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1. the sound of knocking in an engine or bearing
2. Informal (in cricket) an innings or a spell of batting
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

Knock (Ireland)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

In 1879 Knock, a relatively small community in County Mayo, Ireland, became the scene of an apparition of the Virgin Mary that occurred on the evening of August 21, 1879. It began as two women, Mary McLoughlin and Mary Beirne, strolled by a local church in the late afternoon. At the gable end of the building, they saw three luminous figures, one of whom they identified as the Virgin and the others as Joseph and John the Evangelist. They watched for some time, but as darkness approached Mary Beirne left to inform her family of what was happening, and soon various neighbors came to the church, even though it was raining. Some of the neighbors discerned an altar with a young lamb on it and a cross in the moving scene, and one boy claimed to see angels over the altar. There was no sound, and none of the figures spoke. The luminous scene continued for several hours, and it was later noted that a farmer a half-mile away had also seen the light at the back of the church.

The experiences of the people who gathered at the church were broadcast around the village and subsequently became the subject of a lengthy investigation by the Archbishop of Tuam, who initially refused to make any statements for or against the event. Two commissions, one soon after the apparition and a second in 1936, concluded that the witnesses were basically trustworthy. Over the years, Knock became a place of pilgrimage, and Irish nationalists adopted the site as part of their struggle for an independent country. They had Our Lady of Knock declared the Queen of Ireland.

Knock took a major upward step as an important pilgrimage site in the last half of the twentieth century. Knock’s parish priest, Monsignor James Horan, led an effort to expand the site and oversaw the building of a new, large church. In 1979 Pope John Paul II gave his blessing to the site with a personal visit.

Horan’s efforts stirred a major controversy when he secured government funds to have an airport built near Knock, seen by many as a boondoggle created to serve pilgrims. The controversy died when the airport became a commercial success. Knock has now become one of the building blocks of Marian theology in the Roman Catholic Church. It is often compared to the apparition at Pontmain, France, which occurred in 1871, as both occurred in the evening with no words being spoken.


Curtayne, Alice. The Story of Knock. New York: Scapular Press, 1956.
McShane, John. Our Lady of Knock. Indianapolis, IN: Brigittine Press, 1948.
Neary, Tom. The Shrine of Our Lady of Knock Guide Book. Knock, Ireland: Custodians of Knock Shrine, 1979.
Smith, William. The Mystery of Knock. New York: The Paulist Press, 1954.
Walsh, Rev. Michael. The Apparition at Knock: A Survey of Facts and Evidence. 2nd ed. Tuam, Ireland: St. Jarlath’s College, 1959.
The Encyclopedia of Religious Phenomena © 2008 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about knocking?

Hearing a knock in a dream is often the subconscious mind’s way of getting our attention. You are not noticing something important, or there is something within you that you need to heed. If the dreamer is doing the knocking, it represents a desire to get attention.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It hit 1 spider n its web "Time 2 wake, u sleepyhead!" Th + n the dew + drop picked up speed And hit 2 knock-kneed cents + ipedes.
Brown, from Atlanta, wrote poems about living in - and away from - the South in a book-length manuscript, "Song of The Knock-Kneed Grit."
Successful athletes are lithe, composed and confident - so a flat-footed, knock-kneed novice was always going to stand out in a crowd of accomplished runners.
In the next rehearsal, Stiefel instinctively morphs into the knock-kneed, hunched puppet of Michel Fokine's Petrouchka.
Democratic candidates, portrayed by the media as knock-kneed Barney Fifes, drawing straws to determine which one would face the unhappy chore of heading out into the noonday sun to duel the great gunslinger, scampered across America, brandishing credentials and smiles to audiences that, in the summer of 2003, were neither particularly large nor hopeful.
The reason for this gender discrepancy is that women tend to land "knock-kneed," with their knee joint absorbing a great degree of the landing impact, he said.
Children who work under adverse conditions often end up stunted in growth, knock-kneed, deformed, or otherwise damaged for life.
I was knock-kneed. I didn't think that The Sopranos was going to make it into that conversation." But she has no plans to mop up on the "Italian wives and mother roles" she's routinely offered.
"Now he says he's going to do Salsacise with me - but the trouble is he gets a bit knock-kneed and can be clumsy with his feet!"
The one's seen knock-kneed and the other's are splayed."
This might show up as a sudden intuition that danger lurks nearby, or it can send people knock-kneed over sexual attraction, while others might have an uncanny ability to predict the future.