apparition of the Virgin Mary in August of 1879.
Bishop Francis Duffy of Ardagh announced the Church's conclusion on September 1, saying that "Without a doubt, there was a healing, a cure of the illness that beset Marion for several years." Caroll, now 68, was present in the congregation along with her family when the bishop made the announcement.
In 1989, Carroll was suffering from multiple sclerosis and was in a nursing home. He was unable to walk, could not control her bowels, was blind in one eye, and had epilepsy. She had difficulty speaking. She was taken to the shrine at Knock on a stretcher for the purpose of a blessing.
Bishop O'Reilly, who presided over the basilica at the time, blessed her with a monstrance. Carroll later reported that a "beautiful feeling" came over her, and she felt as if she could get up and walk.
When she was returned to her care facility, Carroll insisted on being unrestrained from her stretcher, which the nurses were initially reluctant to do. However, they relented in a bid to pacify her demands. Once released, Carroll immediately got up and was able to walk without weakness or stiffness. She was able to speak and control her arms as well as her legs. The illness had disappeared.
At the request of Church officials, medical experts investigated the case. The investigation proceeded slowly since the Church demanded caution. A letter from a gastrointestinal doctor who was consulted on the case stated, "regardless of whether her condition is organic or psychological, the dramatic improvement from the time of her visit to Knock is unexplained... My feeling is that her improvement is very unlikely to be explained by conventional medical wisdom."
Carroll now serves as a Eucharistic minister and aids the ill and dying in her parish community.
The Marian apparition at Knock took place on the evening of August 21, 1879, a Thursday. A priest's housekeeper and a young girl reported seeing a miraculous vision at the village church, during a rainstorm. Other villagers came to see the vision as well and all reported seeing the same thing. The apparition included the Virgin Mary in prayer, flanked by St. Joseph, St. John the Baptist, and the Lamb of God, representing Jesus. The glowing figures were said to be hovering a few feet above the ground and the apparition lasted for almost two hours.
A number of miraculous cures have been associated with the shrine, but Carroll's is the first to be confirmed by the Church. St. John Paul II, St. Teresa of Calcutta, and Pope Francis have all visited the shrine.
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