“God sent his mother, Mary, to Knock on August 21, 1879 ... He sent a heavenly light to provide hope,” began the Rev. Msgr. Albert J. Byrne, Pastor, Immaculate Conception Parish, Allentown, Pa.
A Mass to honor Ireland's Our Lady of Knock was celebrated August 17 at the church.
The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians (LAOH) organized the celebration, replete with a piper, golden roses and of course the Hibernians wearing their distinctive, orange, green and white sashes.
Devotion to Our Lady of Knock began when the Blessed Mother appeared to Mary McLoughlin, a housekeeper to the parish priest in Knock, Ireland.
The Blessed Mother appeared standing out from the gable of the church. St. Joseph and St. John stood with her. The figure of Mary was life-size, the others were smaller. Mary's eyes were turned toward heaven. She was wearing a white cloak. On her head was a crown. All were bathed in light.
The theme of light resonated throughout the Mass. The time of the apparition was a very dark time in Ireland's history, besieged by the famine and the oppressive British soldiers, the Emerald Isle was in desperate need of a boost. Msgr. Byrne said Mary came and, “renewed hope and faith.”
The LAOH is a bustling organization looking for new members to help them in their good works. “We are so excited about the many new members we are welcoming,” said Sabrina Pendleton, President.
They are planning a trip to Washington, DC to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. As part of the trip, the group will be visiting a monument to the Nuns of the Battlefield, also in Washington.
The organization, based at the Columban Home, Allentown, has adopted Sacred Heart Pediatrics as their charity.
For more information on LAOH, contact Fran Kramer at (610)481-0410.