All The Plaster
On This End Was Removed By Devotees.
In the spot where the apparition
was said to have been seen, there was a life-size statue of the Virgin
All over the gable were strips of wood cleated on, behind
which were ranged walking-sticks and crutches in regular order till the
whole gable was covered. There was a long frame-work of wood about
twelve feet long and three broad, also filled with crutches and walking-
As I stood looking, the car man came in after tying his horse, and knelt
down on the damp earth before the Virgin's shrine and repeated a prayer.
He was not ashamed to practice what he believed before the world and in
the sight of the sun. When his prayer was over he joined me, and drew my
attention to the number of crutches and sticks left behind by those who
were benefited. I pointed out to him a very handsome black-thorn stick
among the votive offerings, and asked him would it be a sin to steal it,
as black-thorns were in demand over the water. He told me if I did that
whatever disease was laid down there by the owner of the stick would
cleave to me. I thought of Gehazi and restrained my hands from stealing
the black-thorn. There is one nice characteristic of a genuine Irishman,
he can take a joke.
There were many masons working at an enlargement of the church.
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