10,000 gather for Knock 'visitation'


Up to 10,000 people gathered this afternoon in Knock in the hope of witnessing a visitation from the Virgin Mary.

The apparition had been predicted by Joe Coleman, a Dublin man who describes himself as “a visionary of our Blessed Mother”.

By 3pm - the time Mr Coleman said the aparition would take place - approximately 7,000 people had gathered in the Basilica with a further 3,000 people waiting outside.

Mr Coleman left the shrine before 4pm, claiming he had witnessed an aparition, as he had anticipated. He said he had received communication from the Virgin Mary but insisted that he was as yet unprepared to reveal the nature of the message.

Speaking to The Irish Timesyesterday, Mr Coleman predicted that as many as 50,000 people would gather today although he warned that the visitation would only be visible “to people who come with an open heart”.

Earlier this month an estimated 5,000 gathered at Knock Shrine for a similar gathering with some people claiming to have seen the sun dancing in the sky.

Mr Coleman said he had been asked by the Virgin Mary to recite the Rosary in the company of a priest in the Basilica and expressed disappointment that the Catholic Church declined to make one available.

Earlier this week, the Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Michael Neary, issued a statement clarifying the church’s view of Mr Coleman’s predictions.

“It is not healthy, does not give glory to God and . . . is not good witness to the faith to be looking for extraordinary phenomena,” he said.