Details of Annual Novena at Knock

150,000 pilgrims expected to attend Annual Knock Novena


The annual national public novena will take place at the Basilica of Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland, in Co Mayo from 14 until 22 August.  The theme for the 2014 novena is  ‘Witness to hope’ and this focuses on honouring the fifteen people who were witnesses to the Marian apparition 135 years ago in 1879, and the theme also highlights the hope and prayers of the faithful for the renewal of the Church in Ireland at this time.


150,000 pilgrims, young and old, are expected to come from all over Ireland to attend this year’s nine-day novena.  Daily Mass and prayer sessions will be complemented by seminars and workshops to assist the faith development, and faith renewal, of the pilgrims in attendance.


According to Father Richard Gibbons, Parish Priest of Knock, “There is a new departure this year with the national novena – and as part of the 135th anniversary celebration of the apparition – we have developed a faith renewal programme incorporating seminars and workshops designed to give people a practical as well as an intellectual approach to the lives of pilgrims.  There is something for in Knock for everyone in 2014!  As usual our novena sessions will give everyone a great sense of encountering The Lord, together through the Eucharist, and also other sacraments such as Reconciliation/Confession.  All are welcome.”



Notes for Editors


  • The Basilica of Our Lady of Knock, Co Mayo, in the Archdiocese of Tuam was opened in 1976 and the annual national novena started in 1977.  Each Irish diocese makes an annual pilgrimage to the Marian Shrine and the nine-day Knock national  novena attracts tens of thousands of pilgrims every August.  Archbishop Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam, is the custodian of the Marian Shrine and Father Richard Gibbons is Knock Parish Priest.  See


  • The story of Knock began on the 21 August 1879 when Our Lady, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist appeared at the south gable of Knock Parish Church. This miraculous apparition was witnessed by fifteen people, young and old.  Knock is an internationally recognised Marian Shrine and was visited by Saint John Paul II as part of his 1979 papal pilgrimage to Ireland.  During his visit – which coincided with the Shrine’s centenary year – the late pope celebrated Mass at the Shrine and addressed the sick, their helpers and pilgrimage directors.


  • Please see the following list of novena speakers, seminars and workshops for the 2014 national public novena in honour of Our Lady of Knock.  Venue: Knock Shrine; date: 14 – 22 August, 2014; times: afternoon 3.00pm, evening 8.30pm:

Seminars/Workshops: Daily 12 Noon and 6pm:

Friday 15 –  Sunday 17:
Ceremonies commence with Anointing of the Sick at 2.30 pm

Thursday 14 August:
Father David Neuheus SJ ‘Faith- A Personal Journey’

Friday 15  August:
Father Timothy Radcliffe OP
‘Mary: A Witness to Hope for Today’

Saturday 16 August:
Most Rev Philip Boyce OCD
Bishop of Raphoe ‘Pilgrimage- A Journey in Hope’

Sunday 17 August:
Most Rev Kevin Doran, DD Bishop of Elphin ‘My Hope for the Church’

Monday 18 August:
Father Padraig Devine SMA ‘Reconciliation as a Sign of Hope’

Tuesday 19 August:
Mr Tom Kendzia ‘Eucharist- A Source of Joy’

Wednesday 20 August:
Elma Walsh, Mother of the late Donal Walsh RIP ‘Living Life to the Full’

Thursday 21 August:
Father Richard Gibbons, PP, Rector, Knock Shrine  ‘A Vision for Knock’

Friday 22 August:
Grace Mulqueen, Curator, Knock Museum ‘The Knock Witnesses – Ordinary people, an Extraordinary event’


Workshops and Seminars
Daily: 12 noon and 6pm

Thursday 14  Father David Neuheus SJ
‘Speaking the Language of Jesus’ Location: Saint John’s Rest and Day Care Centre

Friday 15

12 Noon Only: Father Danny Murphy, Director, National Liturgy Centre,
Sunday Eucharist- The Challenge Today’ Location: Saint John’s Rest and Day Care Centre


Saturday 16
Rev Professor Eamon Conway ‘Allowing Pope Francis to Disturb Us’ Location: Saint John’s Rest and Day Care Centre
Sunday 17
Knock Prayer Guides ‘An Encounter with God- Prayer Guidance Workshop’ Location: The Prayer Guidance Centre


Monday 18
Father Padraig Devine SMA ‘The Gospel and Conflict Resolution: SHALOM’ Location: Saint John’s Rest and Day Care Centre


Tuesday 19
Mr Tom Kendzia ‘Liturgy and Music’ Location: Saint John’s Rest and Day Care Centre


Wednesday 20
Fiona McCarthy, Knock Counselling Centre ‘The Good Life: A Path of Personal Growth & Development’ Location: Knock Counselling Centre


Thursday 21
Dr Sandra Cullen, Mater Dei ‘Share the Good News- Faith Renewal Today’ Location: Saint John’s Rest and Day Care Centre


Friday 22
Maura Hyland, Director, Veritas ‘A Call to Renewal of Faith for Adults’ Location: Saint John’s Rest and Day Care Centre



For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678

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