TWELFTH WITNESS TO KNOCK VISION ANALYSED

Twelfth Witness.

Testimony of Judith Campbell of Knock,

Here is her testimony as published by the pro-Knock conmen:

I live at Knock ; I remember the evening and night of the 21st of August last. Mary Beirne called at my house about eight o'clock on that evening, and asked me to come to see the great sight at the chapel ; I ran up with her to the place, and I saw outside the chapel, at the gable of the sacristy facing the south, three figures representing St. Joseph, St. John, and the Blessed Virgin Mary also an [ORIGINAL SAYS "I SAW THREE FIGURES OF THE REPRESENTING ST JOSEPH, ST JOHN AND THE BLESSED VIRGIN" - its interesting that whoever wrote that was palpably going to write I saw three figures of the Virgin Mary, St Joseph and St John the Evangelist.  Then this had to be changed from figures of them to figures representing them.  This is an indication that the images were approximate - they were not that terribly like the people they represented] altar, and the likeness of a Lamb on it, with a cross at the back of the Lamb [This is an alteration that the Church made to make her testimony fit that of the dubious Patrick Hill far better.  He said the cross was behind the lamb.  Judith's original says "with the cross reclining on his back".  She went up close  ]. I saw a most beautiful crown on the brow or head of the Blessed Virgin. Our Lady was in the centre of the group, a small height above- the other two; St. Joseph to her right, and bent towards the Virgin ; St. John, as we were led to call the third figure [original says he was a statue implying the others were statues too], was to the left of the Virgin, and in his left hand he held a book ; his right was raised with the first and second fingers closed, and the forefinger and middle finger extended as if he were teaching. The night came on, and it was very wet and dark ; there was a beautiful light shining around the figures or likenesses [ORIGINAL: "THERE WAS A BEAUTIFUL LIGHT SHINING AROUND THE STATUES".  So its statues in the handwritten original - the light was around them giving the impression that these were real statues but some light source was shone on them.  She indicates that the light didn't come from the images] that we saw. I went within a foot of them ; none of us spoke to them; we believed they were St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist, because some years ago statues of St, Joseph and of the Evangelist were in the chapel at Knock [If nobody touched them then maybe they really were statues carted out of the church store! We read that attempts were made to touch the Mary figure but maybe it was the only figure made of light from a projector?]. All the figures [statues in the original - "All the statues appeared dressed in white"] were in white, or in a robe of silver-like whiteness [reminds us of Patrick Beirne who stated in the 1930's that the images were like something that were cast by the moonlight but interestingly this is not in the original]; St. John wore a small mitre. Though it was raining, the place in which the figures [ORIGINAL SAYS statues] appeared was quite [this quite is significant - it indicates that merely that the area should have been wetter than what it appeared or than what she expected.  It undermines the claim that the area was completely and miraculously dry] dry.

Judith Campbell

[The reference to the mitre was written as an afterthought in the original.  It was squeezed in around the signature. The priests seem to have rushed the witnesses - a good trick if you want to manipulate,  The publisher put the reference to the mitre elsewhere in his edition].

NOTE BY PUBLISHER: There was no statue of St John the Evangelist in Knock before the apparition.  The witness was mistaken in this.

[THIS WAS INTENDED BY THE PUBLISHER TO OFFSET ANY SUSPICION THAT STATUES WERE USED TO TRICK THE WITNESSES.  NO EVIDENCE IS GIVEN THAT SHE WAS MISTAKEN.  IF WE HAD SOMETHING FROM THE ARCHDEACON OR THE BEIRNES OR A PARISHIONER  WE WOULD HAVE EVIDENCE.  A PUBLISHER JUST ASSERTING SHE WAS MISTAKEN IS TO BE TAKEN AS MERE SPECULATION NOT EVIDENCE.  HE WANTED TO SELL HIS BOOK BASED ON THE NOTION THAT SUPERNATURAL VISIONS HAD HAPPENED AT KNOCK.  HE WOULD NOT WANT PEOPLE TO THINK SOME HOAX TOOK PLACE.  HIS LIES AND DISTORTIONS WERE THE ULTIMATE REASON THE APPARITIONS ENDED UP ACCEPTED BY THE IRISH PEOPLE AS REAL AND ACCEPTED BY THE CHURCH AS A POSSIBLE MIRACLE. HE LIED BECAUSE THIS TESTIMONY IN ITS ORIGINAL FORM SAYS NOTHING MORE THAN THAT SHE SAW STATUES AT THE GABLE. ]

