The word Knock comes from the Irish 'Cnoc' meaning hill. Knock village is one of the world's major marian shrines. Over one million pilgrims come here annually to worship at the place where, on August 21st 1879, fifteen people claimed to have seen a vision of the Blessed Virgin, St Joseph , and St John. This took place at the gable end of the church. to one side was a simple altar on which stood a haoled lamb and a cross. The vision was declared genuine following a commission of enquiry organised by the local Archbishop. A recent addition to the church is the Chapel of Reconciliation where pilgrims can find a peaceful haven. It was the focal point of Pope John Paul II's visit to Ireland in 1979.
Ireland West Airport, originally named Horan International Airport was called after Monsignor Horan, the local parish priest, whose vision of Knock as an international pilgrimage centre could come by air from overseas. The airport was opened in 1986. There is also a folk museum in Knock which features the significance of the Church in the lives of our forefathers.