By Sarah Mac Donald - 04 April, 2015
A National Eucharistic Congress will be held in Knock in September the Irish Bishop Conference has announced.
The Eucharistic Congress will be held on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 September 2015 at the Co Mayo Shrine.
It is intended to be an opportunity to reflect on the fruits of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress, which was held in Dublin in 2012, and a spiritual preparation for the next International Congress, scheduled to take place in Cebu, Philippines, in January 2016.
According to the Bishop, the context in which the National Congress will be celebrated includes the Synod of Bishops on the “Vocation and Mission of the Family” which will take place in the Vatican during October, as well as the Year of Consecrated Life.
It is hoped that a pilgrim group from Ireland will participate in the 51st International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu.
The last National Eucharistic Congress in Ireland was celebrated at the Marian Shrine in Knock during June 2011 and it marked the one year countdown to the ‘50th International Congress 2012’ in Dublin.
On 21 August 1879, Our Lady, St Joseph and St John the Evangelist appeared at the south gable of Knock Parish Church
This miraculous apparition was witnessed by fifteen people.
Knock is now an internationally recognised Marian Shrine and was visited by St 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.