The National Novena at Knock Shrine got underway yesterday, and today, the 15th August, is traditionally the biggest day of the year at the Shrine.

However, in a post-Covid world the numbers of people nationally and internationally visiting international Shrines, tend to be less than pre-Covid.

The National Novena has resumed after a three year pause because of the pandemic, and the Parish Priest of Knock Fr Richard Giobbons says he’s delighted that its back but says it’s difficult at this stage to predict the numbers that will attend the 2022 Novena.

The theme for this year is ‘A Journey in Hope’ and today’s speaker is Galway mother Roseanna Ruane, mother of Saoirse Ruane who is battling cancer. Saoirse won the hearts of the nation when she first appeared on The Late Late Toy Show with Ryan Tubridy on RTE One television in 2020.

A new feature of this year’s Novena is the ‘Synod Tent’, where members of the public are invited to learn more about the Synod and what it means. It also provides an opportunity for visitors to give their views on what they think Knock Shrine and the Church in Ireland has to offer them.

Daily sessions take place in the Synod Tent at 12 noon with a facilitator present each day to provide structure and facilitate questions and group discussion.

Novena Ceremonies take place at 3pm and 8pm in the Basilica.

Fr Gibbons has been speaking to Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley about the significance of the 15th of August in the Knock calendar of events…



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