Marian apparitions

Moving Statues and Concrete Thinking

In the early months of 1985 the Irish press reported a spate of Marian apparitions
that came to be known as the ‘moving statues’. The apparitions of 1985 were the most recent in an intermittent history of similar phenomenon stretching back at least as far as the late nineteenth century when, in the summer of 1879, the most famous of all Irish apparitions occurred in the remote village of Knock. There was a somewhat less famous episode during the Irish War of Independence when a household statue of the Virgin Mary was said to have shed blood. There was another well-known episode in Northern Ireland in the ‘Marian year’ of 1954. While the 1980s apparitions took various forms and involved a range of saints and other divine beings, the majority and the most famous of them were centered on or revolved around statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. Many of the statues were located in the hundreds of outdoor grottoes that were built all around Ireland after Pope Pius XII marked the centenary of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption by designating 1954 a special ‘Marian Year’. This record would suggest that Marian apparitions were relatively rare events, but it should be remembered that these were only the ones that the relatively small Irish media industry of the time picked up on. read the full paper here