Knock Shrine Visited

Fr Frank Fahey is a priest in Ballintubber Abbey, Co. Mayo.  I have heard him speak a number of times and he always impresses me.  He talks about the distinction between “tourist” and “pilgrim” and says that a tourist comes to a place to see what is to be seen, take photographs and go home.  A “pilgrim” on the other hand comes to a place to be changed.  My friends, Chris and Erin, are primarily tourists and they are well entitled to that.  Today however, they became pilgrims for a while when we went to Knock Shrine – about fifteen minutes drive from my home.  There are pictures – but I took them – so maybe I was the tourist.  I think both Chris and Erin were quite taken by the Knock experience and it meant something to them.  Glad we went.

Now for the photos!!

Mass being celebrated in the Basilica

We walked around for a while in the Shrine grounds, visited the museum and the Confessional Chapel – a fine facility offered by Knock where the Sacrament of Reconciliation is available and availed of throughout the day.  Today was no exception.

Erin and Chris with Basilica in the background

In the museum I noticed a reference to the Shrine as “An Acre of Peace” and it struck me as a good phrase.  We need many such acres in our lives.  I was especially glad to meet Clare Lavin in the Museum – she’s a daughter of my good friends Ann and Jimmy Lavin and I know her since her earliest days.  Was lovely to see her at work today, so graceful, good-humoured and attentive.  A bonus!  Thanks Grace.

"There you stand with John the Teacher and with Joseph at your side"

There is a reconstuction of a traditional cottage on display in the museum and a few pictures from it are included below.

An old bedroom - notice all the Religious images and symbols
Old cottage - half door open in welcome -
It could be Maureen O'Hara and John Wayne but it's not!!!

Towards the end of our time we walked to the old Parish Church and spent some time there.  There’s a fine piece of work on the wall of the old church – a rosary beads made of stone and including the names of Marian Shrines throughout the world.  On one bead is a beautiful depiction of the Holy Family

The Holy Family - including "Golden Rose" - name linked with Our Lady of Knock
Chris gazing at the Rosary in Stone

If you want to see a bit more about Knock Shrine, you could do worse than spend some time visiting its website www.knock-shrine.ie or, better again, come and visit sometime!

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