Over 100,000 people descend on West of Ireland for National Novena at Knock Shrine

Over 100,000 people descend on West of Ireland for National Novena at Knock Shrine

SPORT and religion have collided in Ireland today as the country's National Novena continues.

Over 100,000 poeple are attending the nine-day gathering of reflection and prayer in Co. Mayo, where RTÉ TV personality and commentator Marty Morrissey is today speaking at workshops with Fr Kevin O’Gorman, author of Saving Sport: Sport, Society and Spirituality.

RTE sports broadcaster Marty Morrissey (Picture: Aidan Oliver Photography)

The theme of this year's Novena, which opened on Monday, August 14 with international scripture and healing speaker Dy Mary Healy, is living life to the full.

Rector of Knock Shrine Fr Richard Gibbons said: “The Novena is about embracing our spiritual selves.

"In today’s world it is a valuable thing to take some time alone or with family and friends to experience the richness of our faith and to escape the material and fast-paced world.”

Watch Knock Shrine's live stream here...

On Thursday, August 17, Knock native Bernadette McNeive and professional motivational speaker Darren Cawley will both deliver accounts of their own personal stories of organ donation.

One of the Novena highlights, meanwhile, will take place on Monday, August 21 with the launch of the World Meeting of Families 2018 programme Amoris: Let’s talk Family, Let’s be Family!’

Families representing each diocese will travel to Knock for the day where a newly-commissioned Icon of the Holy Family will be unveiled and anointed in the Basilica.

The Novena will come to a close on August 22 with Maria Steen, spokesperson for the Iona Institute and workshops with Cora Sherlock, Deputy Chairperson of the Pro Life Campaign.

Knock Shrine ceremonies are being steamed live via the Knock Shrine Facebook and Twitter pages. The Masses are also being streamed on the Knock Shrine YouTube channel..

Ceremonies take place at 3pm and 8.30pm and workshops at noon and 6pm daily.