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    Finding Sanctuary In The Heart Of Mayo.

    Experience peacefulness and a spiritual essence when finding sanctuary in the heart of County Mayo. Whether touring the West of Ireland or exploring along the route of the Wild Atlantic Way, Knock Shrine in County Mayo is highly recommended as a stop for everyone of all faiths, a place of welcome, togetherness and heart warming events.

    It’s a special sanctuary in County Mayo for all to enjoy, whether you are visiting as an individual for some well needed head space, for spiritual renewal,  on a retreat with your family or friends or on a day trip with a pilgrimage group.  Discover Christian Heritage at Knock Shrine and a sacred space of beautiful churches, artistic features and special areas of interest.

    Knock Shrine, Co. Mayo ©

    August 21st 1879.

    Knock in County Mayo became renowned for the Apparition which took place on August 21st 1879, when our Lady, St Joseph, St John the Evangelist and a lamb appeared at the gable wall of the parish church. The apparition was witnessed by 15 people ranging in age from just 5 years to 74 years of age. Since this time, 141 years ago, people have come to Knock seeking healing, peace and prayer. The beautiful grounds and gardens offer quiet space for prayer or contemplation.

    The Apparition Chapel at Knock Shrine, County Mayo  ©

    Sacred Traditions at Knock. 

    Pilgrimage is a sacred and ancient tradition in Ireland and has long held a special place in the hearts of Irish people. In medieval times it was one of the most popular forms of personal devotion, and was practiced by men, women and children from all social classes.

    Knock Shrine is a place where old and new traditions mix and mingle. Pilgrims to Knock join others in a quest to experience the presence of God and to gain some quiet time and space for reflection and relaxation. It is a place where people still carry out the pre-Christian practice of walking and praying “in rounds”.

    Pilgrims still get holy water to keep them safe – The tradition of Holy Water from Knock is one that dates back to August 21st 1879. Water blessed at Knock Shrine is valued and cherished by Knock pilgrims and few leave Knock without filling a container to take home with them. There are 18 outdoor Holy Water Fonts located in front of the Apparition Chapel. Crafted from white Portuguese limestone, the 18 Holy Water fonts by Imogen Stuart each contain a carved relief that depicts scenes from the bible and the lives of the Saints that are connected to water.

    For many years, pilgrims have traditionally paused at the original stone from the gable wall where the apparition occurred. A number of people have claimed to have been blessed with a cure. The cures were always attributed to Our Lady, having procured either the old stone from the gable wall or water blessed at the site. People come for solace or to pray for emotional pain they have encountered. The gable stone is still very much a part of the healing.

    Apparition Chapel & Basilica, Knock Shrine, County Mayo  ©

    Knock Museum, County Mayo. 

    Delve deeper into the history of Knock Shrine with a visit to the award-winning Knock Museum, nestled in the gardens to the south of Knock Basilica. Discover the personal stories and the first hand accounts of the apparition witnesses of the amazing sight on a wet August evening in 1879 and get an insight into their lives in the small village of Knock. Browse the many personal and intimate letters of cures and see the Wynne photographic collection of walking sticks and crutches left in gratitude at the gable wall. In the museum collection see the two different Papal Chairs, one used by Pope Saint John Paul II on his visit in 1979 and the other used by Pope Francis on his visit in 2018.

    Knock Shrine, County Mayo. Photographer/Creator: Michelle Fahy ©Fáilte Ireland

    Knock House Hotel, County Mayo. 

    For a prolonged stay, Knock House Hotel is just 20 minutes from Ireland West Airport Knock and 10 minutes from Claremorris Train Station. The hotel nestles in 100 acres of picturesque grounds and is less than a five minute walk from Knock Shrine and Basilica. It’s the perfect location for a relaxing and peaceful break. Here guests will experience a comfortable and stylish hotel with a warm welcome and excellent local cuisine.

    Knock House Hotel, County Mayo  ©

    Take a trip to Ireland and Mayo, the Heartbeat of the Wild Atlantic Way. 

    Ireland has a long history as a place of pilgrimage and retreat. It stretches back to the 7th century when monastic hermits sought out tranquil valleys and lakes for a touch of quiet contemplation. The Island of Ireland has stunning scenery and a sense of immense pride that makes the entire country a special place to visit any time of the year. County Mayo, the third largest county in Ireland, embraces the Atlantic Ocean offering the longest coastline and a host of attractions and activities to enjoy and discover.

    Whatever it is that intrigues you, whether you’re looking for inward reflection or simply a beautiful place of sanctuary to just take a deep breath, Ireland’s beautiful landscape and scenic routes hold the answer.

    Contact Specialized Travel Services to plan your next tour of Ireland and to discover the sights, the sounds and the scenic landscapes of the Island of Ireland. You can also send an email to or keep in touch with us on facebook.

    Endless possibilities and a wonderful sanctuary await you in Ireland.



    Note: Featured image at the top of the blog is of Knock Shrine, County Mayo  © @knockshrine – Twitter

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      Knock Shrine, County Mayo ©
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      Statue of Our Lady - Knock Shrine, Co. Mayo ©
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      Knock Shrine, County Mayo ©
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      Knock Shrine, County Mayo ©
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      Knock Shrine, County Mayo ©


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