Among the tens of thousands of Irish who have visited the shrine are President John F Kennedy, Grace Kelly, Brendan Behan and Seamus Heaney.
“We wanted to modernise the interior but also ensure preservation of all the beautiful historic features. People won’t see a drastic change but we hope that they will be very happy with the new look” - Fr Richard Gibbons.
The large influx of pilgrims, the humble and simple prayer of God’s people, the fulfilment of so many graces and the natural beauty of these places allow you to see how the shrines express an irreplaceable opportunity for evangelisation.
"In Lourdes we learn that happiness can well be found in those who have little to offer in worldly terms.”
Hundreds expected to cross the threshold of mercy on Sunday in St Patrick's Basilica at the launch of the 2016 pilgrimage season.
"We remember in our prayers those who have had to flee from their homelands that they may find peace through the welcome of believers in Jesus Christ."
“The connections forged between young people, working as helpers, and the sick and elderly is always a joyful experience for both" - Fr Martin Noone.
“Similar to how 'One Million Dubliners' offered an exploration of Irish attitudes towards death, so Knock the Film will explore Irish attitudes towards religion.”
A dedicated day for grandparents would recognise that “grandparents are the anchor in families - they are anchored by faith.”
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, among speakers at this year's novena.
The Church is not trying to hurt or offend anyone, “We simply want to respect the dignity of difference between male and female” - Archbishop Eamon Martin.
Online prayer and candle service is similar to that operating in Lourdes and St Patrick's Cathedral New York.
Transatlantic pilgrimage flight from JFK Airport is expected to include Cardinal Timothy Dolan.
Seven planes will leave Dublin airport on Saturday for French shrine.
Concern over how easily greed, self-interest and corruption took hold in the lives of so many and left the country with enormous debts.