Pope Francis to visit Knock shrine during trip to Ireland
Pontiff’s Phoenix Park Mass is expected to be the largest-ever ticketed event
Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Wednesday. Photograph: Fabio Frustaci/EPA
He will fly by plane from Dublin to Knock airport on Sunday August 26th and, it is planned, travel by motorcade the 20-kilometre route along the N17 to Knock shrine. There, according to details of his itinerary obtained by The Irish Times, he will say the rosary followed by Angelus at noon in the Apparition Chapel. It is unclear whether he will visit the Basilica.
Organisers believe this will be the largest-ever ticketed event in the world. Entry is free.
Pope Francis will fly back to Rome at about 7pm that Sunday evening, after spending about 36 hours in Ireland on Saturday August 25th and Sunday August 26th. Plans have yet to be agreed on whether he will travel through the city, possibly in the popemobile.
Later that afternoon he will visit Br Kevin Crowley and the Capuchin Day Centre for Homeless People on Dublin’s Bow Street. He is likely to visit a prison – yet to be finalised – and will meet clerical abuse survivors privately.
The planned visit to Knock is believed to be at Pope Francis’s instigation. He has a particular devotion to Mary and earlier this year instituted a new feast in her honour as Mother of the Church. It is to be celebrated on the first Monday after Pentecost every year, May 21st this year.