By Ann Marie Foley - 02 September, 2019
Archbishop Michael Neary and Bishop Francis Duffy have acknowledged a healing at Knock 30 years ago.
Speaking at the 2019 Ardagh and Clonmacnois pilgrimage to the Marian Shrine of Knock on Sunday (1 September 2019), with Marion Carroll and her family present, Bishop Duffy said that “Without doubt there was a healing, a cure of the illness that beset Marion for several years.”
In his homily at the Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Knock, Co. Mayo Bishop Duffy said that 30 years ago to the day, on a pilgrimage on the first Sunday in September 1989, Mrs Marion Carroll was healed.
Bishop Duffy stated: “I recognise that Marion was healed from her long-standing illness while on pilgrimage in this sacred place.”
He said that Marion Carroll’s healing was good news for Marion, her family and friends. Her healing was life changing, he said, and added that many have attested to the dramatic change that came about in her in Knock and on her return to Athlone in 1989.
“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.”
On Monday (2 September 2019) Archbishop Michael Neary released comments that he made on the previous day stating that “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.”
He added: “In these situations the Church must always be very cautious. This is illustrated by the fact that thirty 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.”
In July 2010 the case of Marion Carroll was sent to the Vatican in a bid to have it officially declared a miracle by the Catholic Church. One issue of concern was that Marion Carroll’s multiple sclerosis had not been formally diagnosed.
In January the file on her case was reviewed by the doctor along with Bishop Duffy, Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam in whose diocese Knock is located, two priests, and Marion Carroll and her husband, Jimmy.
In his homily on Sunday Bishop Duffy gave some details of what had happened 30 years ago and said that Marion Carroll had faced “a bleak future”. In her book, titled I Was Cured at Knock, she describes how she had spoken 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” (p. 84).
During the Benediction and Blessing of the Sick, Marion Carroll had what she called “a wonderful sensation like a whispering breeze” that let her know that she was cured. “I got this beautiful, magnificent feeling telling me that if the stretcher was opened I could get up and walk,” she wrote. She did just that.
Marion Carroll herself wrote that the gift of healing was not just for herself but for the people of the world, to let them know that God was there. “All people had to do was to ask and they would receive. People tell me prayer had not worked for them, but just as we are very good at telling our children what is best for them, God knows what is best for us” (p. 112).
Speaking of the apparition at Knock 140 years ago, Bishop Duffy said that many visit Knock, bringing worries of children and grandchildren, parents and grandparents, husbands and wives, friends and other people dear to them, and many healings of body, mind and soul take place.