Esker and Lucan parishes joined together on Saturday last, 27 May, to journey to Knock Shrine. Our last pilgrimage to Knock was in 2019, thus there seemed to be a heightened fervour among the group as we journeyed to Knock. Many of us had experienced pain and sadness of loss or illness through the intervening years and appreciated the opportunity to visit Our Lady’s Shrine in person to kneel at her Grotto.

We were a lively prayerful group, reciting the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries of the Rosary on our journey to Mayo. It was as though Our Lady and the weather were shining their light and welcoming us as we alighted from our coach in Knock car park. Once our photo was taken to mark the occasion, we began our pilgrimage in earnest.

The first call for many of us was to touch and bless ourselves at the stone from the original gable wall of the Apparition. Then just being there, bowing our heads as we gazed around us, feeling the peace and tranquillity of the Grotto cast its spell over us, renewing our faith to face the road ahead as we journey through life.

We then headed to the Basilica for the Mass and ceremonies at 3pm, where we shared with pilgrims from all over Ireland, and no doubt abroad, the solemnity of Mass and Blessing of the Sick. The Mass Celebrant was a member of the SMA Order, while the co-celebrants were many of his fellow priests and our own Fr Samuel.

Once we boarded the bus for our journey home, we recited the Luminous Mysteries as thanksgiving for a wonderful day. We did stop at the Longford Arms to partake of refreshments before continuing our journey home to Lucan and Esker.

Mile Buiochas to Fr Philip for his support, to Fr Samuel for journeying with us, to our Bus Driver for his care and driving ability and to Marie and Marie for organising our Pilgrimage to Our Lady’s Shrine, Knock.