Confirmed: Pope to visit Knock on August 26

Longford Leader Reporter

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Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Pope Francis will visit Knock Shrine as part his visit to Ireland this year.

The Pope’s itinerary for the World Meeting of Families has been finalised which includes a visit to the President at Aras Un Uachtarain, the Capuchin Day Centre, and the Pro Cathedral on August 25.

The Pope will bless homeless families at the Capuchin Day Centre before speaking at the FEAST OF FAMILIES in Croke Park Stadium at 7pm.

He will fly into Ireland West Airport Knock Shrine and say the ANGELUS on the square in front of the Shrine. He will then fly back to Dublin and say mass at the Phoenix Park at 3pm, on Sunday August 26.

Archbishop Martin says the Pope’s visit comes as the Church struggles to find a new place in Irish society and culture.

Ireland West Airport told the Longford Leader they are "both delighted and honoured to confirm that the airport has received official confirmation from the Vatican that Pope Francis will arrive into the airport as part of a historic papal visit to the Marian Shrine at Knock in August."

Pope Francis will arrive into Ireland West Airport on a specially chartered Aer Lingus flight from Dublin on Sunday morning August 26th from Dublin and travel by motorcade the 20-kilometre route along the N17 to Knock shrine. Following his visit to the Shrine he will return to Dublin from Ireland West Airport later that morning.

It was following the first ever Papal visit to Ireland in 1979, when Pope John Paul II visited Knock Marian Shrine, that Monsignor Horan began his campaign to build an international airport in Mayo close to the Shrine. 38 Years later the airport is now the fourth busiest in the country and with record passenger numbers of close to 800,000 expected this year it’s a fitting tribute to his legacy that the airport will welcome Pope Francis this year..

Speaking ahead of a historic visit to the West of Ireland, Joe Gilmore, Managing Director of Ireland West Airport said “It will be both an honour and a privilege to welcome Pope Francis in August for what will be a historic first papal visit to the airport and the realisation of the vision of the airport founder Monsignor Horan. This will be a truly historic occasion and will showcase the airport, Knock Shrine and indeed the West of Ireland to a global audience of millions which will have a hugely positive impact for tourism to the region.  I’d also like to recognize the hard work of Fr Richard Gibbons and his team in Knock who have worked tirelessly over the last number of months to make this happen and all at the airport looks forward to a great occasion in August."