Golden Rose, Queen of Ireland

“There were people of all ages, gathered round the gable wall.
Poor and humble men and women, little children that you called.
We are gathered here before you, and our hearts are just the same,
filled with joy at such a vision, as we praise Your Name.”

Knock was definitely *the* highlight of our trip to Ireland.  Our Lady simply worked everything out perfectly.  We thought about climbing Croaghpatrick, but we couldn’t find a bus, so, after a snuggly “full” night’s sleep of 5-6 hrs at Snoozles, we woke up and caught a bus to Knock.
The town was very charming, small, and catered to tourists/pilgrims.  We honestly didn’t see much of the town, but the Shrine was beautiful!  St. Matthew and Our Lady gave us a wonderful and rare sunny day in Ireland.  The weather was beautiful, and when we asked for the best place to start looking, we were offered a free tour.  Our guide was super nice and sweet.  Interestingly, one of the first things she mentioned was that we were so young, and chose to come on our holiday.  Each of us noted that this was very telling of the state of affairs in our society and Church.
Catie mentioned that “the young in the Church need to wake up.”  Where are the young people? In the video we watched, the pilgrims traveling to Knock were primarily very old.  Granted, Our Lady is known for Her healing there, so the sick and old come, but I think that the problem of the young being largely absent still stands.  This is where we come in.  God has given each and every one of us select and beautiful gifts.  He has placed us right where He desires for us to be.  And He gives us the strength to follow Him in every choice, every moment, every day.  Our Lady is our Intercessor and the Mediatrix of all graces.  She is the perfect person which we are all called to be – in beautiful, humble, submissive love for our Savior.  Through Her example and gifts of grace, we are inspired and uplifted to imitate She Who is closest to God – to become the person whom God is calling us to be.
“Be not afraid!”
“Behold, I know the plans I have for you…”
“If you are who you should be, you will set the world ablaze.”
Our Lady of Knock, pray for us, that we may have the strength, perseverance, reflection, prayer, and drive to follow Your example of utter submission to the Will of God in every moment of our lives.  Totus Tuus.

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