Knock National Novena to return to its traditional format next week
- Dr Nicola Brady to speak on the Irish contribution to the Universal Synod
- Knock Shrine to hold a ‘Special Day of Prayer for Peace in Ukraine’ with Ukrainian families and hosts in attendance
- Anniversary of the Apparition on 21 August will involve a Family Day to take place on the grounds of Knock Shrine
Next week, the National Novena to Our Lady of Knock will return to its traditional format for the first time since 2019. The theme for this year is ‘A Journey in Hope’ and the novena will run from Sunday 14 until Monday 22 August. In excess of 8,000 pilgrims are expected to attend each day at the Shrine. As in years gone by, over the course of the novena the pilgrimage will offer nine days of reflection, prayer and a chance to reconnect with one’s faith in the unique and sacred space of Knock Shrine.
Following a three-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Knock parish priest and Rector of Knock Shrine, Father Richard Gibbons said that, “as we gather together to give thanks at our beautiful Marian Shrine, I hope to make this year extra special for all those pilgrims who will be travelling to the Shrine to take part in the annual novena.”
On each of the nine days, ceremonies will take place at Knock Basilica beginning with concelebrated Mass at 3.00pm and 8.00pm, followed by contributions from guest speakers. There will also be the special candlelight procession, a traditional feature of the Novena at Knock, which takes place following the 8.00pm ceremony (weather permitting).
Father Gibbons said, “The purpose of the Novena is to recognise the unique role that Knock, as an International Eucharistic and Marian Shrine, has to play in the life of the Irish Church and to honour Our Lady. So many of the people who joined us online over the course of the pandemic are now coming back to visit the Shrine which is great to see. The Novena is always a very special highlight of the year, and we are delighted to be able to proceed with it this year. We look to the future with the hope of renewal, for God’s guidance and pray that this Novena will offer pilgrims the chance for thought-provoking reflection and discussion.”
Engaging with the Synod
A unique feature of this year’s Novena will be the ‘Synod Tent’, where members of the public will be invited to learn more about the Synod and what it means for all of us. It will also provide an opportunity for pilgrims to listen to the ideas of what others think Knock Shrine has to offer and the Church in Ireland at this critical juncture in our history.
Sunday 21 August is the Anniversary of the Apparition, which will coincide with the Family Day. Taking place from 11.00am – 3.00pm in the beautiful grounds of the Shrine. The Family Day is a lovely opportunity for families to get together to enjoy a range of fun activities. All events and activities are free of charge and will take place on the beautiful grounds of Knock Shrine, close to the award-winning Knock Museum and Café Le Chéile.
Novena Programme: Guest Speakers
- Sunday 14 August
3.00pm: Bishop Tom Deenihan, Bishop of Meath, on What is Christian Hope?
8.00pm: Cormac Henry, former Youth Volunteer at Knock Shrine, on What gives me Hope today?
- Monday 15 August, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
3.00pm and 8.00pm: Roseanna Ruane, mother of Saoírse Ruane, on The Power of Prayer in Difficult Times
- Tuesday 16 August
3.00pm and 8.00pm: A Day of Thanksgiving for the Irish Contribution to the Universal Synod. Dr Nicola Brady, Chair of the Synodal Steering Group, on The Synodal Pathway: What have we learned and what will we do?
- Wednesday 17 August
3.00pm and 8.00pm: Father Terence Harrington OFM Cap, on How Can I Have Hope in my Brokenness?
- Thursday 18 August
3.00pm and 8.00pm: A Day of Prayer for Peace in Ukraine. Halyna Teslyuk,
Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv, Ukraine, on a Hope that Inspires
Нок Шрайн (Церква села Нок) відзначатиме цей день як особливий день молитви за мир в Україні. Ми запрошуємо людей з української громади в Ірландії та ірландські родини, що прийняли їх до своїх осель, приєднатися до нас.
- Friday 19 August
3.00pm and 8.00pm: Lauren Conroy, student, on My Faith Story
- Saturday 20 August
3.00pm: Father Michael McKeever, Diocesan Secretary, Diocese of Raphoe, on Eucharist: a Sign of Hope
8.00pm: Professor John Feehan, Geologist, Botanist, Author and Broadcaster, on God in Everything that Lives: A Reflection on Laudato Si
- Sunday 21 August, the Anniversary of the Apparition
3.00pm: Bishop Kevin Doran, Bishop of Elphin, on They will take their place at the Feast
8.00pm: Father Richard Gibbons, PP and Rector, Knock Shrine, on Knock – the Vision of Hope
- Monday 22 August
3.00pm and 8.00pm: Archbishop Francis Duffy, Archbishop of Tuam, on The Call of the Lord
Notes for Editors
- Annual Knock Novena
The National Public Novena to Our Lady takes place each year at Knock Shrine, Archdiocese of Tuam, to coincide with the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The novena runs for nine days and offers pilgrims time and space to reflect, pray and an opportunity to reconnect with one’s faith in the unique and sacred space of Knock Shrine. Two sessions are held daily, namely at 3.00pm and 8.00pm. Both sessions commence with Concelebrated Mass in the Basilica followed by a Procession to the Apparition Gable. A procession of the Blessed Sacrament is held in the afternoon, and a beautiful candlelight procession takes place at night. Prayer leaflets can be obtained in any of the Shrine Offices.
- The Story of Knock
At about 8 o’clock on the evening of Thursday 21 August 1879, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist appeared at the south gable of the Church at Knock, Co Mayo. Beside them, and a little to the right, was an altar with a cross and the figure of a lamb, around which angels hovered. Fifteen official witnesses – young and old – experienced this silent and miraculous apparition for two hours in pouring rain and recited the Rosary. In 1879 and in 1936 two Commissions of Inquiry accepted their testimony as trustworthy and satisfactory. Today, Knock is an internationally recognised Marian Shrine and has been visited by Saint Pope John Paul II during his 1979 apostolic pilgrimage, and in 2018 by Pope Francis as part of the celebrations for the IX World Meeting of Families in Ireland. On 19 March 2021, Pope Francis officially recognised Knock as an International Marian Shrine through the Pontifical Council for New Evangelisation. Archbishop Francis Duffy, Archbishop of Tuam, is the custodian of the Marian Shrine and Father Richard Gibbons is parish priest of Knock and rector of the shrine. Visit www.knockshrine.ie for more information, and to view the Novena 2022 Brochure.
For media contact: Knock Shrine Communications Office: Maria Casey + 353 (0) 94 93 75355 and Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Lisa Sheridan +353 (0) 86 084 3175.