Pilgrimage is a sacred and ancient custom in Ireland


Pilgrimage is a sacred and ancient custom in Ireland Today, pilgrims from all over the world make their way to Knock Shrine.

Some deliberately set out to make a pilgrimage, others find themselves drawn here without knowing why. An Apparition in August 1879 transformed Knock, an ordinary village in Co. Mayo, into a sacred Shrine.

On hearing of the Apparition, people from all over Ireland began to come on pilgrimage. The first pilgrims reflected the deep devotion of Irish people to the Blessed Virgin.

Many prayed for an end to famine and poverty, others came in search of cures. By leaving ordinary life behind, pilgrims gain time and space for reflection. They join others in a quest to experience the presence of God.

They grow in awareness that, on life’s journey, there are no strangers only fellow pilgrims.


Text courtesy of Knock Museum

Ref., The Meaning of Knock, edited by Donal Flanagan, pub. 1997 by the Columba Press


Today, there are many customs and traditions observed in Knock. Many pilgrims like to collect Holy Water from Knock, this tradition is still strongly practiced as many pilgrims like to bring the Holy Water home with them or pass it on to a loved-one.

Pilgrims also like to circle the Parish Church while praying the Rosary, Praying the Stations of the Cross, enrolling themselves or a loved one in the Knock Shrine Friends Association, attending Confessions or simply taking a few moments for contemplative prayer in Knock Shrine.

If you would like to visit Knock or to come to pray as a pilgrim, we would be delight to assist you in planning your day.

Please see the Visit section of our website to learn more about planning your day at Knock

If you would like to see Mass and Confession times please see the Masses section of our site

Download the Knock Shrine Pilgrimage List 2015

February  2015