Marion Carroll’s healing 30 years ago was a miracle according to the bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, making it the first official miracle to be recorded at Knock Shrine.

Mrs Carroll from Athlone was in her late 30s in 1989 and using a wheelchair, suffering incontinence, confined to bed most of the time and showing symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis when she was brought to Knock Shrine on a stretcher.

She says the miraculous cure occurred when she spoke to Our Lady and said, “You are a mother too and you know how I feel about leaving my husband and children.” At that point she claims that her health was immediately transformed and she was able to walk again.

A consultant neurologist who studied the evidence wrote to the Medical Bureau at the Shrine saying that “it would be fair to say she has been cured of neurological symptoms but not of MS. It seems to me that Mrs Carroll had medically unexplained symptoms which have now (thankfully) resolved.”

A consultant gastroenterologist also concluded that having reviewed Mrs Carroll’s medical file, “regardless of whether her condition is organic or psychological, the dramatic improvement from the time of her visit to Knock is unexplained.”

On yesterday’s diocesan pilgrimage to Knock, Bishop Francis Duffy of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise told the congregation, which included Mrs Carroll and a number of family members, that “I recognise that Marion was healed from her long standing illness while on pilgrimage in this sacred place.”