SHE WENT WITHIN A FOOT OF THE STATUES.  SHE DOESN'T MENTION TOUCHING THEM.  SHE WOULD HAVE.  IT WAS AN IRISH THING.  HER MOTHER WAS DYING IN BED.  THE IRISH LIKE TO TOUCH HOLY THINGS AND THEN TOUCH THE DYING OR SICK PERSON TO GIVE THEM THE BLESSING FROM THE HOLY THING.  IF SHE HAD TOUCHED THEM AND THEY WERE SOLID THAT HAD TO BE LEFT OUT AS THE CHURCH WANTED PEOPLE TO THINK THEY WERE INTANGIBLE VISIONS.  AND IT HAD TRIED TO MAKE OUT THAT OTHERS TOUCHED THE VISION AND FOUND NOTHING BUT THE AIR.

Lines 4 and 5 below say that "THERE WAS A BEAUTIFUL LIGHT SHINING AROUND THE STATUES"

line 12 says "All the statues appeared dressed in white".

A book in his left hand and his right hand raised the the first and second figures closed as if he were teaching.  There was a beautiful light shining around the statues.  I went within a foot of them.  None of us spoke to them.  The reason why we believed that it was St Joseph and St John was that there were some years ago statues in the chapel respecting St Joseph and St John.  I beheld of a half an hour.  There was about twelve persons present who saw it.  All the statues appeared dressed in white.  St John wore a mitre.  The night was raining but where the statues were was quite dry.  Judy Campbell.

Mary Beirne called at my house at [the about has been added in by another hand and it is squeezed in and out of place] 8 pm and asked me to come to see the great sight at the chapel.  I ran up and saw there three figures representing St Joseph, St John and the Blessed Virgin and also an altar and the figure of a lamb with a cross reclining on his back . I saw the most beautiful crown on the Virgin.  The Blessed Virgin was in the centre.  St Joseph on her right hand towards the Virgin.  St - what I thought was the statue [altered to figure by a different hand - by Archdeacon Cavanagh? - if he did that he was a fraudster!] of St John to the right, a book in his left hand"

NOTICE HOW THIS DIFFERS FROM THE CHURCH'S PUBLISHED VERSION.  "What I thought was the statue of St John to the right" has been changed to figure by somebody using different handwriting.  The reference to her thinking it was John has been changed as well.  Here we read, "What I thought was the figure of St John to the right a book in his left hand" becomes, "St. John, as we were led to call the third figure, was to the left of the Virgin, and in his left hand he held a book."

She was the witness who thought she saw a statue of St John and St Joseph in the chapel some years before.  There is a note at the foot of her deposition in published accounts to the effect that this was a mistake.  This was to prevent anybody thinking that the images were real statues that had been in the Church and put at the gable to fool people with a light being shone on them.  The clergy went as far as to change the text so that it no longer said she thought it was John but the others led her to believe it was John.  Her thinking it was John might imply she really had seen a statue in the chapel like John.

Also the claim of some that Judy wrote this testimony herself is a blatant lie.  If you compare it to the handwriting on Maggie Beirne's testimony you will see that both were written by the same hand - no doubt a clerical hand.

The people viewing the vision left the scene upon hearing that Judy's mother had collapsed at her front door.  It is claimed that she was dying but she died some time after.  Were the witnesses told she was dying at the door to get them away from the scene so that the vision might be dismantled if it were a hoax?  Had she merely been ill it would not have been the case that they would all have left.


DEATH OF MRS JUDY CAMPBELL


Now the writer of these pages feels a great interest in Knock for many reasons.  The above witnesses left the chapel-yard while the Apparition was visible there. They went to see an old woman that was dying. The old woman was my
aunt, Mrs Campbell, and I did not hear of her death until I saw it in the Universe. Many other reasons I have to be interested in every word I hear about Knock, for it brings many things before my mind forgotten many years ago.
 
See MEMORIES OF KNOCK IN THE EARLY NINETEENTH CENTURY, Memoir of Daniel Campbell, Eden and Smethwick, written c. 1880