Pope Francis will officially recognise Knock Shrine as an International Marian and Eucharistic Shrine later this month.  

The Pope will deliver a message via video link during mass on 19 March, which will be con-celebrated by  Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary and Parish Priest Fr Richard Gibbons.

Official recognition of the shrine follows Pope Francis' visit to Knock as part of the World Meeting of Families celebrations in 2018.

Last year, the Pontiff declared 2021 as the year of Saint Joseph. 

The declaration bears significance for Knock Shrine due to an apparition in 1879 in which St Joseph appeared, together with Our Lady, St John the Evangelist, and the Lamb of God.

In a statement, Knock Shrine said the apparition scene has deep liturgical meaning, symbolic richness and has been the subject of theological study and contemplation for generations. 

"Unique to the Apparition at Knock is the representation of the Eucharist as the risen Lord which appeared as the Lamb on the altar, standing before his Cross and surrounded by a host of angels". 

It says this aspect of the Apparition was detailed by 15 witnesses on 21 August 1879.