The national novena to Our Lady of Knock has become the latest high-profile casualty of a wave of events called off due to concerns about coronavirus.
The event is postponed until perhaps later this year, Fr Richard Gibbons, PP Rector of Knock Shrine has announced.
The novena began in 1977 and has continued in an unbroken tradition since then. Taking place every year from 14-22 August and attracting as many as 150,000 pilgrims, the novena is an event of national and international importance.
Fr Gibbons commented on the decision, saying that: “Having discussed at length the logistics, health and safety of organising the novena, it is with heavy hearts that we have decided to postpone it.”
He insisted that “This has been a very difficult decision that will cause a great deal of disappointment to pilgrims, it also has economic consequences for the wider community and the shrine itself. However, the health and safety of our parishioners, pilgrims, priests, staff and volunteers is of paramount importance to us at this worrying time.”