Pope Francis is heading to Ireland this summer

Pope Francis could visit Knock Shrine during time in Ireland. Photo copyright Jeffrey Bruno CC2

Pope Francis will be visiting Ireland in the summer to celebrate mass in Phoenix Park.

He will also head to Croke Park to take part in the World Meeting of Families.

It will be the first time a pope has visited Ireland since John Paul II conducted an open-air mass in 1979 – nearly 40 years ago.

Pope will visit Ireland in 2018. Photo copyright Jeffrey Bruno CC2

However, Pope Francis has been in Ireland more recently than that. During the 1980s he lived with the Jesuit community for three months at the Milltown Institute on Sandford Road in Ranelagh.

Pope Francis will arrive in Dublin on 25th August and take part in the faith based cultural concert at Croke Park.
The following day he is expected to attract crowds of hundreds of thousands to see him give mass in Phoenix Park.

The Catholic Bishops conference released a statement saying: “We are deeply honoured that Pope Francis will come to our country to participate in this universal church celebration of faith and joy, as well as of the contemporary challenges which face families.

“With great anticipation we also look forward to hearing the apostolic guidance of His Holiness during his stay with us.

“Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, as President of the World Meeting of Families 2018, has been charged with undertaking the significant task of organising this global celebration and each of the other 25 dioceses on the island of Ireland is supporting the host diocese to ensure its success for the whole country and for the world.

“We eagerly await the visit of Pope Francis, which no doubt will be an occasion of spiritual renewal for our laity, religious and clergy as well as a strengthening of Christian family life.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “On behalf of the Government I welcome the announcement by Pope Francis of his intention to come to Ireland in August for the World Meeting of Families.

“I look forward to meeting him during his visit.”

Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling