Historic day for IWAK as first transatlantic pilgrimage flight lands

Enda Kenny greets pilgrims on Sunday morning at Knock Airport. Photo: Keith Heneghan

Enda Kenny greets pilgrims on Sunday morning at Knock Airport. Photo: Keith Heneghan

Early on Sunday morning (August 9 ), it was a historic day for Ireland West Airport Knock and Knock Shrine when the first transatlantic pilgrimage flight by Aer Lingus from New York touched down on Mayo soil ahead of schedule at 7.30am. More than 170 pilgrimage passengers were on the flight and they were greeted on the tarmac by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, who was on hand to witness this historic event.

The special pilgrimage flight, which is supported by the Archdiocese of New York and led by the Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, will embark on an eight day, specially tailored, pilgrimage programme, showcasing some of Ireland’s most historic spiritual sites, including a historic visit to Knock Shrine to open and participate in Ireland’s National Public Novena in honour of Our Lady of Knock.

Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Dolan, speaking on landing in the west of Ireland said ‘It’s an honour for me to arrive into the beautiful west of Ireland on this historic flight. I am hugely excited to see what this beautiful part of Ireland has to offer and am particularly looking forward to opening Ireland’s National Public Novena on the 14th of August, with Mass in the Basilica of Our Lady, Queen of Ireland, in Knock’.

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