10,000 Irish grandparents inspire worldwide movement

Over 10,000 Irish grandparents, who attended the National Grandparents’ Pilgrimage in Knock in September, have kick-started a worldwide movement of grandparents – and, next month, over 1m Catholics will hear from a Co. Mayo grandmother about how it all came to pass.

Following the phenomenal success of Pilgrimage, the Vatican has now announced plans to translate into over every world language a Papal Prayer for Grandparents inspired by the Knock Shrine gathering.

“We started this National Grandparents Pilgrimage last year, and it generated a huge response. In 2007 we had over 5,000 grandparents, and this year the figure passed 10,000,” said pilgrimage organiser, Catherine Wiley, a 61 year-old grandmother lives in Murrisk, Co. Mayo.

“We are delighted that the Vatican has recognised the great need there is for honouring grandparents in the church. On January 17th, 2009, I have been invited to recite the Papal Prayer for Grandparents at the 6th World Meeting for Families in Mexico – a crowd of over 1m people is expected.”

The Papal Prayer for Grandparents inspired by the Irish grandparents is to be incorporated into Catholic schools all over the world to celebrate Grandparents Day in Schools.

“Pope Benedict XV1 composed prayer for this year’s pilgrimage. Now the Pontifical Council have informed us they intend to translate this Prayer into every language in the world, so that it may be used by grandparents, and others, all over the world,” added Catherine.

“It illustrates what has been achieved by the grandparents who attended the two pilgrimages in Knock. Other countries have now started to hold National Grandparents Pilgrimages too”

Ms Wiley described grandparents as “as the glue that holds so many Irish families together.”

The 2009 Pilgrimage will take place in Knock on Sunday, September 13th, led by Cardinal Sean Brady.

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