VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis' brief
visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families Aug. 25-26 will include a
quick trip to the Marian shrine at Knock and a special meeting with homeless
He also will
meet representatives of survivors of clerical abuse and residential abuse --
such as Magdalen laundries and mother and baby homes -- during the course of
his two days in Ireland.
In Maynooth, Ireland, June 11, the day the
pope's itinerary was published, Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam, custodian of
the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock, told reporters, "One of the most
beautiful sights at Knock is to see families, sometimes the three generations,
praying and enjoying the peace and tranquility of the shrine."
The apparition at Knock in 1879, he said, "was
family apparition." Fifteen people in the village said they saw the
apparition of Mary, Joseph, a lamb representing Jesus, and St. John the
Evangelist, to whom Jesus entrusted Mary as his mother.
Eamon Martin of Armagh, Northern Ireland, told media he expected many Northern
Ireland Catholics to travel to Knock for the occasion now that a papal visit
north of the border had been ruled out.
He added that
they were still "delighted that he is coming to this island, and we'll
celebrate that and make the most of it."
Keeping his custom of setting aside time for
the poor and others in particular need, Pope Francis also will visit a day
center for homeless families in Dublin.
Meeting of Families will conclude Aug. 26 with an open-air Mass in Dublin's
Phoenix Park. This was the venue for St. John Paul's outdoor Mass in the Irish
capital in 1979, where 1.25 million people attended.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, president of the Ninth World Meeting of Families,
stressed that the crowd would be capped at 600,000 to comply with
health and safety regulations.
The following is the pope's schedule as
released by the Vatican. The times listed are local, with Eastern Daylight time
Saturday, Aug. 25 (Rome, Dublin)
-- 8:15 a.m. (2:15 a.m.) Departure by plane
from Rome's Fiumicino airport.
-- 10:30 a.m. (5:30 a.m.) Arrival at Dublin
International Airport and official welcome.
-- 10:45 a.m. (5:45 a.m.) Transfer to Aras
an Uachtarain, the presidential residence.
-- 11:15 a.m. (6:15 a.m.) Arrival at the
presidential residence. Welcome ceremony in front of the main entrance.
-- 11:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m.) Courtesy visit
with the president.
-- Noon (7 a.m.) Transfer to Dublin Castle.
-- 12:10 p.m. (7:10 a.m.) Meeting with
authorities, civil society leaders and members of the diplomatic corps in
Dublin Castle. Speech by pope.
-- 3:30 p.m. (10:30 a.m.) Visit to St. Mary's
Pro-Cathedral. Greeting by pope.
-- 4:15 p.m. (11:15 a.m.) Transfer to the
Capuchin Fathers' day center for homeless families.
-- 4:30 p.m. (11:30 a.m.) Private visit to
the day center for homeless families.
-- 7:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m.) Arrival at Croke
-- 7:45 p.m. (2:45 p.m.) Festival of
Families in Croke Park stadium. Speech by pope.
Sunday, Aug. 26 (Dublin, Knock, Dublin,
-- 8:40 a.m. (3:40 a.m.) Departure by plane
-- 9:20 a.m. (4:20 a.m.) Arrival at Knock
-- 9:45 a.m. (4:45 a.m.) Arrival at Knock
shrine. Visit to the chapel. Recitation of the Angelus on the square in front
of the shrine. Greetings by pope.
-- 10:45 a.m. (5:45 a.m.) Transfer to Knock
-- 11:15 a.m. (6:15 a.m.) Departure by plane
-- 11:50 a.m. (6:50 a.m.) Arrival at Dublin
International Airport. Lunch with the papal entourage.
-- 2:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m.) Arrival at Phoenix
-- 3 p.m. (10 a.m.) Mass in Phoenix Park.
Homily by pope.
-- (No time specified) Meeting with bishops
in the convent of the Dominican Sisters. Speech by pope.
-- 6:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m.) Arrival at Dublin
International Airport. Farewell ceremony.
-- 6:45 p.m. (1:45 p.m.) Departure by plane
-- 11 p.m. (5 p.m.) Arrival at Rome's
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