'Visionary' says Virgin Mary will appear at Knock
Published 03/04/2010 | 05:00
A SELF-proclaimed religious visionary has predicted a new apparition of the Virgin Mary will appear at Knock shrine in Co Mayo in six weeks' time.
Dublin man Joe Coleman has claimed he has been told the 'Second Coming of Jesus on the Earth' is drawing close.
The self-professed faith healer said the new apparition of the Virgin Mary at Knock on May 11 next will be the "most significant of all apparitions which have taken place in Ireland".
Mr Coleman said he received his last message in early March at Knock and on that occasion a number in attendance "saw the sun dancing and spinning in the sky".
But medics warned seeing such unusual phenomena may be as a result of the eye condition solar retinopathy which is caused by gazing directly at bright light. A Galway-based consultant warned a number of people had presented to him last year with significant eye damage as a result of staring at the sun during their Knock excursions.
Last year, Mr Coleman shot to prominence after thousands of pilgrims turned up at the Knock shrine in the hope of seeing the Virgin Mary, following his claims.
Senior Catholic clergymen had appealed to people not to attend and had issued warnings that such predictions were misleading the faithful.
Mr Coleman and the late Keith Henderson (34) had claimed to have received a number of messages from the Virgin Mary. However, Mr Coleman said the messages have been "increasing in intensity and urgency" of late.
Mr Henderson died earlier this month in a road crash in Co Roscommon just hours after his wife gave birth to their first child.