'I didn't go to Knock that day for a cure' - MS sufferer recalls day a 'miracle' changed her life
A woman who was "healed" at Knock has described her cure in 1989 as "instantaneous" and "a magnificent feeling".
On Sunday, Archbishop Michael Neary told the congregation gathered in Knock basilica that the Church was formally acknowledging Marion Carroll's healing 30 years ago, saying it has "no medical explanation".
It is the first officially recognised "healing" by the Church in the shrine's 140-year history.
Speaking to the Irish Independent from her home in Athlone yesterday, Ms Carroll (68) recalled her failing physical health in September 1989 after 17 years battling multiple sclerosis. She had gone to the shrine believing she was dying.
"I was completely paralysed; I was doubly incontinent; I was blind in one eye and had very little sight in the other eye. I couldn't eat right; I couldn't talk right and I had epilepsy. That was the state I went into the basilica in," she said.
"You don't die from multiple sclerosis, but you do from the side effects. It was my kidneys that were breaking down."
She explained that for more than two years she had had constant kidney infections.
"Before I went to the basilica that Sunday the nurse emptied the urinary bag and it was all blood and pus, the infections were that bad. When I came home that evening it was as clear as tap water."
Jimmy, her husband of 47 years, is retired from the Army. He cared for Marion when she was ill and today, they both volunteer once a month with the sick in Knock.
Her healing in 1989 happened during the blessing of the sick when the then bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois, bishop Colm O'Reilly, blessed her with the monstrance.
"It was when my bishop came down with the blessed Eucharist in the monstrance for the blessing of the sick. He held it up and blessed me and I got this beautiful feeling - it was a magnificent feeling - and then the whispering breeze telling me that if the stretcher was opened that I could get up and walk.
"The only way I could describe it is like a whispering breeze. If I could paint it, it would be like a meadow with soft grass blowing gently in the breeze and there is a tree with a very delicate cobweb. It was beautiful."
The young mother, who was in her 30s, was still on the stretcher after Mass and was the last to leave the basilica.
She was taken over to St John's Respite and Care Centre in Knock. While there she ventured to ask a nurse to open her stretcher. The nurse told her afterwards she only agreed to do it to humour her.
But as soon as the stretcher was opened, Marion's legs swung on to the ground and she stood up. Her voice had returned, as had the use of her arms and legs. Everything was healed.
"I didn't go to Knock that day for a cure," she said.
"There were people walking around in perfect health but full of anger and jealousy and resentment - they were the sick ones. I had a wonderful husband, two beautiful children and lots of love. I had everything that everybody would want. The only thing missing was good health."