“St. Catherine of Alexandria,” Raphael, 1508, WikiArt.

Part 3: Marian Apparitions

Divine light bathed, visitation by Mother
Mary, at first we could not speak nor move,
Including me, Sister Muriel. By her radiance
She spoke to us, ushering wounded Irish and
Viking, those waiting on main-shore, rowboats
Arrived to our lake-island abbey. Miserable
Warriors carried, dying with heinous sword
And spear wounds. With touch of her hands,
Bleeding ceased, gaping injuries healed whole.
For those so blessed, they offered prayerful
Thanks, Irish and Norse alike, such glories
Witnessed by Gunnolf, skeptical Dyrfinna.

“Who are you Mother?” Dyrfinna asked, tall
Equal-standing. “What magic spells cast upon
My warriors? With open hands, Mary took
Dyrfinna’s. “Mothers we are both, blessed by
Thunder-gods, you are with son, foresight
And fortune, great seafarer, his sword blood-
Sweeping.” In silence the sorceress listened.
“But not upon these lands will your tribes
Fight, if westward shores you seek.” Mary
Stated, as much warning as admonition.

“Our boats lie in wait,” Dyrfinna replied with
Single nod, neither heed nor reverence given.
“These gifts of silver, we offer to Gunnolf and
To you,” I presented to them both, chalice and
Bowls, Christ’s crucifix for services kept. With
Sighs relieved they left, none of our island
Dead nor injured, blessed we were, hearts heavy
For those killed beyond grace of Holy Mother,
Who in vaporous light receded. Then startled
By clang of swords, Irish lords and watch-wards
Beckoned us, Gunnolf and Dyrfinna returned to
Island abbey at knife point, longboat ness
Escaping, vengeance of Irish clans, both blood-
Beaten for stealing church silver.

“The Visitation,” Raphael, 1518, WikiArt.

Stunned beyond knowing what or why, Gunnolf
And Dyrfinna, death-close, fell upon abbey stone
Floor, Irishmen returning silver. Second miracle
We beheld, apparition of Mary, immaculate
Conception, she offered to Norse couple silver
Crucifix, “These are gifts to friends of faith,”
Mary to Irish warriors explained. “God loves
Repentant sinners, my son and his disciples
Were fishers of men. By gifts of cross and
Chalice, your bodies healed, souls redeemed
From warring darkness, given to Christ my
Son. Go in peace, trouble no more Irish lands.”
Lives and hearts blessed, Our Lady of Innisfallen.

In this poem, two Marian Apparitions occur, later named “Lady of Innisfallen.
Both involved healing, which is oft typical, and forgiveness of sins with condition:
Gunnolf and Dyrfinna “go in peace, trouble no more Irish lands.” Over the ages,
about 12 such apparitions have been witnessed and investigation-approved,
including “Our Lady of Knock Ireland.” Many others, have occurred, not formally
recognized. For more on Marian Apparitions, see this link:

Our poetic story does not end here. Sister Muriel approaches Gunnolf, as she has
sailed to westward isles. She reveals to always-skeptic Dyrfinna magical means
of sea 
navigation on cloudy days. Any ideas as to what this may be?
Thanks for reading.

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