15 Nov The Shrine at Knock
Many people on tours of Ireland visit Knock. It is a relegious must see attraction.
It is in County Mayo and is a potent example of the strength of relegious influence still prevalent in Ireland today.
In typically idiosyncratic fashion , this unassuming little village went about its unremarkable life untouched by fame and tourism until 1879. Then it rocketed to international significance following claims by some 15 pious local people to have seen visions , including the image of Mary , against the wall of the local church.
Over the ensuing century Knock became overwhelmed by the number of pilgrims arriving to celebrate its status as another major Catholic site in Ireland.
A local priest , Monsignor James Horan , saw the potential of this in the 1970s. He set about transforming the area into a major international shrine of great significance to its many visitors.
A airport nearby brings many thousands of pilgrims to this remote part of the West of Ireland from all over the world nowadays. One of the most famous visitors was Pope John Paul the second , who celebrated mass there in 1979 before a crowd of of nearly half a million worshippers.
It is unlikely that the development of a small village into a massive international centre for tourism could have happened quite so rapidly anywhere other than in Ireland !!!
Visit on any Ireland tours as the area around is also a hidden gem.