In March 2021 Knock Shrine was honoured to be officially recognised as an International Eucharistic and Marian Shrine by Pope Francis, through the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization.

This designation reflects the fact that the Apparition of Our Lady included the Lamb on the Altar before the Cross. The central element of the Lamb is not to be found in any other recognised Marian Shrine.

The Ethnic Chaplaincies (incl. Eparchies and Missions) Pilgrimage of the Archdiocese 3rd– 6th September 2022 was planned to take place two years ago but postponed due to the Pandemic.

Archbishop Bernard Longley kept it as a key commitment in his busy diary, and it did not disappoint. The Vietnamese, West Indian, Nigerian, Punjabi, and Irish Chaplaincies, together with the Syro-Malabar Eparchy, were all represented. The Eritrean Community were due to come too, but were disappointed at the last moment, due to visa issues.

Pilgrimage Photo Gallery Day One

Ethnic Chaplaincies Pilgrimage to Knock - Day 1 of 4

The Pilgrims' focus was especially on the Chapel of the Apparition where Mary appeared on 21st August 1879. With her were St Joseph and St John the Evangelist. The silent Apparition continued for about two hours and was witnessed by many: 15 of them of different ages, male and female, recorded their experiences and these after careful examination were authenticated.

Over the years thousands and thousands of people have gone there from all over the world “praying the rounds” – an Irish Tradition – which includes praying the Rosary, a visit to the Blessed Sacrament and following the Stations of the Cross.

People experience in our day what those blessed people of 1879 did: the presence of Mary with us in the Journey of Life. Mary stood with her people then in a time of poverty and hardship: at Knock we are reminded she stands with us too.

In more recent times the Shrine has developed a great deal, particularly through its famous Director, Monsignor James Horan, who was responsible for the building of Knock Airport.

There is a beautiful Basilica, where our Pilgrims joined many others from the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise and elsewhere for the Sunday Pilgrim Mass, Anointing of the Sick, and Rosary Procession at 3pm. Archbishop Longley presided and preached. Then there is the lovely Chapel of Reconciliation where we had a Penance Service and Confessions.

Pilgrimage Photo Gallery Day Two

Ethnic Chaplaincies Pilgrimage to Knock - Day 2 of 4

Close to Knock is Balintubber Abbey, where St Patrick preached and Baptised, and Croagh Patrick where he fasted and prayed. The Pilgrims enjoyed Mass in the Abbey which was destroyed at the Reformation and has gone through much restoration in more recent times through great work by Father Fahy (now retired) who joined us after Mass.

After Balintubber we went to see the Coffin Boat, a sculpture at the foot of Croagh Patrick recalling the time of famine.

There the many who perished at sea trying to escape to freedom from famine were remembered by Father Yen Vu who also had escaped by sea with the “Boat People” from Vietnam also seeking freedom – many were lost.

Pilgrimage Photo Gallery Day Three

Ethnic Chaplaincies Pilgrimage to Knock - Day 3 of 4

After Croagh Patrick we enjoyed lunch by the sea at Westport and on to Ven. Patrick Peyton’s Memorial Centre, Attymass, Ballina. There we enjoyed learning more about the renowned Rosary Priest, who famously said “The Family that Prays together stays together”.

It was a wonderful Pilgrimage, thanks especially to Patricia Ronane of Knock Pilgrimages who had arranged everything for us. Thanks to Father Richard Gibbons, the Shrine Director, who welcomed us most generously. And a particular thanks to Con McHugh who has recorded this great Pilgrimage Experience of Knock to accompany this recollection.

Mgr Daniel McHugh
8th September 2022

Pilgrimage Photo Gallery Day Four

Ethnic Chaplaincies Pilgrimage to Knock - Day 4 of 4

Drone Panorama Views from Knock

Diocesan Pilgrimages