Colour and celebration in Knock as Syro Malabar gather for annual pilgrimage

Colour and celebration in Knock as Syro Malabar gather for annual pilgrimage Syro Malabar Pilgrimage to Knock Shrine May 11, 2024. Photo: Sinead Mallee

Over 1,000 of Ireland’s Syro Malabar community gathered in Knock for their annual pilgrimage. The event, which included a Mass that was presided over by Major Archbishop Raphael Thattil, was a fusion of colour and vibrancy as the largest gathering of the Syro Malabar community in Ireland celebrated their Faith in glorious sunshine.

Fr Roy George Vattakkattu is in charge of Blanchardstown, Swords, Beaumont and Navan Mass centres and was in attendance on the day. He described the event as “wonderful” and remarked that it was the first time that this number of Syro Malabar have been able to gather in Ireland.

“The event was wonderful,” he said. “It was the first time this number of the Syro Malabar community gathered together in the history of the Syro Malabar Church in Ireland.

“The Church was completely full and there were so many people from different parts of Ireland and from all of the different Mass centres – we have 37 here in Ireland and all laity and clergy were present along with the 30 priests we have here in Ireland.”

Speaking about the resolute Faith of the Syro Malabar community in Ireland, Fr Vattakkattu said that the Syro Malabar Faith is one that is active and connected.

“The people in the Syro Malabar Church like to live their Faith and they wanted to meet their major archbishop or just hear him and know more. The Faith that they have in their heart burns so people were just happy to come and meet together.”

Fr Vattakkattu offered thanks to those who ensured the event was achievable, an event that brought such joy to one of Ireland’s burgeoning communities.

“The pilgrimage happens once a year so the community was able to have their conversations and pray together,” he said. “It was a great atmosphere.

“We’re very grateful for the director and bishop who gave us the facilities there. It was a very good and blessed time.”