Knock’s message ‘perfect answer’ to modern society’s noise
The message of Knock is “extremely important” in today’s society, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation has said.
This year marks the 140th anniversary of the apparition in the Irish village in County Mayo when, on 21st August 1879, 15 people, aged six to 75, witnessed the silent vision of Mary, St Joseph and St John the Evangelist as well as the Lamb of God standing on the altar in driving rain.
Archbishop Rino Fisichella said he was “touched by the vision of St John”, who was seen in the apparition giving the sign of silence. “Not many people know that this was the request for silence made by the master among the disciples” in medieval times.
Archbishop Fisichella, who was in Knock as the keynote speaker for the feast of the Assumption as part of this year’s annual novena, suggested that the message of Knock and its “request of silence” was “extremely important” for today’s contemporary “era of chat”.
“We need to help people today, especially people who don’t know the profound value of silence, to understand better its value,” he said.
The archbishop also expressed concern over the number of millennials who feel isolated and have no friends.
Discussing the concept of koinonia – communion and community – Archbishop Fisichella said that “in a culture like ours, where there is such a strong individualism, we need to discover community and relationship”.
He said he had been shocked to learn of a recent finding in the United States that showed as many as 30 per cent of millennials identified solitude and a lack of friends as one of their main problems.
“It is unbelievable. Normally we think of solitude as a problem for people in their 70s or 80s but millennials’ solitude stems from a culture in which people close in on themselves. Without relationships you cannot trust; if you don’t trust you can’t communicate; if you don’t communicate there is no possibility of friendship; and if there is no friendship there is no possibility to learn to express yourself.”
Picture: A general view of Knock basilica in Co Mayo. (Niall Carson/PA).Tags: answer, Archbishop Fisichella, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, Irish, knock, Mayo, message, modern, noise, perfect, society