PICTURES: Offaly pilgrims greet Pope Francis in Knock and the Phoenix Park

Offaly Express Reporter

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Despite the early morning rainfall, around 45,000 people greeted Pope Francis at Knock Shrine this morning (Sunday, August 26) with over 130,000 turning out in the Phoenix Park for the  

Pope Francis told the gathering in Knock, “None of us can fail to be moved by the stories of young people who suffered abuse, were robbed of their innocence and left scarred by painful memories.” In the Phoenix Park he sought forgiveness for the failings of the Church and its clergy for abuses in Ireland.

Also: Gallery: Phoenix Park Mass hears Pope Francis ask for forgiveness for clerical sex abuse

He continued in Knock to say that “this open wound challenges us to be firm and decisive in the pursuit of truth and justice. I beg the Lord’s forgiveness for these sins and for the scandal and betrayal felt by so many others in God’s family. I ask our Blessed Mother to intercede for the healing of the survivors and to confirm every member of our Christian family in the resolve never again to permit these situations to occur.”

As a remembrance of his visit he presented the Shrine with a golden rosary in recognition of how important the tradition of the family rosary has been in this country. In return he was given a statue of Our Lady of Knock.

Here are some images from Knock and the Phoenix. Some photographs are courtesy of Maxwells Photography with others supplied by Offaly Express readers.