They’re at it again.
Just when we thought the Holy Tree Stump had faded away, there’s a big crowd of mumbling gobshites standing out in a field in Knock staring at the sun.
Staring at the sun. And these people expect to be taken seriously. What do they do when they’re not praying to the sun – do they stand in a field pointing at aeroplanes? Do they hold vigils for condemned prisoners? Does their family tree branch?
Get up there, John-Joe and have a good long stare at the sun. Burn out your little retinas, why don’t you? That’s a great lad. Now what do you see?
I see flashin’ lights Mama.
Well, that’ll be the Blessed Holy Virgin, Our Lady of the Tree Stump, up there in the sky like a great big holy chair-o-plane, whirlin’ around just the same as at the seaside. Can ya see that?
No, Mama. All I can see is flashin’ lights, an’ I’m not even lookin’ at the sky no more. I has my jumper over my head Mama. There’s flashin’ lights in here too Mama.
Ah well, that’ll be Our Blessed Lady ticklin’ yer brain, John-Joe. It’s the Miracle of the Brain-Ticklin’ Virgin.
There’s no end to it, is there?
All these fucking idiots staring at the sky, making themselves blind, burning out their video cameras and calling it an apparition. There are better ways to go blind.
Did you hear this astral plank, Joe Coleman, who calls himself a clairvoyant? Worse, Joe is described as a clairvoyant by our national broadcaster RTÉ without the slightest irony. A broadcaster that has no difficulty accepting as fact the existence of clairvoyants and other charlatans. The same broadcaster in this secular society whose news presenters refer casually to an entity known as Our Lady.
Joe is the guy who recalled I was in hospital having an operation – I broke my ankle – and I died under anaesthetic. I left my body and I went to heaven, where I saw my father who had passed away, and my son, and Our Lady and Jesus and Archangel Michael.
Ah, right, Joe. Well, look, just leave your number and we’ll keep it on file. Thanks.
Joe is whipping up the frenzy by predicting appearances of the Blessed Light-Refraction. Joe, incidentally, charges requests a voluntary €60 donation for a reading where he tells you a load of things he saw when he visited your astral plane and spoke to your guardian angel. Readings last about an hour, which isn’t bad, is it? €60 an hour for talking shite to people who want to believe you.
If I took up that line of work, I estimate I could make about €350,000 a year just by talking shite 16 hours a day, but Joe occasionally takes a break from talking shite, and just talks plain nonsense instead, as he did when he told the Mayo News : I have seen her twice in recent months in the Gable chapel at Knock. The statue comes alive, she opens her arms, a lovely pink cloak comes around her, there are stars above her head, she turned into Jesus, then to Padre Pio and then back to herself. While the vision is happening, I can see nothing else in the chapel.
So the statue comes alive, does it? And it turns into Jesus? And then it turns into Padre Pio, with an option on Mother Teresa and a selection of Popes including a Coptic one.
Great. It’s worse than we thought, Cap’n. We used to have moving statues, and crying statues, but now we have shape-shifters. What next – will the statue turn into a chest-burster? Or a Terminator?
You put your left leg in. Your left leg out.
Where is this going to stop? Will it turn into fucking Bono singing a selection of Johnny Cash favourites? Or maybe it will become Brian O’Driscoll and dive over the line for a great last-minute try. Or Usain Bolt. Maybe it will turn into Usain Bolt and race around the church, with one hand holding its robes around its waist, in three seconds flat. The Miracle of the Holy Hundred Metres. Jesus, that was rough, says the statue as it slowly morphs into Bob Marley, chilling with a spliff. The Miracle of the Blessed Doobie.
I hear Louis Walsh’s people are negotiating with the Virgin Mary about a European tour, and it’s rumoured that she’s going to appear as a guest panellist on the X-Factor, but that’s not confirmed yet, given her other commitments.
As her spokesman, Padre Pio, commented, You can’t be in two places at once. Well, all right, I can, but you know what I mean.
Actually, Pio is only half right, but he doesn’t speak for all the Our Ladies – only Our Lady of Knock. We also have to remember Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Guadelupe, Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Our Lady of Czestochowa, Our Lady of The Roses, Our Lady of Siluva, Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of Medjugorje. Our Lady of Weight Loss.
Jesus, they’re like the Nolan Sisters. I’m in the mood for trancing …
Imagine if they all turned up at the same time, demanding separate dressing rooms and limos. Booking them all for a gig would cost a fortune though and anyway, one of them is enough for a good show. Our Lady of the Declining Balance.
For fucksake, what’s wrong with these people?
Staring at the sun. You know what? I’m going to call myself a clairvoyant like Joe Coleman, and I’m going to tell them you’ll see the Virgin Mary if you eat forty magic mushrooms, fried with bacon and eggs, and a nice bit of toast. The Miracle of the Fungal Fry-Up.
