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It was my privilege to visit the West of Ireland for a week in June 2010. The purpose of my visit was to meet up with two Believers with which I had made contact while witnessing on the streets of Chester. The visit was an occasion for rejoicing while fellowshipping with Believers who had come out of Rome, but also one of sorrow at the darkness, seen and felt, at the Marian shrine at Knock in County Mayo.
It was a joy to go into homes and listen to the testimonies of those who had been steeped in Romanism and were now rejoicing in the liberty wherewith Christ had set them free. One told of how she informed the chapel authorities that she would not be serving at the mass anymore as she was now a Bible Christian. She related how she took down and destroyed the so-called holy pictures, the last to go being the "Sacred Heart" which is displayed in most Roman Catholic homes in Ireland. What a joy it was to see the text "There is one mediator between God and man", in its place. This is evidence of Holy Ghost conversions, not the spurious type, which are all too common, where the converts remain in the RC Church or are half in and out.
There have been quite a number of converts in the West of Ireland this past twenty five years. There are many homes now clear of idols and many rejoicing in the only priest who can forgive sin. This did not happen without a struggle and threats of which I cannot particularly speak. There was also despicable behaviour by leaders of certain denominations which one would not expect to find among the ungodly, let alone those who claim to be born from above.
I paid a visit to the Marian Shrine at Knock. The spiritual darkness of that place could be seen and felt. What a contrast to the homes of those who have been set free! I saw a youngish woman walking around the buildings several times, her lips moving as she walked. Then she went to the stations of the cross, so called, genuflecting and praying at each, kissing the stonework as she moved along. I saw other women, rosary beads dangling from their fingers and lips moving, rub and kiss some stones set into the wall of a modern auditorium. These stones were from the gable of the chapel upon which the apparition supposedly appeared.
In another area there were several taps through which "holy water" was dispensed. A number of women were stocking up, filling their bags with full bottles. Through the glass a priest was visible as he celebrated the blasphemous mass. He was the centre of attention as he went through all the gestures and posturings that he had to do in order to work his "magic". The overriding impression was that of an actor on stage.
The small village of Knock is totally given over to the sale of idols, pictures and all sorts of tat associated with such places. One was reminded of Ephesus and the riots caused by the loss of trade due to the effectiveness of Paul's preaching. One shop had a towel for sale with the following prayer, here given in part.
Bless this pub O Lord I pray, Keep it open night and day. Bless the lager and the stout, In the bottle or poured out.
This is an example of Roman Catholicism's inability to change the heart of man. Most Roman Catholic Churches have a licensed social club attached to which many of those attending mass head for afterwards, including the priest.
Remember the Christians there as they witness in the midst of this darkness. Pray that they may be kept from danger and false shepherds. Pray that many more will be brought out of the darkness of Romanism into the glorious Kingdom of Light.