Knock Shrine is to be recognised as an International Marian and Eucharistic Shrine March 19, the Feast of St Joseph.
The Pope is to deliver a special message via video link recognising Knock Shrine’s special status during Mass at 7:30pm on Friday, March 19.
The announcement comes during the year of St Joseph, as declared last December by the Pope – a feast of particular significance for Knock as St Joseph appeared there with Our Lady, St John and the Lamb of God in the apparition in 1879.
The Mass will be celebrated by Dr Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam and concelebrated by Fr Richard Gibbons, parish priest and Rector of Knock Shrine. March 19 is also the day that Pope Francis will celebrate the 8th anniversary of his inauguration as Pope.
“We are truly grateful for this recognition from Pope Francis, through the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, which recognises Knock on an international level in terms of its special status as Marian and Eucharistic Shrine. I wish to sincerely thank Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation and Archbishop Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam, without whom this would not be possible. This is an historic milestone for Ireland’s National Marian and Eucharistic Shrine,” said Fr Richard Gibbons.