Pope John Paul II at Knock – 1979

A favorite talk of mine of the late Holy Father is this talk at Knock – here is an excerpt.

Here I am at the goal of my journey to Ireland: the Shrine of Our Lady at Knock. Since I first learnt of the centenary of this Shrine, which is being celebrated this year, I have felt a strong desire to come here, the desire to make yet another pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Mother of Christ, the Mother of the Church, the Queen of Peace. Do not be surprised at this desire of mine. It has been my custom to make pilgrimages to the shrines of Our Lady, starting with my earliest youth and in my own country. I made such pilgrimages also as a bishop and as a cardinal. I know very well that every people, every country, indeed every diocese, has its holy places in which the heart of the whole people of God beats, one could say, in more lively fashion: places of special encounter between God and human beings; places in which Christ dwells in a special way in our midst. If these places are so often dedicated to his Mother, it reveals all the more fully to us the nature of his Church. Since the Second Vatican Council, which concluded its Constitution on the Church with the chapter on ‘The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, in the Mystery of Christ and of the Church’, this fact is more evident for us today than ever – yes, for all of us, for all Christians.

You can even listen to Blessed John Paul II speak this entire address at the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference website. (I updated this page to reflect a new link on August 20 2012.)

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