Excitement is brewing as the Pope’s August visit for the World Meeting of Families 2018 grows ever-closer. While Dublin is the Pope’s main stop on his journey across the Irish sea, on August 26th he will visit Knock Shrine in Co. Mayo to pray for families and give the Angelus address in front of the Apparition Chapel at Knock Shrine.
Knock became a shrine after the events of 21 August 1879, when villagers of Knock saw apparitions of St Joseph, St John the Evangelist, Our Lady, and Jesus Christ himself. Church commissions of inquiry confirmed the validity of these sightings, and since then, Knock has become a popular place for people to visit and cultivate a deeper sense of faith and worship. The shrine plays host to pilgrimages from every diocese of Ireland each year, as well as holding a well-attended nine-day novena of reflection and prayer that features speakers and workshops.
Pope Francis is not the first Pope to make a visit to the Knock Shrine. In 1979, the centenary year of the apparitions, Pope John Paul II visited the shrine, which he had called “the goal of my journey to Ireland”. The Pope gave a Mass at the shrine that attracted over 400,000 people. He also lit a candle at the gable wall, part of the original Knock parish church structure, for the families of Ireland.
Now, Pope Francis will continue this tradition of a papal visit to Knock Shrine. In preparation for this momentous occasion, we are including an excerpt from our upcoming book, Knock Prayer Book by the rector Fr Richard Gibbons, which is full of prayers for every occasion. Below is The Family Prayer, a particularly useful prayer for the lead-up to World Meeting of Families 2018.
Father, bless our family and keep us safe in your loving care.
May Mary our mother give us the wisdom to see You in our joys and sorrows,
our triumphs and failures.
May Jesus Your Son help us to support one another and heal us of any wounds and hurt that become part of family life.
Keep us true to your Son Jesus in the practice of our faith and in our love for one another.
In the fullness of time O Lord,
unite us with our deceased family members in Your eternal home.
For more books to help prepare for the World Meeting of Families, visit our catalogue.