Pope Francis to visit Knock as part of Irish trip

He will also meet President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin

Pope Francis to visit Knock as part of Irish trip

Pope Francis meets a group of children at the Vatican, Saturday, June 9th, 2018 | Image: Andrew Medichini/AP/Press Association Images

Updated: 13.45

Details have been revealed of Pope Francis's itinerary when he visits Ireland in August.

It will include a visit with the President at Áras an Uachtaráin, the Capuchin Day Centre and the Pro Cathedral in Dublin on August 25th.

He will also visit the Knock shrine and say mass at the Phoenix Park at 3.00pm the following day.

However the trip will not include a visit north of the border.

The Pontiff is traveling to Dublin to take part in the World Meeting of Families on August 25th and 26th.

The capital was chosen by Pope Francis to host the 9th World Meeting of Families with the theme "The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World".

The Pope's full itinerary | Source: Catholic Communications Office

 Some of the key moments include a three-day Pastoral Congress in the RDS, a Festival of Families at Croke Park and closing mass in the Phoenix Park.

The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, has welcomed the publication of the itinerary.

He says: "I look forward to welcoming Pope Francis to Ireland this August.

"This will be a significant visit by a global and spiritual leader to Ireland and is the first visit of a Pontiff here in almost 40 years.

"This is also a hugely important opportunity to showcase Ireland as images of this visit will be viewed around the globe."

Advice for the public

The Government is advising anyone attending the Knock shrine or Phoenix Park events to get a ticket, plan transport and prepare for a long journey.

A statement says: "You need a ticket for either event. You will not able to attend both, as they are on the same day. Register for your ticket now, get the ticket closer to the time".

"Decide how you will travel to your event in advance. Public or group transport, especially coaches, will be prioritised. A comprehensive transport plan is to be published in the coming weeks."

While a special travel ticket is going on sale soon for the Phoenix Park, that will enable people to get around the Dublin area easily.

It also warns that long periods of walking and standing are unavoidable at both events.

A special web page has been set up to offer information and advice on the visit.

€20m price tag

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin says the visit comes as the church struggles to find a new place in Irish society and culture.

"Family is about love, no matter how imperfect and failing: it is about a love that enriches lives.

"I am thinking about the love of spouses, the love of parents for children, the goodness with which families enrich communities.

"We have great families who would never think of themselves as great: they simply do their best.

"I wish to sincerely thank all those in the Church in Ireland and the public authorities all of whom, in their own areas of competence, have made an enormous contribution to ensure that as many people who wish to can take part in the events.

"I encourage families to take part in the global event that is World Meeting of Families.

"I encourage families to take this unique opportunity to see Pope Francis where they can. All are welcome."

The trip is set to cost at least €20m.

Archbishop Martin adds: "I have been going with the figure of about €20m - when the pope himself has said he doesn't want extreme expense, and that the venues should be sober and fitting and reflecting that".

With reporting from Paul Quinn and Jack Quann