The annual pilgrimage season at Knock Shrine will begin on Sunday, April 26th this year. Dioceses and groups from across Ireland lead the ceremonies at weekends throughout the season. Some of these pilgrimages have been making their annual journey to Knock Shrine since its earliest days, while others are new additions to the annual calendar.
The very first pilgrims began to visit Knock in small groups in the weeks after the Apparition. In 1880 the first organised pilgrimage, consisting of 50 pilgrims, travelled from Limerick to Tuam railway station and then made the journey onwards to the village of Knock by pony and side car. Later that year, 240 young men came on pilgrimage from Cork and 1000 Irish emigrants made the long journey from Manchester in the days when travel by public transport was not as convenient as it is today.
‘Pilgrimage is an ancient and sacred tradition in Ireland. 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.’ – Fr. Richard Gibbons
If you would like to experience the unique atmosphere of a pilgrimage day at Knock Shrine, you will find the dates for all diocesan and group pilgrimages for 2020 here.