Archbishop Nearly welcomes Knock inclusion in pandemic prayer marathon

Archbishop Nearly welcomes Knock inclusion in pandemic prayer marathon Pope Francis honours Knock Shrine with a special message March 19. Photo: Sinead Mallee.

Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam has welcomed the inclusion of Knock, the international Marian Shrine, as one of thirty shrines around the world invited by Pope Francis to be part of the Pope’s marathon of prayer for the end to the pandemic.

In a statement, Archbishop Neary said that Knock Shrine ”welcomes the Holy Father’s heartfelt wish that the month of May will be dedicated to a ‘marathon’ of prayer, to ask for the end of the pandemic, which has afflicted the world for more than a year now, and to pray for the resumption of social and work activities”.

He continued, saying he commends “Pope Francis’ wish to involve all the Marian shrines around the world in this initiative, so that they may become vehicles of the prayer of the universal Church”.

Pope Francis launched the marathon – which will run throughout May – at the Vatican May 1. He blessed special rosaries, one of which will be sent out to the Marian Shrine at Knock.

Joined in prayer

“At the beginning of this month dedicated to Our Lady,” Pope Francis said May 1, “we join together in prayer with all the sanctuaries spread throughout the whole world, with the faithful, and with all persons of good will, to entrust into the hands of our Holy Mother the whole human race, sorely tried by this period of pandemic.”

The Pope will also conclude the month of prayer from the Vatican on 31 May and has assigned a special intention for each day of the month.

The Rosary from Knock on will take place Monday May 10, with the special intention of prayer for all people with disabilities.

Archbishop Michael Neary will preside, assisted by the Parish Priest of Knock and Rector of the International Shrine, Fr Richard Gibbons, as the Rosary is recited at 5.00pm on Monday 10 May. It will be live streamed on the Knock Shrine website and on the Knock Shrine Facebook page.

Official channels of the Holy See will broadcast the prayer said each day in each of these thirty Shrines at 6.00pm, Rome time (5.00pm Irish time). A short liturgical guide has been prepared that provides some useful suggestions which can be downloaded from the website of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization