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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

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.

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.

References in periodicals archive ?
It's worth forgiving that run as he was knocked sideways leaving the stalls and saw plenty of daylight'
The character never seems to be without a smile, but even he's knocked sideways when Henri informs him that Agnes, who is still feeling humiliated by her father's behaviour at the shop, has handed in her notice.
A plan built on expectations of expensive and scarce electricity will be knocked sideways by a price dip.
He will have had his dignity and confidence knocked sideways no doubt, but will learn from it all and as his Everton successor, Roberto Martinez, so supportively says, will be back in the game before very long.
When asked about his arrest and when he first heard the allegations against him, Leslie said: "I was made aware of the allegations in the interview - I was knocked sideways, I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
I found myself boxed-in and was knocked sideways, exiting the corner all the way down at the wrong end of the top 20.
I had no idea of the show's long background in the Fringe and radio, so came to it fresh and was knocked sideways by Delaney's amazing performance.
Sent off the 6-4 favourite, Monsieur Chevalier got knocked sideways by Yogaroo running to the final furlong, and that was that.
I was knocked sideways and even more perturbed when he told me he wanted to do surgery in 10 days' time on August 13, because the scan had confirmed a narrowing in one of the arteries to the brain, indicating a possible future stroke.
Dipam Patel, from TTxGp, said: "I was walking along with a coke and was knocked sideways.
I had my seatbelt on but I was still knocked sideways and I spun the wagon to the left.
It was a rough race ( he got knocked sideways halfway up the hill ( and I thought he was in trouble turning in," said Dods.