Thousands of devoted Roman Catholics have congregated at Knock, in the Irish county of cork, to celebrate the centenary of a holy apparition.
Thousands of devoted Roman Catholics have congregated at Knock, in the Irish county of cork, to celebrate the centenary of a holy apparition. Believers claim that the Virgin Mary was seen there on August the twenty-first, 1879.
SYNOPSIS: The spire of the new basilica at Knock is the beacon for the thousands of visitors who made the pilgrimage for the start of the centenary novena: nine days of prayer.
Up to eighty thousand people were expected for the celebrations. Many of them Europe to attend. But up to half a million are expected for the Papal visit on October the first. Pope John Paul the Second frequently makes reference to the Virgin Mary, and makes a point of visiting shrines where she is said to have appeared miraculously. Knock is one of them. It is sometimes known as the Lourdes of Ireland, and holy water is an integral part of the belief.
The centenary Mass was attended by the Vatican Envoy to Ireland (in the centre) here speaking with the President of Ireland, Dr Patrick Hillery. Visitors during the week of celebration include five cardinals, six archbishops, and all of them were at the special centenary mass. It was led by the Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Humberto Medeiros, and thousands packed the modern basilica.
Pope John Paul is regarded as influential in the recent revival of interest in shrines, like Knock, to the Virgin Mary.