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Pope Francis declared Knock shrine as an International Pilgrimage Centre

DUBLIN: Pope Francis has declared Knock shrine in county Mayo an International Pilgrimage Centre. The church is now known as the International Sanctuary of Special Eucharistic and Marian Devotion. Pope Francis had visited Knock shrine during his visit to Ireland in 2018.

In August 1879, fifteen villagers testified that they had witnessed an apparition of the Virgin Mary at the gable end of the parish church of Knock.

In his message, Pope Francis said that the Irish have always been a “missionary people”. “The Irish people, wherever they have found themselves, have expressed their faith and devotion to Our Lady of Knock. You have been a missionary people. We cannot forget how many priests left their homeland in order to become missionaries of the Gospel.

“My dear brothers and sisters present at Knock, and all of you who may be watching from afar, the elevation of the National Sanctuary of Our Lady of Knock to an International Sanctuary of Special Eucharistic and Marian Devotion is a great responsibility,” he said.

Archbishop Michael Neary described it as a momentous event. “It is most fitting that it would be announced and celebrated on the Feast of Saint Joseph in the Year of Saint Joseph, because alongside Our Lady, Saint John the Evangelist and the Lamb of God, Saint Joseph also appeared here on that August evening in 1879,” Archbishop added. 

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