independent

Friday 18 January 2019

It's 26 years since Carns apparition

Carns visionaries, Mary, Colleen and Patricia McGuinness. Missing from the picture is Mary Hanley.
Carns visionaries, Mary, Colleen and Patricia McGuinness. Missing from the picture is Mary Hanley.

TWENTY-SIX years after an 'apparition' of Our Lady and St. Bernadette on a lonely West Sligo road made national and international headlines, the four visionaries remain as steadfast as ever in their belief in what they saw that fateful night of September 2nd, 1985.

Mary McGuiness was just 15 years old when she and her cousins, Patricia and Colleen McGuinness, aged 15 and 14 respectively, and another friend, 16 years old, Mary Hanley, witnessed the extraordinary apparation as they made their way along a country road at Carns. The girls claim to have witnessed Our Lady and St. Bernadette in the night sky, an experience they described at the time as sending an electric shock through their bodies.

As she prepares for a special commemoration Mass at the Carns Grotto on Friday, September 2nd, Mary remains unshakeable in her memory of what she saw.

"Over the years, some memories naturally fade, but for all of us the memory of what we saw that night is crystal clear. Naturally, there are people who can't believe what we saw, but we know it's true, and we will take that with us throughout our lives," she told The Sligo Champion.

"Over the years we've heard stories of how people find their faith renewed once they visit the grotto. Many people, for instance, who have stopped going to Mass find themselves going back after visiting the grotto. One woman who was in bad health is reported to have improved dramatically on visiting the grotto on a number of occasions," she says.

The annual mass takes place at the Carns Grotto at 7.30 p.m. on Friday, September 2nd.

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