Annual Novena in Knock begins 14 August

13 Aug 2012

The National Public Novena in honour of Our Lady of Knock takes place in Knock Shrine, Co Mayo from 14-22 August 2012. The theme for this year’s Novena is Eucharist and Life.

Services are celebrated twice daily: in the afternoon at 3.00pm and in the evening at 8.30pm (Except on Wednesday 15 and Sunday 19, when ceremonies commence with the Anointing of the Sick at 2.30pm.

During the Novena the ceremonies will be broadcast live from the Basilica on The speakers and themes of the addresses for the Novena are as follows:

Tuesday 14 August: The Legacy of the Eucharist Congress.
Father Pat Farragher, Castlebar, Co Mayo.

Wednesday 15 August: The Assumption.
Father Benny McHale CC, Athenry, Co Galway.

Thursday 16 August: Living a Eucharistic Faith Today.
Baroness Nuala O’Loan, Retired Police Ombudsman in Northern Ireland.

Friday 17 August: What makes a Catholic School?
Father Michael Drumm, Chairperson of the Catholic Schools Partnership

Saturday 18 August: The Eucharist as Prayer.
Bishop Philip Boyce, Bishop of Raphoe

Sunday 19 August: Eucharist Forms Community.
Bishop Christopher Jones, Bishop of Elphin

Monday 20 August: The Eucharist: A Project of Solidarity for All.
Mr Justin Kilcullen, Director of Trócaire

Tuesday 21 August, Feast of Our Lady of Knock: Eucharist and Renewal.
Father Richard Gibbons PP, Knock, Co Mayo

Wednesday 22 August: The Future of the Church in Ireland.
His Excellency Archbishop Charles J. Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland

Notes to Editors:

  • Each Irish diocese makes an annual pilgrimage to the Marian Shrine in Knock and the nine-day Knock novena attracts ten thousand pilgrims every August. Bishop Philip Boyce leads the Raphoe Diocesan Pilgrimage on Saturday 18 August and Bishop Christopher Jones leads the Elphin Diocesan Pilgrimage on Sunday 19 August.
  • The story of Knock began on the 21 August 1879 when Our Lady, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist appeared at the south gable of Knock Parish Church. This miraculous apparition was witnessed by fifteen people, young and old. Knock is an internationally recognised Marian Shrine and was visited by Blessed John Paul II as part of his 1979 papal pilgrimage to Ireland. During his visit – which coincided with the Shrine’s centenary year – the late pope celebrated Mass at the Shrine and addressed the sick, their helpers and pilgrimage directors. Archbishop Michael Neary is the custodian of the Marian Shrine.
  • On 16 June last, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as part of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012, the Papal Legate Cardinal Marc Ouellet prayed with pilgrims at the Apparition Chapel celebrated Mass at Knock. After prayers, Cardinal Ouellet was chief celebrant at Mass in the adjacent Basilica and concelebrants included the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown and the Archbishop of Tuam Archbishop Michael Neary who is the custodian of the Marian Shrine.
  • The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated on 15 August. The doctrine of the Assumption says that at the end of her life on earth Mary was assumed, body and soul, into heaven. It’s also necessary to keep in mind what the Assumption is not. Some people think Catholics believe Mary “ascended” into heaven. That’s not correct. Christ, by his own power, ascended into heaven. Mary was assumed or taken up into heaven by God. She didn’t do it under her own power.
  • For more information please the contact Knock Shrine Office (094) 9388100 and

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: 00353 (1) 505 3017 and Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678