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Road trips around KnockThe story of Knock is entrenched in religious significance for Catholics around the world. It all began in August 1879 when 15 locals from the village witnessed an apparition on the altar at their Parish Church. They saw Our Lady, St. Joseph, and St. John the Evangelist all dressed in white. Two months after the event, a Commission of Enquiry considered the testimonies of the witnesses, who were aged from five to 74 years. The commission found them to be trustworthy, and the descriptions satisfactory, and the site has been sacred ever since.
Today, people make the pilgrimage from around Ireland and the rest of the world to the Knock Shrine, where they pray, light candles, attend mass, take part in processions and more. Each year a novena is held in August to remember and honour the events of 1879.
The Knock Museum adds to the experience, and is where you’ll find the original testimonies of the 15, as well as letters and stories from pilgrims outlining how their visits to the shrine changed their lives. You can even take a guided tour of Knock, in which a local guide will take you to the Apparition Chapel and Gable Wall, the Papal Cross, Basilica and Chapel of Reconciliation.
For a trip out of the city, consider driving the hour west to the coast to visit Croagh Patrick, the mountain considered the most holy in all of Ireland. People have made pilgrimages there for the last 5000 years, which are made in honour of Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick. You can drive as far as the car park at the information centre, and walk to the summit in roughly two hours.
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