The tour i have just begun was today in its second day, as the first day was just a settling in day for my party of seven ladies, after they had travelled from their various destinations in the USA. Even after their long journeys, they were all in great form and i feel we made a great start.
Today was special for everybody as we journeyed into County Mayo, a county on the brink of glory as their Gaelic Football team is playing in the All-Ireland football final tomorrow in Croke Park in Dublin. This is the title all football players aspire to add to their career achievement list but to do that they have to overcome a great Donegal team with the same ambitions. Mayo today was bedecked with the green and red flags of the county, on display everywhere we went. Our trip to Mayo however, was all about a visit to the Holy Shrine at Knock, as you can see from the photos below.
My group of lovely ladies with the Knock Basilica in the background.
From the left:
Connie, Marge,Susan (at back) Artus, Lyn, Judy and Sharon.
Please note the beautiful sunny day. For us here today, this was a heat wave, but for some of the girls, it was FREEZING?
The apparition in Knock consisted of the figures of Mary, St John the Evangelist, and St Joseph, an altar with a lamb surrounded by a half circle of angels, and a large cross in the background.
Here you see Judy and Sharon with a tapestry of the apparition in the background. This photo was taken inside the Basilica.
This picture was taken outside the old church. The apparition appeared on the outside of the rear wall of that church which is now enclosed by the shrine chapel. A section of the stone from the rear wall where the apparition took place was removed and placed on the new wall which encloses the new shrine chapel so that pilgrims can touch the stone as they make their our special prayer requests. Here you see Connie in silent prayer as she places her hand on the stone, as the other ladies wait their turn.
Now we are inside the new Shrine chapel where this recreation of the apparition scene in presented in beautiful white marble. Hundreds of thousands of people of all creeds, colours, and denominations visit Knock every year. There have been many claims of miraculous healing and cures here at Knock, many of which have been verified by the medical profession after thorough investigation. Knock is accepted as a genuine holy shrine by the Vatican after many years of prolonged investigation.
Later we moved on to the Museum of Natural History in Turlough near Castlebar, and here you see the ladies relaxing in the beautiful gardens there.
Needless to say, by now everybody was hungry and here you see my well satisfied group after eating a lovely meal in the restaurant at Turlough. Yes, i know, two were missing from this photo. When you gotta go, you gotta go.
Finally, my ladies pictured posing at this magnificent tree in the grounds at Turlough. They looked (through my camera lens) like a gathering of Nymphs.
Tomorrow we head for the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher.
You are welcome to follow along if you wish.