Give me strength! For once, I find myself entirely in agreement with an archbishop, Michael Neary, who said This is a load of bollocks, or words to that effect.
I was passing through Knock a few years ago on the way to Donegal and I stopped for a look at the basilica, and the thousands of stalls selling little Virgin Mary statues and underwear and kinky stuff.
I thought maybe they might miracle up an old apparition or something.
Do you know what I reckon they have in the Basilica, now that I think about it? I’d say they have a Stargate. I’d say they go to planets with names like P5C-768 where they meet and converse with new and interesting people. And kill them.
In real life, the SG-1 team are constantly finding themselves in caves where fuckers pop up out of tables and stone walls and the like to deliver some sort of Hail Stranger speech, and after a while they realise it’s a hologram put there by the Ancients, or some other crowd. So I think these people who saw the Virgin Mary were either
1. Very drunk
2. Very stoned
3. Both of the above
4. Members of SG-1.
I have to admit, I wasn’t entirely up to speed on the Knock story, and I had to look up the details, so let me just bring you up to date, in case maybe you’re a little hazy on the subject, like me. The apparition took place on the evening of August 21, 1879. Two women, going home in the rain, passed by the back of the town church, where, against the wall, stood Mary, St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, and an altar with a lamb and a cross on it. The women called more people who all saw various things. One boy even saw angels flying around the altar. Interestingly, the figures didn’t speak to the people, gave no message, and didn’t identify themselves.
Here’s the photo the villagers took:
OK. Where are we going here? This kind of thing happens in just about every Irish town in the middle of the night to an increasing number of people. It’s happened to me. Twenty years ago I saw the Red Army’s tanks hiding behind a ditch after a wedding. I saw bouncers in the disco made of wax! I saw nuclear fallout on the pavement outside the chip-shop.
What I’m trying to say is, don’t tell me hallucination, already. I KNOW hallucination!! What I don’t know, however, is how the fuck anyone could identify St John the Evangelist. Did they have his passport photograph?
– Look Mary – there’s an apparition at the back wall of the church.
– Well, Mary, so it is. And that beautiful European-looking woman in the blue rig-out must be the Queen of Heaven.
– It must surely, Mary. And that European-looking fellow with the spokeshave and the gimlet must surely be St Joseph.
– That’s right, Mary, and look at the lovely coffee table he’s making. But who’s the other European-looking chap?
– Oh, Mary, don’t you know by the gimp of him he has to be someone important. ‘Twouldn’t surprise me if he was the man who wrote the very Bible itself.
– Do you mean deValera, Mary?
– No, Mary. He isn’t born yet. I’d say ’tis the beloved apostle himself. And can’t you see ’tis tattooed on his forehead for all the faithful to behold? Saint John the Evangelist, it says, clear as day.
– Well, Mary, isn’t that a caution, entirely?
‘- Tis, Mary. Run up to the pub now and call down all the people till they get a good look at this. Its like won’t be here again.
– That’s a grand European-looking goat they have up there on that European-looking altar, Mary.
– Oh, Mary, that’s a little European-looking lamb, what ails you at all at all?
Experts have pointed out that Knock is so important because it’s the only place the Lamb of God has appeared to ignorant peasants. Normally, when ignorant peasants or hysterical children witness something, it’s a woman who just happens to look exactly like a figure in a stylised picture on their kitchen wall, but not this time.
No indeed. This time, the ignorant peasants in a century without public lighting, in a downpour of rain, saw a fucking sheep. The Sheep of God. It’s just as well they didn’t see the Hounds of God, or the Cattle of God. We’d never hear the end of it, though now that I reflect, we don’t ever hear the end of it anyway.
Look. It’s the Duck of God!
As I said at the time, fuck it, let’s leave Knock behind where it belongs. Good luck to them if they think they’ll find a miracle cure there. I spoke to a man that year who fought back against a major illness, and he didn’t need to see Saint John the Evangelist. He only needed to see his son achieving wonders on the field of sport, and feel as proud as a man can be.
So what exactly is a miracle, and since when did the Catholics take it over?
Actually, let’s take that a step further.
Are these people Catholics, or are they obeying the primitive urges of a deeper, atavistic, cave-dwelling superstition? Are they reverting to a primal form?
It’s not that I’m defending Catholicism. It’s just that, by any standards, what we’re witnessing in Knock is primitive idolatry, and a kind of behaviour that the same people would sneer at if they saw it on National Geographic.
We’re looking at pure superstition here, stripped of all trappings of theology and it just goes to prove that the caveman is never far below the surface.
These fuckers will believe anything.
Cowen and Lenihan must be delighted.
I shot my own video of the sun and uploaded it as a miracle to Youtube HERE.
The abuse has started already. Check out the comments.
Also: The Rise of the Idiots