Catholic bishops recognise ‘healing’ of woman at Knock

‘She had not been able to walk or see, but now she could walk and even read a book’

The Catholic Church has said it formally recognises that a woman was "healed" at Knock 30 years ago.

Athlone woman Marion Carroll had claimed she was cured of multiple sclerosis (MS) on a visit there in September 1989.

Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary told a congregation at the weekend in Knock, which is in the Tuam archdiocese: "Thirty years ago on the occasion of this pilgrimage, Marion was healed here at Our Lady's Shrine. Today the Church formally acknowledges that this healing does not admit of any medical explanation and joins in prayer, praise and thanksgiving to God.

“In these situations the Church must always be very cautious. This is illustrated by the fact that 30 years have elapsed since this took place, during which time the examination by the medical bureau testifies that there is no medical explanation for this healing.”


Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise Frances Duffy said: "Marion came here on that September day with a bleak future. Marion's book '1 Was Cured at Knock' describes her words to Our Lady that morning: 'You are a mother too and you know how I feel about leaving my husband and children.' Marion continued, 'It wasn't a prayer, it wasn't a statement, it was one woman chatting to another'."

The Bishop said how, “on that special day, Marion recalled the key moment during Benediction and Blessing of the Sick: ‘It was at that time I got this magnificent feeling – a wonderful sensation like a whispering breeze telling me that I was cured. I got this beautiful, magnificent feeling telling me that if the stretcher was opened I could get up and walk’. And so Marion did.”

He said “I recognise that Marion was healed from her long standing illness while on pilgrimage in this sacred place.”

In 1997 former chief steward at Knock Tom Neary told this newspaper: "I was leading the blessing of the sick group and during the Eucharistic blessing the priest came to the words 'Lord, that I may walk'. At the same time the (then) bishop - Bishop Colm O'Reilly of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise - raised the monstrance over her head. There was a stillness in spite of the thousands in the basilica. I was standing beside her.

“After the ceremony Marion asked the nurse to loosen the straps on her stretcher. Then Marion turned her feet out of the trolley and stood up. She had not been able to walk or see, but now she could walk and even read a book. She had not been able to swallow - she was on an intravenous drip - but she asked for a drink and drank water from a cup. She is still the picture of health. To onlookers her cure seemed to be of the miracle class.”

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is a contributor to The Irish Times