The healing of an Athlone woman with multiple sclerosis 30 years ago underlines the Eucharistic nature of the Apparition at Knock, the shrine’s rector has said.
Speaking to The Irish Catholic about the medically inexplicable healing of Marion Carroll in September 1989, Fr Richard Gibbons described how Mrs Carroll had by her own account felt something remarkable when being blessed with the Eucharist.
“When the Eucharist was being brought around the floor of the basilica for Benediction, it was at that point, as she describes herself, something wonderful going through her – she knew there was something happening,” Fr Gibbons said.
While Knock is commonly referred to as a Marian Shrine, Fr Gibbons stressed that it is perhaps even better understood as a Eucharistic shrine.
“We would be very definite on that, that is not only a Marian shrine – it is also a Eucharistic shrine because in the apparition, the heart and core was the altar, the lamb, and the cross, which was definitively Eucharistic,” he said, adding that the Eucharistic blessing is “always a very special part of the service”.
This week saw Bishop Francis Duffy of Ardagh and Clonmacnois and Tuam’s Archbishop Michael Neary formally recognising the healing, which saw Mrs Carroll, then aged 38 and having suffered with multiple sclerosis for 17 years, being brought to the shrine on a stretcher only to be able to walk through her front door that evening.
“Without doubt there was a healing, a cure of the illness that beset Marion for several years,” Bishop Duffy said at Knock, continuing: “Marion was liberated from sickness and its impact on her and on her family. It is also a healing for which there is no medical explanation at present, it is definite and yet defies medical explanation. “
Bishop Neary said: “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.”
The medical bureau had deliberately allowed time to pass before announcing its findings, Fr Gibbons explained, in order to allow for medical developments.
This is the shrine’s first formally acknowledged healing.
See www.irishcatholic.com for a 2014 interview with Mrs Carroll.